Import a Lottie Animation

Import animations in Lottie format into the authoring tool to use in your APL documents. Lottie is a JSON animation format that you can export from Adobe After Effects.

Import a Lottie animation

With the authoring tool, you can convert a JSON file in Lottie format to Alexa Vector Graphics (AVG) format. You can then use the resulting animated vector graphic in your document.

Prepare the animation to import

The authoring tool supports Lottie files that were created in Adobe After Effects with the Bodymovin plugin (version 5.7.5).

The authoring tool doesn't support all After Effects features. Make sure your animation doesn't use unsupported features. For details, see Supported features.

For details about exporting an animation to Lottie format, see How to Get Started Using Bodymovin and Lottie in After Effects.

Import the animation

To import a Lottie animation

  1. In the developer console, open the skill for which you want to create this document.
  2. In the left-hand navigation, click Multimodal Responses.
  3. Click Visual. The authoring tool filters the list of APL documents to display visual responses previously saved with the skill.

  4. Click Create Visual Response.
  5. Click Upload
  6. Either drag your Lottie file to the Upload your Visual Response dialog box, or click Browse and locate the file to import.
  7. Click Upload.
  8. When prompted, click Convert.
    • If the conversion completes without errors, the tool opens to a new APL document that displays the converted animation.
    • If the conversion encountered any errors, the tool displays the a list of the unsupported features. Review the list and click Continue. To prevent these errors, make sure your After Effects animation doesn't use any of the features that aren't supported in Lottie or in the authoring tool. For the list of supported features, see Supported features.
Importing a Lottie file creates a new APL document in the authoring tool
Importing a Lottie file creates a new APL document in the authoring tool

Review the animation and edit your document

After the authoring tool successfully converts your document, the tool displays the new document with your animation. The new document has the following:

  • An Alexa Vector Graphic (AVG) called myGraphic. The myGraphic AVG definition is an object in the graphics property of the document. The AVG contains all the data from the Lottie animation to draw and animate the graphic. For details about the AVG format, see Alexa Vector Graphics Format.
  • A VectorGraphic component in mainTemplate that displays the myGraphic AVG, so you can see the animation.

For example, the APL document might look like the following. Note that the AVG detail has been removed for brevity.

{
  "type": "APL",
  "version": "1.6",
  "mainTemplate": {
    "parameters": [
      "payload"
    ],
    "items": {
      "type": "VectorGraphic",
      "source": "myGraphic",
      "width": "100%",
      "height": "100%",
      "scale": "best-fit",
      "align": "center",
      "frame": "${(elapsedTime*0.06)%360}"
    }
  },
  "graphics": {
    "myGraphic": {
      "type": "AVG",
      "version": "1.1",
      "width": 1280,
      "height": 800,
      "description": "Animate-Item",
      "items": [],
      "parameters": [
        {
          "name": "frame",
          "value": 0
        }
      ],
      "resources": []
    }
  }
}

Review the animation that resulted from the Lottie file. For significant changes, edit the animation in After Effects, re-export as a Lottie file, and repeat the steps to convert the file to APL. Uploading the Lottie file always creates a new APL document. You can't import a Lottie file into an existing APL document.

Incorporate the animation into your design

After you are satisfied with the animation, edit the document to incorporate the animation into the overall design. For example, add a Container to mainTemplate and move the VectorGraphic component into the container alongside other components.

You might want to change the name of the AVG from myGraphic to something more meaningful. Use the JSON code view and change the name in both places:

  • The name of the graphic assigned to the graphics property.
  • The source property for the VectorGraphic component.

For more information about editing a document in the authoring tool, see Create and Edit an APL Document.

Example document with a Lottie animation

The following example shows an APL document that displays the AlexaBackground, AlexaHeader, Text, and VectorGraphic components. The VectorGraphic component references a graphic created from a Lottie animation. In this example, the graphic was renamed from myGraphic to towerOfBlocksAnimation.

To see the animation in this example, copy the sample JSON code into the authoring tool.

Example of a document that incorporates a Lottie animation
Example of a document that incorporates a Lottie animation

Supported features

The authoring tool supports Lottie files that were created in Adobe After Effects with the Bodymovin plugin (version 5.7.5).

The Lottie format doesn't support all After Effects features. Features not supported by Lottie are also not supported by the authoring tool and APL. For the list of After Effects features that Lottie supports, see Supported Features in the Lottie documentation.

The following table summarizes the Adobe After Effects features that the authoring tool converts to AVG.

After Effects feature Supported for conversion?

Shape

 

Ellipse

Yes

Rectangle

Yes

Rounded Rectangle

Limited support

Polystar

Yes

Group

Yes

Repeater

No

Trim Path (individually)

No

Trim Path (simultaneously)

No

Fills

 

Color

Yes

Opacity

Yes

Fill Rule

No

Radial Gradient

Limited support

Linear Gradient

Yes

Strokes

 

Color

Yes

Opacity

Yes

Width

Yes

Line Cap

No

Line Join

Yes

Miter Limit

No

Dashes

No

Gradient

No

Transforms

 

Position

Yes

Position (separated X/Y)

Yes

Scale

Yes

Rotation

Yes

Anchor Point

Yes

Opacity

Yes

Parenting

Yes

Auto Orient

No

Skew

No

Interpolation

No

Linear Interpolation

No

Bezier Interpolation

No

Hold Interpolation

No

Spatial Bezier Interpolation

No

Rove Across Time

No

Masks

 

