Android Graphics

Introduction to Android graphics

  • Android provides a huge set of 2D-drawing APIs that allow you to create graphics.
  • Android has got visually appealing graphics and mind blowing animations.
  • The Android framework provides a rich set of powerful APIS for applying animation to UI elements and graphics as well as drawing custom 2D and 3D graphics.
Following are the three animation systems used in Android applications:
1. Property Animation
2. View Animation
3. Drawable Animation

1. Property Animation
  • Property animation is the preferred method of animation in Android.
  • This animation is the robust framework which lets you animate any properties of any objects, view or non-view objects.
  • The android.animation provides classes which handle property animation.
2. View Animation
  • View Animation is also called as Tween Animation.
  • The android.view.animation provides classes which handle view animation.
  • This animation can be used to animate the content of a view.
  • It is limited to simple transformation such as moving, re-sizing and rotation, but not its background color.
3. Drawable Animation
  • Drawable animation is implemented using the AnimationDrawable class.
  • This animation works by displaying a running sequence of 'Drawable' resources that is images, frame by frame inside a view object.


  • Android graphics provides low level graphics tools such as canvases, color, filters, points and rectangles which handle drawing to the screen directly.
  • The Android framework provides a set of 2D-DRAWING APIs which allows user to provide own custom graphics onto a canvas or to modify existing views to customize their look and feel.

  • There are two ways to draw 2D graphics,
    1. Draw your animation into a View object from your layout.
    2. Draw your animation directly to a Canvas.

    Some of the important methods of Canvas Class are as follows
    i) drawText()
    ii) drawRoundRect()
    iii) drawCircle()
    iv) drawRect()
    v) drawBitmap()
    vi) drawARGB()

  • You can use these methods in onDraw() method to create your own custom user interface.
  • Drawing an animation with a View is the best option to draw simple graphics that do not need to change dynamically and are not a part of a performance-intensive game. It is used when user wants to display a static graphic or predefined animation.
  • Drawing an animation with a Canvas is better option when your application needs to re-draw itself regularly. For example video games should be drawing to the Canvas on its own.


What is it about?
Create a new Java class that should extend from View class. Override the onDraw() method. In this method, you can use Canvas class to draw the different shapes.

File name:

public class MyView extends View
      public MyView(Context context)
           // TODO Auto-generated constructor stub
       protected void onDraw(Canvas canvas)
             // TODO Auto-generated method stub
             int radius;
             radius = 50;
             Paint paint = newPaint();
             canvas.drawCircle(150,200, radius, paint);
             canvas.drawRoundRect(newRectF(20,20,100,100), 20, 20, paint);
             canvas.drawText("TutorialRide", 40, 180, paint);

File name:

Note: You have to pass the object of subclass that extends from View class in setContentView() method as given below. In our case the name of the subclass is MyView.

Public class MainActivity extends Activity
      protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState)
           setContentView(new MyView(this));
      public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu)
            // Inflate the menu; this adds items to the action bar if it is present.
            getMenuInflater().inflate(, menu);
            return true;


android output canvas