Top 30 Free jQuery Animation Libraries & Plugins

Jquery Animation Libraries

Who could afford to say that the web would be where it is right now, if it wasn’t for the immense technological breakthroughs that jQuery brought to the table. As we slowly move into a more native JS environment, with the release of ES6 and the likes, we are also learning how to use new and old jQuery techniques in correlation with the new frameworks we are using in our workflows. With over a decade behind its back now, jQuery remains as the most consistent JavaScript library ever built for making the web experience dynamic; this love letter is a great example of how dedicated front-end developers have been to this library, and how much joy it has brought for people.

And just like JavaScript, jQuery is also always evolving, recently celebrating a huge milestone, jQuery has also made a clear announcement about the imminent release of jQuery 3 — a more modern, more optimized version of the library, that promises to deliver a lot of performance improvements, new features, and ways of building for the dynamic web. We ourselves have been enjoying the news, while maintaining our focus towards sharing content that has roots all the way back into original jQuery: scripts for file uploading management, progress bars built with jQuery, world map plugins built with jQuery, website notification plugins (also built with jQuery) — just a taste of what we constantly share with our readers on the Colorlib blog, please enjoy.

Now, let’s move forward to the actual theme of the post; jQuery animations. Animated web is growing in popularity fast, animations make the web dynamic and interactive, and in many ways adds to the attention span that users have when interacting with the content of your website. Creating animated elements and other web design related interfaces from scratch, well.. that can prove to be rather difficult, even painful. What helps here, is the recap of what others are doing with their jQuery animations, and what they have to share about the process of making your UI once again an interactive experience. Sure, it takes a lot of work, but as jQuery progresses, the task of creating things becomes far more efficient and effective than could have ever even been imagined.

Icon Animations Powered by mo.js

Icon Animations Powered by mo

In web design, the structure of building new things is divided into two different parts: first part, the underground developers who focus on learning about a particular language and pushing its limits, the second part, huge corporations and businesses who have the necessary resources to create unique and game-changing content, such as unique animations that shape the way we interact with stuff. For example, Twitter uses an animated Heart icon that it recently introduced, this is a big deal because hundreds of millions of people use Twitter, and because such a vast volume of people are exposed to these new animations, you get the idea that it is becoming more safer to use dynamic visual content within a website, and have users appreciate it. Here in this demo, Tympanus depicts how to use the Mo.js library (next up) to create interactive animations that have the ‘surprise’ effect.

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Motion Graphics For The Web with mo.js

Motion Graphics For The Web with mo

Mo.js (Motion) is a new JS library that wants to change the way we build animations for the web, and honestly.. there are only a couple of demos available, but from what we can tell, the demos themselves reflect huge similarities with content appearing more like on a TV box, than on a website. With Mo.js, your web content suddenly becomes highly customizable, more rich through the use of animations, and more presentable to a modern audience. The library stands out with fast and smooth performance, with a flexible API that makes development of animations an easy process, it supports modular development; allowing you to use only the parts of the library that you require, the project is open-source and encourages community feedback to quickly release new, and more robust versions of this animation library.

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Polaroid Stack to Grid Intro Animation

Polaroid Stack to Grid Intro Animation

As startups and small businesses progress with modern development capabilities, we are constantly exposed to new ways of displaying the contents of a website. When Parallax first came out, it was a huge thing, now developers are figuring out a way to create all pages interactive, and flowing within each other. The effect in call is called a Polaroid Stack — a grid of images that moves along the page as you scroll up and down, for example, the Polaroid Stack could jump from one element to the next one, without losing focus. Quite a few websites already employ this technique, and the Tympanus team looks at one particular example startup that uses this method, and explains in thorough detail how to achieve the same effect on your website/project.

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Material Scroll Animation

Material Scroll Animation

Material design exposure is growing by the minute, what is really intriguing is that material design in itself provides a lot of ways to play with content, but with the combination of good JS and CSS, the results can be truly game changing, and also very appealing to modern developers. Bhakti Al Akbar has coded the “Material Scroll Animation” — a material design built scroll effect that first displays the header of the content you’re about to view, and then offers a simple ‘slide’ button that will uncover the actual content of that particular header, creating an exciting experience of exploring new content. jQuery is a magnificent ‘language’, it shows.

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Elastic Circle Slideshow

Elastic Circle Slideshow

The faster the better, or at least, the smoother the better! Smooth is the other name of modern CSS3 properties, also HTML5. Smooth is what makes websites stand out, smooth is what front-end developers continue to strive for. The Elastic Circle Slideshow could be the smoothest slideshow that you will have seen to date, it swipes through items rapidly fast, without causing any attention loss, or any other discomfort for the user. We see this particular slideshow as a great alternative for both desktop, and mobile sites. To fully explore this great jQuery animation effect, you will need to download the full source code.

