DOM Rendering in Depth

rekapi.DOMRenderer allows you to animate DOM elements. This is achieved either by CSS @keyframe animations, or by per-frame inline style updates.

Advantages of playing an animation with CSS @keyframes:

  • Generally smoother animations.
  • The JavaScript thread is freed from performing animation updates, making it available for other logic.


  • Limited playback control: You can only play and stop an animation, you cannot jump to or start from a specific point in the timeline.
  • Generating the CSS for @keyframe animations can take a noticeable amount of time. This blocks all other logic, including rendering, so you may have to be clever with how to spend the cycles to do it.
  • No events can be bound to CSS @keyframe animations.

So, the results are a little more predictable and flexible with inline style animations, but CSS @keyframe may give you better performance. Choose whichever approach makes the most sense for your needs.

rekapi.DOMRenderer can gracefully fall back to an inline style animation if CSS @keyframe animations are not supported by the browser:

 import { Rekapi, DOMRenderer } from 'rekapi';

 const rekapi = new Rekapi(document.body);

 // Each actor needs a reference to the DOM element it represents
 const actor = rekapi.addActor({
   context: document.querySelector('div')

   .keyframe(0,    { left: '0px'   })
   .keyframe(1000, { left: '250px' }, 'easeOutQuad');

 // Feature detect for CSS @keyframe support
 if (rekapi.renderer.canAnimateWithCSS()) {
   // Animate with CSS @keyframes
 } else {
   // Animate with inline styles instead;

@keyframe animations work differently than inline style animations

Inline style animations are compatible with all of the playback and timeline control methods defined by rekapi.Rekapi, such as rekapi.Rekapi#play, rekapi.Rekapi#playFrom and rekapi.Rekapi#update. CSS @keyframe playback cannot be controlled in all browsers, so rekapi.DOMRenderer defines analogous, renderer-specific CSS playback methods that you should use:

See the Pen Rekapi demo: Playing many actors by Jeremy Kahn (@jeremyckahn) on CodePen.