Rive: Animation Tooling with Guido and Luigi Rosso

Animations can be used to create games, app tutorials, and user interface components. Animations can be seen in messaging apps, where animated reactions can convey rich feelings over a text interface. Loading screens can become less boring through animation, and voice assistant products can feel more alive through animation.

But we still don’t see much animation in our everyday applications. This is partly because animation tooling is difficult to use. To make an animation, the typical workflow is to go into a tool like After Effects, render your animation, and then export that animation in a movie format. This format is not dynamic enough to be easily used on the wide variety of development platforms.

The animation library Lottie did improve this tooling by creating a system for exporting animations to JSON and allowing them to easily scale up and down as vectors. But the animations still were simple and unidirectional. The developer did not have much freedom for how to move an animation in response to user input.

Rive is a system for creating dynamic, movable animated objects. Rive allows for the creation of animated elements that respond to user input. Rive has a tool that runs in the browser and allows the user to define the animation. 

The animations in Rive use a bone system that allows animators and designers to define the points of the animated sprite that the developer can then manipulate with code. This improves the painful handoff process that exists between animators and developers, and gives the developer some programmatic control.

Guido and Luigi Rosso are the founders of Rive and they join the show to talk about the frictions of animation tooling, and what they have built to improve

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