javascript animation and effects

Web Development

JavaScript Animation Effects: Explained with Examples


Arpit Mehar

Content Developer Associate at almaBetter

people6 mins


Published on21 Jun, 2023

In the past, websites primarily prioritized presenting information to users without much emphasis on creating visually engaging experiences. However, in recent years, there has been a significant shift in this approach. Website owners now recognize the importance of crafting captivating visual experiences to engage users and effectively retain their interest in the site.

Developers have come to understand that humans possess a natural inclination to pay greater attention to moving objects, owing to our inherent reflex to notice motion.

JavaScript animation has gained significant traction in the field of Web Development, emerging as a prominent trend. With its ability to enhance user experiences and add dynamism to websites, JavaScript animation has become a powerful tool. Nonetheless, creating compelling web animations is a complex undertaking that demands a comprehensive grasp of JavaScript and animation principles.

Animation using JavaScript can be a piece of cake if you have a soling understanding of JavaScript. However, if you are not familiar with the principles of this language, we strongly recommend you learn more about JavaScript before getting started with JavaScript animation effects.

What is JavaScript Animation?

JavaScript animation refers to the process of using JavaScript programming language to create dynamic and interactive animations on web pages. It involves manipulating the properties and attributes of HTML elements, such as position, size, opacity, and color, over a specific period to achieve smooth and visually appealing motion.

JavaScript animation provides developers with the ability to control various aspects of animation, including its timing, duration, easing (how the animation accelerates or decelerates), and sequencing. It helps create engaging visual effects, transitions, and interactive elements that enhance the user experience on websites.

Animation Using JavaScript

There are different approaches to implementing JavaScript animations, ranging from using native JavaScript methods such as setInterval and setTimeout to more advanced techniques and libraries like CSS transitions, CSS animations, and popular JavaScript animation libraries like GSAP (GreenSock Animation Platform) and Anime.js. These tools and techniques simplify the creation of complex animations and provide additional features and optimizations for smoother performance.

Here are some of the fundamental JavaScript animation techniques that you can use to create a magical experience on the web:

The requestAnimationFrame Method

The requestAnimationFrame method is a JavaScript built-in function that enables the creation of seamless and optimized web animations. This method effectively mitigates problems like screen tearing and other related issues by synchronizing the animation with the browser's refresh rate.


// Get the animation container element
const animationContainer = document.getElementById('animation-container');

// Set the initial position of the animated object
let position = 0;

// Define the animation function
function animate() {
  // Update the position of the animated object
  position += 1;

  // Apply the updated position to the element = `translateX(${position}px)`;

  // Call requestAnimationFrame recursively to create a smooth animation loop

// Call the animation function to start the animation

The GreenSock Animation Platform (GSAP)

The GreenSock Animation Platform (GSAP) is a widely used animation library that offers a comprehensive set of tools and features for crafting intricate and engaging web animations. With GSAP, you gain access to an array of plugins that facilitate the creation of various types of animations, such as tweens, timelines, and morphs.


// Get the element to animate
const element = document.getElementById('animated-element');

// Use GSAP to create a tween animation, {
  duration: 2, // Animation duration in seconds
  x: 200,     // Move the element 200 pixels to the right
  rotation: 360, // Rotate the element 360 degrees
  scale: 1.5,   // Scale the element to 1.5 times its original size
  opacity: 0.5, // Set the element's opacity to 0.5
  ease: "power2.out" // Apply an easing function to the animation

Using the Greenstock Animation Platform, you can also create engaging JavaScript text animations for a better web experience.

The Anime.js library

The Anime.js library is a lightweight and versatile animation library that offers a plethora of tools and features for crafting web animations. With its user-friendly design, Anime.js provides a straightforward and intuitive API that simplifies the process of creating animations. Additionally, it ensures flexibility, allowing developers to customize their animations to meet their specific needs.


// Get the element to animate
const element = document.getElementById('animated-element');

// Use Anime.js to create an animation
  targets: element,
  translateX: 200,  // Move the element 200 pixels to the right
  rotate: '1turn', // Rotate the element 360 degrees
  scale: 1.5,      // Scale the element to 1.5 times its original size
  opacity: 0.5,    // Set the element's opacity to 0.5
  duration: 2000,  // Animation duration in milliseconds
  easing: 'easeOutExpo' // Apply an easing function to the animation

Utilizing the Anime.js library allows you to create dynamic and engaging web animations with minimal effort easily.  

The Velocity.js Library

Velocity.js is a versatile JavaScript library that simplifies website animation across various platforms. It is an open-source, freely available library licensed under MIT. With Velocity.js, creating intricate animations for HTML and SVG elements becomes effortless thanks to its intuitive syntax. By minimizing layout thrashing and utilizing an internal cache, Velocity.js delivers competitive performance comparable to CSS-based animation. Its extensive compatibility makes it particularly well-suited for enterprise-scale distributions.


// Get the element to animate
const element = document.getElementById('animated-element');

// Use Velocity.js to create an animation
Velocity(element, {
  translateX: "200px",  // Move the element 200 pixels to the right
  rotateZ: "360deg",   // Rotate the element 360 degrees
  scale: 1.5,          // Scale the element to 1.5 times its original size
  opacity: 0.5,        // Set the element's opacity to 0.5
}, {
  duration: 2000,      // Animation duration in milliseconds
  easing: "easeOutExpo" // Apply an easing function to the animation

By utilizing the Velocity.js library, you can easily create dynamic and visually appealing animations for your HTML and SVG elements.

JavaScript Animation Effects

JavaScript effects refer to visual or interactive changes applied to elements on a webpage using JavaScript. These effects enhance the user experience by adding interactivity, animation, or dynamic behavior to the website. JavaScript effects can create transitions, animations, and various visual transformations on elements.

Some common JavaScript effects include:

  1. Fade in/out: Changing the opacity of an element gradually to make it appear or disappear smoothly.
  2. Slide: Moving an element horizontally or vertically to create a sliding animation, such as sliding in a navigation menu or sliding out a panel.
  3. Toggle: Toggling the visibility or display of an element to show or hide it based on user interaction or specific conditions.
  4. Scroll animations: Triggering animations or effects when the user scrolls the page, creating engaging and interactive experiences.
  5. Parallax: Creating a visual effect where elements move at different speeds or directions while scrolling, creating a layered and immersive experience.
  6. Hover effects: Adding interactive effects to elements when the user hovers over them, such as changing colors, scaling, or revealing additional content.


In conclusion, JavaScript animations and effects are powerful tools that can elevate websites' visual appeal and interactivity. By harnessing the capabilities of JavaScript, developers can create engaging and dynamic user experiences. From subtle transitions to complex animations, JavaScript empowers web designers to bring elements to life and captivate visitors.

To dive deeper into the exciting world of interactive websites and applications, check out AlmaBetter’s Full Stack Web Development course. Learn from industry experts, and build a successful career in this exciting field.

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