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Interactive Bar Graph

Interactive Bar Graph

jQuery is highly regarded by those who work with anything that is related to statistics, analytics, and analysis. jQuery can really shine in those areas, helping to create certain elements in more flexible versions of themselves. This particular piece of code, really intrigued us. Ettrics is a PRO user on CodePen, sharing away great stuff, and in particular the ‘Interactive Bar Graph’ — a new way of using animations to power your charts, and graphs. Interactive Bar Graph lets you put together different timelines of data, and then with interactive action (such as mouse click), uncover the particular data about a specific bar graph. It’s a wonderful way of talking about sports games, and other games where players rely on result stats.

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pageSwitch for JavaScript

pageSwitch for JavaScript

We’re not entirely sure, but it seems that this library is coming from Chinese developers. It’s a unique approach towards switching, and also flipping, your web content. The dropdown menu in the demo provides more than 50+ unique choices of ways to animate your content once a user decides to ‘flip through it’, careful coding is required here, because it is very unlikely that large and dynamic pages will be possible to load that quickly over a simple animation, however those who wish to use this with image grids and galleries — go ahead, it’s one of the best interactive solutions out there.

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Animating an SVG Menu Icon with Segment

Animating an SVG Menu Icon with Segment

Segment is a JavaScript class that allows developers to draw and animate SVG paths, in turn allowing them to create animated SVG visual content. It’s been a highly utilized library in modern development, thanks to its flexibility, and ease of use. The tutorial here, shows you how to use Segment directly to create an animated SVG icon of the navigation menu of your site. The most essential part of any website. Once you go through this tutorial, and grasp the understanding of how Segment + SVG works, you will be better able to cope with other situations where animated content will be required. Besides, jQuery makes this process seamless.

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Popmotion – The JavaScript motion engine

Popmotion

Popmotion brings complicated physics to your web design workflow, without complications of understand how they actually work. Animations, physics movements, and input tracking are the three main examples that can be seen on the Popmotion web page. Popmotion is used to drive the motion of a user interface. It has native support for CSS, DOM attributes, SVG and SVG paths, and can be used with any API that accepts numerical values. It’s one of the most fun libraries that you will get to work with on these particular issues.

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Material Design Hierarchical Display

Material Design Hierarchical Display

Hierarchical Display (or Timing) is the transition element that Material Design uses to bridge the gap between getting from one point in the application, to getting to the other. Let’s say for example, you have two images, once a user clicks on the other image, the page refreshes, or the element jumps forward, with Material Design Hierarchical Display (which uses jQuery) you can quickly create a Hierarchical Display effect that will unfold elements as they are, while maintaining that interactive and dynamic effect of an animation. Already highly regarded by web developers and designers, this library is the beginning of an interactive future in the web.

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jQuery DrawSVG

jQuery DrawSVG

jQuery has its own animation engine for doing transformations and all kinds of other cool stuff, so it comes as no surprise that DrawSVG library exists, a jQuery library for animating the paths of SVG content. It’s a lightweight library that asks of you to specify the paths, and let the library do the rest.

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Dynamics.js – JavaScript library to create physics-based animations

Dynamics.js - JavaScript library to create physics-based animations

Dynamics.js is a growing library for the data scientist, and data miner crowd, but everyone else who is attracted to an animation engine that’s based on actual physics. Michael Villar, who is the author of the library, has built an interesting side project that turned out to become a superstar jQuery library for doing physics-related animations on the web. Whatever it is, this library can take care of it. Dynamics.js lets you animate properties of CSS, DOM elements, SVG properties, and a JavaScript object of any type. Such dynamic libraries are hard to come by.

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Iconate.js

Iconate.js

We love the approach of Iconate.js, it’s a unique way of combining existing font icons, adding to them existing JS effects, and combining together a unique tool/platform. Iconate.js lets you select two different icons, the first icon, and the second icon, giving you an option to choose between different kinds of fade effects, and then test out what it would look like. So, once you click on the first icon, the fade effect will appear, while switching from icon #1 to icon #2. This can be particularly useful for making arrow and button transitions in your website.

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D3.js – Data Driven Documents

D3.js - Data Driven Documents

What started out as a high hopes project, turned out to become one of the most successful JS projects of all time. D3 is a JS library for the web, that allows to manipulate different kinds of documents that are based on actual data. Whatever kind of data you have, with D3.js you can combine the power of HTML5, CSS3, and SVG to create stunning data exposures for your browser. D3 provides complex visual components that you can use to display data in variety of ways, but any seasoned D3 user will know that this library also heavily focuses on animations, look for animated transitions when reading the documentation and online articles.

