Creating Reusable Animations in Angular

Anton Ioffe - December 7th 2023 - 10 minutes read

As we push the boundaries of user experience in modern web applications, Angular's sophisticated animation framework emerges as a crucial ally for developers seeking both flourish and functionality. This article ventures beyond the rudimentary use of animations, guiding you through the nuanced process of constructing scalable and reusable effects that breathe life into interfaces without congesting your codebase. We'll dissect the anatomy of Angular's animation tools, forge modular components, and finely tune configurations to achieve dynamic, maintainable, and performant animations. Prepare to transform your application's interaction landscape and sidestep the common pitfalls that even seasoned veterans face in the quest for that seamless animated allure.

Establishing Foundations for Reusable Angular Animations

In the world of Angular, the animation API provides a powerful suite of tools to create engaging and dynamic interfaces. Before venturing into the realm of reusable animations, it’s crucial to grasp the foundational elements such as keyframes, animation states, triggers, and transitions. These constructs serve as the building blocks for animations in Angular, allowing for the crafting of sophisticated sequences that are both maintainable and repeatable across different components of an application.

Keyframes are pivotal in defining the precise style properties at specific points during the animation. By specifying a collection of CSS properties at various steps, developers can control an element's intermediate states and choreograph complex animations that go beyond simple start and end states. Leveraging keyframes enables not only visual richness but also ensures that animations can be easily replicated and reused, minimizing effort and maximizing impact.

At the heart of Angular’s animation system are states. These named states reflect the different styles an element might be in during its lifecycle. Each state is associated with a distinct set of styles, thereby encapsulating the variations an element can transition through. States are especially important in reusable animations because they describe fundamental styles that can be invoked across multiple components, creating a consistent animated experience without the need to rewrite CSS rules.

Triggers act as the listening mechanism that binds an animation to a particular element in the Angular template. They wait for an event or expression evaluation that signifies a state change, and upon activation, they kick-start the animation sequence. By defining triggers, one can easily attach reusable animations to diverse elements in the application, making it straightforward to evoke the same animation in different places with minimal fuss.

Transitions, then, are the bridge between states, dictating how an animation should unfold when it moves from one state to another. Transitions not only define the in-between steps, smoothing out the animation sequence, but they also allow for the specification of duration, easing, and other timing-related parameters. This level of detail ensures that animations retain their character and timing regardless of where they're applied, a critical aspect for animations aiming for reusability.

Finally, integrating these elements to produce reusable animations is less about the animations themselves and more about the strategic use of Angular’s animation API. By modularizing animation sequences and encapsulating them within carefully designed triggers, states, and transitions, developers can create a library of animation templates. These templates can then be invoked as needed across an application, ensuring that animations remain consistent, performance is optimized, and codebases stay clean and DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself). An animation defined once can thus be brought to life anywhere within the app with minimal fuss, respecting the principles of modularity and reusability that are so prized in efficient web development.

Designing the Animation Blueprint with animation() and useAnimation()

Within the realm of Angular animations, the animation() function serves a pivotal role in crafting a blueprint for complex animation sequences. This function, by accepting an array of animation steps which often include styles and intermediary states encapsulated as keyframes, allows developers to distill intricate motions into reusable assets. The true power of these defined animations becomes evident when they are coupled with parameterized inputs. This capability means that you can design an animation with customizable timing, delay, and easing options, encapsulated within the parameterized object, creative flexibility without compromising on consistency across different use-cases.

The useAnimation() function stands as the cornerstone of reusing these animation blueprints across numerous components. It accepts the animation reference as its primary argument, followed by an options object where you can infuse the animation with life by passing actual values for the defined input parameters. Here is where the design of your animation blueprint reaches a critical juncture. Define your parameters to be broad enough to cover a diverse range of scenarios, yet specific enough not to dilute the animation's intent. Arbitrating between flexibility and specificity is key, as it influences how well the animation adapts to various contexts without additional customization overhead.

There's a nuance to working with parameterized inputs in useAnimation() that bears noting: once animation execution begins, input parameters are evaluated and locked in. This immutability means that changes to the parameters post-animation initiation won't affect the ongoing animation. It requires careful consideration when determining the parameters' scope—anticipate the range of permissible variation and ensure that parameters are set consciously before the animation's commencement.

