Hover effects have long been one of the easiest ways to add an element of interactivity to a website. Most commonly, we see them used to highlight text links or buttons. But their use can range far beyond the basics.
One area where hover effects can be especially powerful is when they’re applied to images. Whether it’s as part of a small card layout or a massive hero image, the right effect can make a huge impact.
Today, we’ll show you some creative ways that designers are integrating hover effects into images. They’ll demonstrate how we can spice up our own projects in a dramatic fashion.
Photo Effects on Hover by Alvaro Montoro
This clever use of CSS and JS duplicates the image and layers them on top of each other. From there, CSS filters are separately added to each image. This technique results in cinematic-quality effects that would be otherwise difficult to achieve.
Fast and Powerful Image Effects by kw7oe
What’s great about this collection of hover effects is that they provide instant gratification. But that speed doesn’t take away their potency. Of particular note here are the CSS3 filter effects, as they bring sepia and grayscale images to full color upon hovering.
Image Hover with Slide Out Title by LittleSnippets
This combination of skewed caption containers, sharp typography, and quick animation is powerful. It’s also reminiscent of the opening credits to a TV show. Amazingly, the vast majority of the work is done by CSS alone.
Show Your Cards Image Effects by Bruno Rodrigues
Here’s a snippet that brings to mind someone unfolding a hand of playing cards for all to see. But in this case, it seems like it would be a perfect hover effect to implement for photo galleries. It not only looks cool, but it also provides some context for users.
Shifting Reality Image Hover Effects by Dimitra Vasilopoulou
Go ahead, play around with this example and see if you can keep your vision straight. As you hover over various parts of this building, blocks shift and scroll based on your cursor direction. It’s highly detailed, confusing, and mind-blowing all at once. Can we do it again?
Split Image Hover Effects by Dimitra Vasilopoulou
Want more mind-blowing fun? Here’s another example from Dimitra Vasilopoulou, who also created the reality-shifter above. Here, the photograph appears to be split up within a grid layout. Hovering quickly puts it all back together. While it’s not quite as psychedelic, it’s no less impressive.
Pure Class Image Effect with Pure CSS by Mahesh Ambure
Key(frames) to the Wild by Vail Joy
We’ve come to the intersection of drama and beauty with this incredible CSS “shutter” effect. Hovering over these sepia-toned animal illustrations creates an ultra-smooth transition to full-color. It was accomplished via CSS filters, keyframes, pseudo-elements, and opacity changes.
The Bigger Picture Image Hover Gallery by Shaw
Photo galleries are so widespread, yet you don’t see many that are truly unique. Here is a stunning exception. Hover over a thumbnail image in the grid, and a full-sized version takes over the entire container. But that’s only half of the story. The real cool factor comes from the image “splitting” itself and being put back together as it loads in.
Split Image Reveal Effect by Mark Mead
Here we have a fun technique for revealing text behind an image. This snippet shows various ways to “split” an image into strips, thus clearing the way for a secret message. Since it’s a bit complicated, it may not be something you’d want to use repeatedly on a page. But, with the right implementation, you’ll add a creative flair to your project.
We Have the Drama
Adding dramatic hover effects to your site is a great way to grab a user’s attention. What the examples above show is that we can achieve the desired results without going overboard. You don’t need something loud and obnoxious in the least. Rather, it’s all about smooth transitions and compelling special effects.
Let these examples inspire you. Then, experiment with ways to add some drama to your own images.