Creating Dialogs

June 2024

Have you ever watched a sleek website animation and wondered how it was made? I find joy in breaking down complex problems into simple, digestible pieces. When it comes to solving problems, I believe that the best solutions are often the simplest. However, getting there can be a challenge.

Today, I hope to make things a little simpler for you when it comes to creating complex animations with Framer Motion. This short tutorial isn't meant to be a comprehensive guide to Framer Motion but more of a lighthouse guiding you through the fog of what can appear to be a complex library. In reality, it is quite simple.


This month, Linear unveiled its new website, which is a complete departure from the previous version. It focuses on a more minimal design and a user-friendly experience. One of the key features of the new website is the use of a modal to display information about the company and its products.

Linear's modal demo via @anoffsinger on 𝕏

Seeing this, you might think that this animation requires a lot of steps and a deep understanding of code to achieve. Thinking like that is a trap many developers fall into. The first step is to step back and think about the animation in a more abstract way.

Simplifying the Animation Process

Most interactions can be broken down into a few simple steps. Usually, it's a three-step process of entering, exiting, and a state in between. This is the case with the Linear modal we see.

Take the two squares in the example below. Imagine the square on the left is the starting point and the square on the right is the endpoint. What's in between is the animation.

When building out animations like this, follow this pattern: have the starting point, the endpoint, and then the animation between becomes much easier to figure out. Now try clicking on the square below to see the animation in action.

'use client'
import { cn } from '@/lib/utils'
import { AnimatePresence, motion } from 'framer-motion'
import { useState } from 'react'
export default function BasicLayoutExample() {
  const [active, setActive] = useState(false)
  const stroke = {
    boxShadow: '0px 0px 0px 2px rgba(255,255,255,0.2) inset, 0px 0px 0px 0.5px rgba(0,0,0,0.7)'
  const transition = {
    type: 'spring',
    stiffness: 300,
    damping: 20
  const shared = cn('absolute h-32 w-32 rounded-lg')
  return (
        onClick={() => {
        className={cn(shared, 'left-16 bg-grass-9')}
        {active && (
            onClick={() => {
            className={cn(shared, 'right-16 bg-tomato-9')}

The Magic of Framer Motion

You might be wondering about all the calculations and code that go into making this happen. Maybe you're thinking about the math behind it or mapping the coordinates of the elements. The truth is, you don't have to worry about any of that.

Framer Motion provides a simple prop to its components called layoutId. This prop allows you to link two components together, and Framer Motion handles the rest. Imagine it like the way gravity handles you coming back down to earth after you jump.

All you have to do is attach the layoutId of the same value to the two components you want to animate between, and Framer Motion does the rest. Knowing this, you can now build out animations like the Linear modal and even more complex ones with ease.

Future Work

I am currently in the process of componentizing the animations like this one and creating a library to help abstract the complexity of Framer Motion. I hope to release it soon so that you can use it in your projects. If you're interested in this, please let me know on Twitter with what you would like to see in the library. Here is a sneak peek of what to expect.

    <DialogBackground />

Wrapping Up

I hope this tutorial has helped you understand how simple it can be to create complex animations with Framer Motion. Remember to break down the animation into simple steps and let Framer Motion do the rest. If you have any questions or need help with anything, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.


While creating this tutorial, twitter user Preet (@wickedmishra) created a similar sandbox that I would also like to share with you. Check it out, and give them a follow.

Linear's modal recreation via @wickedmishra on Twitter/𝕏

I would also like to give thanks to Jace (@JaceThings) and Ester (@StoriEster) for helping me with proofreading drafts of this tutorial.


  1. Framer Motion Documentation
  2. Linear Homepage
  3. Preet's Sandbox