Staggered animation, also known as "follow through" or "overlapping action" is one of the twelve Disney principles of animation as defined by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book "The Illusion of Life". At its core, the concept deals with animating objects in delayed succession to produce fluid motion.
I was stopped at an intersection the other day. It was raining. The road on the other side sloped upwards, so I could see the stopped cars on the other side of the road kind of stadium-seating style. I could see all their windshield wipers going all at the same time, all out-of-sync with each other. Plus a few of them had seemingly kinda broken ones that flapped at awkward times and angles.
What does that have to do with web design and development? Nothing really, other than that I took the scene as inspiration to create something, and it ended up being an interesting hodgepodge of "tricks".
SMIL, SVG’s native animation specification, has been highly regarded because it offers so many bells and whistles for performant SVG animation rendering. Unfortunately, support for SMIL is waning in WebKit, and has never (nor will likely ever) exist for Microsoft’s IE or Edge browsers. Have no fear! We’ve got you covered. This article explores some of those SMIL-specific features and delves into the alternatives to achieve the same effects with a longer tail of support.