The integration of animation() and useAnimation() spotlights some mastery in its complexity management. By segregating the animation definitions from their application, developers can maintain a cleaner separation of concerns. It fosters a modular approach where the animation logic is abstracted away from components, leading to a higher code maintainability. This organized structure not only enhances readability but escalates reusability by turning animations into plug-and-play solutions that harmonize with the Angular ecosystem.

However, systems are rarely devoid of constraints. A paradox surfaces; the desire to create exceedingly granular animations with an abundance of parameters for versatility can collide with performance, readability, and maintainability. Striking a balance is critical—over-parameterization can lead to cumbersome implementations that are counterintuitive to maintain, whereas a lack of parameters can stifle the animation's reusability. It is a best practice to contemplate the animation's intended breadth of application, distilling parameters to their essence to serve a befitting array of components. Here's a thought-provoking question: how might you ascertain the optimal number of parameters for an animation, ensuring it remains both versatile and maintainable?

Architecting Modular Animation Components

Encapsulating animations within Angular components fosters modularity, allowing developers to architect digestible units of functionality that are self-contained and thus more maintainable. By integrating animations via triggers and state changes, the animation logic becomes part of the component's definition, which can react to property changes or user interactions. For example, deploying a @Component decorator with animation metadata, the lifecycles of animations can be controlled based on specific events in the component, such as OnInit or OnDestroy:

    animations: [
        trigger('openClose', [
            state('open', style({ height: '*' })),
            state('close', style({ height: '0px' })),
            transition('open => close', animate('0.2s')),
            transition('close => open', animate('0.3s'))

This methodology enables the default Angular change detection to smoothly integrate with animations, but may introduce complexity, as every addition of an animation necessitates thorough testing of these combined lifecycles. The trade-off is the time invested in architecting components this way versus the increase in readability and reduction in complexity for future developers who will interact with these components.

Striking a balance between performance and maintainability is crucial, as complex animations can cause jank or high memory use if not optimized. Leveraging Angular's built-in tools for performance like hardware acceleration can mitigate some of these concerns. However, developers must be vigilant about crafting animations with a keen eye on their performance implications—especially in low-powered devices or browsers with poor animation support.

In terms of design patterns, it’s best to keep animations as lean as possible, potentially using the AnimationBuilder for more granular control when necessary. This programmatic approach is sometimes required when animations depend on dynamic runtime values that cannot be predicated in a declarative context. Yet, it's important to note that AnimationBuilder is a lower-level API and relinquishes some of the conveniences provided by the more declarative @Component animations’ approach:

constructor(private builder: AnimationBuilder) {}

animateElement(element: any) {
  const animation =[
    style({ width: '0px' }),
    animate(300, style({ width: '100px' }))

  const player = animation.create(element);;

Accessibility also plays a role in this architecture. Animations should be designed with consideration for users who prefer reduced motion, allowing a preference check and subsequently delivering an alternative experience. Angular facilitates this with conditional transitions and the ability to programmatically adjust or disable animations, reflecting a commitment to creating an inclusive user interface.

Overall, crafting modular animation components in Angular demands a holistic approach where the elegance of the component's interface, the efficiency of its performance, and the clarity of its maintenance pathway are equally prioritized. The encapsulation of animations within components must be weighed against the overarching goal: to create a cohesive, fluid user experience that scales effectively across the diverse landscape of web-enabled devices.

Optimizing Reusability through Dynamic Configuration

In Angular, the injection of services to supply dynamic configuration parameters enhances the reusability and maintainability of animations. By encapsulating the configuration within a service, developers can alter animation properties on-the-fly, responding to runtime conditions without having to hard-code values within components or animations themselves.

The AnimationConfigService is a pivotal part in this strategy, serving as the dynamic source of animation parameters. The service can adapt to various user preferences or system states by adjusting its output accordingly.

import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';

  providedIn: 'root'
export class AnimationConfigService {
  private defaultDuration = '200ms';
  private defaultEasing = 'ease-in-out';

  constructor() {}

  getAnimationParams(isPowerUser: boolean = false) {
    return {
      duration: isPowerUser ? '100ms' : this.defaultDuration,
      easing: isPowerUser ? 'ease-out' : this.defaultEasing

We can incorporate this service into our components to modify animation configurations as needed. Below, the fadeInOut animation trigger within the @Component decorator is set up to accept external parameters.

