Inspect animations

Inspect and modify animations with the Chrome DevTools Animation Inspector.

animation inspector

TL;DR

  • Capture animations by opening the Animation Inspector. It automatically detects animations and sorts them into groups.
  • Inspect animations by slowing them down, replaying them, or viewing their source code.
  • Modify animations by changing their timing, delay, duration, or keyframe offsets.

Overview

The Chrome DevTools Animation Inspector has two main purposes.

  • Inspecting animations. You want to slow down, replay, or inspect the source code for an animation group.
  • Modifying animations. You want to modify the timing, delay, duration, or keyframe offsets of an animation group. Bezier editing and keyframe editing are currently not supported.

The Animation Inspector supports CSS animations, CSS transitions, and web animations. requestAnimationFrame animations are currently not supported.

What's an animation group?

An animation group is a group of animations that appear to be related to each other. Currently, the web has no real concept of a group animation, so motion designers and developers have to compose and time individual animations so that they appear to be one coherent visual effect. The Animation Inspector predicts which animations are related based on start time (excluding delays, and so on) and groups them all side-by-side. In other words, a set of animations all triggered in the same script block are grouped together, but if they're asynchronous then they're grouped separately.

Get started

There are two ways to open the Animation Inspector:

  • Go to the Styles pane (on the Elements panel) and press the Animations button (animations 
  button).
  • Open the Command Menu and type Drawer: Show Animations.

The Animation Inspector opens up as a tab next to the Console Drawer. Since it's a Drawer tab, you can use it from any DevTools panel.

Empty Animation Inspector

The Animation Inspector is grouped into four main sections (or panes). This guide refers to each pane as follows:

  1. Controls. From here you can clear all currently captured Animation Groups, or change the speed of the currently selected Animation Group.
  2. Overview. Select an Animation Group here to inspect and modify it in the Details pane.
  3. Timeline. Pause and start an animation from here, or jump to a specific point in the animation.
  4. Details. Inspect and modify the currently selected Animation Group.

annotation Animation Inspector

To capture an animation, just perform the interaction that triggers the animation while the Animation Inspector is open. If an animation is triggered on page load, you can help the Animation Inspector detect the animation by reloading the page.

Inspect animations

Once you've captured an animation, there are a few ways to replay it:

  • Hover over its thumbnail in the Overview pane to view a preview of it.
  • Select the Animation Group from the Overview pane (so that it's displayed in the Details pane) and press the replay button (replay button). The animation is replayed in the viewport. Click on the animation speed buttons (animation speed 
  buttons) to change the preview speed of the currently selected Animation Group. You can use the red veritcal bar to change your current position.
  • Click and drag the red vertical bar to scrub the viewport animation.

View animation details

Once you've captured an Animation Group, click on it from the Overview pane to view its details. In the Details pane each individual animation gets its own row.

animation group details

Hover over an animation to highlight it in the viewport. Click on the animation to select it in the Elements panel.

hover over animation to highlight it in 
viewport

The leftmost, darker section of an animation is its definition. The right, more faded section represents iterations. For example, in the screenshot below, sections two and three represent iterations of section one.

diagram of animation iterations

If two elements have the same animation applied to them, the Animation Inspector assigns them the same color. The color itself is random and has no significance. For example, in the screenshot below the two elements div.eye.left::after and div.eye.right::after have the same animation (eyes) applied to them, as do the div.feet::before and div.feet::after elements.

color-coded animations

Modify animations

There are three ways you can modify an animation with the Animation Inspector:

  • Animation duration.
  • Keyframe timings.
  • Start time delay.

For this section suppose that the screenshot below represents the original animation:

original animation before modification

To change the duration of an animation, click and drag the first or last circle.

modified duration

If the animation defines any keyframe rules, then these are represented as white inner circles. Click and drag one of these to change the timing of the keyframe.

modified keyframe

To add a delay to an animation, click and drag it anywhere except the circles.

modified delay