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Understanding 3D nav bars

From: Site Navigation with CSS in Dreamweaver

Video: Understanding 3D nav bars

When you want your navigation to really pop off the page, what better approach than to apply a 3D look and feel? I've seen numerous examples where one or more elements of a web page appear to be in front of the other page areas. Let's take a look at a number of sites that incorporate 3D design techniques into their navigation. The first one is from a company called Mystery Tin. Here on the vertical navigation over on the left, you can see that the ribbon appears to wrap around the white rectangle that contains the navigation.

Understanding 3D nav bars

When you want your navigation to really pop off the page, what better approach than to apply a 3D look and feel? I've seen numerous examples where one or more elements of a web page appear to be in front of the other page areas. Let's take a look at a number of sites that incorporate 3D design techniques into their navigation. The first one is from a company called Mystery Tin. Here on the vertical navigation over on the left, you can see that the ribbon appears to wrap around the white rectangle that contains the navigation.

And as we scroll down and hover over the various ones, that pattern is followed with a different-colored ribbon that's also a little bit shorter, ao it indicates places that you could go but not necessarily places that you're at. And if we choose one, just to see what happens when we select the page, you can see that the larger green arrow again is being applied to show that this is the current page and then everything else is back to the shorter blue arrow, but always with the appearance that it is three dimensional.

This simple well-executed concept uses a sprite image to display the two different arrows. We'll cover sprites in the Navigation Techniques chapter. Now, let's take a look at another site that uses a similar 3D wrapping technique but takes it a step further. Here you can see the ribbon wrapping around the top dark-brown element, giving that 3D appearance. And the text itself seems to be pressed into the ribbon. When you interact with the menus, hovering over them, they take on a highlight color.

While this page is done with simple image swapping, this could now be accomplished with enhanced CSS3 effects, like the one shown in the chapter on cutting-edge navigation. Finally, let's take a look at a menu that adds a touch of movement to the 3D approach. Here down a little bit below you can see the tabs definitely have the 3D appearance working for them. And when you hover over any of them, they move up just a tad. This could be accomplished with CSS3 transformations, which is also covered in the chapter on cutting-edge navigation.

All of these 3D designs are accomplished without resorting to using the z-index property in CSS, although that is also an option.

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Image for Site Navigation with CSS in Dreamweaver
Site Navigation with CSS in Dreamweaver

40 video lessons · 18404 viewers

Joseph Lowery
Author

 
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  1. 2m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 18s
  2. 9m 26s
    1. Using icons in navigation
      2m 14s
    2. Understanding 3D nav bars
      2m 25s
    3. Understanding explanatory navigation
      1m 51s
    4. Creating animated navigation
      2m 56s
  3. 1h 14m
    1. Inserting Spry horizontal menus
      7m 4s
    2. Styling Spry menus
      6m 29s
    3. Adding Spry vertical menus
      5m 7s
    4. Styling Spry vertical menus
      10m 53s
    5. Using Spry tabbed navigation
      9m 33s
    6. Styling Spry tabbed menus
      9m 55s
    7. Including Spry accordion panel menus
      5m 32s
    8. Styling Spry accordion menus
      11m 10s
    9. Advanced Spry menu techniques
      8m 32s
  4. 35m 45s
    1. Converting lists to menus
      7m 56s
    2. Working with background images
      5m 47s
    3. Implementing sprites
      5m 53s
    4. Setting up adjustable backgrounds
      9m 4s
    5. Designing accessible navigation
      7m 5s
  5. 30m 34s
    1. Looking at the project
      1m 4s
    2. Building up the basic HTML
      2m 9s
    3. Displaying top-level links horizontally
      8m 12s
    4. Customizing the link states
      4m 29s
    5. Adding drop-down menus (HTML)
      3m 48s
    6. Working with submenus (CSS)
      4m 8s
    7. Achieving interactive submenus
      2m 21s
    8. Marking the current page
      4m 23s
  6. 23m 13s
    1. Looking at the project
      57s
    2. Understanding vertical menus
      2m 15s
    3. Defining width for link elements
      4m 43s
    4. Using background graphics with navigation
      5m 45s
    5. Creating pop-out vertical navigation
      6m 29s
    6. Setting link states
      3m 4s
  7. 10m 13s
    1. Identifying anchor tags
      7m 4s
    2. Identifying external links
      3m 9s
  8. 18m 14s
    1. Creating jQuery animated image menus
      7m 45s
    2. Using the HTML5 nav tag
      3m 24s
    3. Exploring CSS3 enhancements
      7m 5s
  9. 28s
    1. Next steps
      28s

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