Animations with keyframes

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For multi-stage CSS animations, you can create CSS @keyframes. Keyframes allow you to define multiple animation points, called a keyframe, to define more complex animations.

Basic Example

In this example, we’ll make a basic background animation that cycles between all colors.

@keyframes rainbow-background {
         0%     { background-color: #ff0000; }
     8.333%     { background-color: #ff8000; }
    16.667%     { background-color: #ffff00; }
    25.000%     { background-color: #80ff00; }
    33.333%     { background-color: #00ff00; }
    41.667%     { background-color: #00ff80; }
    50.000%     { background-color: #00ffff; }
    58.333%     { background-color: #0080ff; }
    66.667%     { background-color: #0000ff; }
    75.000%     { background-color: #8000ff; }
    83.333%     { background-color: #ff00ff; }
    91.667%     { background-color: #ff0080; }
    100.00%     { background-color: #ff0000; }

.RainbowBackground {
    animation: rainbow-background 5s infinite;

View Result

There’s a few different things to note here. First, the actual @keyframes syntax.

@keyframes rainbow-background{

This sets the name of the animation to rainbow-background.

0%     { background-color: #ff0000; }

This is the definition for a keyframe within the animation. The first part, the 0% in the case, defines where the keyframe is during the animation. The 0% implies it is 0% of the total animation time from the beginning.

The animation will automatically transition between keyframes. So, by setting the next background color at 8.333%, the animation will smoothly take 8.333% of the time to transition between those keyframes.

.RainbowBackground {
    animation: rainbow-background 5s infinite;

This code attaches our animation to all elements which have the .RainbowBackground class.

The actual animation property takes the following arguments.

In this particular example, both the 0% and 100% keyframes specify { background-color: #ff0000; }. Wherever two or more keyframes share a state, one may specify them in a single statement. In this case, the two 0% and 100% lines could be replaced with this single line:

0%, 100%     { background-color: #ff0000; }

Cross-browser compatibility

For older WebKit-based browsers, you’ll need to use the vendor prefix on both the @keyframes declaration and the animation property, like so:


-webkit-animation: ...

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