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Animation Loops using requestAnimationFrame

by kirupa   |   15 August 2013

In this short video, I continue my unhealthy obsession with the requestAnimationFrame function by summarizing what it does and the role it plays in animation loops.

Hit Play below to get the video rolling:

Example + Source Code

The example I show in the video is of the following sliding circle. The full source for it looks as follows:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta content="stuff, to, help, search, engines, not" name="keywords">
<meta content="What this page is about." name="description">
<meta content="An Interesting Title Goes Here" name="title">
<title>Something, something, sliding thing!</title>
<style type="text/css">
body {
	background-color: #FFF;
	margin: 30px;
	margin-top: 10px;
#contentContainer {
	width: 550px;
	height: 350px;
	border: 5px black solid;
	overflow: hidden;
	background-color: #FFFF00;
#thing {
	position: relative;
	left: 50px;
	top: 25px;

<div id="contentContainer">
	<img id="thing" alt="the thing" height="300" src="../../html5/images/donut.png" width="300">

<script src="//www.kirupa.com/html5/examples/js/prefixfree.min.js"></script>
var theThing = document.querySelector("#thing");
var currentPos = 0;

// depending on your browser, the right version of the rAF function will be returned...I hope
var requestAnimationFrame = window.requestAnimationFrame || 
							window.mozRequestAnimationFrame || 
							window.webkitRequestAnimationFrame || 
function moveThing() {
	currentPos += 5;
	theThing.style.left = currentPos + "px";
	if (Math.abs(currentPos) >= 900) {
		currentPos = -500;


What you see in the video is me starting from an earlier version of this code and adding the relevant parts to setup our animation loop and get the animation rolling! 

Going Further

To learn more about requestAnimationFrame, check out the following tutorials:

Just a final word before we wrap up. If you have a question and/or want to be part of a friendly, collaborative community of over 220k other developers like yourself, post on the forums for a quick response!

Kirupa's signature!

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