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Flip your ImageViews
2013-04-16 20:06
This tutorial will show you how to flip your ImageViews on Android.
android, flip, imageview, drawable, view, image view, image, animation, flipimageview, image view animation, imageview animation

This post will be cut in two parts. In the first part, I'll present my small android library FlipImageView which allows you to create easily an ImageView which can turn into another Drawable. Then I'll show you how the animation is performed and how you can modify it.

You can download a sample app on the store if you want to see what it looks like.

FlipImageView Library

As I needed it, I recently created a very small lib called FlipImageView available on Github. This lib is based on FlipAnimator, made by Coomar, so all credits goes to him.

FlipImageView extends ImageView, that means if you have your own custom ImageView, I suggest you to extend FlipImageView, or look at the source code and take the animation part.

There are two ways to create your FlipImageView:

  • Via XML
  • Or programmatically
//Standard way
FlipImageView fiv = new FlipImageView(mContext);
fiv.setDrawable(mDrawable); //Note that this is different from setImageDrawable(...)

Note: setDrawable is different from setImageDrawable which one will set directly the drawable to the ImageView.

You can disable the flip animation by calling setAnimated(false).

The flip animation will be launched each time you click on the image. You can of course call it programmatically, with toggleFlip() method or setFlipped(boolean flipped) method. You can also Override onClick or set another View.OnClickListener if you do not want the image view to flip when clicked.

You can set a OnFlipListener to your FlipImageView. Three events will be triggered:

  1. onClick(FlipImageView flipImageView): called when the imageView is clicked
  2. onFlipStart(FlipImageView flipImageView) : called at the beginning of the flip animation
  3. onFlipEnd(FlipImageView flipImageView): called at the end of the animation

Note: onFlipStart and OnFlipEnd won't be called if you disabled the flip animation.

You can also reverse the animation, for example if you want your ImageView to flip in the other direction, to make a "flip back" transition. To do that, just call setRotationReversed(true) every time you flip your image.

You can enable/disable x, y and z rotation axis via xml or programmatically too.

I strongly recommend you to play with existing interpolators (bounce/overshoot are funny :p) or to create new ones. You could be surprised by the effect :p

How does this work?

Here is the transformation part:

protected void applyTransformation(float interpolatedTime, Transformation t) {
    // Angle around the y-axis of the rotation at the given time. It is
    // calculated both in radians and in the equivalent degrees.
    final double radians = Math.PI * interpolatedTime;
    float degrees = (float) (180.0 * radians / Math.PI);

    // Once we reach the midpoint in the animation, we need to hide the
    // source view and show the destination view. We also need to change
    // the angle by 180 degrees so that the destination does not come in
    // flipped around.
    if (interpolatedTime >= 0.5f) {
        degrees -= 180.f;

        if (!visibilitySwapped) {
            visibilitySwapped = true;

    if (mIsRotationReversed) {
        degrees = -degrees;

    final Matrix matrix = t.getMatrix();;
    //We make a small translation in z axis, this is a cool effect :)
    //Note that you can custom this too, by making a translation in the 
    // other direction for example, to make the image move in the foreground
    camera.translate(0.0f, 0.0f, (float) (150.0 * Math.sin(radians)));

    camera.rotateX(mIsRotationXEnabled ? degrees : 0);
    camera.rotateY(mIsRotationYEnabled ? degrees : 0);
    camera.rotateZ(mIsRotationZEnabled ? degrees : 0);

    matrix.preTranslate(-centerX, -centerY);
    matrix.postTranslate(centerX, centerY);

Well, I think the code is pretty clear (I added some comments too). Do not hesitate to custom the animation by trying some interpolators or modifying directly the applyTransformation method!


That was a pretty short post to introduce my lib, but I'm sure some guys will be happy to discover that kind of small tricks which can make your app better. But however, please do not make all your controls animated, just when needed, or your app will be really annoying.

Do not hesitate to contribute to the Lib or to this article by leaving comments or making pull requests. Thanks!