David Walsh Blog

Multiple Background CSS Animations

CSS background animation has been a hot topic for a long time, mostly because they look pretty sweet and don’t require additional elements.  I was recently asked if it was possible to have multiple background animations on a given element and the answer is yes…with concessions.  Let’s take a look at how it’s done!

The CSS

So multiple background images on an element is something we’ve been able to do for quite a while now, simply separate them with commas:


.animate-area	{ 
	background-image: url(twitter-logo-bird.png), url(treehouseFrog.png), url(bg-clouds.png);
	background-position: 20px -90px, 30px 80px, 0px 0px;
	background-repeat: no-repeat, no-repeat, repeat-x;
}

Note that the background image that you want at the top of the stack should go first in the image list.  Animating the backgrounds requires moving the background-position, also separated by commas:


@keyframes animatedBird {
	from { background-position: 20px 20px, 30px 80px, 0 0; }
	to { background-position: 300px -90px, 30px 20px, 100% 0; }
}
		
.animate-area	{ 
	animation: animatedBird 4s linear infinite;
}

The result is three moving pieces inside one element!

Of course this isn’t an ideal case because you can’t separately change background-positions and thus you need to work with the same duration for each background image.  Multiple animations can be set on selectors with CSS, but since it’s the one property being changed, we’re just out of luck!