10 March 2022

Building a mobile game in Xamarin Forms - Lottie

by Shaun Lawrence

Lottie is one of the best discoveries that I have made in this past year. It has been around much longer, but it took a friend and a side project to help me discover it.

What is Lottie?

Lottie is an animation library that was built and open sourced by Airbnb. It is a mobile library for Android and iOS that parses Adobe After Effects animations exported to JSON files with Bodymovin and renders them natively on mobile!

Not the creative type?

Don’t worry neither am I! Don’t get me wrong I think I have these great ideas, but they never translate well on to paper or whatever design tool I am using. We don’t need to worry though because there are great designers out there that build animations and share them on Lottie Files. This site curates a load of free and paid for animations that we can download and embed in our applications.

For our mobile game we are going to make use of the following pre-built animation from Lottie Files:

You will notice that the background animation does not match our colour scheme in the app. Thankfully Lottie Files also provides an editor that lets you change the colours and other elements. I have gone ahead and already edited this in Lottie Files. You can do the same or feel free to grab it from the repo here.

Now that we have the files lets jump over to Visual Studio and get them running in our app.

Using the animation

We need to add the files to both our Android and iOS projects.


The steps you need to follow are:

  1. Right click on Pairs.Android
  2. Select Add -> Existing Files…
  3. Navigate to the background.json file and add it.
  4. Right click the file
  5. Select Build Action -> AndroidAsset


The steps you need to follow are:

  1. Right click on Pairs.iOS
  2. Select Add -> Existing Files…
  3. Navigate to the background.json file and add it.
  4. Right click on the file
  5. Select Build Action -> BundleResource

NuGet package

Next we need to go ahead and grab the NuGet package ready to show off our new fancy animation.

  1. Right click on the Pairs solution
  2. Select Manage NuGet Packages…
  3. Search for Com.Airbnb.Xamarin.Forms.Lottie
  4. Select the package with the same name
  5. Click Add Package
  6. Select all projects
  7. Click Add

You should notice that a ReadMe.txt file is opened automatically, this gives a helpful way of seeing the possibilities that come with the package. We certainly won’t need to use it all at least for this scenario but I thoroughly recommend checking out the repository here https://github.com/Baseflow/LottieXamarin

Render our background animation

Let’s jump over to our MainPage.xaml file and add some code changes.

First add the lottie namespace at the top:


Next let’s add an AnimationView to render the background.json file. We want to place this inside our <Grid> as the first item. We add it as the first item to make sure it renders behind any other items.

<lottie:AnimationView Animation="background.json"
                      RepeatMode="Infinite" />

Hopefully most of the changes are self explanatory but here are some key details:

Now let’s run the app and see the result.



I hope this shows how we can add some really cool animations to our applications so that it provides the feeling that things are alive.

The source for the end of this stage can be found at:


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tags: C# - xamarin - xamarin.forms - animations - lottie