Complex animation sequences


A basic understanding of the following concepts:

So far, we've learned simple animations of single HTML elements. Angular also lets you animate coordinated sequences, such as an entire grid or list of elements as they enter and leave a page. You can choose to run multiple animations in parallel, or run discrete animations sequentially, one following another.

The functions that control complex animation sequences are:

  • query() finds one or more inner HTML elements.
  • stagger() applies a cascading delay to animations for multiple elements.
  • group() runs multiple animation steps in parallel.
  • sequence() runs animation steps one after another.

Animate multiple elements using query() and stagger() functions

The query() function lets you find inner elements within the element that is being animated. This function targets specific HTML elements within a parent component and applies animations to each element individually. Angular intelligently handles setup, teardown, and cleanup as it coordinates the elements across the page.

The stagger() function lets you define a timing gap between each queried item that is animated and thus animates elements with a delay between them.

The following example demonstrates how to use the query() and stagger() functions to animate a list (of heroes) adding each in sequence, with a slight delay, from top to bottom.

  • Use query() to look for an element entering the page that meets certain criteria.

  • For each of these elements, use style() to set the same initial style for the element. Make it transparent and use transform to move it out of position so that it can slide into place.

  • Use stagger() to delay each animation by 30 milliseconds.

  • Animate each element on screen for 0.5 seconds using a custom-defined easing curve, simultaneously fading it in and un-transforming it.

animations: [
  trigger('pageAnimations', [
    transition(':enter', [
      query('.hero', [
        style({opacity: 0, transform: 'translateY(-100px)'}),
        stagger(30, [
          animate('500ms cubic-bezier(0.35, 0, 0.25, 1)',
          style({ opacity: 1, transform: 'none' }))

Parallel animation using group() function

You've seen how to add a delay between each successive animation. But you might also want to configure animations that happen in parallel. For example, you might want to animate two CSS properties of the same element but use a different easing function for each one. For this, you can use the animation group() function.

Note: The group() function is used to group animation steps, rather than animated elements.

The following example, uses group()s on both :enter and :leave for two different timing configurations, thus applying two independent animations to the same element in parallel.

animations: [
  trigger('flyInOut', [
    state('in', style({
      width: 120,
      transform: 'translateX(0)', opacity: 1
    transition(':enter', [
      style({ width: 10, transform: 'translateX(50px)', opacity: 0 }),
        animate('0.3s 0.1s ease', style({
          transform: 'translateX(0)',
          width: 120
        animate('0.3s ease', style({
          opacity: 1
    transition(':leave', [
        animate('0.3s ease', style({
          transform: 'translateX(50px)',
          width: 10
        animate('0.3s 0.2s ease', style({
          opacity: 0

Sequential vs. parallel animations

Complex animations can have many things happening at once. But what if you want to create an animation involving several animations happening one after the other? Earlier you used group() to run multiple animations all at the same time, in parallel.

A second function called sequence() lets you run those same animations one after the other. Within sequence(), the animation steps consist of either style() or animate() function calls.

  • Use style() to apply the provided styling data immediately.
  • Use animate() to apply styling data over a given time interval.

Filter animation example

Take a look at another animation on the live example page. Under the Filter/Stagger tab, enter some text into the Search Heroes text box, such as Magnet or tornado.

The filter works in real time as you type. Elements leave the page as you type each new letter and the filter gets progressively stricter. The heroes list gradually re-enters the page as you delete each letter in the filter box.

The HTML template contains a trigger called filterAnimation.

<label for="search">Search heroes: </label>
<input type="text" id="search" #criteria
       placeholder="Search heroes">

<ul class="heroes" [@filterAnimation]="heroesTotal">

The filterAnimation in the component's decorator contains three transitions.

  animations: [
    trigger('filterAnimation', [
      transition(':enter, * => 0, * => -1', []),
      transition(':increment', [
        query(':enter', [
          style({ opacity: 0, width: 0 }),
          stagger(50, [
            animate('300ms ease-out', style({ opacity: 1, width: '*' })),
        ], { optional: true })
      transition(':decrement', [
        query(':leave', [
          stagger(50, [
            animate('300ms ease-out', style({ opacity: 0, width: 0 })),
export class HeroListPageComponent implements OnInit {
  heroesTotal = -1;

  get heroes() { return this._heroes; }
  private _heroes: Hero[] = [];

  ngOnInit() {
    this._heroes = HEROES;

  updateCriteria(criteria: string) {
    criteria = criteria ? criteria.trim() : '';

    this._heroes = HEROES.filter(hero => hero.name.toLowerCase().includes(criteria.toLowerCase()));
    const newTotal = this.heroes.length;

    if (this.heroesTotal !== newTotal) {
      this.heroesTotal = newTotal;
    } else if (!criteria) {
      this.heroesTotal = -1;

The code in this example performs the following tasks:

  • Skips animations when the user first opens or navigates to this page (the filter animation narrows what is already there, so it only works on elements that already exist in the DOM).

  • Filters heroes based on the search input's value.

For each change:

  • Hides an element leaving the DOM by setting its opacity and width to 0.

  • Animates an element entering the DOM over 300 milliseconds. During the animation, the element assumes its default width and opacity.

  • If there are multiple elements entering or leaving the DOM, staggers each animation starting at the top of the page, with a 50-millisecond delay between each element.

Animation sequence summary

Angular functions for animating multiple elements start with query() to find inner elements, for example gathering all images within a <div>. The remaining functions, stagger(), group(), and sequence(), apply cascades or lets you control how multiple animation steps are applied.

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