Episode 031

Episode 031 – Create a Basic Animation

by heathenx

In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to make a basic animation, with the help of swftools, in Inkscape v0.45.

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21 Responses to “Episode 031”

  1. Luxman Says:

    Hi and congratulations for this amazing project!
    Concerning this tutorial, do you know how to achieve the same results using the latest version of inkscape? I know that the behaviour of the program has changed and now converting text to path outputs a group of paths rather than a unique path. The results is that I can’t obtain the same results you are showing on the video. Any clues?
    Keep up the wonderful work 😉

  2. heathenx Says:


    Yup, things have certainly changed. When you convert text to a path now you’ll have use the combine feature to make it one complete path. Just an extra step.

  3. Luxman Says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  4. Xbody Says:

    Cool tuturial, just the interpolation doesn’t work with text-paths on my computer.

  5. Rajiv Chadha Says:

    Hi Heathenex,
    I have been following your videos for about a month or so and do use inkscape o.47 and really impressed, but on this video I am unable to get interpolation of text even after typing text, object to path, combine…The interpolation doesn’t seem to work on texts, please clarify.
    Thank you.

  6. heathenx Says:

    @Rajiv Chadha

    I’m using 0.48 now but I think it’s the same as 0.47 in regard to interpolation. Anyway, the behavior of text changed in 0.47. You now have to make text, convert it to a path and combine it to make it all one shape. Give that a try and it should work. 🙂

  7. Rajiv Chadha Says:

    Hi Heathenx,
    I have done exactly what you have said, but no luck. BTW, I do use Win Vista 64 bit, if it is of any concern?
    Thank you

  8. heathenx Says:

    I recorded a quicky for you on my Win7 64bit box. It works the same in Linux. Screencast has no sound.


  9. Rajiv Chadha Says:

    Hi Heathenx,
    First and foremost let me thank you for going through to make another quick tutorial.
    I did upload 0.48 release followed your instructions as per your sreencast, still Text Interpolation not working for some reason, but does work for various other shapes.
    Thank you very kindly.

  10. BertMacFly Says:

    Hi everybody 🙂
    I have the same problem of Rajiv with the Text Interpolation………I think I have solved:
    try with this metod:
    make text, convert it to a path, combine, duplicate, select the 2 texts and ungroup, than try with the Text Interpolation.
    I have no idea for the reason, but its work.
    Than heathenx Richard for your tuts 🙂

  11. Rajiv Chadha Says:

    Hi Bert,
    Eureka!!! It worked. I had just been racking my brains.
    Thank You Bert and Heathenx,
    Rajiv Chadha

  12. lant Says:

    Hi Rajiv,
    It really works! Some bugs outmoded perhaps

  13. Johan Says:

    I’m using the portableapps version (0.48 r9654) :

    And I’ve followed the screencast meant for Rajiv to the proverbial letter, but I don’t get the images in between the two words. I’m stumped, to be honest.
    For my sanity, what I do:

    1. write a word, select the arrow for the word
    2. select Object to Path (SHIFT-CTRL-C)
    3. select combine (CTRL-K)
    4. duplicate word (CTRL-D)
    5. move word over and rotate it 90 degrees
    6. select both words (SHIFT-Left click)
    7. extensions > Generate from path > Interpolate…
    8. interpolate settings
    Exponent 0,0
    Interpolation steps 5
    Interpolation method 1
    Duplicate endpaths checked
    Interpolate style unchecked
    9. hit apply

    and no dice :'(

    Please make me feel stupid and help me with this by pointing out my glaring error.

  14. heathenx Says:


    Sorry for the late reply. I disappear on the weekends. 🙂

    Yup! You have followed the screencast very carefully. However, a lot has changed under the hood between v0.45 and v0.48 (even though things appear the same). In order to do this sort of interpolation you’ll have to select your text objects with the node tool instead of the selector tool after you have made them paths. Once that is done the interpolation should work as expected.

    If it makes you feel better, I get a little frustrated with the changes too.

  15. Johan Says:

    No worries, faster than I get at work anyway 😉

    Thanks for the reply, that does indeed sort some effect.
    I have some strange things happen every now and then when my duplicate word (after step 4) gets selected with the original word, preventing me from rotating it.

    Inkscape has some brilliant features but it’s not very tolerant in how it needs things to be.

    In 0.48, how do I export to SWF? The only plugin I could find was for Linux, and I use winblows on my work machine.

    P.S. yes, I feel much better, but does it change anything? Probably not, which makes me feel worse again 😉

  16. heathenx Says:


    I’ll rarely ever make an Inkscape screencast that is specific to any one OS. After all, I use both Linux and Windows. If you finish watching the screencast you will see that I used a utility called “png2swf”. It’s part of a larger package called swftools (http://www.swftools.org/download.html). After you install swftools then you’ll notice that png2swf will be present. This package works the same on Linux as it does on Windows. It basically takes all of your exported png files and rolls them up into one swf file. In the screencast I copied png2swf.exe to the same directory where my png’s were stored and then ran the command from there in a terminal. Easy peasy. 🙂

    png2swf -o myvideo.swf -r 10 *png

  17. Johan Says:

    I did notice that, thanks.
    However several comments were made that the functionality is part of Inkscape, when in fact it was not as far as I could see.
    No worries, I’m no stranger to the command line, I’ll make it work.

    copy png2swf.exe to your system32 folder, that way it will work in any terminal.
    (note: can confuse viewers of your screencast 😉 )

  18. Resonance Says:

    What BertMacFly said – ungrouping and then selecting left one first is the only reliable way to get the interpolation to work. Pretty serious usability flaw in my humble opinion.

  19. heathenx Says:

    The devs made some major text changes in version 0.47. Takes a few extra steps but the result is the same in the end.

  20. Forum Says:


    […]screencasters.heathenx.org » Blog Archive » Episode 031[…]…

  21. Mu2 Says:

    Awesome and very informative..Thanks!