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Code: Model Objects

"Model Objects" are the objects used to represent animation data internally, there is basically a 1:1 map between the contents of a Glaxnimate json file and these objects.

Document Nodes

"Document Nodes" are stand alone Model Objects that are part of the document structure.

This includes Assets, Visual Nodes, Containers, etc.

Visual Nodes

"Visual Nodes" are Document Nodes that correspond to a visual element of the animation. These are listed in the Layers View.

How to define a new class

If you are defining a new class, make sure it uses all the code generation machinery.

Follows an example:

namespace model {

class MyNewObject : public Object
    // This adds registration code for the factory and cloning functionality.
    // It's required for concrete types, not for abstract classes.

    // You can define properties like this, they will be editable from the UI
    // the parameters to the macro are (type, name, default)
    GLAXNIMATE_PROPERTY(float, myprop, 0.2)
    // Animated properties are similar but use a different macro
    GLAXNIMATE_ANIMATABLE(float, my_animated, 0.3)

    // Use the base class constructor
    using Object::Object;

    // Overriding this allows a translated name to be shown in the UI
    QString type_name_human() const override { return tr("My New Object"); }


// Classes that don't have to be instatiated require less machinery
class MyNewAbstractClass : public Object

    GLAXNIMATE_PROPERTY(float, myprop, 0.2)

    using Object::Object;

// You can also define enums, as long as they are exposed with Q_ENUM
class MyClassWithEnum : public Object

    enum MyEnum


    GLAXNIMATE_PROPERTY(MyEnum, type, Value1)

    using Object::Object;

} // namespace model
// You always need a source file, so Qt's MOC can add its definitions
#include "example.hpp"

// This adds the definitions of the stuff declared by GLAXNIMATE_OBJECT

Adding code

When you add a new class, the code-generation machinery will automatically integrate the new class with the UI and serialization to/from Glaxnimate json.

You still need to register it in a couple places:

Python interpreter

In src/core/python.cpp you have to expose classes so they are visible in scripts.

For QObject-derived classes (which include Model Objects) there's code-generation facilities that expose properties defined by the GLAXNIMATE_* macros as well as QObject-related declarations such as Q_PROPERTY and Q_INVOKABLE.

Automatic generation supports most but not all types for properties and methods. It supports basic c++ types (like int, etc), common Qt types (eg: QString), QObject-derived classes, and exposed enums. Properties or methods using other types, need to be declared manually here.


PYBIND11_EMBEDDED_MODULE(glaxnimate, glaxnimate_module)
    // ...

    // The template parameters are the class to be declared and its parent
    // The function argument is the module you want to define the class into.
    register_from_meta<model::MyNewObject, Object>(glaxnimate_module);
    // Abstract classes should also be declared,
    // otherwise their properties won't be visible from python.
    register_from_meta<model::MyNewAbstractClass, Object>(glaxnimate_module);
    // If you define enums, you need to list them like this:
    register_from_meta<model::MyClassWithEnum, Object>(glaxnimate_module, enums<model::MyClassWithEnum::MyEnum>{});

Lottie Import/Export

Lottie serialization is semi-automatic, you need to add your class in core/io/lottie/lottie_private_common.hpp.

The variable fields defines metadata on how to interpret the lottie json fields and you should add your class and relevant properties in there.


const QMap<QString, QVector<FieldInfo>> fields = {
    // ...

    // Use the class name without namespace as key
    {"MyNewAbstractClass", {
        // maps the Glaxnimate property "myprop" to the json field "mp"
        FieldInfo{"mp", "myprop"},
    {"MyNewAbstractClass", {
        // fields without mappings are ignored without warning when opening files
        // maps the Glaxnimate property "my_animated" to the json field "ma"
        FieldInfo{"ma", "my_animated"},
        // fields marked with Custom need to be manually read/written in the lottie code
        FieldInfo{"custom", Custom},
    {"MyClassWithEnum", {
        // If the enum values are the same in lottie you don't have to do much,
        // otherwise you need to use Custom
        FieldInfo{"type", "type"},

    // ...

Note that the order of properties is important in some lottie renderers. Glaxnimate keeps the automatic properties in the order defined into fields but care needs to be taken when setting Custom properties.

If you define new shapes that have a corresponding lottie type, you need to add them to shape_types which maps Glaxnimate class names (without namespace) to the lottie ty field corresponding to the right object.

SVG Import/Export

SVG rendering is done mostly manually so you'd need to add the appropriate code.

New Shape / Layer Checklist

  • Define the class, having ShapeElement (or the appropriate class) as parent
    • Add properties
    • Define metadata with GLAXNIMATE_OBJECT_IMPL
  • If you want to add menus, inherit from the CRTP Class StaticOverrides
  • Override the relevant methods
    • (static_) tree_icon
    • (static_) type_name_human
    • to_path
  • Expose the class to Python
  • Add editors (if needed) to gui/graphics/create_items.cpp.
  • Implement Lottie I/O
    • Populate io::lottie::detail::fields in core/io/lottie/lottie_private_common.hpp
    • Add entry to io::lottie::detail::shape_types in core/io/lottie/lottie_private_common.hpp
    • If it has custom fields, add the relevant code to lottie_importer.hpp and lottie_exporter.hpp
    • If it isn't supported by TGS, add the required warnings in
  • Implement SVG Export (core/io/svg/svg_renderer.cpp)
    • Write a conversion function
    • If it's a Shape, add the condition in write_shape_shape
    • Otherwise, add the condition in write_shape
  • Implement SVG Import, if there is a standard SVG or Inkscape SVG analogue (core/io/svg/svg_parser.cpp)
    • Write a conversion function
    • If adding support for a new element, map the element name to conversion function in io::svg::SvgParser::Private::shape_parsers.
    • Otherwise add the relevant condition in the existing parseshape_* function.