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jQuery Animate- jQuery animations with Animate.css

jQuery Animate- jQuery animations with Animate

Animate.css is a huge library for doing CSS animations, but unfortunately it is highly limited to CSS, and doesn’t incorporate any jQuery patterns. Well, until now anyway. jAnimate takes the Animate.css library, amplifies it with jQuery, and enables for you to use the same animations on different elements of your website, with the help of jQuery. What an amazing developer community that can easily transform libraries from one language, to another.

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Animatic.js

Animatic

Wish to animate multiple events at the same time, not sure how? Animatic.js lets you animate your whole website, while giving each of the elements their own unique animation settings and approaches.

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snabbt.js

snabbt.js

The first impression of Snabbt can be quite confusing, it’s an animation library that wants to help increase the performance of native browser-specific animation capabilities (through HTML5 and CSS3), but then talks about limitations (lack of arbitrary animations, the library doesn’t talk to DOM individually, requires requestAnimationFrame and matrix3d to work; so IE users below version 10 get left out), but once we look at the demo’s, it’s clear that Snabbt has a market, and also a place in the modern front-end dev workflow.

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CSS Animated Headlines

CSS Animated Headlines

Headlines is what defines the content, the content areas of our designs. Without headlines, it’s just elements floating by themselves, without any real description of their origins. With a headline, we can explain a lot of things, and as we move into more modern web design, we also get to see how languages like jQuery can help us shape our headlines, and our content in general, to be more user-friendly, more attention-grabbing, and certainly much more appealing to the general public. CSS Animated Headlines showcases a selection of demos that show how you can build cool headlines, and animate certain words within your headlines to emphasize the most important aspect of what you are presenting.

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FakeLoader.js

FakeLoader.js

Spinners and loaders are an easy way of making your website feel a little more lively, a little more on the bright side. FakeLoader.js wants everyone to have access to simple loaders and spinners that they can add as transitions from a page to page. The fun part, integrating this library is so easy that even WordPress users will be able to do it, such a beautiful library, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

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CSS and jQuery Bouncy content filter

CSS and jQuery Bouncy content filter

Filtering content will always be important, either through content grids, or search functions. Having the ability to flip through content remains the original foundation of modern web; pagination is the founding core of this. Let’s take a look at ‘CSS and jQuery Bouncy content filter’, an interesting approach to filtering content through different sections using animations, be it images or flat content elements, this snippet will let you animate the interaction between one content style, and the other.

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ScrollMagic

ScrollMagic

We just love when developers call their stuff ‘magic’, in many ways it really is magic, especially for those inexperienced with web development. The ScrollMagic library allows you to do certain animations, based on the position of the user’s current scroll placement. You can use ScrollMagic to either trigger, or launch a certain animation, once the user reaches a certain part of the website; based on their scrolling bar. Stitch a specific website element to a particular location and leave it there based on the movement of the users, or move it alongside the user. ScrollMagic also helps with adding Parallax to your website, and doing other cool stuff.

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Zoomooz.js

Zoomooz.js

Zoomooz.js might at first imply that this library just helps you to zoom-in on content, that’s what we thought until we actually tried it out. Zoomooz.js is much more than a zoom-in library, with Zoomooz.js you can totally transform your apps and website to add incredibly complex zoom effects, such as Skew, Scale, and Rotate. Your website suddenly becomes this huge canvas which you can zoom-in indefinitely. Note, that adding Zoomooz to your existing web site without doing any markup changes might not work, since calculating exact positions and transformations in browsers is a bit of tricky.

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jQuery.Shapeshift

jQuery.Shapeshift

Grids rule the UI of any website out there. With a grid, it is much more easy to build parts of a website that require careful attention and detail. You can build the content areas, the headers and footers separately, without having to worry about each other colliding, but jQuery.Shapeshift takes a different approach. jQuery.Shapeshift transform your grid into a drag&drop interface where your visitors can suddenly drag content anywhere they like, we find this library to be particularly useful for situations where a browser game is being developed, or a website that focuses on visual photography content.

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Premium Animations Libraries for jQuery

It ain’t easy being a free developer, but the praise received back from the community will often outweigh the long hours spent building something truly amazing, and needless to say — animation related libraries and examples take up a long time, and a lot of testing to get them actually right. So, huge props to the developers and designers whose work has been shared in this roundup so far, now it is time to move on to the premium tools and libraries, and see what else we can find that people are actively building and putting up for sale. Please enjoy the following libraries as much as you enjoyed the free ones.

TextFX – A jQuery Text Animation Tool

TextFX - A jQuery Text Animation Tool

Please note that there is Version 2 available that focuses on CSS animations. TextFX is a jQuery plugin for doing text animations, particularly on single sentences of text. The main goal is to create an easy to use experience, but also to retain the quality that such a plugin should posses. By default, TextFX only helps with individual text animation, creating loops and other complex animations require further development experience and knowledge. The V2 is going to be much more suitable to you if loops and curves is what you are looking for in your animations.

