CSS 3D Transforms

The transformation of an element on z-axis or in 3D space, comes under the category of 3D transforms. For example:

HTML with CSS Code
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
   <style>
      #myd {width: 160px; height: 160px; transform-style: preserve-3d;
         margin: 80px auto; animation-name: codescracker;
         animation-duration: 1.2s; animation-iteration-count: infinite;
         animation-timing-function: cubic-bezier(.05,1.6,.94,.03);}
         
      .side {display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center;
         width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute; font-size: 90px; color: whitesmoke;}

      .frontFace {background: rgba(70, 69, 69, 0.72); transform: translateZ(80px);}
      .backFace {background: rgba(167, 109, 22, 0.72); transform: rotateY(180deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .rightFace {background: rgba(248, 30, 1, 0.72); transform: rotateY(90deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .leftFace {background: rgba(5, 5, 248, 0.72); transform: rotateY(-90deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .topFace {background: rgba(8, 240, 8, 0.72); transform: rotateX(90deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .bottomFace {background: rgba(198, 201, 19, 0.856); transform: rotateX(-90deg) translateZ(80px);}

      @keyframes codescracker {
         0% {transform: rotate3d(1, 1, 1, -60deg);}
         20% {transform: rotate3d(1, 1, 1, -120deg);}
         40% {transform: rotate3d(1, 1, 1, -180deg);}
         60% {transform: rotate3d(1, 1, 1, -240deg);}
         80% {transform: rotate3d(1, 1, 1, -300deg);}
         100% {transform: rotate3d(1, 1, 1, -360deg);}
      }
   </style>
</head>
<body>
   
   <div id="myd">
      <div class="side frontFace">1</div>
      <div class="side backFace">2</div>
      <div class="side rightFace">3</div>
      <div class="side leftFace">4</div>
      <div class="side topFace">5</div>
      <div class="side bottomFace">6</div>
   </div>
   
</body>
</html>
Output
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5
6

The above 3D animating Box or simply a Die is created using CSS. While creating this box, multiple transform functions are required to use. Let's check it out, step by step.

CSS 3D Transform Example - Step No.1

HTML with CSS Code
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
   <style>
      #myd {width: 160px; height: 160px; border: 1px solid red;}
   </style>
</head>
<body>
   
   <div id="myd">
      <div class="side frontFace">1</div>
      <div class="side backFace">2</div>
      <div class="side rightFace">3</div>
      <div class="side leftFace">4</div>
      <div class="side topFace">5</div>
      <div class="side bottomFace">6</div>
   </div>
   
</body>
</html>
Output
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3
4
5
6

CSS 3D Transform Example - Step No.2

Add the following CSS code in above example:

.side{display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center;}

Now the output will be:

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4
5
6

Note - The justify-content is used to align content on main or horizontal axis in flex container.

Note - The align-items is used to align items inside the flex container.

Note - The FlexBox and flex are defined in its separate tutorial.

CSS 3D Transform Example - Step No.3

Again add the following CSS code in above example:

.backFace{background: rgba(167, 109, 22, 0.72); transform: rotateY(180deg);}

Now the output will be:

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3
4
5
6

The 2 gets reversed using transform: rotateY(180deg);. Now the 2 looks like, we're seeing it from its back.

Note - The rotateY() function rotates an element along y-axis.

CSS 3D Transform Example - Step No.4

Now replace the whole CSS code, with following:

#myd {width: 160px; height: 160px; border: 1px solid red;
   transform-style: preserve-3d;}
.side{display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center;
   position: absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%; font-size: 90px;
   color: whitesmoke;}
.backFace{background: rgba(167, 109, 22, 0.72); transform: rotateY(180deg);}

Now the output will be:

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2
3
4
5
6

That is, using width: 100%; height: 100%;, each and every DIV (with class name side) gets occupy the whole area of DIV whose id is myd. And using position: absolute;, all the DIV gets positioned one over another. And finally using the transform-style: preserve-3d;, all the 6 DIV gets inside the DIV whose id is myd.

Note - The transform-style property is used set whether the child elements are positioned in 3D space or not.

Now let's do some marginal modification of the code, to transform each and every face, to arrange all the six faces or sides, to make a 3D box, that will be a Die.

CSS 3D Transform Example - Step No.5

Replace the whole CSS code from above example, with:

#myd {width: 160px; height: 160px; border: 1px solid red; margin: 80px auto;
   transform-style: preserve-3d; transform: rotate3d(12, -7, 1, 20deg);}
.side{display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center;
   position: absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%; font-size: 90px;
   color: whitesmoke;}
.frontFace {background: rgba(70, 69, 69, 0.72);}
.backFace {background: rgba(167, 109, 22, 0.72); transform: rotateY(180deg);}
.rightFace {background: rgba(248, 30, 1, 0.72); transform: rotateY(90deg);}
.leftFace {background: rgba(5, 5, 248, 0.72); transform: rotateY(-90deg);}
.topFace {background: rgba(8, 240, 8, 0.72); transform: rotateX(90deg);}
.bottomFace {background: rgba(198, 201, 19, 0.856); transform: rotateX(-90deg);}

Now the output will be:

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6

Now the only thing, we need to change, is to use translateZ() function to transform the box to the original position, to make a Die. Let's do it.

CSS 3D Transform Example - Step No.6

Add the translateZ(80px) to every side. Then the output will be:

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6

CSS 3D Transform Example - Final Step

Now remove the border: 1px solid red;. Here is the complete code and its output:

HTML with CSS Code
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
   <style>
      #myd {width: 160px; height: 160px; margin: 80px auto;
         transform-style: preserve-3d; transform: rotate3d(12, -7, 1, 20deg);}
		 
      .side{display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center;
         position: absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%; font-size: 90px;
         color: whitesmoke;}

      .frontFace {background: rgba(70, 69, 69, 0.72); transform: translateZ(80px);}
      .backFace {background: rgba(167, 109, 22, 0.72); transform: rotateY(180deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .rightFace {background: rgba(248, 30, 1, 0.72); transform: rotateY(90deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .leftFace {background: rgba(5, 5, 248, 0.72); transform: rotateY(-90deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .topFace {background: rgba(8, 240, 8, 0.72); transform: rotateX(90deg) translateZ(80px);}
      .bottomFace {background: rgba(198, 201, 19, 0.856); transform: rotateX(-90deg) translateZ(80px);}
   </style>
</head>
<body>
   
   <div id="myd">
      <div class="side frontFace">1</div>
      <div class="side backFace">2</div>
      <div class="side rightFace">3</div>
      <div class="side leftFace">4</div>
      <div class="side topFace">5</div>
      <div class="side bottomFace">6</div>
   </div>
   
</body>
</html>
Output
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5
6

You can change the value of rotate3d() function, to rotate the Die.

Since this is not a tutorial of animation, therefore I'm not going to add some more steps to bound the element to animate. You can learn about animation, in its separate tutorial. However, the animation-name defines name for an animation, animation-duration defines time to complete one iteration or cycle of animation, animation-timing-function defines the speed curve of an animation, or define the way to process an animation and animation-iteration-count defines the total number of iterations or cycles for an animation to play.

CSS 3D Transform Functions

You can use combination of multiple transform functions to transform an element that becomes or looks like a 3D viewing element or whatever you say.

CSS Online Test


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