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Jumpy / Choppy CSS Transform Animations

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This thread was started before GSAP 3 was released. Some information, especially the syntax, may be out of date for GSAP 3. Please see the GSAP 3 migration guide and release notes for more information about how to update the code to GSAP 3's syntax. 

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I've created a simply pen that depending on which button is pressed either animates the transform x value using TimelineLite & TweenLite, the transform x value using only TweenLite, the scale using TimelineLite & TweenLite, or scale using only TweenLite.


Despite trying all of the suggestions I've found on the forums I cannot seem to get these simply animations to be smooth.  They always seem to jump at least once throughout the animation.  It does seem like the animations that don't use Timeline are slightly smoother but they still aren't as smooth as I expected.  The scale animations seem smoother that the x animations


If it is of any relevance I'm on a 2.4 GHz Core i7 Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM running Mavericks 10.9.5.  Firefox seems a bit smoother than Chrome and Safari appears the be the worst of them all.


Having read through several threads about the same or similar problems I've tried the following things:


-Animate x instead of left to allow for sub-pixel animation

-Added z:0.01 or rotateZ:0.01

-Similarly tried using force3d:true

-Made sure that the element being animated is position:absolute and that it's parent is position:relative


Is there no hope of getting these animations to be smooth?  Is this just an issue with my computer / browser combo?  Am I missing something here?


I've seen a handful jQuery library's out there that seem to perform pan / zoom smoothly so I'm assuming that I must be doing something wrong since GSAP is far superior to jQuery in the animation realm.


I'm thrilled with this library so far and the forum community as well.  Thank you to everyone in advance.


Please help.

See the Pen MYywoy by graywithanA (@graywithanA) on CodePen

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I don't know how pronounced this jumping is, but they seem pretty smooth to me on Windows? Have you tried using an image at it's natural size rather than scaling down? Webkit is known to be pretty slow at image scaling, so perhaps that's a factor?

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Hello graywithanA, and Welcome to the GreenSock Forum


I tested this on Windows 7 like Jamie and it also was smooth! I do second Jamie on Webkit being slow with image scaling.


What i usually do is add a slight rotation.. rotation: 0.001


Test working example in Chrome and Safari on Apple device:


See the Pen JoXJYB by jonathan (@jonathan) on CodePen


// add a slight rotation to help with the shakes
var tlX = new TimelineLite({paused:true});
tlX.add(TweenLite.to(".mama", 3, {rotation:0.001, x:500,  ease:Linear.easeNone}));


In my own tests, and projects i have used it to help with shaky scale and translate transforms. That above rotation hack, also works in Firefox when it behaves badly with scale or translate.


I tested the above on a iPad Air Mini and it was smooth after using rotation:0.001


I hope this helps! :)

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I looked at the pen, and like others didn't see anything I'd classify as jumpy.


However, you noted you tried force3d... please make sure you use force3D. 


Also, we are having a little issue with cdnjs and although your CodePen should be grabbing the /latest/ version... it is not. It is using 1.14.2 which does not enable force3D by default.


Try using this url to 1.15.0


(in your CodePen demo, click on the gear in the top of JS tab to modify external script source urls).


We just realized this problem recently and have the issue filed with cdnjs.


Let us know if 1.15.0 works better for you.

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I noticed that too Carl on codpen.. how it was grabbing 1.4.2 for latest .. thanks for clearing that issue up :)

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Thanks for all the responses.  After restarting my computer the animation is much smother.  I've also cleared my cache so that 1.15 is now loading.


@Jonathan: is the rotation trick necessary now that 1.15 sets force3D to 'auto'?  My understanding was that the point of that trick is to force 3D transforms which is now done automatically.  Is there another reason to add the slight rotation to my transforms?

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Hello gravywithanA..

I use that rotation hack only if some elements dont scale or translate smooth. But that shakiness are browser bugs and not GSAP. It does kick in hardware acceleration, but also allows the element to move on a slight angle offset for browsers that trigger that weird shake rattle and roll.

I only use it if chrome, safari, or firefox if they animate shaky when doing a pan set zoom. Just use it as needed to workaround that shaky browser bug, and you should be fine.


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Deal.  Thanks again to everyone for the promt and informative repsonses.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone,
im working on this site:
username: greensock

password: greensock


in the middle there are 3 pictures  with this animation:

new ScrollMagic.Scene({triggerElement: "#parallax_trigger_1", duration: 800})
	.setTween("#parallax_1 > div.parallax_image", {y: "200%", ease: Linear.easeNone})

the problem is that the pictures / animation gets very shaky and flickering in safari only (all other browser are ok)

you can see it at the picture with the 2 people (woman and man) above headline "Strategisch. Innovativ. Umsetzbar. Erfolgreich. Überprüfbar." - you have to scroll


so it seems to be a safari bug


i tried all the css webkit workarounds like


-webkit-transform-style: preserve-3d;

-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;


but it doesn't work - by the way chrome is fine - so its not about webkit I guess


any ideas how ti fix that?

thanks for your help,



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Hello steri and welcome to the GreenSock Forum!


You can try adding rotation: 0.01 to your tween and see if that helps.


But, it would be better if you actually created a new Topic for this, since this above topic already looks resolved.


It looks like your issue is a webkit browser and ScrollMagic issue. Even though ScrollMagic is created with GSAP. It is not made by GSAP, since ScrollMagic was created by Jan Paepke


You can try the ScrollMagic issues on git hub:




But can you please create a new forum topic so other users don't get confused by seeing a new topic within this already resolved topic.





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