David Walsh Blog

Image Reflections with CSS

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:

	<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!