Top 5 Scroll-to-Animate Effects in Online Animation

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Online animation has become much more than a parlor trick for developers to show off their skills. The animation is used to create more sultry interfaces that feel smoother and easier to use. Natural animation gives off a certain vibe of corporeality to interface design.

One area that’s seen a lot of attention is the scroll-to-animate technique. Basically whenever a user scrolls down the page, some elements animate. The effects are tied to the scrollbar or the viewport and require a threshold before activating. Web designers have come up with a lot of different creative ideas that may offer a unique experience to visitors. They work hard on the small details so that the user enjoys little details as he navigates into the site. The animation effects add remarkable value to different businesses and a creative mind can craft thousands of animation effects with different customizations and settings.

I’d like to cover some design ideas from websites using the scroll-to-animate feature. Although this trend is fairly new, it has evolved rapidly with greater browser support and lots of JavaScript libraries. By studying other websites you can determine what you like and how you might want to clone this effect for your own design work. Different animation effect techniques include fade in and fade out, color changes, moving smart objects.

Scroll-to-Animate Effects

Icons and Graphics in Motion

In-page graphics are one of the more common items to animate. Since graphics are primarily used for visual effect, the added animation gives a greater sense of mysticism.

The most popular animation style is to reveal icons once the user scrolls into view. This usually happens just one time, and then the icons stay in their place until the page is refreshed. Take a look at Upturn’s website to see this effect in action.

team upturn svg animation

After scrolling beyond the header, you’ll notice little vector buildings animate into view. That part of the page is built with SVG images so they’re much more flexible.

Moving down a bit further, you’ll notice a services list with smaller icons. These are also SVGs that animate on hover. The page itself is rather simple but utilizes just a few animated effects to seem relevant.

pedro landaverde scroll animation

One other really cool example is the portfolio of Pedro Landaverde. The header section uses SVGs written in base64 as CSS backgrounds. When scrolling down the page, each gear will animate as if turning inside a larger machine. These type of animation styles are very useful for presenting any idea or mapping out the strategy of your online business and spreading it among the people. These animation styles serve the purpose of simplifying the complex and irrational details being provided on the site.

Keep scrolling down and you’ll find all sorts of cool animated effects. Everything seems to be controlled via SVG files and scroll trigger events. Pedro’s website is also an example of how to reverse the animation.

In this case, when you scroll back up to the top, you’ll notice the animations reverse order back to the starting position. It’s just one other technique you can try for in-page scrolling animated effects.

Parallax Motion on a Track

Another style of scrolling animation is traditionally dubbed parallax motion. Although this is a rather generalized term, parallax layouts do rely heavily on scrolling to animate page content.

Parallax motion layouts are used to tell a story. Content is the center of attention, but it’s conveyed to be more like an infographic. Lots of icons and background effects are pushed into the layout. Most notably, you’ll feel like one part of the layout stays “fixed” as you scroll.

Take a look at the Adobe Muse webpage to see what I mean.

adobe muse application website landing page

As you scroll down the page, bits of content will swap in and out of view. For the first part of the site, a rocket ship graphic stays fixed in the center. Then other areas of the site have little elements that remain fixed no matter how far you scroll.

This technique is very popular with parallax design because it conveys a relationship between different areas on the page. All of the parallax effects are fixed onto a track which is controlled via the scrollbar. Try scrolling back up the page, and you’ll notice the animations go in reverse. This animation effect provides a unique experience to the users as they can see different objects and details getting revealed and unrevealed as you scroll in a reverse manner.

atlassian infographic landing page

A more consistent example is the Atlassian InfoQuest page. This is a self-described infographic built in the form of a parallax website.

While scrolling, you’ll notice a vector character fixed at the center of the page. This little dude’s method of transportation changes from walking to boating and flying – yet they all remain fixed at the center of the page. This animation effect on the homepage can be used to teach someone or convince someone to become part of your business or accept any offer. The web design appears to be very smooth and charming as a little character guides you through the whole site.

Other small graphics do have some animation, but they’re tied to the individual sections. These parallax animations use fixed content to give the layout an interrelated structure.

Morphing Page Elements

Complex animations are rarely seen outside of very abstract websites. These layouts are often more experimental – the perfect place to use crazy animations and push the boundaries of browser support.

Morphing elements rely on simple ideas. Shapes and colors are manipulated to create a unique effect. The Fillet homepage, for example, splits content and switches between areas of high contrast. You can see animation effects all over the place and it can prove to be useful for an online store, the website to teach children, cooperate website and other similar niches.

fillet morphing abstract animation

As you scroll, the content sections transform with new styles of typography and iconography. The text itself is rendered with PNGs, but the individual letters can be animated separately. There are different kinds of animation effects included in the picture and all of them are really entertaining.

