Transforms

Internet Explorer 10, as well as Windows Store apps using JavaScript for Windows 8 introduces support for Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3 (CSS3) 3-D transforms. Windows Internet Explorer 9 added support for CSS3 2-D transforms, and Windows Store apps using JavaScript support them as well. Transforms enable translation, rotation, and scaling of elements in 2-D and 3-D space without the need for a plug-in. CSS3 3-D transforms are defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in the CSS Transforms specification, which is currently in the Working Draft stage.

Note  It is a good idea to become familiar with transform coordinate systems and rendering before attempting to specify 3-D transforms manually.

Note  The properties described in this topic previously required a Microsoft-specific vendor prefix, "-ms-", to work with Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Store apps using JavaScript. This prefix is no longer required, but will still be recognized. To ensure compatibility in the future, applications using the Microsoft vendor prefix with transform properties should be updated accordingly.

The transform property

You apply both 2-D and 3-D transforms to an element by using the transform property, which contains a list of transform functions. The property's syntax is as follows:

PropertyDescription

transform

Indicates the transform functions (listed in the following section) to be applied to the specified element. The transform property can either be set to a space-delimited list of transform functions or to the none keyword, which indicates no transform functions are applied.

 

Supported Transform Functions

Following is a list of transform functions supported in Internet Explorer 10, as well as Windows Store apps using JavaScript for Windows 8. Each one is followed by a brief markup sample and an image demonstrating the sample's effect. (To view the supported 2-D transform functions, see Transform Functions.)

Remember that order matters! Transform functions are applied in the order they are listed within the transform property.

Also, the effects of functions with a z-axis component are most evident when used in combination with the perspective function, which gives them depth. In the markup samples and images that follow, the perspective function and others have been added to the transform property to make the effect of the illustrated function more obvious. You are encouraged to see the effect of different function and value combinations by trying out the Hands On: 3-D Transforms demo on the IE Test Drive.

Perspective

perspective(<length>)

The perspective function changes the perspective through which an element is viewed, giving an illusion of depth. As the value supplied to the perspective function increases, the further away from the viewer the element will appear. The value must be greater than 0 and is given in pixels.

The units of <length> are the same as supplied to any of the translation functions—that is, 1px in the z-direction is the same distance as 1px in the x- or y-directions.

3-D matrix

matrix3d(<number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>, <number>)

The matrix3d function specifies a 3-D transformation as a 4×4 homogeneous matrix of sixteen values in column-major order. All other transformation functions are based on the matrix3d function.

Example:


div {
  transform: matrix3d(0.359127, -0.469472, 0.806613, 0, 0.190951, 0.882948, 0.428884, 0, -0.913545, 0, 0.406737, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform function applied to it: transform: matrix3d(0.359127, -0.469472, 0.806613, 0, 0.190951, 0.882948, 0.428884, 0, -0.913545, 0, 0.406737, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1);

3-D translate

translate3d(<translation-value>, <translation-value>, <translation-value>)

The translate3D function specifies a 3-D translation by the vector [tx,ty,tz], where tx, ty, and tz are the first, second, and third translation-value parameters respectively.

Example:


div {
  transform: translate3d(20px, -60px, 50px); 
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: translate3d(20px, -60px, 50px);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

Z-direction translate

translateZ(<translation-value>)

The translateZ function specifies a translation by a given amount in the z-direction. Percentage values are not allowed.

Example:


div {    
  transform: perspective(500px) translateZ(-60px);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: perspective(500px) translateZ(-60px);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

3-D scale

scale3d(<number>, <number>, <number>)

The scale3d function specifies a 3-D scale operation by the [sx,sy,sz] scaling vector described by the three parameters.

Example:


div {
  transform: scale3d(0.5, -0.5, 1.5);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: scale3d(0.5, -0.5, 1.5);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

Z-vector scale

scaleZ(<number>)

The scaleZ function specifies a scale operation using the [1,1,sz] scaling vector, where sz is given as the parameter. The effect of the scaleZ function is most evident when used in combination with functions such as the rotate and perspective functions, as shown in the following example.

Example:


div {
  transform: perspective(500px) scaleZ(2) rotateX(45deg);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: perspective(500px) scaleZ(2) rotateX(45deg);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

3-D rotate

rotate3d(<number>, <number>, <number>, <angle>)

The rotate3d function specifies a clockwise 3-D rotation. The element rotates by the angle specified in the last parameter, and about the [x,y,z] direction vector described by the first three parameters. If the direction vector is not of unit length, it will be normalized. A direction vector that cannot be normalized, such as [0, 0, 0], results in no rotation.

