Using CSS transforms

Introduced in Gecko 1.9.1

(Firefox 3.5 / Thunderbird 3.0 / SeaMonkey 2.0)

By modifying the coordinate space, CSS transforms allow to change the position of the affected content without disrupting the normal flow. They are implemented using a set of CSS properties that let you apply affine linear transformations to HTML elements.  These transformations include rotation, skewing, scaling, and translation both in the plane and in the 3D space.

CSS transforms properties

Two major properties are used to define CSS transforms: transform and transform-origin

transform-origin
Specifies the position of the origin. By default it is at the top left corner of the element and can be moved. It is used by several transforms, like rotations, scaling or skewing, that need a specific point as parameter.
transform
Specifies the transforms to apply to the element. It is a space separated list of transform, which are applied one after the other, like requested by the composition operation.

Example: Rotating

This example creates an iframe that lets you use Google's home page, rotated 90 degrees about its bottom-left corner.

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<div style="-moz-transform: rotate(90deg); -moz-transform-origin: bottom left;">
  <iframe src="http://no.google.anymore/" width="500" height="600"></iframe>
</div>

Example: Skewing and translating

This example creates an iframe that lets you use Google's home page, skewed by 10 degrees on the X axis.

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View screenshot of example

<div style="-moz-transform: skewx(10deg) translatex(150px);
            -moz-transform-origin: bottom left;">
  <iframe src="http://no.google.anymore/" width="600" height="500"></iframe>
</div>

3D specific CSS properties

Performing CSS properties in the space is a little bit more complex. You have to start by configuring the 3D space by giving it a perspective, then you have to configure how your 2D elements will behave in that space.

Setting up a perspective

The first element to set is the perspective. The perspective is what gives the 3D impression. The farther from the viewer the elements are, the smaller there are.

How quick they shrink is defined by the perspective property. The smaller its value is, the deeper the perspective is.

perspective:0; perspective:150px; perspective:300px; perspective:600px;
   
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The second element to configure is the position of the viewer, with the perspective-origin property. By default, the perspective is centered on the viewer, which is not always adequate.

perspective-origin:150px 150px; perspective-origin:50% 50%; perspective-origin:-50px -50px;
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Once you have done this, you can work on the element in the 3D space.

2D elements in the 3D space

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