WWW… Wednesday! Animations Made Easy With Flow
by Taylor Slattery | January 13, 2021
Nothing is more satisfying than creating a great design and seeing it come to life, taking on a personality of its own. Whether you’re creating animations for a site, crafting eye-grabbing advertisements, or demonstrating the functionality of an app, motion designs are a great tool for breathing some life into your design work. Motion offers an extra dimension to design that enables you to inject some personality that’s absent from its static counterpart.
For those uninitiated, motion design might seem like magic. Tools like Adobe After Effects have interfaces that are unintuitive and hard to navigate. The whole process seems intimidating, and with such a steep learning curve to achieve simple results, it makes sense to just hire an expert. But these conversations can be hard to confidently navigate as well. Without knowing what’s possible in the realm of motion design, it’s difficult to communicate exactly what you want to a motion designer.
For those looking to dip their toes into the world of motion design, Flow presents an approachable alternative to complicated contenders like Adobe After Effects. Part of an ongoing trend of democratization in design, Flow takes the complex environments of fully-fleshed motion design software and strips them down to provide a clean interface focused on the features you need to quickly make eye-grabbing animations.
Flow is built for those looking to animate their web apps or projects from commonly used software like Sketch and Figma. Alternatively, SVG files from software like Illustrator, XD and Affinity can serve as starting points for animations as well. Software like Adobe After Effects are undoubtedly more powerful, but they’re made for more demanding projects and as a result demand more of a time investment from users.
Flow is simple to use but it doesn’t skimp on features. It contains much of the same functionality you would expect from a more robust motion design software. If you’re coming from After Effects you’ll be happy to find familiar features like layer masking, curve editors, and a host of layer properties all capable of animation. If these don’t mean anything to you, rest assured, Flow has you covered. It uses the same fundamental logic found in other motion design software, so time spent learning the craft in Flow will easily translate should you decide to dive deeper into something like After Effects in the future.
Flow contains full documentation and a suite of educational material that will get you up to speed and crafting polished animations in no time. Once you’ve got something you’re happy with, you can export to Lottie, Swift, React, and more. Flow makes production-ready code as well so you can hand your work off to the dev team with confidence.
You can learn more and try Flow for yourself here.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.