Web designers usually have three different tools available at their disposal for creating animations. These tools are CSS, JS or SMIL. But the bigger question here is- which is the one that offers maximum benefits in terms of functionality and near perfect designs? Well, each of these tools have their own set of pros and cons. And that’s why, it makes sense to compare all three in regards to specific web design requirements in order to arrive at a well-informed design decision, every time.
Here is a little smattering on each of these tools along with their pros and cons intended to help web designers understand which amongst these is the best tool for creating animations.
But before we get started with our analysis on these tools, let’s know a little about SVG as we’ll be discussing this term quite often here.
SVG or Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML-based vector image format used for creating two-dimensional graphics. SVG specification is an open standard developed by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Now, let’s get started.
SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) is a W3C recommended Extensible Markup Language to describe multimedia presentations. It is responsible for defining markups for almost everything including the layout, visual transitions, animations, timing and media embedding. It allows presenting media items such as text, images, video, audio, links to other SMIL presentations, and files from multiple web servers. SMIL markup is written in XML.
SMIL can successfully animate properties that CSS is incapable of doing, such as the existing path data properties. However, SMIL is not supported by any of the Internet Explorer versions and is likely to go extinct soon. In addition, usage of multiple animations on the same SMIL element can become cumbersome at times, especially if they include multiple transformations.
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