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Bubble Tooltip Animated jQuery Plugin

Bubble Tooltip Animated jQuery Plugin

Tooltips are always helpful, they have been with us since the early computer days, a novelty technique for connecting with visitors who might need assistance. With this particular plugin, you can easily highlight an area of your website and amplify it using a tooltip, you can also add tooltips to individual HTML tags, you can create a ‘wizard’ that would display numerous tooltips to explain a particular feature, you can also customize the duration of animations, and also create your own custom tooltips themes using JS and CSS, in turn extending the default ‘Bubble’ theme to use your own. Tooltips help to explain parts that can sound too technical for inexperienced visitors, use them to benefit yourself and your users together.

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BWL Sticky Animated News Ticker jQuery Plugin

BWL Sticky Animated News Ticker jQuery Plugin

News tickers aren’t particularly popular for bloggers, but they seem to have caught up with magazines and journals that are constantly reporting breaking news, and writing breaking stories. BWL Sticky Animated News Ticker jQuery Plugin will help you create a mobile-friendly news ticker using jQuery, all within a few minutes of starting to use the plugin. The ticker is provided with ten colorful and unique templates, and fifteen unique and attractive options for animating your tickers. The code is well documented, and follows the W3C standards. Tickers come in three different alignment positions: header, footer, and online. With just 12kb in size, this is one of the lightweight libraries for achieving this particular result. You can easily integrate an RSS feed into the actual ticker, to report breaking news from other sources. You can also use a variety of tickers on the same web page, allowing you to report different kinds of news. Supports Google Fonts and Font Awesome!

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Talos – Animated Horizontal Submenu jQuery Plugin

Talos - Animated Horizontal Submenu jQuery Plugin

Create a simple, but beautiful, submenu for your original navigation menu using jQuery, CSS3, and HTML5. The animation effects are achieved using CSS3 animation transition properties, but is easy enough to edit for everyone. Four unique animation effects, seven themes to choose from, mobile-friendly (responsive), hovers when clicked-on, free fonts, and more.

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Notifications Pro

Notifications Pro

Notifications continue to grow in popularity, thanks to their ease of attracting user attention and delivering a message to them directly. Of course, many disfavor notifications, and don’t like them at all, but especially for busy sites, it can be a great way to let your users know what is going on. The plugin supports eight different locations for displaying the notifications; so all corners of the website basically.

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Difference – jQuery CountDown Plugin

Difference - jQuery CountDown Plugin

Countdown plugins and libraries will work the best in situations where a coming soon page is required to be established, or you wish to announce a particular product, but still need the time for it. Difference is jQuery plugin like no other out there. Providing two themes and six color schemes for five different types of countdowns and hundreds or even thousands of possible combinations for customization. Simple but powerful customization allows you to set intervals of countdown (start and end date and time), type of displayed countdown, theme, color usage for each separate circle or bar and also ability to decide about dimensions.

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Lush – Content Slider

Lush - Content Slider

For last, we left the best, or at least very close to the best; Lush is a unique jQuery Content Slider plugin for creating unique and authentic web animations using native transition and animation properties of CSS3. The performance goes way up when using native language, and the looks are also staggering. The list of features: fully responsive and mobile-friendly, native to the browser, supports mobile touch, capability of 3D animations, fifty styles of animations to choose from, compatible with FlexSlider, supports digital media content within the sliders, easy designable, and so many more features to choose from. If content is your thing, this is your slider plugin to help you present that content in a meaningful way.

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The Best jQuery Libraries for Animations

What an extraordinary roundup of libraries, scripts and plugins that support animation with jQuery. Of course, we couldn’t just take the approach of creating a simple post of showcasing ‘examples’ of jQuery animations, we want our users to feel comfortable in the driver’s seat when it comes to creating your own jQuery animations, and using them within your UI and UX.

3 thoughts on “Top 30 Free jQuery Animation Libraries & Plugins”

  1. How do you implement the jQuery DrawSVG into your wordpress website?
    I tried to upload it like a plugin, but I guess it is not the way.
    Is there a clear step by step for BIG newbies? Any help guys?

  2. Denis,
    These aren’t WordPress plugins and you can’t instal them as one’s. These are JavaScript libraries that depends on jQuery. You need to enqueue those scripts just like you would do with any other JavaScript library via functions.php.
    But since you had to ask this question I wouldn’t recommend touching code yourself unless you have backups in place and you aren’t doing it on a live website. I would recommend to get in touch with some developer to help you get started with this script as it is going to be tricky if you are not a developer or at least has some basics in place.

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