functional tweening and animation for react

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import reactImation from '';



This library provides various composable utilities for creating complex timeline-based animation in a react-y component-driven fashion.

npm install react-imation --save

Since this is a library of composable utility functions and components that mostly don't rely on each other, there is no fully bundled import. This keeps react-imation light-weight. The following imports are available:

  • react-imation
  • react-imation/animationFrame
  • react-imation/Interval
  • react-imation/timeline
  • react-imation/tween-value-factories

For react-native the following imports are available (support is limited to a subset of the above, atm):

  • react-imation/native
  • react-imation/timeline/native
  • react-imation/tween-value-factories


Also check out react-track's' demo which combines react-imation tweening with DOM tracking.

If you clone this repo you can run the demos locally via:

    npm install
    npm run examples

In the Wild

tween(currentFrame, keyframes, [ease])

The first argument, currentFrame is a number representing the current position in the animation timeline.

The aforementioned timeline is represented by the keyframes argument which is an an array of [key, value] touples. The 2 components of each touple represents a timeline position and it's state, respectively. Note that tween assumes that the keyframes are sorted.

import {tween} from 'react-imation';
import {rotate} from 'react-imation/tween-value-factories';

// ...render:
    style=tween(time, [
      [  0, { transform: rotate(0) } ],
      [ 60, { transform: rotate(360) } ]

Note: Support for object typed keyframes param has been removed as of react-imation@0.5.0

Tweening values that require special formatting is super-easy. All you have to do is create a new tween value factory. Check out tween-value-factories.js and you'll see what I mean.

tween: tweening numbers

While tween works with more sophisticated wrapped values as demonstrated above, it also works with regular numbers. Here are some examples:

tween(0.5, [[0, 10], [1, 20]]); //=> 15

tween(5, [[0, 10], [10, 20]]);  //=> 15

tween(10, [[0,  0 ],
           [20, 10],
           [30, 20]]);       //=> 5

tween(5, [[0,10], [5,0]]);    //=> 5

You can use this approach to tween styles:

<h2 style={{ transform: `rotate(${tween(time, [[0, 0],[60, 360]])}deg)` }}>

You can tween all of your styles this way and it will work fine. However, when you have a lot of styles this can get tedious and difficult to read. For this reason, tween supports using wrapped values. Read the next section about creating wrapped values using tween value factories (TvFs).

tween: creating wrapped values with tween value factories (TvFs)

Wrapped values represent complex values which we ultimately need to convert to strings in order to generate CSS values. We can create wrapped values easily with tween value factories.

Here are the two most complex value factories:

import {combine, ease} from 'react-imation';

Here are some simple value factories:

import {rotate, turn, px, translateX} from 'react-imation/tween-value-factories';

I call these tween value factories simple because they are extremely easy to create. To create a simple tween value factory first import the createTweenValueFactory function

import {createTweenValueFactory} from 'react-imation';

and then use it like this:

const px = createTweenValueFactory(value => `${value}px`);
const translate3d = createTweenValueFactory(value => `translate3d(${value.join(',')})`, px);

now the value of translate3d is a function which can create wrapped values. For example,

const t = translate3d(100, 50, 80); // instantiate a wrapped value `t`
t.resolveValue();   //=> "translate3d(100px,50px,80px)"

note that calling resolveValue on the wrapped value t returns it's string representation. You will never have to do this explicitly because the tween function does it for you.

Consider translate3d again

const px = createTweenValueFactory(value => `${value}px`);
const translate3d = createTweenValueFactory(value => `translate3d(${value.join(',')})`, px);

Notice that we are passing the tween value factory px as the second argument of createTweenValueFactory. This tells createTweenValueFactory to create a value factory that automatically wraps each of its arguments which are plain numbers utilizing another value factory (px) before passing it into it's own value factory.

Consider the TVF percent

const percent = createTweenValueFactory(value => `${value}%`);

We can use this with the translate3d TvF

const t = translate3d(percent(50), percent(20), 200);
t.resolveValue();    //=> "translate3d(50%,20%,200px)"

Note that since we did not wrap the third argument in a TvF, it was wrapped automatically by the px TvF and that is why calling t.resolveValue() produced 200px for the third argument.

tween: tweening wrapped values

The real power and elegance of the tween function becomes apparent when you use it with TvFs (that produce wrapped values). One of the primary goals of react-imation is to create a highly readable and intuitive API for animation.

const t = tween(30, [ [ 0, rotate(0)  ],
                      [60, rotate(360)] ])

t.resolveValue();   //=> "rotate(180deg)"

In react we can use this in a style tag:

    backgroundColor: 'red'
    transform: tween(time, [ [ 0, rotate(0)  ],
                             [60, rotate(360)] ])

tween: tweening object literals

Tweening object literals means that we are actually tweening the values within those objects and returning a new object with a similar shape. This works with both numbers and wrapped values.

  style={tween(time, [
    [ 0, { transform: rotate(0)   }],
    [60, { transform: rotate(360) }]

The result is something like this:

<h2 style={{ transform: 'rotate(180deg)' }}>

The real advantage of using object literals is that it allows you to tween multiple style properties in one tween():

  style={tween(time, [
    [  0, { backgroundColor: rgba(0,200,0,.5), transform: rotate(0)  } ],
    [ 60, { backgroundColor: rgba(200,0,0,1), transform: rotate(360) } ]

the result is something like:

<h2 style={{ backgroundColor: 'rgba(100,100,0,.75)',
             transform: 'rotate(180deg)' }}>

warning: All keyframes in a single tween must have exactly the same properties. The only exception to this is when using easing.

tween: easing

An easing function is a function that accepts a single argument, time and returns time. There are many libraries out there already that provide easing functions, or you can write your own. The one I've been using is functional-easing.

