Animations #

Fluid, meaningful animations are essential to the VR Web user experience.

Animated #

The Animated library is designed to make it easy to concisely express a wide variety of interesting animation and interaction patterns while providing efficient performance. Animated focuses on declarative relationships between inputs and outputs, with configurable transforms in between, and simple start and stop methods to control time-based animation execution.

For example, a complete component with a simple spring bounce on mount looks like this:

class Playground extends React.Component { constructor(props) { super(props); this.state = { bounceValue: new Animated.Value(0), }; } render() { return ( <Animated.Image // Base: Image, Text, View source={{uri: ''}} style={{ flex: 1, width: 1, height: 1, transform: [ // `transform` is an ordered array {scale: this.state.bounceValue}, // Map `bounceValue` to `scale` ] }} /> ); } componentDidMount() { this.state.bounceValue.setValue(1.5); // Start large Animated.spring( // Base: spring, decay, timing this.state.bounceValue, // Animate `bounceValue` { toValue: 0.8, // Animate to smaller size friction: 1, // Bouncier spring } ).start(); // Start the animation } }

In the code example, bounceValue is initialized as part of state in the constructor and mapped to the scale transform on the image. Behind the scenes, the code extracts the numeric value and uses it to set the scale. After the component mounts, the code sets the scale to 1.5 and then starts a spring animation on bounceValue. All the dependent mappings get updated on each frame as the spring animates (in this case, only the scale). This is done in an optimized way that is faster than calling setState and re-rendering.

Because the entire configuration is declarative, we could implement further optimizations that serialize the configuration and run the animation on a high-priority thread.

Core API #

Most everything you need hangs directly off the Animated module. This includes:

  • two value types: Value for single values and ValueXY for vectors.

  • three animation types: spring, decay, and timing.

  • three component types: View, Text, and Image.

You can make any other component animated with Animated.createAnimatedComponent.

The three animation types can be used to create almost any animation curve you want because each can be customized:

  • spring: Simple single-spring physics model that matches Origami.
    • friction: Controls "bounciness"/overshoot. Default 7.
    • tension: Controls speed. Default 40.
  • decay: Starts with an initial velocity and gradually slows to a stop.
    • velocity: Initial velocity. Required.
    • deceleration: Rate of decay. Default 0.997.
  • timing: Maps time range to easing value.
    • duration: Length of animation (milliseconds). Default 500.
    • easing: Easing function to define a curve. See the Easing module for several predefined functions. The iOS default is Easing.inOut(Easing.ease).
    • delay: Starts the animation after a delay (milliseconds). Default 0.

Start animations by calling start(). There is a completion callback for start() called when the animation ends. If the animation ends because it finished running normally, the completion callback is invoked with {finished: true}. But, if the animation ends because stop was called on it before it could finish (for example, if it was interrupted by a gesture or another animation), then it receives {finished: false}.

Composing Animations #

Animations can also be composed with parallel, sequence, stagger, and delay. Each simply takes an array of animations to execute as input and automatically calls start and stop as appropriate. For example:

Animated.sequence([ // spring to start and twirl after decay finishes Animated.decay(position, { // coast to a stop velocity: {x: gestureState.vx, y: gestureState.vy}, // velocity from gesture release deceleration: 0.997, }), Animated.parallel([ // after decay, in parallel: Animated.spring(position, { toValue: {x: 0, y: 0} // return to start }), Animated.timing(twirl, { // and twirl toValue: 360, }), ]), ]).start(); // start the sequence group

If one animation is stopped or interrupted, the default behavior is to stop all other animations in the group. Parallel has a stopTogether option that can be set to false to change this behavior.

Interpolation #

Another powerful part of the Animated API is the interpolate function. It allows input ranges to map to different output ranges. For example, here is a simple mapping to convert a 0-1 range to a 0-100 range:

value.interpolate({ inputRange: [0, 1], outputRange: [0, 100], });

interpolate supports multiple range segments as well, which is handy for defining dead zones and other handy tricks. The following example creates a negation relationship at -300 that goes to 0 at -100, to 1 at 0, to 0 at 100, and then creates a dead-zone that remains at 0 for all input beyond that:

value.interpolate({ inputRange: [-300, -100, 0, 100, 101], outputRange: [300, 0, 1, 0, 0], });

Which would map like so:


interpolate also supports mapping to strings, allowing you to animate colors as well as values with units. This example animates a rotation:

value.interpolate({ inputRange: [0, 360], outputRange: ['0deg', '360deg'] })

interpolation also supports arbitrary easing functions, many of which are already implemented in the Easing class. This includes quadratic, exponential, and bezier curves as well as functions such as step and bounce. interpolation also has configurable behavior for extrapolating the outputRange. You can set the extrapolation by setting the extrapolate, extrapolateLeft, or extrapolateRight options. The default value is extend but you can use clamp to prevent the output value from exceeding outputRange.

