Why We Love the Framer Motion API for Next-Level Website Animations
Nov 28, 2022 | 12 min. read
Modern consumers tend to ignore websites that aren’t interactive or don’t offer anything unique. If a web page is static and filled with copious amounts of written content, most users will leave. Because of how important an online presence is to most businesses, these companies are taking every step they can to increase online attention. In many cases, these steps involve adding fun animations or interesting copywriting techniques to the website.
Framer Motion gives you the tools you need to create site elements that automatically stand out and add dynamic movements to your website. With the introduction of Framer Motion to the React library, it’s possible to create animations without writing nearly as much code. This guide goes into detail about why you should use the Framer Motion tool and the benefits you can derive from it.
What is Framer Motion?
Framer Motion is a feature-rich animation library that’s designed specifically to make it easier to create animations. The simple API that the tool is based on allows animators and developers to abstract all of the complexities surrounding animations, which ensures that these animations are made more efficiently.
Even though Framer Motion is used with the React library, it’s meant to improve and refine the library instead of providing an entirely new one. This animation tool was made after the Pose tool, which was among the most popular libraries that was paired with React. Just like Pose, Framer Motion is built on Popmotion, which is a kind of low-level animation library that delivers the abstractions that power Framer Motion.
The Framer Motion tool further simplifies the Pose API. The primary difference between Pose and Framer Motion is that the former supports Vue and React Native. In comparison, Framer Motion only supports React. Despite the extra level of support available with Pose, Framer Motion is considerably more powerful.
Why Use Framer Motion?
Over the years, there have been many websites that have been built with the assistance of Framer Motion. These websites are:
- Astro NFT Everdome
- Stellar Development
- Nike corporate website
Nearly every type of website can benefit from Framer Motion.
While many animation libraries already use spring-based animations to accommodate modern sensibilities, Framer Motion goes a step above by providing developers with a useful API that’s simple and doesn’t add extra code to your components.
In many situations, it’s possible to replace an HTML element on your website with a motion element, which leads to the same markup but includes extra props for animation. Because of how basic the Framer Motion API is, adding animations to your website doesn’t take hours of work.
Framer X is a prototyping tool that Framer Motion uses to streamline the process of creating amazing and powerful animations. Most designers have been in scenarios where they spend an ample amount of time refining every aspect of a design only to lose what made the design unique once it moves from prototyping to development. With Framer X, you can use the exact same library in the prototyping stage as well as the production stage.
Types of Animations in Framer Motion
There are many different types of animation that can be created in Framer Motion. The tool scales to meet the complexity of your animation needs.
The majority of animations that are made with Framer Motion have the “animate” prop. If one of the values changes, the overall component immediately animates to the new target.
Framer Motion automatically produces a transition animation based on the values that are being animated. Physical properties such as scale or X are animated with a spring simulation.
On the other hand, values like color and opacity are animated with a tween animation that goes between different keyframes. You have the ability to define the various animation types by placing the default transition in the “transition” prop.
When you first develop a motion component, it will instantly animate to the different values present in “animate” in the event that those values differ from the ones defined in “initial” or “style”. The “initial” prop can be set to false if you’d like to disable these animations.
When you use React without Framer Motion, any component that’s removed from the coding tree will be instantly removed. In comparison, Framer Motion includes an “AnimatePresence” component that keeps any components in the DOM as an exit animation is performed.
The values that you place in “animate” can be set as keyframes, which will animate each value in sequential order. The current value can be used as the first keyframe with the inclusion of a wildcard keyframe known as “null”. In the event that the keyframe animation begins while the value is animating, the transition should be much more natural. There’s also very little risk of duplication with your code.
Unless you make changes to your code, every keyframe is spaced out evenly within the animation. It’s possible to bypass this by including the “times” option with transition. The “times” code is a type of array that has the same length as your keyframes array. Any number between 0-1 defines where the keyframe is placed in the animation.
Framer Motion provides users with numerous shortcuts that can be used when animating to a specific set of values. These gestures include:
These gestures are written as whileFocus= or whileHover=. By placing these instructions in your coding, you’ll be able to set what values you animate back to once the gestures come to an end.
Using “animate” as a kind of object is helpful when creating single-component animations. If, however, you want to make animations that are able to propagate at all times of the DOM, the animations must be orchestrated with the use of variants.
A variant is a set of targets that has already been defined. You can use the “variants” prop to pass these into motion components. You can also define variants with the “variant” label.
When motion components have children, any change to the variant is sent down into the entire component hierarchy until one of the children components has an entirely new “animate” property.
The default setting in Framer Motion is for your animations to begin at the same time. When you use variants, you’ll be given access to many additional transition props to use in your animation, which include options like “staggerChildren” and “delayChildren”. With these props, the parents are able to effectively orchestrate what happens with the child animations.
Every variant you include in your coding is able to be defined as a separate function that will resolve when the variant is first accessed. All functions have just one argument, which you can set with the “custom” prop.
Some of the props mentioned previously, such as “whileHover” and “animate”, can define at least one variant if you pass a string or a complete array of strings. When variants define the exact same values, the variants that show up in the latter portions of the array are given first priority.
What Are The Benefits of Framer Motion?
There are huge benefits that anyone who uses Framer Motion gains access to, which include everything from the ability to make natural animations to the intuitive nature of this tool.
It’s Extremely Intuitive
This tool is highly intuitive and easy to use regardless of your animation or coding skills. It also has seamless integration with React.
By animating the right properties, it’s possible for designers to create natural animations that fit well into any site design.
This feature provides advanced listeners and extends the standard set of event listeners that are available through React.
The gesture detection feature provides users with instant support for drag, pan, hover, and tap gesture detection, which makes it easier to create fantastic animations.
The Framer X tool available with Framer Motion provides designers with the features needed to create advanced animations. This tool comes with a 14-day free trial.
If you want to be certain that your target audience is provided with a sleek and modern website, the Framer Motion tool can help you and other designers on your team make stylish animations with some basic code that practically anyone can write. If you already use React, Framer Motion streamlines this library.
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