3D Transforms with CSS3

Over Christmas I started moving simonmcmanus.com over to node.js making some tweaks to the CSS as I went. I wanted to examine the z-index of my page so decided to investigate CSS3 3D transformations. I won’t be launching the new simonmcmanus.com for a while but here is what I found out about 3D CSS transformations.

The following examples only work on the latest webkit browsers (Chrome and Safari). In Chrome you will need to enable “GPU Accelerated Compositing”. Goto about:flags turn on “GPU Accelerated Compositing” and then restart Chrome.

I started off with one of Paul Hayes early experiments which later progressed into his animated cube demo.

Here is what I came up with.

Screenshots:

This is what I did:

Step 1: Create the 3d space

Wrap two divs round the elements to appear in 3D :

<div id="perspective">
   <div id="rotator">
      <!--original HTML in here-->
   </div>
</div>

Set the following CSS:

.perspective { -webkit-perspective: 2400; }
.three-d { -webkit-transform-style: preserve-3d; }

Step 2: Setting translateZ

Set translateZ for each item to appear 3D:

-webkit-transform: translateZ(3em);

In my example I set it for the following items:

h1,
.item,
.twitter-bird.sign,
.vcard{
   -webkit-transform: translateZ(3em);
}

In this case each z-index will be represented by 3ems.

Step 3: Making it move

Define the animation :

#rotator {
   -webkit-animation-name: rotate;
   -webkit-animation-duration: 15s;
   -webkit-animation-iteration-count: infinite;
}

And then specify the steps of the animation:

@-webkit-keyframes rotate {
   0% {
      -webkit-transform:rotateY(0deg);
   }
   5% {
      -webkit-transform:rotateY(0deg);
   }
   30% {
      -webkit-transform:rotateY(-40deg);
   }
   50% {
      -webkit-transform:rotateY(85deg);
   }
   55% {
      -webkit-transform:rotateY(85deg);
   }
   90% {
      -webkit-transform:rotateY(0deg);
   }
}

demo here.

Step 4 ..  Perspective

To give a zoom effect I created a second animation:

#perspective {
   -webkit-animation-name: perspective;
   -webkit-animation-duration: 15s;
   -webkit-animation-iteration-count: infinite;
 }
@-webkit-keyframes perspective {
   0% {
      -webkit-perspective: 2400;
   }
   5% {
      -webkit-perspective:2400;
   }
   30% {
      -webkit-perspective:650;
   }
   50% {
      -webkit-perspective:2000;
   }
   55% {
      -webkit-perspective:2000;
   }
   70% {
      -webkit-perspective: 2400;
   }
}

final demo

That’s what I’ve done so far. Comments and modifications welcomed.

Happy New Year

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4 thoughts on “3D Transforms with CSS3

  1. Hi Simon, very impressive and the best example of using webkit 3d effects yet. I’d be very interested to see any rotate/perspective examples you have in relation to mouse move events. Good work!

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