Tracking Dynamic Values #

Animated values can also track other values. Instead of setting the toValue of an animation to a static value, you can set it to an animated value. For example, to spring physics for an interaction like "Chat Heads", or to timing with duration: 0 for rigid/instant tracking. You can also compose dynamic values through interpolation:

Animated.spring(follower, {toValue: leader}).start(); Animated.timing(opacity, { toValue: pan.x.interpolate({ inputRange: [0, 300], outputRange: [1, 0], }), }).start();

ValueXY is a handy way to deal with 2D interactions such as panning or dragging. It is a simple wrapper that contains two Animated.Value instances and some helper functions that call through to them. ValueXY is a drop-in replacement for Value in many cases. For example, in the code snippet above, leader and follower could both be of type ValueXY and the x and y values would track as you expect.

Responding to the Current Animation Value #

You might have noticed there is no obvious way to read the current value in mid-animation. Due to the effects of optimizations, only the native runtime knows the current value. If you need to run JavaScript in response to the current value, there are two approaches:

  • spring.stopAnimation(callback) stops the animation and invokes callback with the final value - this is useful when making gesture transitions.
  • spring.addListener(callback) invokes callback asynchronously while the animation is running, providing a recent value. This is useful for triggering state changes such as snapping a bobble to a new option as the user drags it closer. This is the preferred method for large state changes as they are less sensitive to a few frames of lag compared to continuous gestures like panning which need to run at 60fps.

requestAnimationFrame #

requestAnimationFrame is a polyfill from the browser you might be familiar with. It accepts a function as its only argument and calls that function before the next repaint. It is an essential building block for animations and underlies all of the JavaScript-based animation APIs. In general, you shouldn't need to call this yourself - the animation APIs will manage frame updates for you.

A sidenote about setNativeProps #

setNativeProps allows us to modify properties of native-backed components (components that are actually backed by native views, unlike composite components) directly, without having to setState and re-render the component hierarchy.

We could use this in the Rebound example to update the scale. This might be helpful if the component that we are updating is deeply nested and hasn't been optimized with shouldComponentUpdate.

// Back inside of the App component, replace the scrollSpring listener // in componentWillMount with this: this._scrollSpring.addListener({ onSpringUpdate: () => { if (!this._photo) { return } var v = this._scrollSpring.getCurrentValue(); var newProps = {style: {transform: [{scaleX: v}, {scaleY: v}]}}; this._photo.setNativeProps(newProps); }, }); // Lastly, we update the render function to no longer pass in the // transform via style (avoid clashes when re-rendering) and to set the // photo ref render() { return ( <View style={styles.container}> <TouchableWithoutFeedback onPressIn={this._onPressIn} onPressOut={this._onPressOut}> <Image ref={component => this._photo = component} source={{uri: "img/ReboundExample.png"}} style={{width: 250, height: 200}} /> </TouchableWithoutFeedback> </View> ); }

It would not make sense to use setNativeProps with react-tween-state because the updated tween values are set on the state automatically by the library. Rebound, on the other hand, gives us an updated value for each frame with the onSpringUpdate function.

If your animations are dropping frames and performing below 60 frames per second, look into using setNativeProps or shouldComponentUpdate to optimize them.

LayoutAnimation #

LayoutAnimation lets you globally configure create and update animations used for all views in the next render/layout cycle. This is useful for performing flexbox layout updates without needing to measure or calculate specific properties to animate them directly. It is especially useful when layout changes might affect ancestors.

A good example is a "see more" expansion that increases the size of the parent and pushes down the row below. Without using LayoutAnimation, this would require explicit coordination between the components to synchronize their animations.

While LayoutAnimation is very powerful and can be quite useful, it provides much less control than Animated and other animation libraries. If you can't get LayoutAnimation to do what you want, you may need to use another approach.

See LayoutAnimation.js for more information.

You can file an issue on GitHub if you see a typo or error on this page!