What are decorations?

  • A decoration is a high level description of graphics to be painted onto a canvas, generally corresponding to a box but can also describe other shapes, too. In addition to being paintable, decorations support interaction and interpolation.

What are the common components of a decoration?

  • DecorationImage describes an image (as obtained via ImageProvider) to be inscribed within a decoration, accepting many of the same arguments as paintImage. The alignment, repetition, and box fit determine how the image is laid out within the decoration and, if enabled, horizontal reflection will be applied for right-to-left locales.

    • DecorationImagePainter (obtained via DecorationImage.createPainter) performs the actual painting; this is a thin wrapper around paintImage that resolves the ImageProvider and applies any clipping and horizontal reflection.

  • BoxShadow is a Shadow subclass that additionally describes spread distance (i.e., the amount of dilation to apply to the casting element’s mask before computing the shadow). Shadows are typically arranged into a list to support a single decoration casting multiple shadows.

  • BorderRadiusGeometry describes the border radii of a particular box (via BorderRadius or BorderRadiusDirectional depending on text direction sensitivity). BorderRadiusGeometry is composed of four immutable Radius instances.

  • BorderSide describes a single side of a border; the precise interpretation is determined by the enclosing ShapeBorder subclass. Each side has a color, a style (via BorderStyle), and a width. A width of 0.0 will enable hairline rendering; that is, the border will be 1 physical pixel wide (BorderStyle.none is necessary to prevent the border from rendering). When hairline rendering is utilized, pixels may appear darker if they are painted multiple times by the given path. Border sides may be merged provided that they share a common style and color. Doing so produces a new BorderSide having a width equal to the sum of its constituents.

What are the components of a shape decoration?

  • ShapeBorder is the base class of all shape outlines, including those used by box decorations; in essence, it describes a single shape with edges of defined width (typically via BorderSide). Shape borders can be interpolated and combined (via the addition operator or ShapeBorder.add). Additionally, borders may be scaled (affecting properties like border width and radii) and painted directly to a canvas (via ShapeBorder.paint); painting may be adjusted based on text direction. Paths describing the shape’s inner and outer edges may also be queried (via ShapeBorder.getInnerPath and ShapeBorder.getOuterPath).

What are the components of a box decoration?

  • BoxBorder is a subclass of ShapeBorder that is further specialized by Border and BorderDirectional (the latter adding text direction sensitivity). These instances describe a set of four borders corresponding to the cardinal directions; their precise arrangement is left undefined until rendering. Borders may be combined (via Border.merge) provided that all associated sides share a style and color. If so, the corresponding widths are added together.

    • Borders must be made concrete by providing a rectangle and, optionally, a BoxShape. The provided rectangle determines how the borders are actually rendered; uniform borders are more efficient ot paint.

  • BoxShape describes how a box decoration (or border) is to be rendered into its bounds. If rectangular, painting is coincident with the bounds. If circular, the box is painted as a uniform circle with diameter matching the smaller of the bounding dimensions.

What are the decoration building blocks?

  • Decoration describes an adaptive collection of graphical effects that may be applied to an arbitrary rectangle (e.g., box). Decorations optionally specify a padding (via Decoration.padding) to ensure that any additional painting within a box (e.g., from a child widget; note that decorations do not perform clipping) does not overlap with the decoration’s own painting. Additionally, certain decorations can be marked as complex (via Decoration.isComplex) to enable caching.

    • Decorations support hit testing (via Decoration.hitTest). A size is provided so that the decoration may be scaled to a particular box. The given offset describes a position within this box relative to its top-left corner. An optional TextDirection supports containers that are sensitive to this parameter.

    • Decorations support linear interpolation (via Decoration.lerp, Decoration.lerpFrom, and Decoration.lerpTo). The “t” parameter represents a position on a timeline with 0 corresponding to 0% (i.e., the pre-state) and 1 corresponding to 100% (i.e., the post-state); note that values outside of this range are possible. If the source or destination value is null (indicating that a true interpolation isn’t possible), a default interpolation should be computed that reasonably approximates a true interpolation.

  • BoxDecoration is a Decoration subclass that describes the appearance of a graphical box. Boxes are composed of a number of elements, including a border, a drop shadow, and a background. The background is itself comprised of color, gradient, and image layers. While typically rectangular, boxes may be given rounded corners or even a circular shape (via BoxDecoration.shape). BoxDecorations provide a BoxPainter subclass capable of rendering the described box given different ImageConfigurations.

  • ShapeDecoration is analogous to BoxDecoration but supports rendering into any shape (via ShapeBorder). Rendering occurs in layers: first a fill color is painted, then a gradient, and finally an image. Next, the ShapeBorder is painted (clipping the previous layers); the border also serves as the casting element for all associated shadows. ShapeDecoration also uses a BoxPainter subclass for rendering.

    • Shape decorations may be obtained from box decorations (via ShapeDecoration.fromBoxDecoration) since the latter is derived from the former. In general, box decorations are more efficient since they do not need to represent arbitrary shapes; however, shapes support a wider arrange of interpolation (e.g., rectangle to circle).

  • DecoratedBox incorporates a decoration into the widget hierarchy. Decorations can be painted in the foreground or background via DecorationPosition (i.e., in front of or behind the child, respectively). Generally, Container is used to incorporate a DecoratedBox into the UI.

  • NotchedShape describes the difference of two shapes (i.e., a guest shape is subtracted from a host shape). A path describing this shape is obtained by specifying two bounding rectangles (i.e., the host and the guest) sharing a coordinate space. The AutomaticNotchedShape subclass uses these bounds to determine the concrete dimensions of ShapeBorder instances before computing their difference.

How are decorations painted?

  • BoxPainter provides a base class for instances capable of rendering a Decoration to a canvas given an ImageConfiguration. The configuration specifies the final size, scale, and locale to be used when rendering; this information allows an otherwise abstract decoration to be made concrete. Since decorations may rely on asynchronous image providers, BoxPainter.onChanged notifies client code when the associated resources have changed (i.e, so that painting may be repeated).