SVG animation

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Scalable Vector Graphics

Animation of Scalable Vector Graphics, an open XML-based standard vector graphics format, is possible through various means:

Because SVG supports PNG and JPEG raster images, it can be used to animate such images as an alternative to APNG and Multiple-image Network Graphics.


SVG animation elements were developed in collaboration with the W3C Synchronized Multimedia Working Group, developers of the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language. The SYMM Working Group, in collaboration with the SVG Working Group, has authored the SMIL Animation specification, which represents a general-purpose XML animation feature set. SVG incorporates the animation features defined in the SMIL Animation specification and provides some SVG specific extensions.


The following code snippets demonstrate three techniques to create animated SVG on compatible browsers. The relevant parts are in bold green.

SVG animation using SMIL

SVG animation using SMIL.svg
About this image
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "">
<svg version="1.1" xmlns="" xmlns:xlink=""
 width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="-4 -4 8 8">
 <title>SVG animation using SMIL</title>
 <circle cx="0" cy="1" r="2" stroke="red" fill="none">

SVG animation using CSS

SVG animation using CSS.svg
About this image
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "">
<svg version="1.1" xmlns="" xmlns:xlink=""
 width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="-4 -4 8 8">
 <title>SVG animation using CSS</title>
 <style type="text/css">
  @keyframes rot_kf { from { transform: rotate(0deg);   }
                      to   { transform: rotate(360deg); } }
  .rot { animation: rot_kf 1s linear infinite; }
 <circle class="rot" cx="0" cy="1" r="2" stroke="blue" fill="none"/>

SVG animation using ECMAScript

No example as uploads with ECMAScript are barred
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "">
<svg version="1.1" xmlns="" xmlns:xlink=""
 width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="-4 -4 8 8" onload="rotate(evt)">
 <title>SVG animation using ECMAScript</title>
 <script type="text/ecmascript">
  function rotate(evt) {
   var object ='rot');
   setInterval(function () {
     var now          = new Date();
     var milliseconds = now.getTime() % 1000;
     var degrees      = milliseconds * 0.36; // 360 degrees in 1000 ms
     object.setAttribute('transform', 'rotate(' + degrees + ')');
    }, 20);
 <circle id="rot" cx="0" cy="1" r="2" stroke="green" fill="none"/>

SMIL attributes to identify the target attribute

The following are the animation attribute which identify the target attribute for the given target element whose value changes over time.

attributeName = "<attributeName>"

Specifies the name of the target attribute. An XMLNS prefix may be used to indicate the XML namespace for the attribute. The prefix will be interpreted in the scope of the current animation element.

attributeType = "CSS | XML | auto"

Specifies the namespace in which the target attribute and its associated values are defined.

This specifies that the value of ‘attributeName’ is the name of a CSS property defined as animatable in this specification.

This specifies that the value of ‘attributeName’ is the name of an XML attribute defined in the default XML namespace for the target element. The attribute must be defined as animatable in this specification.

The default value is 'auto'. The implementation should match the ‘attribute Name’ to an attribute for the target element. The implementation must first search through the list of CSS properties for a matching property name, and if none is found, search the default XML namespace for the element.

Note: MediaWiki automatically generates static, non-animated thumbnails of SVG images. Viewing the actual .svg image from each respective description page will show its animation in a compatible browser.


There are several JavaScript libraries for working with SVG animation. An advantage to the use of such libraries is that these libraries often solve incompatibility issues in browsers through abstraction. Examples of libraries include:

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to SVG animation.


  1. "Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 Specification". World Wide Web Consortium. 14 January 2003, edited in place 30 April 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Festa, Paul (9 January 2003). "W3C releases scripting standard, caveat". CNet. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  3. Bulterman, D.C.A.; Lloyd Rutledge (November 2008). SMIL 3.0: Interactive Multimedia for the Web, Mobile Devices and Daisy Talking Books. (2nd ed.). New York: NY: Springer. p. 508. ISBN 978-3-540-78546-0.
  4. McCathieNevile, Charles (31 October 2006). "Animating Your SVG". Opera Developer Community. Opera Software. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  5. "SVG animation with SMIL". 29 March 2011.
  6. "When can I use SVG SMIL animation?".
  7. "SVG Animation support in Amaya". World Wide Web Consortium. 15 April 2003. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  8. Dahlström, Erik (August 2008). "Tricks of javascript, SVG and SMIL". Opera Software at SVG Open. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
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