Graphics & Animation Starting Point

iOS provides several different frameworks for adding graphics and animations to your apps. UIKit is an Objective-C API that provides basic 2D drawing, image handling, and ways to animate user interface objects. Core Graphics is a C-based API that supports vector graphics, bitmap images, and PDF content. Core Animation is another Objective-C API that adds smooth motion and dynamic feedback to the user interface. OpenGL ES is the mobile version of OpenGL for high-performance 2D and 3D drawing. OpenGL ES includes EAGL, an Objective-C API that integrates OpenGL ES with Core Animation and UIKit.

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Get Up and Running

To use UIKit for basic graphics operations in your user interface:

When you need more powerful 2D drawing capabilities, use the Core Graphics framework. It’s the workhorse for drawing vector graphics, lines, shapes, patterns, gradients, images, and even PDF documents.

Core Animation is the programming interface that the UIKit framework uses for layering and transitions in its classes. Use Core Animation if your application requires fine-grained control over animations.

You use OpenGL ES to develop games and other applications that require the advanced graphics capabilities provided by the GPU.

Become Proficient

For details on UIKit classes, see UIKit Framework Reference.

For details on Core Graphics, see Core Graphics Framework Reference.

To get a more in-depth understanding of animation, read Core Animation Programming Guide and refer to the MoveMe sample application.

For how to best take advantage of OpenGL ES on iOS, read OpenGL ES Programming Guide. For details on OpenGL ES, see OpenGL ES Framework Reference.