A Guide to Parallax Animation

by Magento Developer
Parallax Animation Guide
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The role of technology in our lives runs deep. It is pervasive and at times very intrusive. When it comes to animation, a lot of transformation has been seen in the last two decades.

Let’s talk about parallax animation. Well, a parallax movement is when elements move at unlike speeds relative to one another. This is a very widespread technique of creating effects and an illusion of depth. When in motion, one can view objects closer to us move faster than objects further away.

One can see this method employed across various places including video games. One can observe it within the layered backgrounds.

Somewhere around a decade ago, the parallax scrolling effect started making its presence felt. It was a nice, new trend in web design. While many effects and techniques have come and gone, parallax scrolling has retained popularity and style. It has established itself as a critical design effect.

While developing websites, parallax animation is a good way to include some movement and depth while browsing.

What is Parallax Scrolling?

Quite simply, parallax is a scrolling technique. It is about moving background images slowly with respect to content. One can use parallax JS or parallax CSS. While JS may have compatibility issues with some browsers, CSS is usually compatible across devices and browsers. The parallax effect makes the sites attractive and appealing.

The modern CSS is a very useful tool that one can use to create advanced User Interface (UI) features. Previously such features relied on JavaScript libraries.

How to Create a Parallax Effect

There are many approaches that can be used to create a parallax scrolling effect. The one that makes the background move slower compared to the foreground is usually preferred.

Creating a parallax effect could be done using a CSS attribute “background-attachment: fixed”. Parallax scrolling effects get easily done using this attribute. The background images get fixed in the background and show only that particular section.

Other plugins may achieve parallax effects with much effort. However, one can use Simple-Parallax.js as a scrolling option. It is known for its ease of use and for visual rendering. The parallax effect can be applied straight to the image tags. This makes the need for using background images unnecessary. However, this parallax effect may not be very effective on tablets or mobile devices.

A Few Simple Steps That Can Help Create Parallax Scroll Effects:

Incorporating a Tool – To begin with, one must include a plugin of choice. For example, one can use Skrollr.js just before the closing body tag. The plugin does the work of animating the element properties on the page scroll. Skrollr is a plain parallax scrolling JavaScript library. It can be used for effects on the mobile and desktop. It is not a jQuery.

One needs to induct the Skrollr inside of the _main.js file. One may have to log the present scroll position based on requirements. This aids in the accurate timing and positioning of the animations.

Fading of the Elements – The section height, background parallax animation, and finally the fading in and out of the content is the next step to be taken.

Color Animation of the Background – The section height, background animation, and finally the fading in and out of the content is the next step to be taken.

The Background Image Now Needs to be Moved Horizontally – The section height, background animation, and finally the fixed content need to be managed in these steps.

It must be noted that using the {percentage} contrary to pixels is useful. This is in case one doesn’t know the height of the sections.

Some Points to Consider for Parallax Animation

For a parallax scrolling website that is attractive and works great, there are a few points to be kept in mind.

  • Less is often more – One needs to avoid too many elements zipping too fast through the viewport. What is needed are subtle movements. These movements can be softened by fading in and out. These movements usually look the best and are most appealing.
  • Keeping it natural as possible – Animation must be as close to reality. One can avoid cars or a tiger that animates vertically. Their natural movement is obviously horizontal. Also, a car coming from a side and into the viewport would not be so much of a distraction as a car that descends from the top.
  • Readability must be clear – One needs to steer clear of text that animates over objects without sufficient contrast or design aesthetics. It could be difficult to read or comprehend the storyline or concept.
  • Importance of timing – One needs to ensure that content is properly aligned. All the elements look the best and appropriate when the section is centered in the viewport. It could be a bit messy or even out of place before and after, This is just part of the wonder of parallax scrolling sites.
  • One must have fun – One can create great designs with a little fun. One can create awesome stuff when one dabbles with multiple settings and effects.
  • Keep the action going – One may not be able to get it right immediately. One can keep trying till designs and effects improve.

Some Great Parallax Scrolling Sites:

KOOX” is uses parallax scrolling along with funky and some swanky illustrations. It engages users about the food, restaurant, and chefs in a vibrant and fun way. Viewers can browse through the menu too to enjoy parallax scrolling at work.

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” is an awesome work of multimedia journalism by NYT. It effectively stitches together fabulous feature writing with interactive graphics. The parallax scrolling is also extremely awesome and cool.

Canals” is about a four-century voyage into the heritage and history of the 17th-century canals of Amsterdam. It takes you on a 400-year journey through the history of Amsterdam. The site takes full advantage of parallax effects to attract viewers to new sections of the discovery. It also provides the site with a subtle depth effect.

Well, what could be the impact of a site that uses the parallax effect? If one has to answer in just one word, the answer is ‘immediate’.