Displaying an Animated Image in Splash Screen of Phimpme Android

A splash screen is the welcome page of the application. It gives the first impression of the application to the user. So, it is very important to make this page a better-looking one. In Phimpme Android, we had a normal page with a static image which is very common in all applications. So, in order to make it different from the most applications, we created an animation of the logo and added it to the splash screen.

As the splash screen is the first page/activity of the Phimpme Android application, most of the initialization functions are called in this activity. These initializations might take a little time giving us the time to display the logo animation.

Creating the animation of the Phimpme logo

For creating the animation of the Phimpme Android application’s logo, we used Adobe After Effects software. There are many free tools available on the web for creating the animation but due to the sophistic features present in After Effects, we used that software. We created the Phimpme Android application’s logo animation like any other normal video but with a lower frame rate. We used 12 FPS for the animation and it was fine as it was for a logo. Finally, we exported the animation as a transparent PNG formatted image sequence.

How to display the animation?

In Phimpme Android, we could’ve directly used the sequence of resultant images for displaying the animation. We could’ve done that by using a handler to change the image resource of an imageview. But this approach is very crude. So, we planned to create a GIF with the image sequence first and then display the GIF in the image view.

Creating a GIF from the image sequence

There are many tools on the web which create a GIF image from the given image sequence but most of the tools don’t support transparent images. This tool which we used to create the transparent GIF image supports both transparent and normal images. The frame rate and loop count can also be adjusted using this free tool. Below is the GIF image created using that tool.

Displaying the GIF in Phimpme

GIF image can be displayed in Phimpme Android application very easily using the famous Glide image caching and displaying library. But glide library doesn’t fulfill the need of the current scenario. Here, in Phimpme Android, we are displaying the GIF in the splash screen i.e. the next page should get displayed automatically. As we are showing an intro animation, the next activity/page should get opened only after the animation is completed. For achieving this we need a listener which triggers on the loop completion of the GIF image. Glide doesn’t provide any listener of this kind so we cannot Glide here.

There is a library named android-gif-drawable, which has the support for a GIF completion listener and many other methods. So, we used this for displaying the Phimpme Android application’s logo animation GIF image in the splash screen. When the GIF completed function gets triggered, we started the next activity if all the tasks which had to get completed in this activity itself are finished. Otherwise, we added a flag that the animation is done so that when the task gets completed, it just navigates to next page.

The way of the implementation described above is performed in Phimpme Android in the following manner.

First of all, we imported the library by adding it to the dependencies of build.gradle file.

compile 'pl.droidsonroids.gif:android-gif-drawable:1.2.7'

Then we added a normal imageview widget in the layout of the SplashScreen activity.

<ImageView
   android:id="@+id/imgLogo"
   android:layout_width="match_parent"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:scaleType="fitCenter"
   android:layout_centerInParent="true"
   />

Finally, in the SplashScreen.java, we created a GifDrawable object using the GIF image of Phimpme Android logo animation, which we copied in the assets folder of the Phimpme application. We added a listener to the GifDrawble and added function calls inside that function. It is shown below.

GifDrawable gifDrawable = null;
try {
   gifDrawable = new GifDrawable( getAssets(), "splash_logo_anim.gif" );
} catch (IOException e) {
   e.printStackTrace();
}
if (gifDrawable != null) {
   gifDrawable.addAnimationListener(new AnimationListener() {
       @Override
       public void onAnimationCompleted(int loopNumber) {
           Log.d("splashscreen","Gif animation completed");
           if (can_be_finished && nextIntent != null){
               startActivity(nextIntent);
               finish();
           }else {
               can_be_finished = true;
           }
       }
   });
}
logoView.setImageDrawable(gifDrawable);

Resources:

Adding Transition Effect Using RxJS And CSS In Voice Search UI Of Susper

 

Susper has been given a voice search feature through which it provides a user with a better experience of search. We introduced to enhance the speech-recognition user interface by adding transition effects. The transition effect was required to display appropriate messages according to voice being detected or not. The following messages were:

  • When a user should start a voice search, it should display ‘Speak Now’ message for 1-2 seconds and then show up with message ‘Listening…’ to acknowledge user that now it is ready to recognize the voice which will be spoken.
  • If a user should do not speak anything, it should display ‘Please check audio levels or your microphone working’ message in 3-4 seconds and should exit the voice search interface.

The idea of speech UI was taken from the market leader and it was implemented in a similar way. On the homepage, it looks like this:

On the results page, it looks like this:

For creating transitions like, ‘Listening…’ and ‘Please check audio levels and microphone’ messages, we used CSS, RxJS Observables and timer() function.

Let’s start with RxJS Observables and timer() function.

RxJS Observables and timer()

timer() is used to emit numbers in sequence in every specified duration or after a given duration. It acts as an observable. For example:

let countdown = Observable.timer(2000);
The above code will emit value of countdown in 2000 milliseconds. Similarly, let’s see another example:
let countdown = Observable.timer(2000, 6000);
The above code will emit value of countdown in 2000 milliseconds and subsequent values in every 6000 milliseconds.
export class SpeechToTextComponent implements OnInit {
  message: any = ‘Speak Now’;
  timer: any;
  subscription: any;
  ticks: any;
  miccolor: any = #f44;
}
ngOnInit() {
  this.timer = Observable.timer(1500, 2000);
  this.subscription = this.timer.subscribe(t => {
  this.ticks = t;// it will throw listening message after 1.5   sec
  if (t === 1) {
    this.message = Listening;
  }// subsequent events will be performed in 2 secs interval
  // as it has been defined in timer()
  if (t === 4) {
    this.message = Please check your microphone audio levels.;
    this.miccolor = #C2C2C2;
}// if no voice is given, it will throw audio level message
// and unsubscribe to the event to exit back on homepage
  if (t === 6) {
    this.subscription.unsubscribe();
    this.store.dispatch(new speechactions.SearchAction(false));
  }
 });
}
The above code will throw following messages at a particular time. For creating the text-animation effect, most developers go for plain javascript. The text-animation effects can also be achieved by using pure CSS.

Text animation using CSS

@webkitkeyframes typing {from {width:0;}}
.spch {
  fontweight: normal;
  lineheight: 1.2;
  pointerevents: none;
  position: none;
  textalign: left;
  –webkitfontsmoothing: antialiased;
  transition: opacity .1s easein, marginleft .5s easein,                  top  0s linear 0.218s;
  –webkitanimation: typing 2s steps(21,end), blinkcaret .5s                       stepend infinite alternate;
  whitespace: nowrap;
  overflow: hidden;
  animationdelay: 3.5s;
}
@keyframes specifies animation code. Here width: 0; tells that animation begins from 0% width and ends to 100% width of the message. Also, animation-delay: 3.5s has been adjusted w.r.t timer to display messages with animation at the same time.
This is how it works now:

The source code for the implementation can be found in this pull request: https://github.com/fossasia/susper.com/pull/663

Resources: