David Walsh Blog

CSS Background Animations

Background animations are an awesome touch when used correctly.  In the past, I used MooTools to animate a background position.  Luckily these days CSS animations are widely supported enough to rely on them to take over JavaScript-based animation tasks.  The following simple CSS snippet animates the background image (via background position) of a given element.


We’ll use CSS animations instead of transitions for this effect:

@keyframes animatedBackground {
	from { background-position: 0 0; }
	to { background-position: 100% 0; }

With the animation code in place, now it’s time to apply it to an element with a background image:

#animate-area	{ 
	width: 560px; 
	height: 400px; 
	background-image: url(bg-clouds.png);
	background-position: 0px 0px;
	background-repeat: repeat-x;

	animation: animatedBackground 40s linear infinite;

The cloud background image within the sample element will elegantly scroll from left to right over a duration of 40 seconds, seamlessly repeating an infinite number of times.

How epic is it that we don’t need to use JavaScript to manage these animations anymore?  Of course the mess of vendor prefixes to accomplish the animation sucks, but at least the animations are much more efficient and more easily configurable!