Mask Path

No

Mask Opacity

No

Add

Yes

Subtract

Yes

Intersect

No

Lighten

No

Darken

No

Difference

No

Expansion

No

Feather

No

Mattes

Alpha Matte

No

Alpha Inverted Matte

No

Luma Matte

No

Luma Inverted Matte

No

Merge Paths

Merge

No

Add

No

Subtract

No

Intersect

No

Exclude Intersection

No

Layer Effects

Fill

No

Stroke

No

Tint

No

Tritone

No

Levels Individual Controls

No

Text

Glyphs

No

Fonts

No

Transform

No

Fill

No

Stroke

No

Tracking

No

Anchor point grouping

No

Text Path

No

Per-character 3D

No

Range selector (Units)

No

Range selector (Based on)

No

Range selector (Amount)

No

Range selector (Shape)

No

Range selector (Ease High)

No

Range selector (Ease Low)

No

Range selector (Randomize order)

No

Expression selector

No

Other

 

Expressions

No

Images

No

Precomps

No

Time Stretch

No

Time remap

No

Markers

No

Troubleshooting

Issue: Conversion complete with issues message

Symptoms

The authoring tool displays a message stating "Conversion Complete with Issues." The message lists unsupported After Effects features.

Try this

This issue means that the authoring tool could import the file, but the results might not be what you expect due to the unsupported features.

Note the list of unsupported features shown in the message. Click Continue to see the resulting animation without the unsupported features. If this isn't what you expect, then return to Adobe After Effects, revise the animation to remove those features, then export the animation to Lottie and try the import again.

For example, an animation that uses features like text, mask, and trim path generates this error, as those features aren't supported for the APL Lottie conversion.

For the list of supported features, see Supported features.

Issue: There were errors converting your Lottie file

Symptoms

The authoring tool displays a message stating "There were errors converting your Lottie file." The message lists unsupported After Effects features.

Try this

This error means that the authoring tool couldn't import the file at all due to unsupported features.

Note the list of unsupported features shown in the message. Click Cancel to exit the conversion, or Start Over to import a different file.

Issue: File type not supported error

Symptoms

The authoring tool displays a message stating "File type not supported. Please select an APL or Lottie .json file."

Try this

This error means that the authoring doesn't recognize the file as a Lottie file. Click Cancel, then make sure you create your animation with Adobe After Effects, and then export it with the Bodymovin plugin.

Lottie files created in other ways might not work with APL.

Issue: Preview pane displays blank screen after a successful conversion

Symptoms

The authoring tool displays a message indicating that the conversion was successful. However, the preview pane in the authoring tool displays a blank, black viewport with no animation. The left-hand pane of the tools displays the expected AVG and VectorGraphic code.

Unexpected blank screen after a successful conversion
Unexpected blank screen after a successful conversion

Try this

This situation might occur if the animation you imported contains text and images that use black as the color. The animation imported correctly, but is not visible against the default black viewport background.

Either change the background color for the document, or change to the light theme to see the black animation.

The following examples show how you can change the background color or theme. Details are removed from the imported AVG (myGraphic) for brevity.

Change the viewport theme

Add the document-level theme property to the top level of the document and set it to light.

{
  "type": "APL",
  "theme": "light",
  "version": "1.6",
  "mainTemplate": {
    "parameters": [
      "payload"
    ],
    "items": {
      "type": "VectorGraphic",
      "source": "myGraphic",
      "width": "100%",
      "height": "100%",
      "scale": "best-fit",
      "align": "center",
      "frame": "${(elapsedTime*0.06)%1198}"
    }
  },
  "graphics": {
    "myGraphic": {}
  }
}

Change the document background to a different color

Add the document-level background property and set it to a color or gradient.

{
  "type": "APL",
  "version": "1.6",
  "background": "yellow",
  "mainTemplate": {
    "parameters": [
      "payload"
    ],
    "items": {
      "type": "VectorGraphic",
      "source": "myGraphic",
      "width": "100%",
      "height": "100%",
      "scale": "best-fit",
      "align": "center",
      "frame": "${(elapsedTime*0.06)%1198}"
    }
  },
  "graphics": {
    "myGraphic": {}
  }
}

Use the AlexaBackground responsive component

The AlexaBackground component in the alexa-layouts package gives you more control over the background. You can use a color, gradient, image, video, or default Alexa background. Because mainTemplate displays a single component, you must add a Container and move the AlexaBackground and VectorGraphic components into the items array for the Container.

To access the AlexaBackground component, add the current version of alexa-layouts to the import array.

The following example shows how to import the alexa-layouts package, and then how to arrange AlexaBackground and VectorGraphic in a Container. This example uses the default Alexa background.

{
  "type": "APL",
  "version": "1.6",
  "import": [
    {
      "name": "alexa-layouts",
      "version": "1.3.0"
    }
  ],
  "mainTemplate": {
    "parameters": [
      "payload"
    ],
    "items": {
      "type": "Container",
      "width": "100%",
      "height": "100%",
      "items": [
        {
          "type": "AlexaBackground"
        },
        {
          "type": "VectorGraphic",
          "source": "myGraphic",
          "width": "100%",
          "height": "100%",
          "scale": "best-fit",
          "align": "center",
          "frame": "${(elapsedTime*0.06)%1198}"
        }
      ]
    }
  },
  "graphics": {
    "myGraphic": {}
  }
}

For more about using backgrounds in APL, see Combine Content with Backgrounds, Borders, and Headers.

Other resources: