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NativeScript exposes a simple yet powerful API to allow animating almost every native component in your app. The singular API allows you to animate both iOS and Android the same way. You always have the discretion to use platform animations directly where desired but let's look at how comprehensive this simple API is as it is well suited for a large majority of commonly desired animations.

For your convenience, there are two popular ways of creating animations:

  • Declarative - easy and familiar CSS3 animations API
  • Imperative - take full control of any animation by calling animation methods directly with code

Declarative: Animating UI components with CSS ​

CSS animations are based on the CSS3 animations API standard. You can use them to animate almost every native view without even having to know JavaScript. You can use multiple frames and change the animation direction. With CSS animations, you can separate the animation code from your app logic if desired.

CSS animations consist of two components: a style describing the CSS animation and a set of keyframes that indicate the start and end states of the animation's style, as well as possible intermediate waypoints.

Add animation with @keyframes in CSS as follows:

css
@keyframes example {
  from {
    background-color: red;
  }
  to {
    background-color: green;
  }
}

.example {
  animation-name: example;
  animation-duration: 4s;
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;
}

The animation starts as soon as the component with the .example class is loaded.

To trigger it later, set the component's className property to .view where you want the animation to start:

typescript
button.className = 'example'
xml
<Button id="myButton" text="{N}" />

Note

If the animation-duration property is not specified, the animation will use a default value - 0.3 seconds.

A basic @keyframes rule has two waypoints. The from property represents 0% (the start) of the animation time and to represents the 100% (the final value).

css
@keyframes example {
  from {
    background-color: red;
  }
  to {
    background-color: green;
  }
}

You can add more waypoints using percent(%).

css
@keyframes example {
  0% {
    background-color: red;
    transform: translate(0, 0);
  }
  25% {
    background-color: yellow;
    transform: translate(200, 0);
  }
  50% {
    background-color: blue;
    transform: translate(200, 200);
  }
  75% {
    background-color: green;
    transform: translate(0, 200);
  }
  100% {
    background-color: red;
    transform: translate(0, 0);
  }
}

Animatable properties ​

CSS animations in NativeScript support the same animatable properties used in code-based animations:

  • opacity
  • background-color: Corresponds with the backgroundColor.
  • transform: translate: Corresponds with translateX and translateY properties.
  • transform: scale: Corresponds with scaleX and scaleY properties.
  • transform: rotate: Corresponds with the rotate property.

Note

You cannot set a single x or y field in scale and translate. If you set only x in translate, y will be assumed 0; If you set only y in scale, x will be assumed 1.

CSS Animation properties ​

A CSS animation is defined by using the animation property and its sub-properties in the following list. The actual animation appearance is defined with the @keyframes rule.

  • animation-name: Specifies the name of the @keyframes rule that should be used.
  • animation-delay: Specifies the time between the style is applied and the beginning of the animation.
  • animation-duration: The length of the animation in seconds.
  • animation-iteration-count: Specifies how many times the animation should be played. Default is 1. To repeat an animation forever, use infinite.
  • animation-timing-function: Defines how the animation transitions through keyframes by establishing acceleration curves.
  • animation-fill-mode: Configures what values are applied by the animation to the view component when it ends.
  • animation-direction: Configures whether or not the animation should alternate direction on each run through the sequence or reset to the start point and repeat itself.
  • animation: The shorthand property allows setting all animation properties in a single line.

Setting animation delay ​

The animation-delay property specifies a delay (in seconds) before the animation starts:

css
.view {
  ....
  animation-delay: 2s;
}

Setting animation iterations ​

The animation-iteration-count property defines the number of times an animation should run. The animation with the below value will play two times before it stops.

css
.view {
  ....
  animation-iteration-count: 2;
}

For infinite animation, set this property to infinite.

css
animation-iteration-count: infinite;

Setting the speed curve of the animation ​

The animation-timing-function property specifies the speed curve of the animation. It can have one of the following values:

  • ease: Specifies an animation with a slow start, then fast, then end slowly (this is the default).
  • linear: Specifies an animation with the same speed from start to end.
  • ease-in: Specifies an animation with a slow start.
  • ease-out: Specifies an animation with a slow end.
  • ease-in-out: Specifies an animation with a slow start and slow end.
  • spring: Specifies a spring animation.
  • cubic-bezier(n,n,n,n): Lets you define your own values in a cubic-bezier function, as shown below:
css
.view {
  ...
  animation-timing-function: cubic-bezier(0.1, 0.1, 1, 1);
}

