Hello, I’m Joni

an excitable brand strategist

Sass FUNction Demos

26 January 2017

I’ve been looking for mini mental distractions from our current political emergency a lot lately, which I have found through Sass and animations. Sass is incredibly powerful and I still find myself in awe of its potential. I set out to have fun with some areas that I don’t use much in my current day-to-day work tasks.

Preview of three Sass demos

I ended up putting a few rage fueled demos together that use different list and color functions. This post serves as a brief walk through of the bits of Sass that made each especially enjoyable and distracting to create.

Animated Demos

The foundation of these four animated demos are color lists and the random(), nth(), and mix() functions. There are also a few @for directives to help loop through several elements and assign values.

random() Rage Confetti

See the Pen random() Rage Confetti by Joni Trythall (@jonitrythall) on CodePen.

The primary magic here comes from randomly placing dots on the screen, randomly animating and delaying their movement, and randomly assigning and changing their colors between two lists.


The random() function can return a random value within a single limit (including 1 and the limit itself) or a random value within a range. So while top: random(340) + px; will produce a random pixel value from 1 to 340, a value of something like right: random(400) + 200 + px; will produce a random pixel value between 200 and 600.

For a negative value here something like right: random(200) - 100 + px; will move right along a range of -100 to 100 pixels.

The animation value below will move a dot along the x axis to a random point up to 1100px.

transform: translateX(random(1100) + px)

I also relied heavily on random() to replicate the new Ela Conf pattern recently.


The @for directive allows for each of the 150 dots to be looped through, applying the randomly set styling to each one.

$num: 150;
@for $i from 1 through $num {
  .dot:nth-of-type(#{$i}) {
      // Where are the declarations live

The $i variable serves as an incremental placeholder for 1 through 150, the counter.


The @if control directive is handy in specifying that half of the dots should have an animation delay, otherwise they all move at once and it’s much less exciting.

$num: 150;
$some: random($num);
@if $some > ($num / 2) {
  animation-delay: random(3000) + ms;

The $num variable simply reflects the number of dots that are being generated via HTML and $some houses a random number from this number (1-150 dots). If the random number is greater than 75 ($num / 2) then the animation-delay will be applied. Writing it this way permits the continued ability to experiment with these values.

Unite nth() Loader

See the Pen Unite Loader by Joni Trythall (@jonitrythall) on CodePen.

There are five squares in this demo that visually transition into a single dot. The nth() list function is used to select certain colors within the $colors list to apply to each object.

nth($list, $n)

nth() accepts two parameters: the name of the list and the index of the item within that list.

Here is a look at the code to apply the third color to the third object:

// List of colors
$colors: #ADD3C9, #EA758C, #FBFBFB, #26356E, #721840;

// Color assignment
.dot:nth-child(3) {
    background: nth($colors, 3);

The color of the third .dot becomes #FBFBFB, the third color in the list.

Through a series of five slightly different animations the dots are moved to the center with appropriate translateX and translateY values.

Color mix() Bubbles

This demo randomly positions and moves bubbles through @for loops and random(), as seen in the confetti demo. However, it also utilizes a Sass color function when generating a background color (mix()).

mix() Color Function

See the Pen Color mix() Bubbles by Joni Trythall (@jonitrythall) on CodePen.

The mix() function allows two colors to be mixed to generate a third output color by accepting three parameters:

mix($color1, $color2, [$weight])

Two colors are accepted while setting a percentage based weight defines how much of the first color should be included within the returned generated color. A weight value of 80% here would mean that 80% of the first color and 20% of the second color are used.

In order to randomly mix the colors, and not include single hex values as shown in the snippet above, mix() and random() must both be utilized.

// List of colors    
$colors: #A32D70, #6E32A0, #DBD3D9, #D64369, #7A7DE0;

// Background of bubbles
background: mix(nth($colors, random(length($colors))), nth($colors, random(length($colors))), 60%);

The code above mixes one random color within another random color, both or which are determined from the list of colors within the $colors variable. The percentage value states that the generated color will consist of 60% of the first random color that is selected.

desaturate() Color Function

At the 50% moment within the @keyframes animation the background is set to change to desaturated version of another random color.

50% {
  background: desaturate(nth($colors, random(length($colors))), 50%);

The desaturate() function decreases the saturation of the bubbles, making them transition into a paler appearance through the float animation.

There are loads more of these beautiful color functions worth checking out.

Loopy Line Loader

See the Pen Loopy Lines Loader by Joni Trythall (@jonitrythall) on CodePen.

This demo utilizes the @for directive to loop through all fifteen lines and individually apply styling and an animation to each. The background color is set to cycle through a list of colors in the $colors variable via an @if control directive, adding 1 to the list index each cycle of the loop.

The @keyframes multiplies movement to the right on each line count to ensure even spacing:

@for $i from 1 through 15 {
  .line:nth-of-type(#{$i}) {
    animation: stack#{$i} $dur;

  @keyframes stack#{$i} {
    50% {
      transform: translateX(-($right * $i)) $turn;     


There is so much fun programming to be had without ever having to leave a .scss file. Since I find rage to be the most significant motivator I suspect I will be publishing more of these soon if you’d like to follow along.

I considered writing out a weird @each directive here to thank each of you for reading but am embarrassed I even considered this.