Understanding CSS3 Animation

CSS3 animations are not new in the web development industry. These modules have been around for a number of years but new functions have been created to allow from much smoother and maintainable animations.

What can you do with CSS3 animations?

An animation is a specific element that allows designers to change from one style to another. With CSS you can change as many of the properties as you want. You can also change these properties as many times as you want.

CSS3 uses keyframes for animations when you specify these keyframes the animation is able to gradually change from one style to another at a specified time. These keyframes need to be specified in order for the animation to function properly. The keyframes are where the styles are held and dictate which elements will be displayed at a given time. The animation must be bound to an element in order for it to work. There are a number of ways you can customize the animation during its transition from one style to another. These keyframes can be set to control a number of the elements in the design.

The animation can be coded to simply change from one style to another over a specified length of time t can also be coded to change various times throughout a transition, it can be delayed, it can be coded to run in in reverse or coded to alternate cycles. You can also adjust the speed curve for an animation.

Advantages of CSS3 Animation

CSS3 animation is easy to use for many simple animations, there is little need to have a full understanding of JavaScript or Flash to create these animations.

Even with a moderate system load, the CSS animation will run fairly well. Often times when writing animations, they will not perform well with JavaScript but the rendering engine of CSS animation applies frame-skipping and various techniques that allow the animation to run smoothly and perform properly.

CSS3 animation allows the browser to control the animation sequence. When the browser is able to do this it will optimize the performance and efficiency of the animation. This reduces the update frequency of tabs the animate runs on that are not visible.

CSS3 animation is supported by a number of popular browsers including:

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • iOS Safari
  • Android

As a web developer knowing CSS gives you more options in the web design. While knowing HTML is recommended it usually limits your ability to make you design visually appealing. HTML is great for text formatting but CSS is necessary for flexibility in the page layout, typography, animation, special effects and a number of other elements that can really make your web design stand out. CSS may be a more complex coding to learn but is well worth it for the wide range of features and elements that can be included in the web design.

Some of the most important CSS3 modules are:

  • Selectors
  • Box Model
  • Backgrounds and Borders
  • Image Values and Replaced Content
  • Text Effects
  • 2D/3D Transformations
  • Animations
  • Multiple Column Layout
  • User Interface

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