Behind the animations at Hack the North

Our landing page animations from 2018–2021

Table of Contents

Types of Animation Formats

  • Complexity: many of our animations are very complicated (like rotating helicopter blades) and would be near impossible to make using CSS
  • Transparency: we need to support transparency since, in most cases, we want to be able to overlay our assets on top of a non-solid background
  • Small file size: we want our assets to load as fast as possible
  • Vectorized: our animated assets need to scale to every screen size
  • Ease of handoff: our frontend team shouldn’t need to animate everything manually; not only is it time-consuming, but we want to shift that burden to the design team in case changes need to be made


  1. transparency significantly increases the file size of a GIF
  2. stretching GIFs to accommodate all screen sizes is a problem (raster format)
  3. GIFs only support 1-bit transparency, which means that a pixel is either transparent or not. This can lead to jagged edges, like here


Comparing .gif and .mp4 sizes for the same animation. MP4s are 91% smaller!


CSS Animations


Exporting the Animation

Rendering the Animation


Canvas Rendering

Lazy-Loading Animations



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Hack the North

Hack the North

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