Transitioning 1.1.1

Transitioning 1.1.1

LangLanguage Obj-CObjective C
License Apache 2
ReleasedLast Release Jul 2017

Maintained by Jeff Verkoeyen.




Test Targets4
powered by Segment


Pull Requests2


LOCLines of Code 320

  • By
  • The Material Motion Authors

Light-weight API for building UIViewController transitions.

This library standardizes the way transitions are built on iOS so that with a single line of code you can pick the custom transition you want to use:

let viewController = MyViewController()
viewController.transitionController.transition = CustomTransition()
present(modalViewController, animated: true)
MyViewController *viewController = [[MyViewController alloc] init];
viewController.mdm_transitionController.transition = [[CustomTransition alloc] init];
[self presentViewController:viewController animated:true completion:nil];

The easiest way to make a transition with this library is to create a class that conforms to the Transition protocol:

final class CustomTransition: NSObject, Transition {
  func start(with context: TransitionContext) {

    CATransaction.setCompletionBlock {

    // Add animations...

@interface CustomTransition: NSObject <MDMTransition>

@implementation CustomTransition

- (void)startWithContext:(id<MDMTransitionContext>)context {
  [CATransaction begin];
  [CATransaction setCompletionBlock:^{
    [context transitionDidEnd];

  // Add animations...

  [CATransaction commit];




Import the framework:

@import Transitioning;

You will now have access to all of the APIs.

Example apps/unit tests

Check out a local copy of the repo to access the Catalog application by running the following commands:

git clone
cd transitioning-objc
pod install
open Transitioning.xcworkspace


  1. Architecture
  2. How to create a simple transition
  3. How to customize presentation


Background: Transitions in iOS are customized by setting a transitioningDelegate on a view controller. When a view controller is presented, UIKit will ask the transitioning delegate for an animation, interaction, and presentation controller. These controllers are then expected to implement the transition's motion.

Transitioning provides a thin layer atop these protocols with the following advantages:

  • Every view controller has its own transition controller. This encourages choosing the transition based on the context.
  • Transitions are represented in terms of backward/forward rather than from/to. When presenting, we're moving forward. When dismissing, we're moving backward. This makes it easier to refer to each "side" of a transition consistently.
  • Transition objects can customize their behavior by conforming to more TransitionWith* protocols. This protocol-oriented design is more Swift-friendly than a variety of optional methods on a protocol.
  • But most importantly: this library handles the plumbing, allowing you to focus on the motion.

How to create a simple transition

In this guide we'll create scaffolding for a simple transition.

Step 1: Define a new Transition type

Transitions must be NSObject types that conform to the Transition protocol.

The sole method we're expected to implement, start, is invoked each time the view controller is presented or dismissed.

final class FadeTransition: NSObject, Transition {
  func start(with context: TransitionContext) {


Step 2: Invoke the completion handler once all animations are complete

If using Core Animation explicitly:

final class FadeTransition: NSObject, Transition {
  func start(with context: TransitionContext) {

    CATransaction.setCompletionBlock {

    // Your motion...


If using UIView implicit animations:

final class FadeTransition: NSObject, Transition {
  func start(with context: TransitionContext) {
    UIView.animate(withDuration: context.duration, animations: {
      // Your motion...

    }, completion: { didComplete in

Step 3: Implement the motion

With the basic scaffolding in place, you can now implement your motion.

How to customize presentation

You'll customize the presentation of a transition when you need to do any of the following:

  • Add views, such as dimming views, that live beyond the lifetime of the transition.
  • Change the destination frame of the presented view controller.

Step 1: Subclass UIPresentationController

You must subclass UIPresentationController in order to implement your custom behavior. If the user of your transition can customize any presentation behavior then you'll want to define a custom initializer.

Note: Avoid storing the transition context in your presentation controller. Presentation controllers live for as long as their associated view controller, while the transition context is only valid while a transition is active. Each presentation and dismissal will receive its own unique transition context. Storing the context in the presentation controller would keep the context alive longer than it's meant to.

Override any UIPresentationController methods you'll need in order to implement your motion.

final class MyPresentationController: UIPresentationController {

Step 2: Implement TransitionWithPresentation on your transition

This ensures that your transition implement the required methods for presentation.

Presentation will only be customized if you return .custom from the defaultModalPresentationStyle method and a non-nil UIPresentationController subclass from the presentationController method.

extension VerticalSheetTransition: TransitionWithPresentation {
  func defaultModalPresentationStyle() -> UIModalPresentationStyle {
    return .custom

  func presentationController(forPresented presented: UIViewController,
                              presenting: UIViewController,
                              source: UIViewController?) -> UIPresentationController? {
    return MyPresentationController(presentedViewController: presented, presenting: presenting)

Optional Step 3: Implement Transition on your presentation controller

If your presentation controller needs to animate anything, you can conform to the Transition protocol in order to receive a start invocation each time a transition begins. The presentation controller's start will be invoked before the transition's start.

Note: It's possible for your presentation controller and your transition to have different ideas of when a transition has completed, so consider which object should be responsible for invoking transitionDidEnd. The Transition object is usually the one that calls this method.

extension MyPresentationController: Transition {
  func start(with context: TransitionContext) {
    // Your motion...


We welcome contributions!

Check out our upcoming milestones.

Learn more about our team, our community, and our contributor essentials.


Licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. See LICENSE for details.