CSS perspective-origin

The CSS perspective-origin property is used to determine the vanishing point for a 3D effect. It defines which position the user is looking at the 3D object.

Use this property on an element's parent element in order to see the effect on the child element.

The perspective-origin property is used in conjunction with the perspective property, which adjusts the intensity of the 3D effect.

Syntax

perspective-origin: x-position y-position

Possible Values

[ <percentage> | <length> | left | center | right | top |
      bottom]
      |
      [
        [ <percentage> | <length> | left | center | right
      ]
        &&
        [ <percentage> | <length> | top | center | bottom
      ]
      ]

Explanation of values:

x-position

The following values are allowed for the x-position:

<length>
Specifies the position relative to the width of the element. The value may be negative.
<length>
Specifies the position using a length value. The value may be negative.
left
Specifies the position as being at the left. This is the same as the 0 length value.
right
Specifies the position as being at the right. This is the same as the 100% percentage value.
center
Specifies the position as being at the center. This is the same as the 50% percentage value.

y-position

The following values are allowed for the y-position:

<length>
Specifies the position relative to the width of the element. The value may be negative.
<length>
Specifies the position using a length value. The value may be negative.
top
Specifies the position as being at the top. This is the same as the 0 length value.
bottom
Specifies the position as being at the bottom. This is the same as the 100% percentage value.
center
Specifies the position as being at the center. This is the same as the 50% percentage value.

In addition, all CSS properties also accept the following CSS-wide keyword values as the sole component of their property value:

initial
Represents the value specified as the property's initial value.
inherit
Represents the computed value of the property on the element's parent.
unset
This value acts as either inherit or initial, depending on whether the property is inherited or not. In other words, it sets all properties to their parent value if they are inheritable or to their initial value if not inheritable.

Basic Property Information

Initial Value
50% 50%
Applies To
This property applies only to transformable elements.

In HTML, a transformable element is either:

  • a block-level or atomic inline-level element
  • or whose CSS display property computes to table-row, table-row-group, table-header-group, table-footer-group, table-cell, or table-caption

In SVG, a transformable element is an element which has the attributes transform, patternTransform or gradientTransform.

Inherited?
No
Media
Visual
Computed Value
For <length> the absolute value, otherwise a percentage.
Animatable
Yes (see example)

Example Code

Basic CSS

perspective-origin: 25% 75%;

Working Example within an HTML Document

<!doctype html>
<title>Example</title>
<style>
div.container {
  padding: 20px;
  perspective: 100px; 
  perspective-origin: 25% 75%;
}
div.rotate
{
  width: 100px;
  padding: 50px;
  text-align: center;
  background: gold;
  transform: rotateX(20deg);
}
</style>

<div class="container">
	<div class="rotate">Rotated box...</div>
</div>

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CSS Specifications

Browser Support

The following table provided by Caniuse.com shows the level of browser support for this feature.

Vendor Prefixes

For maximum browser compatibility many web developers add browser-specific properties by using extensions such as -webkit- for Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera (newer versions), -ms- for Internet Explorer, -moz- for Firefox, -o- for older versions of Opera etc. As with any CSS property, if a browser doesn't support a proprietary extension, it will simply ignore it.

This practice is not recommended by the W3C, however in many cases, the only way you can test a property is to include the CSS extension that is compatible with your browser.

The major browser manufacturers generally strive to adhere to the W3C specifications, and when they support a non-prefixed property, they typically remove the prefixed version. Also, W3C advises vendors to remove their prefixes for properties that reach Candidate Recommendation status.

Many developers use Autoprefixer, which is a postprocessor for CSS. Autoprefixer automatically adds vendor prefixes to your CSS so that you don't need to. It also removes old, unnecessary prefixes from your CSS.

You can also use Autoprefixer with preprocessors such as Less and Sass.