Treehouse

Image Reflections with CSS

By on  
CSS Image Reflection

Image reflection is a great way to subtly spice up an image.  The first method of creating these reflections was baking them right into the images themselves.  Within the past few years, we've introduced JavaScript strategies and CANVAS alternatives to achieve image reflections without having to modify original images.  The minds behind WebKit have their own idea behind image reflection:  pure CSS.

The Webkit CSS

The -webkit-box-reflect property accepts a value in the following format:

-webkit-box-reflect: 
	<direction> /* above|below|left|right */ 	
	<offset>    /* pixel value start offset from image */
	<mask-box-image> /* http://webkit.org/blog/181/css-masks/ */

A sample usage of -webkit-box-reflect looks like:

.reflectBelow	{ 
	-webkit-box-reflect: below 0
    -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, from(transparent), color-stop(0.5, transparent), to(white)); 
}

An involved CSS value but well worth the work. The gradient is linear from left top to left bottom from transparent to white, showing half (0.5 the image).

WebKit first implemented CSS reflections in 2008 and, to my knowledge, no other browsers have implemented a similar API. I find that frustrating but image reflection isn't a priority so I can't complain too much.  I am glad, however, that this is just one of several CSS enhancements given to us by the developers of WebKit!

ydkjs-6.png

Recent Features

  • Create a CSS Flipping Animation

    CSS animations are a lot of fun; the beauty of them is that through many simple properties, you can create anything from an elegant fade in to a WTF-Pixar-would-be-proud effect. One CSS effect somewhere in between is the CSS flip effect, whereby there's...

  • CSS @supports

    Feature detection via JavaScript is a client side best practice and for all the right reasons, but unfortunately that same functionality hasn't been available within CSS.  What we end up doing is repeating the same properties multiple times with each browser prefix.  Yuck.  Another thing we...

Incredible Demos

  • MooTools Flashlight Effect

    Another reason that I love Twitter so much is that I'm able to check out what fellow developers think is interesting. Chris Coyier posted about a flashlight effect he found built with jQuery. While I agree with Chris that it's a little corny, it...

  • Telephone Link Protocol

    We've always been able to create links with protocols other than the usual HTTP, like mailto, skype, irc ,and more;  they're an excellent convenience to visitors.  With mobile phone browsers having become infinitely more usable, we can now extend that convenience to phone numbers: The tel...

Discussion

  1. very good post thanks a lot

  2. Is it possible to have reflections for non-linear gradient as well? If so plz advice :). Thanks.

  3. Hopefully Firefox will catch on soon (and IE in a couple of years).

  4. It also works on any HTML element, not just images. Check it out: http://tomconlon.com/test/reflect.html

    I haven’t had time to play around with it too much, but I did notice it kind of choked when I wrapped an h1 and ul in a div with the reflectBelow class.

    Very cool, though.

  5. thats great but sad that it doesn’t work in other browsers.

  6. dj

    Is it possible to apply this on a html digital clock or date in a website? If so, how to code it?

  7. PM

    Thanks for sharing it.

    It is not working even in Firefox and obviously in IE.

    Thanks,

  8. Good post, bring on the day when browers are all on the same page with css & html interpretation

  9. This is really buggy in Chrome (20.0.1132.47 Mac). Had to opt for a JS version sadly.

  10. why do we use the old format for creating a ‘linear gradient color mask”, i checked the new format doesn’t work, why is that ?

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!