It’s a nice feature to have, to be able to have visual content on your website that looks equally the same on any device screen resolution. That’s what SVG does, it helps designers and artists to create visual web content that can scale infinitely without losing any imagery quality. An approach that is quickly being adapted to all new modern websites, though an approach that still requires more learning and practice. SVG is rising in popularity, but majority of designers today are still relying on traditional visual techniques. Is SVG too difficult, or is it just that the old ways are still working great? For some it is the latter, while others realize the immense benefits of using SVG for their projects. Here are some of the most crucial benefits of SVG:
- SVG’s are typically smaller in file sizes being in XML format, and will also compress better, giving you more performance with increased quality.
- Creating content for retina displays gets much easier, any size of the vector image is going to look just as sharp, so you don’t have to recreate content just for retina displays.
- SVG aren’t limited to styling, in fact you can still style SVG using CSS, and also animate it; as we will learn throughout the numerous SVG animations following this introduction.
- SVGs are now fully supported on all major web browsers, so in many ways the era of SVG has officially arrived, it’s just designers that need to start catching up more frequently and more consistently.
- Increased website load times are just one of the side effects of SVG. Your image loads across all sizes using the same image, so you don’t have to use separate, larger, images for your visual design requirements. As it is, SVG doesn’t make any additional requests to the server, because it isn’t using direct HTTP requests, but instead all images come in-built within the source code of the website.
- At first glance, SVG can seem too technical, but the reality is that plenty of libraries and photo editing applications allow you to focus on the visual appearance, and take care of the process of converting an image into a SVG format.
If you are a total newbie to SVG, then this tutorial and introduction guide to SVG from Sara is a pleasant place to begin your journey. She details even the most tiny details of the development process of getting a vector image onto your website, helping you to learn an invaluable skill that you will grow to cherish. We are excited for the future of SVG, and look forward to your feedback regarding the animations we have to show for you today, and perhaps you’re an author of an SVG animation yourself, if so — get in touch and we will have your work published here in no time.
Animated SVG vs GIF [CAGEMATCH]
Animated SVG won’t necessarily be great in ALL situations where it’s necessary to animate a particular image, however if you are looking to animate logo images, vector illustrations, user interface visuals, infographic content and icons, then you should definitely look deeper into the process of SVG animation and how it can help you, with the main area of usability being the fact that SVG images can scale at any screen resolution, whereas image formats such as GIF will only remain at the default set resolution, leading towards distorted image experiences when viewed from different devices and screen sizes.
Of course, other factors come into play as well, such as file size — keep your original image if the file size is smaller than that of a JPG or a PNG, but try and incorporate different resolution images through SVG where possible, to deliver a more pleasant visual experience. Sara Soueidan is an experience front-end web developer with a degree in Computer Science, and she takes her readers on a half an hour long journey of understanding why SVG is better than GIF in some cases, and in which cases to stick with GIF or other image formats.
We will be extending this roundup of SVG animations to also include libraries and frameworks, and also articles that really detail in-depth how SVG animations work, with the promise that each outgoing resource will have at least one example for you to explore, and Velocity — an animation framework that’s built on top of jQuery Animate function is a fast and robust library for doing color animations, visual transformations and loops, as well as scrolling effects for variety of content types. If you are looking for a smooth transition library that can combine CSS3 and jQuery in one place; this is the framework you will want to explore deeper, and as we were saying — Velocity has tens of samples for you to preview, just take your time to browse through the documentation.
SVG has so many ways to help developers create better web experiences, with the SVG.js library you can extend that help to include live visual filters that can be wrapped around your visual SVG files. These filters can have many of the most common filter effects, but also animation effects if you wish to animate your content.
Three Ways to Animate SVG
Animating an SVG Menu Icon with Segment
Segment is a neat little JS library that lets you draw and animate SVG path strokes. The tutorial here from Luis Manuel goes way back several years, though is still relevant in current times, and can be a great deal of help for newcomers to SVG and SVG animation. The tutorial will step by step show you how to animate a simple Menu Icon using the Segment library to turn the icon from a traditional Hamburger into a Close button. All the effects are applied once the user hovers over the actual element. With this tutorial, it is possible to apply the same approach to other SVG files, where you can then extend on your newly learned approach with other tutorials. Indeed a detailed instruction tutorial that has both demo page available, and all files for download.
Animated SVG Icons
Snap.svg is another popular JS library for developers who work directly with SVG, although we would like to see the number of them increase, the opportunity to learn is always there. Mary Lou from Codrops has written an insightful article on how to create your own animated SVG icons, while throwing in a demo page of 24 unique SVG icons that all have animated capabilities. You can use these demos on your designs right away, or use them as a starting point to create something even more stellar, something more unique and likeable to your own preference.
