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UI Animation Libraries and Tools

Article by weareosm in Resources & Tools -

Current generation web designers are keen on creating animated experiences - not only to add value to the overall site’s look and feel, but also to surprise visitors and keep them scrolling around.

The gap between web design and development is completely behind us. Today, every (good) developer is aware of the importance of a good-looking website. Yes, apart from being impeccable when it comes to its functionalities, a website should be engaging to viewers. By that, we mean that the site’s color saturation is superb, the sections are perfectly organized, every page is fully responsive...but that’s not all. 

In today's post, we introduce our choice of libraries and tools to help you create stunning, professional animations, with no hassle at all! 

Starting with UI animation libraries, here are our recommendations:

Popmotion

Simple, yet great animation libraries for creating a thrilling user experience, and we agree with Popmotion’s team claims that they are “The animator’s JavaScripttoolbox”. 

Key features include:

  • Support for keyframes, spring and inertia animations
  • Written in TypeScript, very stable
  • Optimized for less than 5kb
  • Powers the animations in Framer Motion.
  • Functions portable to any JS environment
PopMotion - UI Libraries and Tools

Velocity.js

This animation engine is known to be incredibly fast - both developers and users will appreciate this fact. This animation engine has a similar API to jQuery’s $.animate() and can be an extension to Zepto, jQuery, native DOM. It’s no wonder that big brands such as WhatsApp, Windows, Uber, Samsung and many others place their trust in Velocity.

AnimeJS

Simple, but powerful - same as its API. This lightweight JavaScript library works with SVG, DOM attributes, CSS properties and JavaScript Objects.

AnimeJS - UI Libraries and Tools

CSShake

Apply a shake animation to a web element, CSS Shake provides you with a wide range of versions, you’ll have no problem finding something suitable for your CTA button, or anything else you want to highlight on a site.

CSShake - UI Libraries and Tools

Bounce.js

Bounce is both a tool and a JS library that enables you to create engaging CSS3 powered keyframe animations. The tool itself can be used to generate static keyframes that don’t require any extra JavaScript, yet you can always use the Bounce.js library to generate them on the fly.

Bounce.js - UI Libraries and Tools

Mo JS

Spice up your website with motion graphics! Mo JS is a JavaScript motion graphics library that, compared to others, has a different syntax and code animation structure approach. The key features that make this library stand out are:

  • It’s very fast
  • Retina ready
  • Open source
  • Modular
  • The (declarative) API enables full control over the animation
  • Customizable 

As well as built-in components for creating animations from scratch, and tools to give you a lift if you want to make your crafting process easier.

Just look at the effects you can make - enough said, right?

Mo JS - UI Libraries and Tools

ScrollReveal JS

Another JavaScript library for creating amazing animations with a scroll effect. At first glance it might seem a bit complicated, but it’s very easy to pick up - give it a try!

ScrollReveal JS - UI Libraries and Tools

The GreenSock Animation Platform (GSAP)

The GreenSock Animation Platform is a library built on JavaScript and HTML5 so UI designers can enjoy crafting animations using canvas, jQuery, SVG, etc. 

GSAP’s animations are very smooth and high-performing. In addition, the team behind GSAP have created several tools to make your animation creation process as simple as possible: TweenLite, TweenMax, TimelineLite, TimelineMax.

The GreenSock Animation Platform - UI Libraries and Tools

Magic Animations

This library, as it says in the name - gives you magic powers! When it comes to functionalities and features, this library is really impressive. Create twisterInDown, vanish, swap and many more...this library is something you really should have a play with!

Magic Animations - UI Libraries and Tools

Hover.css

A library designed to add some sparkle to your website’s buttons and other UI elements. Hover.css has a wide range of 2D transitions and more very appealing animations. 

Hover.css - UI Libraries and Tools

Our Favorite Tools

When it comes to UI animation tools - those mentioned really are some “must-tries” but we’re not finished yet, here’s a few more!

Adobe After Effects

Well, Adobe’s After Effects is probably one of the most praised tools among UI designers. As their slogan says: “There’s nothing you can’t create with After Effects”, and we totally agree with them. It provides great animation features, and is also a companion for creating visual effects for film, TV, video. It has 100 GB of cloud storage, works seamlessly with other Adobe tools and has a great range of features. No wonder it became an industry standard.

LottieFiles

“The Future of Animation and Interactive Design is here”. LottieFiles offers many tools to help you bring your design to life in a few clicks. LottieFiles is loved by designers from

Uber, Microsoft, Google, Spotify, Netflix and many other big companies. Ah, one more fun fact: Lottie, an open source library is created by the one and only - Airbnb.

Origami

Another animation tool developed by an established company, Facebook, to be precise. If you love drag & drop tools, then this is the one for you! You’ll probably need to think from a developer’s perspective in order to make good animations, but the process is as simple as possible. 

One more fact that makes Origami a favorite among similar tools: you can easily work between Sketch and Figma, and did we mention that this tool is FREE?

Flinto

“Flinto is a Mac app used by top designers around the world to create interactive and animated prototypes of their app designs.” - simple as that. However, we’ll add that it is a lightweight tool that allows designers to quickly create transition-based animations. Another of Flinto’s advantages is that it has a smooth preview on both mobile and desktop devices.

Flinto - UI Libraries and Tools

Final words

The choice of animation tools and libraries is wide. Our selection is based on our experience and preferences, and we must say that our designers have high standards when it comes to the combination of sophistication and stability. That’s why we recommend you to play around with the listed Ui animation helpers...just make sure you don’t confuse your users with too many animations.