Design, UI, UX, Inspiration

25 Creative Examples of CSS Animations and Transitions for Inspiration

CSS animation examples from live websites + amazing creations from CodePen to check out the code

Animation has always been an effective way to make your design more engaging and memorable. It can be a quick micro-interaction, a cool hover effect, a quirky page transition, or even a fun animated loading screen. Whatever the case, simple animations add dynamics to your web application and delight visitors. There are many ways to implement web animations, such as CSS animations and transitions, or JS-based animations. So, let’s have a look at some creative CSS animations and transitions to get inspiration for your own project. 

For this blog post, we hand-picked CSS animation examples from live and running websites, as well as some amazing creations from CodePen that you can check out and explore the code to see how they were made.


CSS Animations and Transitions in the Wild

Below we hand-picked 10 examples of CSS animations and CSS transitions from live websites that show how much can movement improve a design.

Lines CSS Page transition by Fix Studio  |  Live Website: Fix Studio


Elements vertical animation by Baquemono Inc.  |  Live Website: Moheim


Diagonal shape CSS page transition by Mubien  |  Live Website: Mubien Brands


Falling animated elements by Locomotive  |  Live Website: Pienso


Simple shapes CSS animation by Akufen  |  Live Website:  Nourish Change


Title entrance scrolling animation by Quode Interactive  |  Live Website: Bridge Tour


Moving negative shapes animation by Brudio Bar  |  Live Website: Studio Bar


Image gallery scrolling animation by Corentin Magnetti  |  Live Website: Peak’n’Film


Newspaper zoom entrance CSS animation by Locomotive  |  Live Website: Editorial New


Rolling stone CSS animation by Studio Almond  |  Live Website: Studio Almond


CSS Animation Code Examples

Now let’s get to 15 creative CSS animation examples from Codepen that you can check out, explore the code and try out for yourself. From elegant subtle UI interactions to breathtaking complex animations proving how much one can accomplish with pure CSS.

Space parallax stars CSS animation by Sarazond


Multilayer animation of a walking cat, build with CSS by Eva.


Infinite sprite animation of a cartoon monster by Guil H.


Pure CSS animation of candles by Akhil Sai Ram.


Bits and bites animation by Ollie.


The glowing loader pure CSS animation by Maxime Rossignol.


Animated rocket logo in pure CSS by Anas Alaoui.


Speedy truck pure CSS animation by Tippy Fodder.


Flying lights animated elements by Victor Ciel.


Complex underwater multi-layer animation by Travis Doughty.

and some UI interactions built with CSS

CSS checkbox toggle rolling CSS animation by Timothee Guignard.


Old Film filter toggle switch CSS animation by Josetxu.


Tabs interaction, time of day CSS animation by Olivia Ng.


Animated mail button interaction by Jake Giles-Phillips.


Article card hover animation revealing title by Tris Timb.


FAQ About CSS Animations and Transitions

👉 What’s the difference between CSS animations and CSS transitions?

Both CSS animations and transitions serve to visualize property changes and allow you to specify the property of these changes. However, there are a few differences: Unlike CSS animations that can loop infinitely, CSS transitions run only once.

Animations can be both triggered and run automatically, however, transitions absolutely require a trigger.

In addition, animations are more complex and have the ability the move from the initial to the final stage with intermediate steps in between. Transitions, on the other hand, don’t have intermediate steps.

This is why developers use animations for building more complex movements while creating transitions for interactions where an element needs just a simple change from one state to another.

👉 CSS animations vs JavaScrip animations: Which one performs better?

In general, CSS-based animations perform the same as JS-based animations. This is why you should build them in CSS whenever it’s possible and only use JS for the really complex animations.

👉 How do CSS animations work?

Pure CSS animations require only HTML and CSS with no additional code or media. CSS animation itself is a CSS feature that allows you to animate a change for an element from one state to another and control the aspects of that change. All you need is an HTML element you wish to animate and a CSS rule to bind the animation to that element, as well as keyframes for the start and end of the animation. Keyframes, transition, and animation properties in CSS3 make it super easy to create and display animations and render them for various pseudo-states.

Some CSS animations, however, are much more complex and require additional code, usually in JavaScript, or even media (using GIFs for the animation).


To sum up

CSS animation allows developers to add animations solely in HTML/CSS instead of using GIF or flash images, which makes the website lighter and more compatible. Just a small touch of a CSS animation or transition can make a huge difference in improving the user’s immersion and experience.  We hope you can get inspiration from these live  CSS animation examples to get even more creative for your next web project.

In the meantime, why not check some of the related articles for more UI/UX inspiration and insights:

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