import { Component } from '@angular/core';
import { trigger, transition, style, animate } from '@angular/animations';
import { AnimationConfigService } from './animation-config.service';

  selector: 'app-reusable-animate',
  templateUrl: './reusable-animate.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./reusable-animate.component.css'],
  animations: [
    trigger('fadeInOut', [
      transition(':enter', [
        style({ opacity: 0 }),
        animate('{{duration}} {{easing}}', style({ opacity: 1 }))
      transition(':leave', [
        animate('{{duration}} {{easing}}', style({ opacity: 0 }))
export class ReusableAnimateComponent {
  isPowerUser: boolean;

  constructor(private animationConfig: AnimationConfigService) {
    // Assuming this.isPowerUser is set based on some condition
    // The actual condition to set this property should be implemented as required
    this.isPowerUser = true; // or some logic to determine the user status

  getAnimationParams() {
    return this.animationConfig.getAnimationParams(this.isPowerUser);

The component's template can then utilize these parameters in its animation binding syntax, using the expression [@fadeInOut]="getAnimationParams()", where getAnimationParams() is a method that retrieves the animation parameters based on the isPowerUser property of the component.

This methodology achieves a high level of flexibility, as it abstracts away hard-coded values from animation declarations and instead retrieves them from a centralized service. It elegantly sidesteps the direct manipulation of properties within the constructor or lifecycle hooks, adhering to the best practices of Angular's declarative paradigm.

Leveraging service-based dynamic configuration for animations not only streamlines the animation customizing process across various components but also ensures that the system stays agile, ready to adapt to changing requirements or performance optimizations. The disciplined use of such a pattern greatly contributes to the scalability and maintainability of large applications, demonstrating the robust capabilities of Angular's animation system when combined with its powerful dependency injection framework.

Addressing Common Pitfalls and Advanced Usage Patterns

When embarking on the journey of creating reusable animations in Angular, developers may fall into the trap of over-complicating their animations. This can manifest in the use of overly complex timelines, excessive concurrent animations, or reliance on high-cost CSS properties, which can hinder performance. To address these pitfalls, it’s advised to leverage the Web Animations API (WAAPI) when appropriate for its robust performance profile, and to confine animation complexities by using simplified timelines and more performant CSS properties like transform and opacity. Avoid expensive, layout-triggering properties and instead opt for compositor-only properties that incur less painting cost.

In the case of animation performance optimization, a common oversight is neglecting to minimize the triggering of change detection cycles. Annotations run outside of Angular's zone using runOutsideAngular can be a useful technique to prevent unnecessary triggering of change detections during animations, thus enhancing app responsiveness. Also, it’s prudent to implement Angular’s OnPush change detection strategy to reduce component re-rendering, ensuring that the animation does not cause more change detection cycles than necessary. Moreover, employing lazy-loading for animation assets can significantly improve initial load times.

Accessibility is another crucial factor that is often overlooked in the design of animations. While animations can improve the user experience, they can also cause problems for some users, such as those with motion sensitivity or using screen readers. To enhance accessibility, one should manage focus for keyboard navigation, utilize ARIA attributes properly, and provide options to disable animations or reduce motion. The use of Angular Material which aligns with accessibility guidelines can also be beneficial. Confirming compatibility through testing with tools such as Lighthouse and screen readers ensures that your animations are user-friendly for all.

Properly applying animations in Angular requires mindful code organization at the outset. Create separate files for each animation and leverage Angular’s template syntax to apply these animations, optimizing for maintainability. Code such as [@fadeInOut] applied within templates allows for a clear, organized, and accessible development process. Additionally, Angular encourages refining code with functions like query() and animateChild(), offering advanced control and finer-grained animation sequences for more dynamic effects.

Remember to bear in mind the broader user experience strategy when designing your Angular animations. It’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects but connecting the features with user actions is paramount. Through thoughtful animation design, you can guide user interactions, indicating interactivity with subtle visual cues. Consider employing :hover pseudo-classes in CSS to enrich interactive elements or integrating animations that reinforce the user's journey through the application, helping to create an environment that is both intuitive and engaging.


This article explores the process of creating reusable animations in Angular, focusing on the foundational components of Angular's animation API, such as keyframes, states, triggers, and transitions. It highlights the importance of strategic design and modularization in animation development and provides insights into architecting modular animation components. The article also discusses the optimization of reusability through dynamic configuration and addresses common pitfalls and advanced usage patterns. A challenging technical task for readers would be to create a reusable animation component in Angular that incorporates parameterized inputs and utilizes Angular's animation API for dynamic configuration.

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