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Additive Animations in CSS

November 3rd, 2020

Daniel C. Wilson explains how with CSS @keyframe animations when multiple of them are applied to an element, they do both works. But if any properties are repeated, only the last one works. They override each other. I’ve seen this limitation overcome by applying keyframes to nested elements so you don’t have to do deal with that fighting.

But the Web Animation API (WAAPI) in JavaScript has a way to do additive animations. It’s a matter of adding composite: "add" to the options. For example:

The same goes for moving an item 20px + 30px with margin left (not the most performant way to move an object, but it demonstrates length usage)… if the animations both run at the same time, with the same duration and in the same direction, the end result will be a movement of 50px.

Cool. That’s nice for JavaScript animations, but what about CSS? Are we ever going to get it? Maybe. Even now, you can apply additive animations to your existing CSS animations in just a line of JavaScript:

el.getAnimations().forEach(animation => {
  animation.effect.composite = 'add';
});

Kind of reminds me of indeterminate checkboxes. They exist, but there is no way to express them in HTML or CSS — you have to put them in that state via JavaScript.

The original post Additive Animations in CSS.