Jarvis @ JM.me

Sliding Enter Animation

May 7, 2023 · 6min

As you might notice, I recently added a sliding enter effect to almost all the pages in my blog. And I quite like it. If you missed it, refresh the page to see it in action.

This effect is inspired by paco.me - the portfolio of Paco Coursey, one of my favorite developer-designers.

In this blog post, let’s break it down and implement one our own.

Breakdown

If you go inspecting the source code of paco.me, you will find that it’s implemented with CSS animation, and it’s quite concise:

@keyframes enter {
  0% {
    opacity: 0;
    transform: translateY(10px);
  }

  to {
    opacity: 1;
    transform: none;
  }
}

[data-animate] {
  --stagger: 0;
  --delay: 120ms;
  --start: 0ms;
}

@media (prefers-reduced-motion: no-preference) {
  [data-animate] {
    animation: enter 0.6s both;
    animation-delay: calc(var(--stagger) * var(--delay) + var(--start));
  }
}

[data-animation-controller='false'] [data-animate] {
  animation: none;
}

And in the HTML usage, we have:

<p style="--stagger: 1" data-animate>Block 1</p>
<p style="--stagger: 2" data-animate>Block 2</p>

It defines a keyframe animation enter that slides the element up by 10px and fades, creating the gentle "floating" effect. The key point is the animation-delay property - assigning a different delay to each element/block, making them have the effect of enter one by one. Then, some CSS variables are used to make the the delay sequence easier to control.

Applying to Contents

Now with it, we should be able to add nice sliding enter animation to our layout and homepage, etc. Even though it can be a bit verbose to add style to each element, it gives you full control of what and when those animations take place.

However, when it comes to content like a Markdown page, it will not be that pleasant to wrap each paragraph with a <p> tag and add the data-animate attribute. So I begin to wonder if there is an easier way to apply to all my posts.

I started messing up with the CSS Counters, an interesting way allowing you to store some numeric variables inside of CSS.

So it should be something like this, where you can add slide-enter-content class wrapping the generated content of a Markdown page:

.slide-enter-content {
  counter-reset: enter-count;
}

.slide-enter-content > p {
  --stagger: 0;
  --delay: 150ms;
  --start: 0ms;
  animation: slide-enter 1s both 1;
  animation-delay: calc(var(--start) + var(--stagger) * var(--delay));
}

.slide-enter-content > p {
  counter-increment: enter-count;
  --stagger: counter(enter-count);
}

It all seems to make sense, but it actually doesn’t work. The reason is that the counter() function returns a string instead of a number and currently there is no way to convert it to a number, in which the calc() function will fail to compute. There are some discussions & proposals about this, but it seems not going to happen very soon.

So as a workaround, which also been posted in the previous link, we can use the nth-child() selector to achieve the same effect, manually:

.slide-enter-content > * {
  --stagger: 0;
  --delay: 150ms;
  --start: 0ms;
  animation: slide-enter 1s both 1;
  animation-delay: calc(var(--start) + var(--stagger) * var(--delay));
}

.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(1) { --stagger: 1; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(2) { --stagger: 2; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(3) { --stagger: 3; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(4) { --stagger: 4; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(5) { --stagger: 5; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(6) { --stagger: 6; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(7) { --stagger: 7; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(8) { --stagger: 8; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(9) { --stagger: 9; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(10) { --stagger: 10; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(11) { --stagger: 11; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(12) { --stagger: 12; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(13) { --stagger: 13; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(14) { --stagger: 14; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(15) { --stagger: 15; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(16) { --stagger: 16; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(17) { --stagger: 17; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(18) { --stagger: 18; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(19) { --stagger: 19; }
.slide-enter-content > *:nth-child(20) { --stagger: 20; }

The limitation is clear, that the animation only applies to a finite number of elements. You could add more CSS rules to support more, but in practice, I think 20 elements are already quite enough as we don’t usually have that many paragraphs fit in one screen.

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