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Javascript Requestanimationframe: Javascript Explained

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Javascript Requestanimationframe is a powerful feature of Javascript that allows you to efficiently render animation with minimal performance impact. It is quickly becoming one of the most common tools used to create visuals on the web. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when using Javascript Requestanimationframe. In this article, we’ll go over what Javascript Requestanimationframe is, its benefits, how to use it, potential pitfalls to avoid, examples of it in action, optimization tips, troubleshooting common issues, and how to make the best of Requestanimationframe.

What is Javascript Requestanimationframe?

Javascript Requestanimationframe is a JavaScript API that allows developers to request animation frames from the browser. It can be used as an alternative to setInterval and setTimeout for creating animations. RequestAnimationFrame works by having the browser call a specific function when the browser is ready for a new animation frame. This allows for more efficient and consistent animations since the browser is only given new frames when it’s ready. This can ultimately result in better performance and less choppy effects.

RequestAnimationFrame is also beneficial for battery life, as it reduces the amount of time the CPU is running. This is because the browser will only call the animation function when it is ready, instead of running the animation function at a set interval. This can help to reduce the amount of power used by the device, which can be especially important for mobile devices.

Advantages of Using Javascript Requestanimationframe

Using RequestAnimationFrame offers many benefits over regular setInterval or setTimeout. First and foremost, animation frames are only requested when they’re needed. This means that unneeded frames are not being requested, leading to reduced processing power usage. As a result, this can reduce battery drain and enable your application to be more efficient. In addition, synchronization of frames with the user’s monitor refresh rate can lead to smoother animations that are less choppy and easier on the eyes.

Another advantage of using RequestAnimationFrame is that it allows for better control over the timing of animations. This can be especially useful when creating complex animations that require precise timing. Additionally, it can help to reduce the amount of code needed to create an animation, as the browser will handle the timing for you. Finally, using RequestAnimationFrame can help to improve the overall performance of your application, as it will only request frames when they are needed.

How to Implement Javascript Requestanimationframe

Implementing Javascript Requestanimationframe is a relatively straightforward process. First, create the function for the animation frame request. The function should take no parameters and should calculate what the animation should look like at this frame. Then, call the window.requestAnimationFrame function inside of your animation loop. This will ensure that the user’s browser receives requests for new frames at an appropriate rate, thus ensuring a smooth animation.

It is important to note that the requestAnimationFrame function will only be called when the browser is ready to render a new frame. This means that the animation will not be updated if the browser is busy with other tasks. Additionally, the animation will not be updated if the user has switched to another tab or window. To ensure that the animation is always running, it is important to use a fallback timer to call the animation loop in case the requestAnimationFrame function is not called.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid when Using Javascript Requestanimationframe

Using RequestAnimationFrame can be beneficial for creating smoother animations, but there are some pitfalls to watch out for. First, it’s important to understand that the frame rate can vary based on the user’s device and browser. This means that you shouldn’t assume a consistent frame rate. Additionally, some older browsers might not support RequestAnimationFrame or implement different versions, so make sure to do your research and check which browsers you’re targeting.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that RequestAnimationFrame is not suitable for all types of animations. For example, if you are creating a game with complex physics, you may need to use a different approach. Additionally, if you are creating a complex animation with multiple layers, you may need to use a different approach as well. It’s important to understand the limitations of RequestAnimationFrame and plan accordingly.

Examples of Javascript Requestanimationframe in Action

RequestAnimationFrame can be used for many types of animations, ranging from simple button transitions to complex 3d scenes. For example, you can use it to create smooth scrolling effects. Additionally, if you’re creating a multiplayer game with real-time updates, you can use RequestAnimationFrame to ensure that frames are sent efficiently and without overloading the server.

RequestAnimationFrame can also be used to create interactive animations, such as a bouncing ball or a rotating cube. By combining it with other JavaScript libraries, such as Three.js, you can create complex 3D animations that can be used in web applications or games. Additionally, you can use it to create smooth transitions between different states of an application, such as when a user clicks a button or changes a setting.

Tips for Optimizing Performance with Javascript Requestanimationframe

There are several ways you can optimize your performance when using RequestAnimationFrame. First, try to limit requests for animation frames by using throttling or debouncing techniques. If you have multiple objects that need to be animated at different rates, try creating separate requestAnimationFrame calls for each one to ensure that no objects are being unnecessarily animated. Additionally, make sure to always cancel animations after they have finished.

You can also optimize your performance by using the latest version of the browser. Older browsers may not support the latest features of RequestAnimationFrame, so it is important to keep your browser up to date. Additionally, you should try to minimize the number of DOM elements that need to be animated, as this can cause a significant performance hit. Finally, try to use hardware acceleration when possible, as this can greatly improve the performance of your animations.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Javascript Requestanimationframe

When working with animation frames, it’s important to keep an eye on possible issues. One common issue is latency issues involving slow browsers or poor network connections. If this is an issue you run into, try using a polyfill like Paul Irish’s requestanimationframe polyfill to ensure that your application runs smoothly on older browsers. In addition, it can be helpful to run performance tests on different browsers and devices to determine if your application is running as expected.

Another issue to watch out for is memory leaks. Memory leaks can occur when objects are not properly disposed of, leading to a buildup of unused memory. To prevent this, make sure to use the appropriate garbage collection techniques to ensure that all objects are properly disposed of. Additionally, it can be helpful to use a memory profiler to identify any potential memory leaks in your application.


Javascript Requestanimationframe is quickly becoming an essential tool in the modern web developer’s toolbox. It offers significant performance improvements over conventional methods like setInterval and setTimeout. When used correctly, RequestAnimationFrame can enable smoother animations and reduce battery drain. However, it’s important to keep in mind certain pitfalls like inconsistent frame rates and compatibility issues with older browsers. Optimizing your code appropriately and running performance tests on different platforms can help ensure that you get the most out of Javascript Requestanimationframe.

In addition, it’s important to remember that RequestAnimationFrame is not a silver bullet. It should be used in conjunction with other techniques such as caching and preloading to ensure the best performance. Furthermore, it’s important to consider the user experience when using RequestAnimationFrame. If the animation is too slow or too fast, it can be distracting and detract from the overall experience.

Nisha Kumari

Nisha Kumari

Nisha Kumari, a Founding Engineer at Bito, brings a comprehensive background in software engineering, specializing in Java/J2EE, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and web development. Her career highlights include significant roles at Accenture, where she led end-to-end project deliveries and application maintenance, and at PubMatic, where she honed her skills in online advertising and optimization. Nisha's expertise spans across SAP HANA development, project management, and technical specification, making her a versatile and skilled contributor to the tech industry.

Written by developers for developers

This article was handcrafted with by the Bito team.

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