Easing Functions in Blend - Page 2
       by kirupa  |  6 August 2009

In the previous page, you used Blend to apply some easing functions to the two keyframes that needed it the most. How it all works is still a bit of a mystery, so let's look into that on this page.

Overview of Easing
So, what exactly happened in the previous sections? You noticed that your current animation was pretty boring, so you decided to add some spiffy easing effects. You did that by going to the individual keyframes and adding an easing function. That's it. You ran your application again, and just like magic, everything worked. Let's look broadly at what exactly happened to make this work.

Think of your easing function as a gentle breeze. It has the ability to alter the course of the property change, but it isn't very demanding. The easing function will rarely overload the animation to a point where the animation's progress is entirely dictated by what the easing function defines. Instead, an interpolation goes on between the animation and the easing function. They find a middle ground, and it is this middle ground that you see when you preview an animation with easing applied.

This means that something like your linear animation...

...is combined (aka interpolated) with your easing function...

...to create the final animation whose property changes similar to what you see below:

What shape the changes take depends entirely on the easing function used. Some are pretty serene like the Cubic ease, and some are pretty whacky like the Elastic one you used:

[ whacky is the word ]

In case you are wondering, I base sereneness and whackiness entirely on how complicated the easing curve preview looks like in the list of eases available.

EasingModes: In, Out, InOut
 If you recall, when picking the two easing functions to apply to your keyframes, you picked them both from the InOut column. If you look closely at the list of easing functions, there are two more columns available for you to use as well - In and Out:

[ what are these...EasingModes? ]

What are these three easing variants? The best way to explain this is by looking at the easing functions a little bit closer. All of your easing functions are defined by a mathematical formula. This mathematical formula takes your current animation's progress and alters some things to affect what your animation looks like. This much you learned in the preceding sections.

The easing variants you have, known internally as EasingModes, alter the mathematical formula that makes up your easing function. For the following examples, let's say that the mathematical formula I am using refers to the Cubic ease.

When you are just easing In, your formula for Cubic ease is applied with no alteration over your animation:

When you are easing Out, your formula is flipped a bit where the start and final values are the same, but what happens in between is sort of inversed. I am not going to go too mathematical on you, so I will just show you the diagram instead:

Last and certainly the most fun is your InOut ease. InOut ease combines both the In and Out eases you saw above. The first half of your animation is spent going all In, and the last half of the animation is spent going all Out:

By playing with the EasingModes, you have just a few more feathers that you can add to your cap when tweaking and modifying the easing effect you want to apply.

Conclusion
Isn't easing a lot of fun? You just finished learning how to apply two built in easing effects to a few keyframes using Expression Blend 3. Beyond just learning how to add easing functions, I hope you gained more inight into how easing functions, easing modes, and your animation work together.

If you are interested in looking at my final version of the project, feel free to download the source files by clicking the link below:

Download Final Source Files

Got a question or just want to chat? Comment below or drop by our forums (they are actually the same thing!) where a bunch of the friendliest people you'll ever run into will be happy to help you out!

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