On Scroll Header Effects

Some inspiration for headers that animate when scrolling the page.
Header Effects

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You’ve surely seen those really cool on scroll effects for headers that have been around lately. One example is the header on the Riot Industries website by Phil Renaud which rotates in 3d on click and enlarges when scrolling down. Similar work has been done by Johnny Simpson where he explores Scroll Activated Fixed Header Animations. We’ve also created a Blueprint for an On-Scroll Animated Header to get you started.

Today we’d like to give you some inspiration for animated headers and show you what kind of effects could be used to spice up your website’s starting element and give it some life.

Please note: this only works as intended in browsers that support the respective CSS properties. Modern browsers only!

The demo for the effects serves as inspiration only and we’ve used a technique that involves changing the state classes of the header which would of course be customized depending on which effect would like to be used. It’s important to understand that the states depend on each other, i.e. changing from class A to class B does something (using transitions) and going from A to C might not cause the desired effect. So the order matters in this example that tries to show all the effects on one page.

Also note that scrolling super fast might cause a jump from the beforementioned class A to class C which might not always look very fancy.

In the demo we use the fantastic jQuery Waypoints plugin by Caleb Troughton.

The header is composed of various parts for showcasing all the effects. It has a perspective wrapper, a front and a bottom (for the 3d rotation):

<header id="ha-header" class="ha-header ha-header-large">
	<div class="ha-header-perspective">
		<div class="ha-header-front">
			<h1><span>Header Effects</span></h1>
				<a>‹ Previous Demo</a>
				<a>Back to the article</a>
		<div class="ha-header-bottom">

We add a special class to the sections which will trigger the class change:

<section class="ha-waypoint" data-animate-down="ha-header-small" data-animate-up="ha-header-large">
	<!-- ... -->

The data atrributes are used for setting the right classes depending on which direction we are scrolling. In our demo the animate-up data attribute contains the class of the previous animate-down one.

An example for a state class is the following “rotate” one:

.ha-header-rotate {
	height: 220px;
	top: 50px;
	padding-left: 50px;
	padding-right: 50px;

.ha-header-rotate .ha-header-front {
	transform: translateY(-100%) rotateX(90deg);

.ha-header-rotate .ha-header-bottom {
	top: 50%;
	transition: transform 0.5s;
	transform: rotateX(0deg) translateY(-100%);

The state classes are applied to the header element and from there we can define some changes for the children.

With the help of the Waypoints plugin we simply add the respective classes:

var $head = $( '#ha-header' );
$( '.ha-waypoint' ).each( function(i) {
	var $el = $( this ),
		animClassDown = $el.data( 'animateDown' ),
		animClassUp = $el.data( 'animateUp' );

	$el.waypoint( function( direction ) {
		if( direction === 'down' && animClassDown ) {
			$head.attr('class', 'ha-header ' + animClassDown);
		else if( direction === 'up' && animClassUp ){
			$head.attr('class', 'ha-header ' + animClassUp);
	}, { offset: '100%' } );
} );

We hope you enjoy the effects and that they give you some inspiration on how to make a fancy animated header.

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Mary Lou

ML 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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  1. I would just like to say that Mary Lou, we love you!

    Every time you produce such amazing jquery and CSS tutorials. If I can help it, I only use your effects in my development.

    Thank you!! <3 <3

  2. This works in IE10
    Mary Lou, you have no idea how much you help the web community with the things you come up with here. Thank you so much for all your great work!

  3. IE10/11 are modern browsers. No need to bash them that hard in the note. IE8 may have been a shitty browser (by todays standards) but we still have to deal with it, also IE9 which is apart from transitions not even that bad. Your demo actually works there (of course without transitions).
    What I find a bit annoying is the simple arrogance of not even checking 🙁 Hope this is not put too harsh…

    • Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Arrogance is people like you that still suports such obsolete browser.

    • Actually Doug, arrogance is people like yourself who assume usage should follow support and proceed to admonish those who support usage. People like Mike are not going to support obsolete browsers unless there is a very good reason to do so. Arrogance is placing design over accessibility and then wondering why you are losing sales. There are quite a few users in the world still using Windows XP and IE8, and often times your ROI on supporting IE8 is well worth it.

    • wow, your simply asking too much, for a “free” stuff.

      why not do it yourself mister.

  4. Awesome Mary! However I think I’ve found a major snafu. The initial wrapper has a fixed height. (Please correct me if I’m wrong in understanding how this works) This wrapper is for the animation divs to have proper transition origin “space” …? This wrapper however COVERS content on the page and playing with its z-index obviously hides the header itself behind page content. I’m sure others have this problem?

  5. How can i add one more sub menu can any one help me from the above we can only add one submenu is it possible to add one more sub menu