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CSS grid landing page tutorial (36min)

Lesson info

Enabling 3D perspective on an element makes it possible to move, rotate, and scale objects in 3D space. You can set perspective on a parent element and have it affect all of its children, or just on the element itself. Both of these options unlock 3D transforms. 

In this video, we’ll cover your options for 3D perspective, and show you how to scale elements on the z axis: 

  1. No perspective
  2. ‍Children perspective
  3. ‍Self perspective
  4. ‍Scaling along the z-axis

Lesson info

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When you need Perspective, go for a walk. When you need 3D Perspective, you can find it right in the Style panel.

By default, 3D Perspective is not 3D at all. You might find that things are flattened to appear as if they were two-dimensional. Even if we're controlling what seem like 3D properties. Nothing will actually appear 3D — at least not as we might expect — until we set a 3D Perspective.

We'll cover three things here: setting a Children Perspective (on a parent element), setting a Self Perspective (on an element itself), and scaling along the Z-Axis.

And here's a fairly common type of page with a contact form. Let's select the form itself and go in to add a transform. Notice how rotating about the y-axis shows us that everything is two-dimensional and boring.

And that’s okay. Since the form is inside our section? And we want to set the section to sort of act like a camera? With our section selected, we set the Children Perspective. Let's do 1,000 pixels. A higher value here is a more flattened effect; a lower value is a more dramatic effect.

Let's go over to preview this page. And we'll do this to demonstrate that everything still functions as we'd expect — fully functional. Even with this effect.

That's Children Perspective.

Let's talk Self Perspective.

Here are a bunch of div blocks. Nothing special about them, except that there are a lot of them. Now, the same class is applied to each and every one of these div blocks. And as we rotate them, the perspective is what you might expect if the viewport was a camera. The perspective is set on the section. We’ve set a child perspective; if we go into the section and remove that, we already know we have that flattening effect. Nothing looks 3D because no perspective has been set.

So, what happens if we go into our settings and set a Self Perspective? Again, we’re setting this on the class we have applied to these div blocks, let’s say, 1,000 pixels. And now, if we go back in and affect rotation, the elements are 3D. They have 3D perspective, but notice how the rotational distortion is relative to the element itself, not the viewport.

That’s Self Perspective.

Finally, let's talk about scaling along the Z-Axis.

Plain page. Three buttons. They're in a div block. That div block is inside our section. Let's select our section and set a Children Perspective of 800 pixels.

And to really demo this, we'll select the div block (which contains our three buttons), and we’ll add a transform to rotate about the x-axis 20 degrees. Why? Because we want to more clearly see what we're about to do, which will, without a doubt, blow your mind, unless you're not a human being.

Each of these buttons has a different combo class applied — take a look at the Selector Field and notice each button has a different class. We did this so we can style each button separately. With our first button selected, we'll go in and transform the Z-Position towards us by 20 pixels. That works. Next, we'll select the second button, we'll go in and transform again, but instead of 20 pixels, let's do 40 pixels. Looks good. And finally, let's grab our third button, and set a transform on this one to 60 pixels.

20, 40, and 60. Looks exactly how we'd expect it to look. But these are Children of a parent element. We already know this: they are Children of the div block. If we select our div block and add a transform? We can finally use scaling (our Z Value) to show this effect in action.

So at a scale of 2, those distances? 20, 40, and 60? They double. So it's 40, 80, and 120. Or at a scale of .5? They're half of their original value. 10, 20, and 30.

Scaling along the Z-Axis works on parent elements that have Children with varying z values.

So. Children Perspective: great for making any element serve as a camera. Setting Perspective relative to that parent element. Self Perspective: enable 3D controls on an element without setting Perspective on its parent. And finally, scaling along the Z-Axis. This scales objects along the Z-Axis that have varying Z Values.