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Using jQuery or CSS to animate elements

From: jQuery for Web Designers

Video: Using jQuery or CSS to animate elements

Let's talk about animation. These days we have almost an embarrassment of riches with respect to techniques we can use to animate elements on the page. The most popular these days are probably CSS3 animation and jQuery. So let's compare them a little bit. The syntax that you use to do animations in CSS and in jQuery are fairly different of course, they're totally different technologies, but the results can be similar depending on what you want to do. One thing that's important to note is that CSS uses keyframes in a lot of it's animations. So if you're familiar with using keyframes from other animation techniques you've used in the past, you might be very comfortable using CSS.

Using jQuery or CSS to animate elements

Let's talk about animation. These days we have almost an embarrassment of riches with respect to techniques we can use to animate elements on the page. The most popular these days are probably CSS3 animation and jQuery. So let's compare them a little bit. The syntax that you use to do animations in CSS and in jQuery are fairly different of course, they're totally different technologies, but the results can be similar depending on what you want to do. One thing that's important to note is that CSS uses keyframes in a lot of it's animations. So if you're familiar with using keyframes from other animation techniques you've used in the past, you might be very comfortable using CSS.

JQuery does not have keyframes built in, it takes more of a programmatic approach, being a programming language. But there are plug-ins out there that can help you work in a keyframes-based approach when you're working with jQuery. CSS is generally smoother. The way that CSS animations are implemented by the different web browsers in which they run, results in hardware acceleration and other features that JavaScript just can't quite match, at least not right now. The problem with that, is that they rely on in-built browser features and they're therefore not as compatible. You can still use them on a variety of devices including many mobile devices.

But if you're supporting say, older versions of Internet Explorer or the like you'll find that you probably have to use jQuery because those features just aren't supported in the older browsers. One thing that jQuery has over CSS is that, it can respond to any kind of event and then trigger an animation. CSS can't do that, except in a very limited set of events, like hover. However, you can trigger CSS animation from jQuery. So you could build up an animation using a set of key frames, or whatever you want, in your CSS, and then use jQuery to trigger say, adding a class, or something like that, to get the animation to play.

Another advantage that jQuery has, is that it can be extended via plugins, and of course you can write your own custom animations if you're an advanced programmer. So, the two techniques to building up animations are fairly different but they can play nice together. So, this is not an either or proposition. For the next several movies, we're going to be looking entirely at animating just using jQuery. But if you're interested in more about CSS animation, I'd recommend looking at CSS Transitions and Transforms and CSS Animations, both of which are here on lynda.com. And of course we'll be just scratching the surface of what you can do in terms of jQuery animations in this course.

But you can look throughout the lynda.com library for much more on jQuery animations in the HTML5 project series and many other places.

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This video is part of

Image for jQuery for Web Designers
jQuery for Web Designers

37 video lessons · 11401 viewers

Joe Chellman
Author

 
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  1. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. What you should know
      37s
    3. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 12m 0s
    1. jQuery is a JavaScript library?
      1m 15s
    2. When to use jQuery
      2m 51s
    3. Alternatives to jQuery
      1m 25s
    4. Which version of jQuery to use
      1m 50s
    5. How to install jQuery
      3m 21s
    6. Reference materials
      1m 18s
  3. 19m 19s
    1. Getting ready
      2m 26s
    2. Selecting elements to use
      3m 54s
    3. Performing multiple operations on the same line with chaining
      2m 30s
    4. Using classes to find what you're looking for
      3m 52s
    5. Adding, modifying, and removing content dynamically
      4m 3s
    6. Challenge: Form feedback
      1m 12s
    7. Solution: Form feedback
      1m 22s
  4. 18m 28s
    1. Triggering a change based on activity with event binding
      4m 37s
    2. Reading and changing values
      4m 17s
    3. Working with HTML attributes
      4m 55s
    4. Challenge: Dynamic contact form
      1m 27s
    5. Solution: Dynamic contact form
      3m 12s
  5. 16m 42s
    1. Using the Colorbox plugin to build a slideshow gallery
      4m 22s
    2. Implementing Colorbox on your site
      2m 46s
    3. Changing Colorbox options
      5m 53s
    4. Challenge: Convert to a slideshow
      1m 6s
    5. Solution: Convert to a slideshow
      2m 35s
  6. 28m 37s
    1. Using jQuery or CSS to animate elements
      2m 24s
    2. Creating simple jQuery animations
      4m 35s
    3. Animating numeric properties with animate()
      4m 56s
    4. Understanding animation easing
      4m 4s
    5. Putting it together: Flowers in the cart
      6m 4s
    6. Callbacks: What to do when the animation ends
      3m 27s
    7. Challenge: Improve the animation
      1m 3s
    8. Solution: Improve the animation
      2m 4s
  7. 4m 45s
    1. More fun plugins
      2m 38s
    2. What's next: More jQuery
      50s
    3. What's next: More JavaScript
      1m 17s

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