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Club GSAP plugin

Quick Start

Trial URL

DrawSVGPlugin is a Club GSAP perk, join today or grab this trial URL to take it for a spin for free.  Works on localhost, Codepen, CodeSandbox and Stackblitz.


Minimal usage

//draws all elements with the "draw-me" class applied 
gsap.from(".draw-me", {duration:1,drawSVG: 0});


DrawSVGPlugin allows you to progressively reveal (or hide) the stroke of an SVG <path>, <line>, <polyline>, <polygon>, <rect>, or <ellipse>. You can even animate outward from the center of the stroke (or any position/segment). It does this by controlling the stroke-dashoffset and stroke-dasharray CSS properties.

Think of the drawSVG value as describing the stroked portion of the overall SVG element (which doesn't necessarily have to start at the beginning). For example, drawSVG:"20% 80%" renders the stroke between the 20% and 80% positions, meaning there's a 20% gap on each end. If you started at "50% 50%" and animated to "0% 100%", it would draw the stroke from the middle outward to fill the whole path.


Remember, the drawSVG value doesn't describe the values between which you want to animate - it describes the end state to which you're animating (or the beginning if you're using a from() tween). So"#path", {duration: 1, drawSVG: "20% 80%"}) animates it from wherever the stroke is currently to a state where the stroke exists between the 20% and 80% positions along the path. It does NOT animate it from 20% to 80% over the course of the tween.

This is a good thing because it gives you much more flexibility. You're not limited to starting out at a single point along the path and animating in one direction only. You control the whole segment (starting and ending positions). So you could even animate a dash from one end of the path to the other, never changing size, like gsap.fromTo("#path", {drawSVG: "0 5%"}, {duration: 1, drawSVG: "95% 100%"});

You may use either percentages or absolute lengths. If you use a single value, 0 is assumed for the starting value, so "100%" is the same as "0 100%" and "true".

IMPORTANT: In order to animate the stroke, you must first actually apply one using either CSS or SVG attributes:

/* Define a stroke and stroke-width in CSS: */
.yourPath {
stroke-width: 10px;
stroke: red;

/* or as SVG attributes: */
<path ... stroke-width="10px" stroke="red" />
Detailed walkthrough

How do I animate many strokes and stagger animations?

The great thing about having DrawSVGPlugin integrated into GSAP is that you can tap into the rich API to quickly create complex effects and have total control (pause, resume, reverse, seek, nesting, etc.). So let's say you have 20 SVG elements that all have the class draw-me applied to them, and you want to draw them in a staggered fashion. You could do:

//draws all elements with the "draw-me" class applied with staggered start times 0.1 seconds apart
gsap.from(".draw-me", {duration:1,stagger: 0.1, drawSVG: 0});

Or you could create a timeline and drop the tweens into it so that you can control the entire sequence as a whole:

var tl = gsap.timeline();
tl.from(".draw-me", { duration: 2, drawSVG: 0 }, 0.1);

//now we can control it:

Add "live" to recalculate length throughout animation

In rare situations, the length of the SVG element itself may change during the drawSVG animation (like if the window is resized and things are responsive). In that case, you can simply append "live" to the value which will cause DrawSVGPlugin to update the length on every tick of the animation. So, for example, drawSVG: "20% 70% live".

Splitting a multi-segment <path>

Usually it's best to use DrawSVGPlugin on <path> elements that are just one segment (doesn't contain multiple "M" commands) because browsers have a hard time properly rendering a single stroke through multiple segments, but we've crafted a helper function that automatically splits a multi-segment <path> into a <path> for each segment, as seen in this demo:


Caveats / Notes

  • DrawSVGPlugin does not animate the fill of the SVG at all - it only affects the stroke using stroke-dashoffset and stroke-dasharray CSS properties.

  • In some rare situations, Firefox doesn't properly calculate the total length of <path> elements, so you may notice that the path stops a bit short even if you animate to 100%. In this (uncommon) scenario, there are two solutions: either add more anchors to your path to make the control points hug closer to the path, or overshoot the percentage a bit, like use 102% instead of 100%. To be clear, this is a Firefox bug, not a bug with DrawSVGPlugin.

  • DrawSVGPlugin is a Club GSAP membership benefit. You must have a valid membership to use this class without violating the terms of use. Visit the Club page to sign up or get more details.

  • As of December 2014, iOS Safari has a bug that causes it to render <rect> strokes incorrectly in some cases (too thick, and slight artifacts around the edges, plus it misplaces the origin). The best workaround is to either convert your <rect> to a <path> or <polyline>.

  • You cannot affect the contents of a <use> element because browsers simply don't allow it. Well, you can tween them but you won't see any changes on the screen.



DrawSVGPlugin.getLength( element:[Element | Selector text] ) : Number

Provides an easy way to get the length of an SVG element's stroke including: <path>, <rect>, <circle>, <ellipse>, <line>, <polyline>, and <polygon>

DrawSVGPlugin.getPosition( element:[Element | Selector text] ) : Number

Provides an easy way to get the current position of the DrawSVG.


How do I include DrawSVGPlugin in my project?

See the installation page for all the options (CDN, NPM, download, etc.) where there's even an interactive helper that provides the necessary code. Easy peasy. Don't forget to register DrawSVGPlugin like this in your project:


Is this included in the GSAP core?

No, you must load/import it separately

Is this only for Club GSAP members?

Yes. It's our way of saying "Thank you" to those who support our efforts. If you're not a member, what are you waiting for? Satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back. Take your animation skills to the next level. If you're already a member, you can download GSAP along with this and the other bonus plugins from your account dashboard. See the installation page for details about how to get it into your project via a <script> tag or NPM, Yarn, etc.

Can I try DrawSVGPlugin out for free?

You betcha! There's a trial (but fully-functional) version of DrawSVGPlugin that you can use on Codepen as much as you want for free. Get the URLs here. It's a fantastic way to experiment. Note: the trial version of the plugins will only work on the CodePen domain.

It works fine during development, but suddenly stops working in the production build! What do I do?

Your build tool is probably dropping the plugin when tree shaking and you forgot to register DrawSVGPlugin (which protects it from tree shaking). Just register the plugin like this:


Is it bad to register a plugin multiple times?

No, it's perfectly fine. It doesn't help anything, nor does it hurt.