Creative SVG Letter Animations
Artistic features for web designs are all the new rage. People love to have a website that stands out from others by having features that are only now starting to appear at a larger scale, one of such features is animated letters in logos, headlines and content titles. Luis Manuel is using the Segment library to work with SVG path strokes to create stunning letter animations of any text imaginable. The article explains thoroughly how Segment achieves the animations, and how you can manipulate them to your own preference. This level of explanations helps even the most inexperienced to get started with these cool web development features, without the need to invest in learning a programming language.
As development progresses, developers have easier time creating libraries and frameworks that can do much of the work on behalf of the user, where the user only needs to specify what he needs and to which file the need should be applied. Vivus.js is one such library that does ‘drawing animations’ over SVG files only through the process of you telling the library which file needs to be animated, and in what kind of way; you are entitled to a selection of animations to choose from, and all are equally easy to setup and process.
CSS Animation for Beginners
Animations enliven the website, or the application they are being used on. It comes as no surprise that more and more modern designs are using animations, they are much better at capturing the attention of users, and can be used to explain more in-detail what you are trying to provide. We wrote of CSS tutorials and resources in recent past, the demand for such content has truly risen sky-high, and we are more than happy to give back to community and those who lack the required skills to find the most trending content themselves. With that in mind, we also understand the importance of actually learning something to truly understand its purpose, and the way it works. CSS Animations is one of those things that one should first understand, in order to have better decision making skills when it comes to using actual animations in your designs. The example tutorial we have here from Rachel Cope is a great, easy to follow, guide into CSS animations and the methods that can be used to achieve an animated effect on your visuals.
The State of SVG Animation
The best learning doesn’t always have to happen from a book, concise articles and guides written by experienced developers can be just as helpful, more direct on pressing issues and possibilities of technologies such as SVG. Sara Soueidan shares her thoughts on Adobe’s blog about the current state of SVG animations and how to find the right approach that is going to work for you. We best recommend a cup of coffee to go with this guide, as there are a ton of important points to digest and experiment with. Examples of SVG animations are provided in the post, through real-life code examples.
Want to really understand the limitations of SVG? You should inspect the source code of this wonderful christmas animation that’s built with pure SVG. The source code contains all the elements and code that’s used in producing the animation, and you can use those code samples to create something of your own. Other than that, a great example of animations in SVG, in all of their complexity.
SVG Animation and CSS Transforms: A Complicated Love Story
When developers talk about modern features of CSS, they don’t just talk about the complex build up of each of the features, or how can tough it can be to create a great result out of a new feature, most of the time developers are busy talking and ironing out problems about browsers, and how browsers react to new features, such as CSS transforms and SVG animations. Jack Doyle from GreenSock has guest authored a content piece of CSS-Tricks, taking readers on a journey of SVG animations and CSS transform properties to give better understanding, and provide sufficient samples that you can begin building up on as you go.
An introduction to SVG animation
Jon McPartland’s guide to SVG animations dates all the way back to 2013, but nonetheless it’s important for any new SVG experimenter to dive right into it, and get a glimpse of how SVG really works in the real-world, and what kind of measures should be taken when beginning to create animations of your own. The guide is divided in three different parts, discussing the markup, process of creating an animation, and building on top of what we already have access to within our workflow, as well as a brief paragraph about actual real-world limitations SVG designers need to be aware of. If you liked the style of this piece, look into more Big Bite Creative content posts as there’s a ton more stuff on CSS and front-end development for free reading.
SVG animation with GreenSock
Allan Pope shares his thoughts on an already established platform: GreenSock Animation Platform (GSAP) and how it can be used to give your vector files a second chance through applied SVG animations. GSAP is packed with features that make most other engines look like cheap toys. Animate colors, beziers, css properties, arrays, scrolls and lots more. Round values, smoothly reverse() on the fly, use relative values, automatically accommodate getter/setter functions, employ virtually any easing equation, and manage conflicting tweens like a pro. Define callbacks, tween in seconds or frames, build sequences effortlessly (even with overlapping tweens), repeat/yoyo and more. If you have heard of GSAP before and want a solid introduction on the platform, this piece from Allan is the best place to start, with more insights to be found in the comments section.
SVG Circus is a web page that allows developers and designers to tap into ready to go SVG potential by creating loaders, spinners and other loop oriented objects for the browser. It’s a great starting point to learn about SVG and how the animations can be modified, and also to export those animations directly into your projects. For example, you could create a loader and then use the output to learn about each of the features or ‘tricks’ as named by the website, to apply to your other projects and elements and/or animations.
A Guide to SVG Animations (SMIL)
We did say we would mention SMIL, and although some are saying that SMIL is decaying in usability, you will without question find websites and apps still using SMIL in production to provide SVG animation effects. This lengthy guest post for CSS-Tricks from Sara Soueidan goes really deep into the technicalities of SMIL, and the process of getting a production-ready SVG animation project finished. As far as we could tell, ALL of the examples in the post are still up to date and valid.