Example:


div {
   transform: rotate3d(0.7, 0.5, 0.7, 45deg);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: rotate3d(0.7, 0.5, 0.7, 45deg);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

X-direction rotate

rotateX(<angle>)

The rotateX function specifies a clockwise rotation by the given angle about the x-axis.

Example:


div {
  transform: perspective(500px) rotateX(45deg);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: perspective(500px) rotateX(45deg);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

Y-direction rotate

rotateY(<angle>)

The rotateY function specifies a clockwise rotation by the given angle about the y-axis.

Example:


div {
  transform: perspective(500px) rotateY(45deg);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: perspective (500px) rotateY(70deg);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

Z-direction rotate

rotateZ(<angle>)

The rotateZ function specifies a clockwise rotation by the given angle about the z-axis.

Example:


div {
  transform: rotateZ(65deg);
}

Result:

A square blue div with white text, after having the following transform functions applied to it: transform: rotateZ(65deg);

(The light-blue square indicates the original position of the transformed element.)

The transform-origin property

The transform-origin property establishes the origin of transformation for an element.

For instance, if you specified the rotate3d function in the transform property, this property would define the point around which the element would rotate. The default value of this property is "50% 50% 0px" (the middle of the element).

PropertyDescription

transform-origin

Indicates the origin of transformation for the specified element. This property is set to between one and three length values:

  • The first length value specifies the position on the x-axis relative to the element's containing box. It can be a length value (in a supported length unit), a percentage, or one of the following three keywords: left (indicating 0% of the length along the x-axis of the containing box), center (indicating the halfway point), or right (indicating 100% of the length).
  • The second length value specifies the position on the y-axis relative to the element's containing box. It can be a length value, a percentage, or one of the three following keywords: top (indicating 0% of the length along the y-axis of the containing box), center (indicating the halfway point), or bottom (indicating 100% of the length).
  • The third length value specifies the position on the z-axis relative to the element's containing box. It must be a length value.

 

The transform-style property

The transform-style property defines how nested elements are rendered in 3-D space.

PropertyDescription

transform-style

Defines how nested elements are rendered in 3-D space. If you set this property to flat for an element, all of its child elements are rendered flattened into the 2-D plane of the element. Rotating the element about the x- or y-axes will cause children positioned at positive or negative z-positions to appear on the element's plane, rather than in front of or behind it.

 

Note  The W3C specification defines a keyword value of preserve-3d for this property, which indicates that flattening is not performed. At this time, Internet Explorer 10 does not support the preserve-3d keyword. You can work around this by manually applying the parent element's transform to each of the child elements in addition to the child element's normal transform.

The perspective property

The perspective property applies the same transform as the perspective transform function, except that it applies only to the positioned or transformed children of the element, not to the transform on the element itself.

PropertyDescription

perspective

Applies the same transform as the perspective transform function to the positioned or transformed children of the element that the property applies to. This property can be set to a number, which establishes a stacking context and a containing block, or to the none keyword, which indicates that no perspective transform is applied.

 

The perspective-origin property

The perspective-origin property establishes the origin for the perspective property.

PropertyDescription

perspective-origin

Establishes the origin for the perspective property. It effectively sets the x- and y-position at which the viewer appears to be looking at the children of the element. This property is set to one or two length values:

  • The first length value specifies the position on the x-axis relative to the element's containing box. It can be a length value (in a supported length unit), a percentage, or one of the following three keywords: left (indicating 0% of the length along the x-axis of the containing box), center (indicating the halfway point), or right (indicating 100% of the length).
  • The second length value specifies the position on the y-axis relative to the element's containing box. It can be a length value, a percentage, or one of the three following keywords: top (indicating 0% of the length along the y-axis of the containing box), center (indicating the halfway point), or bottom (indicating 100% of the length).

 

The backface-visibility property

The backface-visibility property indicates whether the "back face" (reverse side) of a transformed element is visible when facing the viewer. With an element that is not transformed, the front side of the element faces the viewer.

PropertyDescription

backface-visibility

Determines whether the reverse side of a transformed element is visible. This property can be set to one of two keyword values:

visible

Indicates the reverse side is visible.

hidden

Indicates the back side is not visible.

 

API Reference

Transforms

Samples and tutorials

How to bring your webpage to life with CSS transforms, transitions, and animations

Internet Explorer Test Drive demos

Bringing pages alive with CSS Transforms & Animations
Hands On: 3D Transforms
Hands On: 2D Transforms
Flickr Postcards

IEBlog posts

Full-page Animations Using CSS
CSS3 3D Transforms in IE10

Specification

CSS Transforms

Related topics

Understanding CSS3 2D Transforms

 

 

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