Introducing dotLottie: a new file format
Updates 24 Jan 2020  ■ Comments

Introducing dotLottie: a new file format

The future of animation relies on us being able to constantly innovate and always look for better more effective solutions.

Here at LottieFiles, we aim to achieve just that. Impressed with the capabilities of the Lottie, we wanted to take it further and solve a number of issues that were being brought up by our users and our team alike. And thus began the formation of dotLottie.

dotLottie is an open-source file format that aggregates one or more Lottie files and their associated resources (images, fonts, etc) into a single file to enable efficient and easy distribution of an animation. dotLottie files are ZIP archives compressed with the Deflate compression method and carry the file extension of “.lottie”. Think of it as a superset of Lottie.

Why dotLottie?

Lottie already brings a number of advantages that add significant value for its use as an animation format. This includes the small file size, resolution independent high-quality rendering by mixing vector and raster assets, multi-platform support and exposing run-time changeable dynamic values for animation element properties.

We wanted to retain these features and create a path to establish and encapsulate even more capability to it. Hence we created a superset of Lottie: dotLottie

This initial release was meant to solve the following major problems:

1. Establishing an identity
It is the tiniest of changes, but changing the file extension from .json to .lottie avoids confusion and brings a lot of ease for designers and developers dealing with Lottie animations regularly. dotLottie also includes a manifest file, the popular way to include metadata, and a list of preview images in its archive. This enables us to easily build tools for the popular Operating Systems to identify, search and show previews of the animations.

2. Archiving
Storing, distributing and consuming a Lottie with its dependent assets is challenging for designers and developers, in terms of storing them on file systems and integrating into apps and websites. Archiving animations and its assets together solves this problem as well allowing for multiple animations to be grouped together and to share assets.

3. Compression
The use of archiving with compression allows all the assets required by an animation to be grouped together and the total file size to be dramatically reduced.This is especially effective as an alternative to inlining image assets as Data URIs. dotLottie reduces operational costs of distribution as well as bandwidth utilization.

But this is just us getting started! We are working towards documenting the Lottie and dotLottie format properly and making it more accessible for developers and designers alike. We are also working towards introducing cool features such as interactivity via keyboard and mouse, audio/video assets, as well as easier and simplified expressions support that’s easy and safe.

For more information on the file format click here👉 dotlottie.io

Comments