Adding Micro-Interactions With AnimatedSwitcher

Learn how to add micro-interactions to your Flutter app using AnimatedSwitcher. By Alejandro Ulate Fallas.

Leave a rating/review
Download materials
Save for later
You are currently viewing page 2 of 3 of this article. Click here to view the first page.

Adding a Second AnimatedSwitcher

Press Skip a few times. You’ll notice the transition of the text looks great, but the images displayed in the background are just jumping into existence. It would be nice if there was a way to animate them too… Oh, wait, there is — another AnimatedSwitcher!

Open lib/presentation/widgets/image_background.dart. Then, replace child under // TODO: Replace Image with an AnimatedSwitcher with the following code:

child: AnimatedSwitcher(
  duration: const Duration(milliseconds: 500),
    key: ValueKey(imageUrl),
    fit: BoxFit.cover,

You just added animation to the image widget the same way you did QuoteDisplay earlier, nothing new.

Look at the result. Build and run, if you haven’t already:

Quotine fading from one quote into the next but backgrounds are too small

Wait, what just happened? The animation is running fine but the Image widget is no longer extending to the borders. Fear not, you shall fix this soon. :]

Adjusting the Background

OK, you just added a second AnimatedSwitcher, but now the background image isn’t extending properly. So, what happened to the widgets? Well, it turns out that the way AnimatedSwitcher builds the layout is affecting child, which in this case is the background image. Below is the default implementation that AnimatedSwitcher uses:

static Widget defaultLayoutBuilder(Widget? currentChild, List previousChildren) {
 return Stack(
    children: [
      if (currentChild != null) currentChild,

As you can see, AnimatedSwitcher uses Stack to show the widgets that transition from one to another, placing currentChild — if there is one — on the top, visible always.

So, what’s happening right now on Quotine? Well, by default Stack uses StackFit.loose as the value for fit. This affects the Image widget you use for the background. To fix that, you’ll use a property from AnimatedSwitcher called layoutBuilder.

Add the following code to the background image’s AnimatedSwitcher:

layoutBuilder: (currentChild, previousChildren) {
 return Stack(
    children: [
      if (currentChild != null) currentChild,
    fit: StackFit.expand,

With this custom implementation of layoutBuilder, you’re basically recreating the effect provided by defaultLayoutBuilder with a couple small changes:

  1. First, you’re using fit: StackFit.expand to force Stack‘s children to expand as much as they can, which in this case is the whole screen.
  2. Then, since the children are expanding, alignment is no longer necessary. This makes the widgets expand to the boundaries of AnimatedSwitcher, and thus, solves the bug you had with the background.

Build and run with the changes. It’ll look like this:

Quotine quotes and backgrounds smoothly fading from one into another

Discovering Transitions

Now, what if you wanted to customize not only the layout of AnimatedSwitcher but also the transition between the widgets? Well, there is a way: by using transitionBuilder.

Look at the default implementation AnimatedSwitcher uses for transitionBuilder:

static Widget defaultTransitionBuilder(Widget child, Animation animation) {
  return FadeTransition(
    opacity: animation,
    child: child,

By default, AnimatedSwitcher uses the built-in explicit animation FadeTransition, so you can simply change it to use ScaleTransition instead. You could even make custom Tween animations with the animation parameter provided. Tween is a linear interpolation useful for interpolating across a range. How about you give that last idea a try. Ready?

Add transitionBuilder to AnimatedSwitcher with the following code:

transitionBuilder: (child, animation) {
  // 1.
  final offsetAnimation = Tween(
    begin: const Offset(1.0, 0.0),
    end: const Offset(0.0, 0.0),
  // 3.
  return ClipRect(
    // 2.
    child: SlideTransition(
      position: offsetAnimation,
      child: child,

Here’s an explanation of what the code you just added means:

  1. You added a Tween animation to handle the explicit SlideTransition that you’ll use for changing between images. begin sets the initial position of the widget and end sets the final position of the widget. Then, you called animate passing animation as a parameter. This gets your Tween ready for use.
  2. Then, you wrapped child to be rendered with SlideTransition and set its position explicitly. This helps SlideTransition figure out where to paint your widgets.
  3. Finally, you also wrapped SlideTransition with a ClipRect widget. This is so the child isn’t shown when it’s out of frame.

It’s important to remember that the transition is used both with the widget entering and the widget exiting, by running the animation in reverse.

Build and run your app to see the results. Here’s how it’ll look:

Quotine quotes and backgrounds transitioning via animation from one into another

Learning About Curves

You’re almost done adding micro-interactions to Quotine, and it’s already looking like a completely different app than when you started — great work! But there’s one last thing you’ll learn about before releasing the new version of the app, and that’s Curves.

When you’re adding animations to an app, you have to think of real-world behaviors for the different objects you’re animating. If you’re trying to add a ball bouncing up and down, you have to think of the effect gravity has on it. For example, if the ball is heavy, each bounce will be significantly smaller, and you might also see that with each bounce the ball gets slower. Here’s a regular bouncing animation:

Gray square bouncing

In the example above, the effect of going up and down is an animation effect. You can apply a number of effects to animations to make them visually interesting. You usually apply them using curves to influence how the animation behaves. The basic bouncing animation above uses an easeOutExpo curve when the ball is going upward and easeInExpo when the ball is going downward.

You can see all the available Curve implementations in the Curves API documentation. You have at least 38 different options to choose from, so choose wisely!

Customizing With Curves

OK, you know about Curves. Cool. But how do you implement them with AnimatedSwitcher, you ask?

AnimatedSwitcher has two properties for this: switchInCurve, which is the animation curve to use when transitioning in a new widget; and switchOutCurve, which is the animation curve to use when transitioning a previous widget out. It’s very similar to the bouncing ball example you saw in the previous section.

Apply the knowledge you just gathered about curves to customize the way the transitions behave.

Next, add switchInCurve for AnimatedSwitcher in lib/presentation/widgets/image_background.dart, which looks like this:

switchInCurve: Curves.easeOutExpo,

Then, add switchOutCurve for AnimatedSwitcher in lib/presentation/pages/home_page.dart like this:

switchOutCurve: Curves.easeInExpo,

Here’s what the final result will look like:

Quotine quotes and backgrounds transitioning via animation from one into another

Awesome job! You just added micro-interactions to Quotine — you’re definitely a rock star!