Setting animation end state ​

The animation-fill-mode property determines the end-of-animation style for the component. Its default value is none. In this case, all animated values will be reset to the state they had before the animation. To preserve the animation values, set forwards:

css
.view {
...
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;
}

Animation property shorthand ​

To set all the properties above in a single line, use the animation property:

css
.view {
  animation: example 4s ease-in-out 2s infinite reverse forwards;
}

The order of properties are as follows:

animation: name duration timing-function delay iteration-count direction fill-mode;

You can combine two animations in the animation property by using commas:

css
.view {
  animation: example 4s ease-in-out 2s infinite reverse, second-animation-example
      5s ease-out;
}

Pseudo selectors ​

The Button component has a built-in special state highlighted to for the touch event. Set animation for that state as follows:

css
.button {
  background-color: green;
}

.button:highlighted {
  animation-name: highlight;
  animation-duration: 2s;
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;
}

@keyframes highlight {
  from {
    background-color: yellow;
  }
  to {
    background-color: red;
  }
}

Animating width and height ​

Imperative: Animating UI components with code ​

The easiest way to animate a single View is by using the View.animate method which accepts an AnimationDefinition. It immediately starts and returns its finished promise.

typescript
view.animate({
  translate: { x: 0, y: 100 },
  duration: 1000,
  curve: CoreTypes.AnimationCurve.easeIn,
})

Note

You should create an Animation class in order to be able to cancel the animation.

The AnimationDefinition interface ​

The AnimationDefinition interface defines the following properties to be animated:

  • target: The view whose property is to be animated.
  • opacity: Animates the opacity of the view. Value should be a number between 0.0 and 1.0.
  • backgroundColor: Animates the backgroundColor of the view.
  • translate: Animates the translate affine transform of the view. Value should be { x: number; y: number; }
  • scale: Animates the scale affine transform of the view. Value should be { x: number; y: number; }
  • rotate: Animates the rotate affine transform of the view. Value should be a number specifying the rotation amount in degrees.
  • duration: The length of the animation in milliseconds. The default duration is 300 milliseconds.
  • delay: The amount of time, in milliseconds, to delay starting the animation.
  • iterations: Specifies how many times the animation should be played. Default is 1. iOS animations support fractional iterations, i.e., 1.5. To repeat an animation infinitely, use Number.POSITIVE_INFINITY.
  • curve: An optional animation curve. Possible values are contained in the CoreTypes.AnimationCurve. Alternatively, you can pass an instance of type UIViewAnimationCurve for iOS or android.animation.TimeInterpolator for Android.
  • width: Animates view's width.
  • height: Animates view's height.

All members of the interface are optional and have default values with the following exceptions:

  • target is only optional when calling the animate method of a View instance since it is set automatically for you.
  • You must specify at least one of: opacity, backgroundColor, scale, rotate or translate.

The Animation class ​

The Animation class represents a set of one or more AnimationDefinitions that can be played either simultaneously or sequentially. The constructor of the Animation class accepts an array of AnimationDefinitions and a boolean parameter indicating whether to play the animations sequentially. Creating an instance of the Animation class does not start the animation playback. Call the play method to start the animation.

  • play: A method that starts the animation and returns the instance it was called on for fluent animation chaining.
  • cancel: A void method that stops the animation.
  • finished: A promise that will be resolved when the animation finishes or rejected when the animation is cancelled or stops for another reason.
  • isPlaying: A boolean property returning true if the animation is currently playing.

Animating from a different component's origin ​

A view has the originX and originY properties. By default, they have a value of 0.5. To create complex rotation animations, you can change those properties. The pair represents the origin point around which the view will be transformed.

View Origin

Chaining animations with promises ​

Use the promise returned by the animate method to chain animations:

typescript
view
  .animate({ opacity: 0 })
  .then(() => view.animate({ opacity: 1 }))
  .then(() => view.animate({ translate: { x: 100, y: 100 } }))
  .then(() => view.animate({ translate: { x: 0, y: 0 } }))
  .then(() => view.animate({ scale: { x: 3, y: 3 } }))
  .then(() => view.animate({ scale: { x: 1, y: 1 } }))
  .then(() => view.animate({ rotate: 180 }))
  .then(() => view.animate({ rotate: 0 }))
  .then(() => {
    console.log('Animation finished')
  })
  .catch((e) => {
    console.log(e.message)
  })

OR ​

Access CSS animations from code ​

To trigger an animation defined in CSS, you can change the view's className property:

ts
const view = page.getViewById('view')
view.className = 'transparent'

To access @keyframes defined in CSS, use the Page view's getKeyframeAnimationWithName method. This allows for further customization of animation properties:

ts
import { KeyframeAnimation, View } from '@nativescript/core'

const view = page.getViewById('view') as View
const animationInfo = page.getKeyframeAnimationWithName('bounce')
animationInfo.duration = 2000

const animation = KeyframeAnimation.keyframeAnimationFromInfo(animationInfo)
animation.play(view).then(() => {
  console.log('Played with code!')
})

TouchManager 8.2+ ​

The TouchManager provides several conveniences for your apps interaction.