One thing you should notice about Fillet’s site is that it’s confusing. You may have no idea what’s going on or why this website even exists. Abstract animation can be a deterrent to new visitors, so it’s best in small doses.

And while these effects won’t prove useful in many projects, you can test out abstract animation ideas when they feel appropriate.

Transformational Page Sections

If abstract animated scroll effects were put to good use, they might be applied as page transitions. Think about the different parallax layouts that require animated blocks to switch between content sections.

Custom animations are great for transforming areas of a page. Again this idea is very “out there” and may not fit every type of website. A little bit goes a long way, but if you’re designing a fully-parallax layout, you can get away with a lot more.

beagle landing page design

Beagle is a new proposed program with a funky landing page. It could be considered a parallax design with crazy abstract animations. Everything runs through scrolling but the animations aren’t tied to actual scroll notches on the mouse wheel.

Instead, the page transitions occur even with just a single scroll. One page to the next is a seamless animation – there is no in-between. Some users don’t like this effect because it hijacks the normal scrolling behavior of a page. You can jump directly from one section to the other and hence this animation style will save a lot of time for the users. This animation style gives the whole website a professional look and you would not have to scroll too much for the lengthy pages.

A more traditional style can be seen on the Dangers of Fracking website. It’s another parallax layout, but in this case, the animations are tied to individual scroll notches.

dangers of fracking parallax layout

Dangers of Fracking uses a number of combined animation techniques in one layout. It’s a great example of parallax design and how to transition between different areas on a single page layout.

Custom SVG Animation

The newest style of animation is controlled solely through SVG images. These are vector graphics typically rendered onto a page via canvas elements or through an HTML5 SVG tag.

Animated effects can be written into the SVG file, or they can be controlled through CSS3/JavaScript. SVG is an older specification that has only recently gained widespread approval for the web.

Many posts have been written about SVG animation and it’s surprisingly easy to learn. The difficult part is coming up with an idea that’s worth creating and putting into a website.

square cash landing page

Square Cash uses a handful of SVGs on different areas on the homepage. Everything from drop shadows to animated characters is controlled via the scrollbar.

It appears to be similar to android games and each smart object in the form of animations is nicely organized on the web page. SVG refer to the modern command technology interface that can be used to craft amazing animation structures on the web page.

If you want to get into SVG animation, start by learning the basics of SVG files and how to create them for websites. Foundational knowledge of SVG structure will help you create more advanced and believable animations.

Free Open Source Plugins

You don’t need any special images or content styles to create scroll effects. There are plenty of free open source JavaScript libraries to help you get the job done. These websites are offering you different tutorials that will teach you to set up the desired imaginary animation effect. There are tons of different animation effects have been made by the designers to support all kind of websites. If you want to build your own scroll-to-animate effect, then save yourself some time by using one of these great open source solutions:


scrollreveal javascript js library

It offers tutorials in a really easy way due to the unique interface and you will learn from the start even if you have little or no knowledge as compared to the animations and animation effects.

Scroll Magic

scrollmagic js javascript
This website teaches you to code in a way that does not affect the speed of the website and you can create pretty awesome animation designs by coding just two or three lines. The library of different animation effect have been creating by keeping all the formats in mind and it supports all the formats. So, it can be a good choice for the complete beginner as well.

CSS3 Animate It

css3 animate it plugin

Static content seems to be old-fashioned and it may not be delivering the perfect value as far as the content is concerned. The code for each animation design is provided and you may choose one of them or combine them together to design a perfect animation design for your site.


scrollme js javascript plugin
The jQuery plugins have numerous perks and it comes with the variety of advanced customizations such as texture, opacity, translation and other features can be customized using this plugin.


wowjs reveal information scroll

You have been provided with the quick and easy tools to customize the design a perfect animation effect according to your choice.

Scroll ‘Em

scrollem plugin scrolling js library
You will be able to enhance the user experience by learning about the features that customize the scrolling experience for the users. You can adjust the scrolling speed, customize the scrolling bar, adjust the scroll range, smooth or rough scrolling and everything that is concerned with scrolling.

On Scroll Effect

css blueprint code snippet scrolling

These animation effects are so common and you would probably have gone through them.

Super Scrollorama

super scroll orama plugin library

The large-sized text placed on the homepage may give a boring look so you can customize it the way you want to. Each tutorial has been taught with examples and detailed instructions. It is really interesting to see that how far creativity can take you to.


Different high-tech blogs consider using the animation designs. They are attractive and they increase the chance for the viewers to get inspired. You can think of any animational desing in your mind and then create it using the above mentioned tutorials.

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