Page Loading Effects

A set of creative page loading effects that use SVG animations with Snap.svg. The idea is to show an overlay with a interesting shape animation while new content gets loaded.


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If you have visited the brilliantly designed websites of Nicolas Zezuka and Active Theory you might have noticed the slick loading animations that happen before new content is displayed. This kind of loading style is quite trendy lately and we wanted to give you some inspiration. The idea is to animate a shape into the viewport and show an activity indicator. When the new content is loaded, the shape will animate back to reveal the page. We’ll use animated SVGs with Snap.svg for the effects because this allows us to create complex shapes and interesting morphing transitions.

Please also note that the examples only serve for your inspiration. We haven’t implemented any fallbacks and we “fake” the dynamic loading of new content. Also note that we are animating SVGs and pseudo-elements which might not work well in some browsers.

The way we show the loading overlay is by defining an animation on a path that we define in the following SVG:

<div id="loader" class="pageload-overlay" data-opening="M 0,0 80,-10 80,60 0,70 0,0" data-closing="M 0,-10 80,-20 80,-10 0,0 0,-10">
	<svg xmlns="" width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 80 60" preserveAspectRatio="none">
		<path d="M 0,70 80,60 80,80 0,80 0,70"/>
</div><!-- /pageload-overlay -->

We define an initial path that is not visible in the viewport inside of the SVG and a opening and closing path in data attributes on the pageload-overlay division. As you can see, we are using a small viewBox but we stretch the drawing to 100% of the window width and height while not preserving the aspect ratio. If we don’t have a closing path defined, we’ll animate back to the intial path.

Note that we can also add more than one path (separated by a semicolon) which allows for a step wise animation of the SVG drawing like you can see in the first demo.

We set the overlay division to a fixed position, covering all the page, and use a CSS-only loading indicator by styling the ::before and ::after pseudo elements of the division.

.pageload-overlay {
	position: fixed;
	width: 100%;
	height: 100%;
	top: 0;
	left: 0;
	visibility: hidden;
} {
	visibility: visible;

.pageload-overlay svg {
	position: absolute;
	top: 0;
	left: 0;

.pageload-overlay svg path {
	fill: #fff;

We use visibility here because using those fixed positioning styles with pointer-events none on the SVG itself causes some trouble on mobile, so we position and manipulate the parent div instead.

You might have noticed that the circle animations is also done by animating from one path to another (there are of course other ways of doing this, scaling for example) but we used the following values to make sure the circle is “responsive” but does not stretch like the other shapes:

width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 80 60" preserveAspectRatio="xMidYMid slice"	

Using slice will preserve the aspect ratio but scale the drawing so that the entire viewport is covered by the viewBox.

We’ve only created a bunch of effects, but as you can see, the possibilities are endless.

We really hope you enjoy them and find them inspiring.

The featured image was created with this iMac/Macbook PSD mockup from Pixeden

View demo Download source


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Mary Lou (Manoela Ilic) is a freelance web designer and developer with a passion for interaction design. She studied Cognitive Science and Computational Logic and has a weakness for the smell of freshly ground peppercorns.

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Feedback 59

  1. 2

    I’m Designing a Loader:
    How can I move a light throw it, instead of turn it on and off?
    Like the old Adobe/Macromedia Flash and it’s Masks??
    and more importantly, will it be something with simple css, js or it requires Canvas?

  2. 3

    Why I can’t use more than 2 page id’s on single html? Even when I link them it swtiches between those 2 first. Thanks for reply.

  3. 4

    how to do this effect on page load instead of click event, please tell , it is not happening

  4. 8


    Very awesome animated svg effect. I have been playing around a bit with it. I’m no jQuery mastermind, but I tried to link the animation to another page. On the clicked page it works just fine, but then on the page it goes to it doesn’t animate when opening. It like it lags the animation on the page it goes to. It shows some, but then just shows all instead of animating into the page.

    I have made a demo here where you can see what I’m talking about.

    my demo page

    Does anyone have an idea of how to fix it? I tried out some of Valerios code for the script itself, but still doesn’t function that well :S

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    • 9

      Ok seems like I got it to function now. But I don’t understand why the ms was the cause of it. I think it has something to do with the loading time of the page, but I’m not really sure.

      But my script ended up looking like this:

      (function() {
      var pageWrap = document.getElementById( 'pagewrap' ),
      pages = [] pageWrap.querySelectorAll( 'div.container' ) ),
      currentPage = 0,
      triggerLoading = [] pageWrap.querySelectorAll( 'a.pageload-link' ) ),
      loader = new SVGLoader( document.getElementById( 'loader' ), { speedIn : 100 } );

      function init() {
      triggerLoading.forEach( function( trigger ) {
      trigger.addEventListener( 'click', function( ev ) {
      // after some time hide loader
      setTimeout( function() {
      document.getElementByClass('container').style.display = 'none'
      }, 2000 );
      setTimeout( function() {
      document.location.href = trigger.getAttribute('href')
      }, 2500);
      } );
      } );



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