Auto animate touch down/up for all tap bindings ​

For example, you can easily and quickly enable consistent touch down/up animations on every view which has a tap event binding throughout your entire app by enabling TouchManager.enableGlobalTapAnimations before your app bootstraps (typically in app.ts or main.ts):

ts
import { TouchManager } from '@nativescript/core'

TouchManager.enableGlobalTapAnimations = true
TouchManager.animations = {
  down: {
    scale: { x: 0.95, y: 0.95 },
    duration: 200,
    curve: CoreTypes.AnimationCurve.easeInOut,
  },
  up: {
    scale: { x: 1, y: 1 },
    duration: 200,
    curve: CoreTypes.AnimationCurve.easeInOut,
  },
}

// bootstrap the app...

This would auto animate any view with a tap binding with those specific animations on touch down and up.

If you have a few "tappable" views that need to be ignored:

xml
<Button text="Global tap animations simply ignored" ignoreTouchAnimation="true" />

In addition to expressing NativeScript Animation APIs which are convenient, simple and easy you can also define purely native animations like iOS UIView Animations or even Android Dynamic Spring Physics Animations, for example:

ts
touchAnimation = {
  down(view: View) {
    if (global.isIOS) {
      UIView.animateWithDurationAnimations(0.25, () => {
        view.ios.transform = CGAffineTransformMakeScale(0.95, 0.95)
      })
    } else if (global.isAndroid) {
      const lib = androidx.dynamicanimation.animation
      const spring = new lib.SpringForce(0.95)
        .setDampingRatio(lib.SpringForce.DAMPING_RATIO_MEDIUM_BOUNCY)
        .setStiffness(lib.SpringForce.STIFFNESS_MEDIUM)
      let animation = new lib.SpringAnimation(
        view.android,
        lib.DynamicAnimation().SCALE_X,
        float(0.95)
      )
      animation.setSpring(spring).setStartVelocity(0.7).setStartValue(1.0)
      animation.start()
      animation = new lib.SpringAnimation(
        view.android,
        lib.DynamicAnimation().SCALE_Y,
        float(0.95)
      )
      animation.setSpring(spring).setStartVelocity(0.7).setStartValue(1.0)
      animation.start()
    }
  },
  up(view: View) {
    if (global.isIOS) {
      UIView.animateWithDurationAnimations(0.25, () => {
        view.ios.transform = CGAffineTransformIdentity
      })
    } else if (global.isAndroid) {
      const lib = androidx.dynamicanimation.animation
      const spring = new lib.SpringForce(1)
        .setDampingRatio(lib.SpringForce.DAMPING_RATIO_MEDIUM_BOUNCY)
        .setStiffness(lib.SpringForce.STIFFNESS_MEDIUM)
      let animation = new lib.SpringAnimation(
        view.android,
        lib.DynamicAnimation().SCALE_X,
        float(1)
      )
      animation.setSpring(spring).setStartVelocity(0.7).setStartValue(0.95)
      animation.start()
      animation = new lib.SpringAnimation(
        view.android,
        lib.DynamicAnimation().SCALE_Y,
        float(1)
      )
      animation.setSpring(spring).setStartVelocity(0.7).setStartValue(0.95)
      animation.start()
    }
  },
}

touchAnimation and ignoreTouchAnimation ​

You can also declaratively define custom touch animations on any specific view (which overrides any global TouchManager settings) by specifying it's own touchAnimation property:

xml
<Button touchAnimation="{{ touchAnimation }}" />

This would animate touch down and up with the following view binding settings:

ts
touchAnimation = {
  down: {
    scale: { x: 0.95, y: 0.95 },
    backgroundColor: new Color('yellow'),
    duration: 250,
    curve: CoreTypes.AnimationCurve.easeInOut,
  },
  up: {
    scale: { x: 1, y: 1 },
    backgroundColor: new Color('#63cdff'),
    duration: 250,
    curve: CoreTypes.AnimationCurve.easeInOut,
  },
}

When using TouchManager.enableGlobalTapAnimations you can declare any views to be ignored in cases where a couple may need to be excluded from your global animation settings:

xml
<Button text="Global tap animations simply ignored" ignoreTouchAnimation="true" />

Limitations ​

  • Span and FormattedString can not be animated. Span and FormattedString components are not extending the View class, but only ViewBase. Because of this, neither Span nor FormattedString are ui components, making it impossible to animate them and causing a crash on iOS.