A Few Different Ways To Use SVG Sprites In Animation
Sprites are already popular in CSS3 field, and now they are coming to SVG, or specifically SVG animations with the help of Sarah Drasner, who breaks down the process of using SVG sprites for doing complex animations with your SVG visual content. She discusses three different techniques for achieving a desired result, with fully-functional examples available for modification and download.
Buffer’s loading animation
Donovan Hutchinson’s website CSS Animation is a work of art. Such a beautiful reflection of what the current modern design world has to offer. As for Buffer, it’s a very famous social media widget for sharing content across multiple networks at the same time, based on instant or schedule timeframes. The Buffer website has an interactive ‘loading’ animation of the Buffer logo that Donovan has taken upon himself to try and replicate, and of course he does it with great success, giving a little detail into the process of allowing us ourselves to animate our logos for our apps and web projects. It’s a quick read that touches on a subject such as SVG layers.
Diving deep into SVG animations
Optimizely is one of the leading customer experience optimization platforms in the world right now, these guys have managed to acquire customers from the Fortune 500 and way beyond that. And it comes as no surprise that the team behind Optimizely would want to give back to designers (who often are dealing with customer experience related issues) by sharing a deep dive into their mobile re-design process, and how they were able to use SVG to scale animations at large. The main technique used for achieving animations in this guide is going to be CSS @keyframes, with some detailed descriptions as to why the choice was settled to be @keyframes, and nothing else.
Creating a Border Animation Effect with SVG and CSS
Border effects help to bring some life into our grids, and photographs that we are sharing. We particularly like this demo of SVG animations to be used by photographers and portfolio people who are really seeking a modern feel to their websites, but aren’t sure how to achieve that modern look. Now it is possible, and Mary Lou beautifully explains how to achieve the same result to your own grid elements within your designs, through both a demo page, an article, and ready to go downloads that you can start using today.
Premium SVG Animations
What a phenomenal roundup of the best and greatest SVG animation examples that we can find on the web today. Sure, there are plenty more available on sites like Codepen, but such examples we wish for you to explore on your own, we tried to shift our focus towards a more detailed approach, to ensure that you aren’t just viewing examples of great animations and their work process, but you are also learning how to recreate each of the animations, and perhaps extend upon them. Now it’s time to lean over to the premium market, and enlist a couple of great SVG animations that will not be accompanied by tutorials and guides, by fully ready and fully optimized SVG files that you can start using in your projects. The variety of choices isn’t great, but perhaps you will find something that you could actually use in one of your projects.
Animated SVG clock
Don’t want to be using a system clock to show time on your site? Then grab this animated SVG clock library that’s retina-ready, customizable in terms of color, size and template, built with HTML5 and CSS3 and will be a piece of cake to add to your projects. Perhaps use it for a project that has yet to be launched, and just extend the clock to show more details like the actual date of launch and then transform the clock into a countdown.
SVG Running and Jogging Loops
Sports app makers get together, we got a kick-ass animation up for grabs. If you have been planning to create an app that counts runners steps, forget about hiring a designer to do all the tough animation work for you, here’s an amazing running loop animation that comes in two different styles. You can modify the colors, you can change the speed settings of the animation, and because it is SVG — it will natively scale to any screen resolution, without losing a single pixel. Written with pure JS. Works great on desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Animated SVG Illustrations Pack
The SVG animation pack consists of four different animations, namely: a flying boy powered by a jetpack on his back, airplane flying from one location to the other, a turtle, and a photographer. Take this pack and apply to your project as necessary. You are in full control of the coloring and sizing of each of the illustration elements. The codebase is optimized for cleanliness, and will be a joy to manage.
Animated 3D Text Styles in SVG
3D text is a great way to achieve individuality in a design, though when it comes to adding animated 3D text effects to your site — that’s taking it to the next level! The package includes ten different and unique styles to choose from. You can customize those in unlimited fashion as far as colors, text and fonts go.
Error Code 404 Animated SVG
HTTP Error 404 pages come into many different flavors, we learned this by reading up on one of our own authors posts back in January, where he listed 30 of the most creative Error 404 page designs that you can find on the web, and to extend on that list — we have included this fantasticly fabolous SVG animation for 404 Error Pages! The animation was built using Snap.svg library!
16 Animated SEO Icons
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing experts — we got something special for you this time around! It’s a pack of 16 splending icons that fall under the categories of both SEO and SEM. These graphics will scale infinitely for your projects, giving you that crisp look and experience that your designs are craving. The icons are in the following categories: Website Optimization, Targeting, Smartphone SEO, Cloud Storage, Analytics
Awards, Networking, Social Media, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Pay Per Click, Code Optimization, Digital Marketing, Mission, Monitoring, Affiliate Marketing — we are sure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Animated SVG Browser Icons
What are you looking for in your SVG animations?
What an amazing roundup! We were stunned by some of these examples, as they have proven once more — web design is growing, and it is growing rather quickly. From simple animated logos, to complex designs that we can see being integrated in gaming applications in the future. The future of SVG is shining bright, will you become a part of it?