There are three ways to ease with tween:

  1. Pass the easing function as the third argument to tween.

  2. When tweening a plain object, add an ease property. The easing will apply to all properties in the keyframe. For example:

     import {Easer} from 'functional-easing';
     const easeOutSine = new Easer().using('out-sine');
       style={tween(time, [
         [ 0, { transform: rotate(0), ease: easeOutSine }],
         [60, { transform: rotate(360) } ]
  3. Wrap a TvF in the ease TvF. The ease TvF will override any other type of easing.

       style={tween(time, [
         [ 0, { transform: ease(easeOutSine, rotate(0)) }],
         [60, { transform: rotate(360) } ]

Heads-up: Doing rotate(ease(easeOutSine, 0)) instead of ease(easeOutSine, rotate(0)) unfortunately does not work.

Note that we did not wrap rotate(360) with ease(). Wrapping the destination value is optional because the source's easing function is always the one that tween applies.

The ease() TvF is automatically curried, so we can also use it like this:

    const easeOutSine = ease(new Easer().using('out-sine'));

      style={tween(time, [
        [ 0, { transform: easeOutSine(rotate(0)) }],
        [60, { transform: rotate(360) }]

Heads-up: Doing rotate(easeOutSine(0)) instead of easeOutSine(rotate(0)) unfortunately does not work.

tween: combine TvF

combine works as you might expect.

combine(rotate(90), translateX(100))
  .resolveValue();    //=> "rotate(90deg) translateX(100px)"

<Interval />

import Interval from 'react-imation/Interval';

Stateless component providing an easy way to repeatedly set an interval. It extracts away the react lifecycle challenges so that all you have to think about is what to do every tick and how to schedule the next interval.

<Interval onTick={scheduleTick => {
  scheduleTick(1000); // schedule next tick for 1 second from now
}} />;


import { animationFrame } from 'react-imation/animationFrame';

Stateless ticking decorator that manages destroying requestAnimationFrame when component unmounts. All you have to supply is the only argument, a callback function which gets called every tick.

ES7 Decorator: (with class-based component)

@animationFrame(({onTick}) => onTick())
class Foo extends Component {
  render() {
    return <div>{}</div>

Functionally: (with stateless component)

  ({onTick}) => onTick()
  props => <div>{}</div>

In both examples above we assume an onTick prop is being passed down and it will handle each tick event.

<AnimationFrame />

import { AnimationFrame } from 'react-imation/animationFrame';

Stateless ticking component. Just supply a callback function to onTick prop.

<AnimationFrame onTick={() => console.log('tick'))}>

<Timeline />

import { Timeline, Timeliner } from 'react-imation/timeline'

Timeline as a component is super-handy. It manages the state of time.

{({time, playing, togglePlay, setTime}) =>

    The timeline is {playing ? '' : 'not '}playing! <br />
    Current time is {time}. <br />

    We can easily create a pause button like this:<br />
    <button onClick={togglePlay}>
      {playing ? 'pause' : 'play'}

    <br />

    ... or jump around the timeline: <br />
    <button onClick={event => setTime(50)}>
      Jump to 50

    ... and tween to spin some text:
      style={tween(time, [
        [   0, { transform: rotate(0)   } ],
        [ 100, { transform: rotate(360) } ]


<Timeline />: overview

It accepts a single child which should be a function. When rendered, Timeline calls the function by passing in as the first argument an instance of the Timeliner class.

Note: Because this is a stateful component, it will work well for simple use-cases. If you have more complex needs, using the timeliner prop (described below) might get you a bit further, but consider using the following lighter-weight stateless abstractions instead:

they compose well in a system with reactive state management. Check out react-three-ejecta-boilerplate which is an example that utilizes react-stateful-stream for state management.

<Timeline />: the Timeliner class and timeliner prop

The Timeliner class does the heavy lifting of scheduling animation frames and storing the value of time. When using the <Timeline /> component you can provide or omit a timeliner prop. By omitting the timeliner prop you are instructing <Timeline /> to instantiate and manage an instance of the Timeliner class all by itself.

In many cases, omitting the timeliner prop works very well. However, sometimes you need the added flexibility of lifting the state management functionality outside of the <Timeline /> component. Here's what it looks like when we provide a timeliner prop:

const timeliner = new Timeliner();;

    onClick={() =>
      this.setState({showTimeline: !this.state.showTimeline})

  {this.state.showTimeline &&
    <Timeline timeliner={timeliner}>
    {({time}) =>
      `The current time is {time}`

Notice how we can mount/unmount the <Timeline /> component without losing it's state, and since the timeliner instance has been lifted outside of the <Timeline /> component, when the component is re-mounted it works the same as if it had been mounted all along.

The single most important property of the Timeliner class is time. Let's take a look at the function we passed in as the child of the <Timeline /> component from the previous example:

({time}) => `The current time is {time}`

Remember, when <Timeline /> calls this function it will pass in an instance of the Timeliner class. Our function uses object destructuring to get the value of the time property.

You can access methods on the Timeliner instance via destructuring as well. All of the methods exposed by Timeliner are automatically bound to the Timeliner instance so that they work in this way.

<Timeline />: the partially applied tween function

The Timeliner class exposes a tween method which is the same tween function we've discussed, with the first argument already applied. The following two expressions are equivalent:

tween(timeliner.time, [[0,0], [60,100]]);

timeliner.tween([[0,0], [60,100]]);

The happy consequence is that with <Timeline /> you can use destructuring to easily access Timeliner#tween:

{({tween}) =>
  <h1 style={tween([
    [  0, { color: rgb(0,0,255) } ],
    [ 60, { color: rgb(255,0,0) } ]
    I change color!

react-native support

Supports react-native as of v0.2.6, however performance is not so good because react-native works best when native props are manipulated directly.