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Fling Animation

Fling-based animation uses a friction force that is proportional to an object's velocity. Use it to animate a property of an object and want to end the animation gradually. It has an initial momentum, which is mostly received from the gesture velocity, and gradually slows down. The animation comes to an end when the velocity of the animation is low enough that it makes no visible change on the device screen.

Figure 1. Fling animation

Creating a fling animation

The FlingAnimation class lets you create a fling animation for an object. To build a fling animation, create an instance of the FlingAnimation class and provide an object and the object's property that you want to animate.

FlingAnimation fling = new FlingAnimation(view, DynamicAnimation.SCROLL_X);

Setting velocity

The starting velocity defines the speed at which an animation property changes at the beginning of the animation. The default starting velocity is set to zero pixels per second. Therefore, you must define a start velocity to ensure the animation does not end right away.

You can use a fixed value as the starting velocity, or you can base it off of the velocity of a touch gesture. If you choose to provide a fixed value, you should define the value in dp per second, then convert it to pixels per second. Defining the value in dp per second allows the velocity to be independent of a device's density and form factors. For more information about converting the starting velocity to pixels per second, refer to the Converting dp per second to pixels per second section in Spring Animation.

To set the velocity, call the setStartVelocity() method and pass the velocity in pixels per second. The method returns the fling object on which the velocity is set.

Note: Use the GestureDetector.OnGestureListener and the VelocityTracker classes to retrieve and compute the velocity of touch gestures, respectively.

Setting an animation value range

You can set the minimum and the maximum animation values when you want to restrain the property value to a certain range. This range control is particularly useful when you animate properties that have an intrinsic range, such as alpha (from 0 to 1).

Note: When the value of a fling animation reaches the minimum or maximum value, the animation ends.

To set the minimum and maximum values, call the setMinValue() and setMaxValue() methods, respectively. Both methods return the animation object for which you have set the value.

Setting friction

The setFriction() method lets you change the animation's friction. It defines how quickly the velocity decreases in an animation.

Note: If you don't set the friction at the beginning of the animation, the animation uses a default friction value of 1.

The method returns the object whose animation uses the friction value you provide.

Sample code

The example below illustrates a horizontal fling. The velocity captured from the velocity tracker is velocityX and, the scroll bounds are set to 0 and maxScroll. The friction is set to 1.1.

FlingAnimation fling = new FlingAnimation(view, DynamicAnimation.SCROLL_X);

Setting the minimum visible change

When you animate a custom property that isn't defined in pixels, you should set the minimal change of animation value that is visible to users. It determines a reasonable threshold for ending the animation.

It isn't necessary to call this method when animating DynamicAnimation.ViewProperty because the minimum visible change is derived from the property. For example:

To set the minimum visible change for an animation, call the setMinimumVisibleChange() method and pass either one of the minimum visible constants or a value that you need to calculate for a custom property. For more information on calculating this value, refer to the Calculating a minimum visible change value section.


Note: You need to pass a value only when you animate a custom property that is not defined in pixels.

Calculating a minimum visible change value

To calculate the minimum visible change value for a custom property, use the following formula:

Minimum visible change = Range of custom property value / Range of animiation in pixels

For example, the property that you want to animate progresses from 0 to 100. This corresponds to a 200-pixel change. Per the formula, the minimum visible change value is 100 / 200 is equal to 0.5 pixels.

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