/ Animation

The best way to build animation compositions for React

The best way to build animation compositions for React


The best way to build animation compositions for React. Design and compose a component to start with, a component to end with, and Flight will take it from there.

Flight tries to be for React what Principle is for Sketch compositions - the fastest, most friction free way to compose and an effortless way to animate an idea, an interaction, or a short movie-like composition in a self-contained widget (a React component after all).


Quick Start (From Scratch)

Just clone and use the example, built around create-react-app:

$ git clone https://github.com/jondot/react-flight
$ cd react-flight/examples/compos
$ yarn && yarn start

Quick Start (Existing Project)

With yarn (or npm):

$ yarn add react-flight
$ curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jondot/react-flight/master/examples/compos/src/index.js -o src/anim.js

And now you can frame your compositions in anim.js, require and place it in
any other React component.


  1. Add jQuery (or Zepto, or any jQuery drop-in) if you don't have it already in the project.
  2. Or if you use create-react-app you can add it to your public/index.html, ,
    or eject and configure webpack for jQuery.

NOTE: jQuery is currently a requirement of one of react-flight's dependencies.
We plan to rebuild that dependency any way, obsoleting this requirement in the
process (also: PRs accepted!).


When you're designing compositions, focus on designing frames. The
first frame is marked source because that's the starting point, and
interactive because you want to play with it while you go.

  <Flight interactive ref={flight => (this.flight = flight)}>
    <Flight.Frame duration={300} source interactive showFrames>

Showing Frames

While designing, you want to have showFrames on. It will unpack
all of the frames in front of you, so you could edit them while watching them. With
Webpack hot-reload this becomes a fantastic experience.

When done, remove showFrames.

Controlling Flight Directly

This is where the ref addition comes in:

  <Flight interactive ref={flight => (this.flight = flight)}>
    <Flight.Frame duration={300} source interactive showFrames>

Once you can grab an instance of flight you can flight.play() and flight.reset() on
demand from your own components and actions.

Here's a full layout:

  <Flight interactive ref={flight => (this.flight = flight)}>
    <Flight.Frame duration={300} source interactive showFrames>

      -- your own DOM / React Components ---
      -- starting position and styles    ---



      -- your own DOM / React Components ---
      -- ending position and styles    ---



If you're using Redux, there's basic support for it. Basic in the sense that react-flight is not
going to handle deep renders of a stateful app with all its gotchas, so YMMV.

You can check out this Redux example for a fully working solution.

For your app, you can enable Redux support by indicating inclusion of store before using the Flight component:

Flight.contextTypes = {
  store: PropTypes.object,

Flight.childContextTypes = {
  store: PropTypes.object,

Under the Hood

If you want to hack on react-flight, here are some context to keep in mind.

react-flight does some cool stuff and some DOM-heavy stuff (perhaps less cool?). For the cool stuff, it
walks the component tree, makes decisions about what should move where, and builds
a clean and nice declarative data structure that represents the way compositions should

Currently it will then hand over this data to a DOM-based adapter, that also uses Velocity.js,
so that it would actually orchestrate the animations. This is where you're welcome
to plug in your own adapter - another animation engine, React Native, and what not.

Happy hacking!