Rive Core Concepts

At its most basic level, Rive is a 2D animation program. It allows you to place objects on the stage and animate their properties (e.g. position, scale, rotation).
This is the manual for the old version of Rive (formerly Flare). Visit the Help Center for the new Rive here.

What is Rive?

Rive is a powerful design and animation tool, which allows designers and developers to easily add high-quality animation to their apps and games.

Why use Rive?

Rive allows designers to create sophisticated interactions, animated icons, onboarding screens, game characters, and more. These are real assets that run in real time in the final product.


  • No need to recreate in code. Real assets.
  • Designers are free to iterate and make modifications at any time. No compromises.
  • No unfinished design tickets that you don't have time to implement. Empower your designers throughout the entire development process.
  • Test interactions directly in Rive. Runs exactly the same as it will in the app, no surprises later.
  • Free. The Open Design model makes advanced animation tools accessible to all. It also allows users to learn from one another.
  • Everything is dynamic and can be manipulated with code.
  • All online, no licenses.


All the objects that you place on the stage, or in an artboard, appear in the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy is a tree view, which shows the parent/child relationships between the items on the stage. These parent/child relationships are a core concept in Rive, which allow you to create complex layered animations with minimal effort. Nodes, Bones, and Solo objects can all have children in Rive.
Any type of object can be a parent or a child of another type of object. When an object is a child of another object, it inherits all the transformations of its parent.
The depth of these parent/child relationships is infinite, so you can keep stacking (or nesting) items to create grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on.
Read more on the Hierarchy page.


Bones offer an intuitive way to animate advanced characters with many connected parts. They follow the same hierarchical concepts discussed above, but they allow you to easily create a unique transform space (or pivot point) for your shapes while also keeping a consistent distance between parts (just like a real skeleton).
Read more on the Bones page.

Design & Animate Mode

There are two primary modes in Rive: Design and Animate. As the names imply, you want to design your graphics in Design mode and animate your character in Animate mode. Note that the interface changes to display the appropriate tools for each mode. For example, the Animations list appears in the Hierarchy Panel in Animate mode. Similarly, the Create Tools are only available in the Toolbar in Design mode.
Switching between Design and Animate mode
To animate in Rive, switch to Animate mode using the toggle at the top-left of the interface. This will display the timeline, allow you to create multiple animations, set keys, manipulate keys, and set interpolation options (easing).
You cannot create, duplicate, or copy/paste Hierarchy items in Animate mode. All design and rigging should happen in Design mode.