Creating complex animations for Android, iOS, etc., is, of course, a lengthy process. It is even as a designer or animator, sometimes a brain teaser process. 

You have to either upload large image files for each screen size or write a thousand lines of brittle, difficult-to-maintain code. As a result, despite being a powerful tool for communicating ideas and producing compelling user experiences, most apps do not use video animation.

It need not be like that! These problems are long gone, and there are many handy file formats, platforms, etc., that you can leverage to simplify your workflow. One such format is Lottie. 

In this blog, I will tell you about this interesting and handy format.

What is Lottie?

In the years before Lottie, motion designers would create their animations and then send them along to software developers to be put into action. The implementation options were inadequate and limited in scope.

It was common practice for developers to export animations in low-quality formats or to attempt to recreate the animation design in code from scratch to the best of their abilities. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't the most efficient technique and frequently resulted in animations that were inefficient and looked completely different from the motion designer's intended output.

Hernan Torrisi came up with the notion of exporting the representation of an animation created in Adobe After Effects and generating the animation at runtime in 2015. After Effects' scripting capabilities were used to iterate an animation project, and a plugin for Adobe After Effects called Bodymovin was developed that produced a description of the animation in the JSON format.

Along with the player for the browser, he provided the first-ever renderer for the format, which was built using Javascript.

Since its introduction in 2017, LottieFiles has provided animators and developers with a platform to rapidly test, share, and exhibit their animations on the web. The Lottie Animation-based File Format (JSON) allows designers to transfer animations across platforms effortlessly. 

Lottie was named after Charlotte ‘Lotte' Reiniger, a German film director who is widely regarded as the world's leading pioneer of silhouette animation. There are no limitations on the platforms that it supports. It may be accessed via iOS, Android, and the web.

A combination of vector and raster components is used in Lottie to create high-quality animation that is cross-platform in nature. Aiming for certain animation elements and parameters, it offers the ability to add interactivity and alter parameters during runtime.

These are small files that may be used on any device and can be scaled without loss of quality. Lottie files can be reused by developers in their programming. 

What can a Lottie do?

Lottie lets your animation play on any web or mobile device in high quality, and with smart settings, you let your animation be more attractive.

One thing to keep in mind is that while building for Lottie, JSON files need to be smaller as possible for the mobile platform. Use parenting techniques whenever possible. 

Extra code is added while duplicating the same keyframes on a similar layer. You should use path keyframe animations whenever possible.

Most of the space is eaten up by adding data for each vertex on each keyframe. 

Auto trace or the wiggler technique gives you a keyframe for every frame but making your JSON file size very heavy may impact performance negatively. They should be balanced with the composition to work smoothly and efficiently.

Where can you use Lottie?

Lottie's may be accessed from virtually any platform, including the web and mobile devices, according to the developer. In other words, they may be easily integrated into both mobile applications and web-based applications.

On some messaging services, Lottie animations may even be used as stickers. It is not restricted to the web or mobile devices in terms of technical limitations. On desktop applications as well as some smartwatches, you might take advantage of it.

Various Cross-platform Plugins and libraries are available for Web, iOS, Android, Flutter, React, Vue, Angular, and Sketch. Figma, After Effects, and more are supported in Lottie animation files.

Why use Lottie Animation?

It is only natural to think why you should use Lottie animation when there are so many other options available.

Here's why:

It can be Played Anywhere

The Lottie web player is compatible with any browser that supports contemporary Javascript, which means that Lottie may be played on any modern browser that supports Javascript. In addition, because most recent software development kits offer dynamic web content, the integration of Lottie into any desktop or laptop program becomes simpler.

There are also libraries available for implementing Lottie playback into IOS, Android, and Tizen platforms, making it possible to use Lottie in mobile applications on the vast majority of smartphones and tablets. Lottie animations are being swiftly adopted by big companies to enhance their mobile frontends, while startups are using Lottie in their product designs to separate themselves from the competition.

Easy to Maintain

Lottie animations are saved as plain text, which means they are viewable by human beings. As a result, employing Lottie in the development of application interfaces decreases debugging time as well as the total time to deployment. Additionally, plain text Lottie files are less complicated to maintain and fine-tune since they do not require the use of specialist software tools.

The text data in Lottie animations is structured as JSON, which means that it is ready for assimilation into Javascript or any other application development environment that accepts JSON without the need for extra parsing or processing. As a result, Lottie has become the most widely used and portable animated graphics format in the world.

It is Dynamic

The JSON structure of Lottie data allows for easy manipulation and replacement of its content at many degrees of granularity, ranging from fractional values to big portions of objects. The replacement material, in addition, maybe loaded dynamically from any site. As a result, Lottie is currently the most dynamic and widely used animated graphics format.

Scalability

Because conventional visuals are bulky, many businesses employ them sparingly in application user interfaces. Too many graphics can increase storage and retrieval costs, especially when searching and sorting data contextually.

When used in big solutions, Lottie files can minimize storage and contextual sorting/searching expenses. As Lotties are dynamic, apps only need to load the components that need updating at any given moment.

Greatest Quality

It uses vectors to represent geometric forms' dimensions, as well as qualifiers to define their characteristics and how they keep moving during the animation. The Lottie player renders at the screen's native resolution. This ensures that Lottie animations are always shown in the finest possible quality.

A user zooms into a Lottie animation, and the player redraws it at native resolution. This means that Lottie animations never pixelate, no matter how magnified they are.

In a Crux

User interfaces that are quick, dynamic, and elegant may be achieved by using Lotties. Your customer's bandwidth consumption would be much decreased as a result of the lower storage needs for the hosted component of your application.

If you are looking forward to making Lottie animation videos, the best place you would want to be is webdew.

At webdew, explainer videoscharacter animation2D animations, and whiteboard animations are extensively made by skilled animators and motion graphic designers. Contact us to know more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A Lottie animation is a file format that enables the playback of complex animations and vector graphics on websites and mobile applications. Lottie animations are typically created using Adobe After Effects and then exported in JSON format using the Bodymovin plugin. These animations are lightweight, scalable, and offer smooth playback, making them ideal for enhancing user interfaces, websites, and apps with engaging and dynamic visual elements.

Lottie animations offer several advantages for web and app development. They are highly efficient in terms of file size and performance, allowing for smooth animations without significant impact on loading times. Lottie animations are also scalable, ensuring they look crisp on various screen sizes and resolutions. Moreover, they support interactivity, making it possible to integrate user-triggered animations. Overall, Lottie animations enhance user experiences by adding visually appealing and interactive elements to digital platforms.

Lottie animations and GIFs serve different purposes and have distinct advantages. Lottie animations are typically preferred for web and app development because they are more efficient in terms of file size and offer better scalability and interactivity. They can be seamlessly integrated into user interfaces without slowing down load times. GIFs, on the other hand, are widely used for sharing short, looped animations in social media and messaging. The choice between Lottie and GIF depends on your specific needs and platform.

Lottie animations themselves are a technology and file format, which is open-source and free to use. However, creating Lottie animations often involves using tools like Adobe After Effects and the Bodymovin plugin, which may require paid licenses or subscriptions. Additionally, there are various libraries and resources available for incorporating Lottie animations into web and app development, many of which are open-source and free to use. It's essential to consider the costs associated with animation creation and integration tools when working with Lottie animations.