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page.title=The Transitions Framework
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<h2>This lesson covers</h2>
<li><a href="#Overview">Overview</a></li>
<li><a href="#Scenes">Scenes</a></li>
<li><a href="#Transitions">Transitions</a></li>
<li><a href="#Limitations">Limitations</a></li>
<p>Animating your app's user interface provides more than just visual appeal. Animations
highlight changes and provide visual cues that help users learn how your app works.</p>
<p>To help you animate a change between one view hierarchy and another, Android provides the
transitions framework. This framework applies one or more animations to all the views in the
hierarchies as it changes between them.</p>
<p>The framework has the following features:</p>
<dt><em>Group-level animations</em></dt>
<dd>Applies one or more animation effects to all of the views in a view hierarchy.</dd>
<dt><em>Transition-based animation</em></dt>
<dd>Runs animations based on the changes between starting and ending view property values.</dd>
<dt><em>Built-in animations</em></dt>
<dd>Includes predefined animations for common effects such as fade out or movement.</dd>
<!-- Figure 1 - Transitions video -->
<div style="float:right;margin-left:30px;margin-top:10px">
<div class="framed-nexus5-port-span-5" style="clear:left;">
<video class="play-on-hover" height="442" autoplay="" poster="">
<source src="{@docRoot}images/transitions/transition_sample_video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
<source src="{@docRoot}images/transitions/transition_sample_video.ogv" type="video/ogg">
<source src="{@docRoot}images/transitions/transition_sample_video.webm" type="video/webm">
<p class="img-caption" style="margin-top:7px;margin-bottom:0px">
<strong>Figure 1.</strong> Visual cues using user interface animation.</p>
<div style="margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:20px;font-size:10pt" class="video-instructions">&nbsp;</div>
<dt><em>Resource file support</em></dt>
<dd>Loads view hierarchies and built-in animations from layout resource files.</dd>
<dt><em>Lifecycle callbacks</em></dt>
<dd>Defines callbacks that provide finer control over the animation and hierarchy change
<h2 id="Overview">Overview</h2>
<p>The example in Figure 1 shows how an animation provides visual cues to help the user. As the
app changes from its search entry screen to its search results screen, it fades out views that
are no longer in use and fades in new views.</p>
<p>This animation is an example of using the transitions framework. The framework
animates changes to all the views in two view hierarchies. A view hierarchy can be as simple
as a single view or as complex as a {@link android.view.ViewGroup} containing an elaborate
tree of views. The framework animates each view by changing one or more of its property values
over time between the initial or <em>starting</em> view hierarchy and the final or <em>ending</em>
view hierarchy.</p>
<p>The transitions framework works in parallel with view hierarchies and animations. The
purpose of the framework is to store the state of view hierarchies, change between these
hierarchies in order to modify the appearance of the device screen, and animate the change by
storing and applying animation definitions.</p>
<p>The diagram in Figure 2 illustrates the relationship between view hierarchies, framework
objects, and animations:</p>
<!-- Figure 2 - diagram -->
<img src="{@docRoot}images/transitions/transitions_diagram.png"
width="506" height="234" alt="" style="margin-top:7px" />
<p class="img-caption"><strong>Figure 2.</strong> Relationships in the transitions framework.</p>
<p>The transitions framework provides abstractions for scenes, transitions, and transition
managers. These are described in detail in the following sections. To use the framework, you
create scenes for the view hierarchies in your app that you plan to change between. Next, you
create a transition for each animation you want to use. To start the animation between two
view hierarchies, you use a transition manager specifying the transition to use and the ending
scene. This procedure is described in detail in the remaining lessons in this class.</p>
<h2 id="Scenes">Scenes</h2>
<p>A scene stores the state of a view hierarchy, including all its views and their property
values. A view hierarchy can be a simple view or a complex tree of views and child layouts.
Storing the view hierarchy state in a scene enables you to transition into that state from
another scene. The framework provides the {@link android.transition.Scene} class to represent
a scene.</p>
<p>The transitions framework lets you create scenes from layout resource files or from
{@link android.view.ViewGroup} objects in your code. Creating a scene in your code is useful
if you generated a view hierarchy dynamically or if you are modifying it at runtime.</p>
<p>In most cases, you do not create a starting scene explicitly. If you have applied a
transition, the framework uses the previous ending scene as the starting scene for any
subsequent transitions. If you have not applied a transition, the framework collects information
about the views from the current state of the screen.</p>
<p>A scene can also define its own actions that run when you make a scene change. For example,
this feature is useful for cleaning up view settings after you transition to a scene.</p>
<p>In addition to the view hierarchy and its property values, a scene also stores a reference
to the parent of the view hierarchy. This root view is called a <strong>scene root</strong>.
Changes to the scene and animations that affect the scene occur within the scene root.</p>
<p>To learn how to create scenes, see
<a href="{@docRoot}training/transitions/scenes.html">Creating a Scene</a>.</p>
<h2 id="Transitions">Transitions</h2>
<p>In the transitions framework, animations create a series of frames that depict a change
between the view hierarchies in the starting and ending scenes. Information about the animation
is stored in a {@link android.transition.Transition} object. To run the animation, you apply the
transition using a {@link android.transition.TransitionManager} instance. The framework can
transition between two different scenes or transition to a different state for the current
<p>The framework includes a set of built-in transitions for commonly-used animation effects,
such as fading and resizing views. You can also define your own custom transitions to create
an animation effect using the APIs in the animations framework. The transitions framework also
enables you to combine different animation effects in a transition set that contains a group
of individual built-in or custom transitions.</p>
<p>The transition lifecycle is similar to the activity lifecycle, and it represents the
transition states that the framework monitors between the start and the completion of an
animation. At important lifecycle states, the framework invokes callback methods that you can
implement to make adjustments to your user interface at different phases of the transition.</p>
<p>To learn more about transitions, see
<a href="{@docRoot}training/transitions/transitions.html">Applying a Transition</a> and
<a href="{@docRoot}training/transitions/custom-transitions.html">Creating Custom
<h2 id="Limitations">Limitations</h2>
<p>This section lists some known limitations of the transitions framework:</p>
<li>Animations applied to a {@link android.view.SurfaceView} may not appear correctly.
{@link android.view.SurfaceView} instances are updated from a non-UI thread, so the updates
may be out of sync with the animations of other views.</li>
<li>Some specific transition types may not produce the desired animation effect when applied
to a {@link android.view.TextureView}.</li>
<li>Classes that extend {@link android.widget.AdapterView}, such as
{@link android.widget.ListView}, manage their child views in ways that are incompatible with
the transitions framework. If you try to animate a view based on
{@link android.widget.AdapterView}, the device display may hang.</li>
<li>If you try to resize a {@link android.widget.TextView} with an animation, the text will
pop to a new location before the object has completely resized. To avoid this problem, do not
animate the resizing of views that contain text.</li>