How to Create a Fast Hover Slideshow with CSS3

A little fast-running image slideshow that plays on hover and pauses when mousing out. The current image will stay visible.

How to Create a Fast Hover Slideshow with CSS3

Today I want to share a little hover slideshow with you. The main idea is to run a super-fast image slideshow on hover and show the current image when mousing out. It’s just a fancy effect to play with and I got the idea from Contain.r. We’ll be using CSS animations for the slideshow and control the pausing and running with animation-play-state.

Please note: this is just experimental and will only work as intended in browsers that support the respective CSS properties.

This is our simple structure:

<div class="hs-wrapper">

	<img src="images/1.jpg" alt="image01"/>
	<img src="images/2.jpg" alt="image02"/>
	<img src="images/3.jpg" alt="image03"/>
	<img src="images/4.jpg" alt="image04"/>
	<img src="images/5.jpg" alt="image05"/>
	<img src="images/6.jpg" alt="image06"/>
	<img src="images/7.jpg" alt="image07"/>
	<img src="images/8.jpg" alt="image08"/>
	<div class="hs-overlay">
		<span>Summer <strong>2012</strong></span>

We’ll show and hide the images using an animation:

.hs-wrapper img{
	top: 0px;
	left: 0px;
	position: absolute;
	animation: showMe 0.8s linear infinite 0s forwards;
	animation-play-state: paused;	

The animation will be paused and we’ll just run it on hover:

.hs-wrapper:hover img{
	animation-play-state: running;

The animation will simply make an image visible and put it on top of the “stack”:

@keyframes showMe {
    0% { visibility: visible; z-index: 100; }
	12.5% { visibility: visible; z-index: 100; }
	25% { visibility: hidden; z-index: 0; }
    100% { visibility: hidden; z-index: 0; }

As you can see, each image will have the same animation but we will start the animation for each image with a delay. We also want to reverse the stacking order of the images by setting the z-index accordingly. Since we will run the whole animation for 0.8 seconds, we’ll delay the start for each image with 0.1 second (except the first one):

.hs-wrapper img:nth-child(1){
	z-index: 9;
.hs-wrapper img:nth-child(2){
	animation-delay: 0.1s;
	z-index: 8;
.hs-wrapper img:nth-child(3){
	animation-delay: 0.2s;
	z-index: 7;
.hs-wrapper img:nth-child(4){
	animation-delay: 0.3s;
	z-index: 6;

The percentages of the animation are calculated as follows: take the 100% of the animation timespan and distribute 8 images over it. Each one runs 0.1 seconds which means that at 12.5% we want the second image to show. The second image that will show, will be on top of the current one (although they have the same z-index) because it follows in the HTML structure. Having tried some other possibilities (i.e. not messing around with the z-index, setting 12.6% as the next step, etc.) it seems that this variant performs the smoothest. Nonetheless, sometimes there seems to be a bit of a lag.


The overlay, which will be shown on hover, will have an absolute position and since we want to fade it in and animate the box shadow, we’ll add a transition to it:

	position: absolute;
	width: 100%;
	height: 100%;
	opacity: 0;
	z-index: 500;
	background: rgba(0,0,0,0.6);
	box-shadow: 0 0 0 0 rgba(255,255,255,0.3) inset;
	pointer-events: none;
	transition: all 0.3s linear;

On hover, when the slideshow starts running, we’ll show the overlay:

.hs-wrapper:hover .hs-overlay{
	opacity: 1;
	box-shadow: 0 0 0 5px rgba(255,255,255,0.3) inset;

You can increase the opacity level of the background color of the overlay in order to make the effect more subtle. Note, that the images have the same background which makes this effect less seizure-inducing than if you would use a different color for each one. Black and white images with a not too transparent overlay like in Contain.r are a good fit for this effect.

It’s as well important to note that it should be made sure that the images are of course loaded and apply something similar to what Chris Coyier suggests here.

And that’s it! I hope you find it inspiring.

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Manoela Ilic

Manoela is the main tinkerer at Codrops. With a background in coding and passion for all things design, she creates web experiments and keeps frontend professionals informed about the latest trends.

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Comments are closed.
  1. If we use #wrapper:hover we can animate some elements without css animate (only transitions). This is good idea for eg. ebay templates where we cannot use @keyframes 🙂

  2. This is an escellent effect, very useful to showcase a lot of products.

  3. I have put 6 slideshows back to back here:

    Problem: after some time animation effect starts jumping irregularly and even stay blank when you move on.

    Question: what shall I play around with?

    … good night – it is 04:47am 🙂


  4. Is it possible to write a script wich will set keyframes property for any amount of images?

  5. Mary Lou.
    You have a weakness for the smell of freshly grounded peppercorns.
    What do you say to make them grounded?
    “Get over yourself. You are just a peppercorn?” 🙂

  6. Hey Mary Lou, thanks for this excellent method.
    Is there any way to always have the first picture when leaving with mouse?

    Kind regards

  7. Hi I am new to writing code, I use word press for my site and wondered where do i write the code from your tutorial on a word press site.

    Thank you