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A Particle System for standard Android UI

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Leonids is a particle system library that works with the standard Android UI.

The library is extremely lightweight, LeonidsLib.jar is just 81Kb.

You can download Leonids Demo from Google Play to check out what can be done with it.


Leonids is available in jcenter as well as a jar file to fit both Android Studio and Eclipse.

Android Studio / gradle

Add the following dependency to the build.gradle of your project

dependencies {
    compile 'com.plattysoft.leonids:LeonidsLib:1.3.1'

Note: If you get an error, you may need to update the jcenter repository to:

repositories {
        url ""

Eclipse / jar file

Just put LeonidsLib.jar into the libs folder of your app.

Why this library?

Particle systems are often used in games for a wide range of purposes: Explosions, fire, smoke, etc. This effects can also be used on normal apps to add an element of "juiciness" or Playful Design.

Precisely because its main use is games, all engines have support for particle systems, but there is no such thing for standard Android UI.

This means that if you are building an Android app and you want a particle system, you have to include a graphics engine and use OpenGL -which is quite an overkill- or you have to implement it yourself.

Leonids is made to fill this gap, bringing particle sytems to developers that use the standard Android UI.

Basic usage

Creating and firing a one-shot particle system is very easy, just 3 lines of code.

new ParticleSystem(this, numParticles, drawableResId, timeToLive)
.setSpeedRange(0.2f, 0.5f)
.oneShot(anchorView, numParticles);

Note that the ParticleSystem checks the position of the anchor view when oneShot (or emit) is called, so it requires the views to be measured. This means that ParticleSystem won't work properly if you call oneShot or emit during onCreate. For more information check the comments on issue #22.

When you create the particle system, you tell how many particles will it use as a maximum, the resourceId of the drawable you want to use for the particles and for how long the particles will live.

Then you configure the particle system. In this case we specify that the particles will have a speed between 0.2 and 0.5 pixels per milisecond (support for dips will be included in the future). Since we did not provide an angle range, it will be considered as "any angle".

Finally, we call oneShot, passing the view from which the particles will be launched and saying how many particles we want to be shot.


You can configure emitters, which have a constant ratio of particles being emited per second. This is the code for the Confeti example:

new ParticleSystem(this, 80, R.drawable.confeti2, 10000)
.setSpeedModuleAndAngleRange(0f, 0.3f, 180, 180)
.setAcceleration(0.00005f, 90)
.emit(findViewById(, 8);

new ParticleSystem(this, 80, R.drawable.confeti3, 10000)
.setSpeedModuleAndAngleRange(0f, 0.3f, 0, 0)
.setAcceleration(0.00005f, 90)
.emit(findViewById(, 8);

It uses an initializer for the Speed as module and angle ranges, a fixed speed rotaion and extenal acceleration.

Available Methods

List of the methods available on the class ParticleSystem.


All constructors use the activity, the maximum number of particles and the time to live. The difference is in how the image for the particles is specified.

Supported drawables are: BitmapDrawable and AnimationDrawable.

There are also constructors that recieve a view id to use as the parent so you can put the particle system on the background (or between any two views)


Available methods on the Particle system for configuration are:

You can start the particle system "in the future" if you want to have the particles already created and moving using

setStartTime(int time)

For more complex modifiers, you can use the method addModifier(ParticleModifier modifier). Available modifiers are:

One shot

Make one shot using from the anchor view using the number of particles specified, an interpolator is optional


Emits the number of particles per second from the emitter. If emittingTime is set, the emitter stops after that time, otherwise it is continuous.

Basic emitters

Emit based on (x,y) coordinates

Emit with Gravity

Update, stop, and cancel

Other details

Leonids requires minSDK 11 because it uses ValueAnimators. It should be very easy, however to use nineoldandroids and make it work on Gingerbread.

The library is Free Software, you can use it, extended with no requirement to open source your changes. You can also make paid apps using it.

Each Particle System only uses one image for the particles. If you want different particles to be emitted, you need to create a Particle System for each one of them.