Newsletter #29 - Discord, Container Queries, Audio Animations, and Multicolor Text!

July 05, 2021

Howdy, Partner! I hope you’re having a fantastic week.

In this issue, we’ve got a home for the Frontend Horse community, a couple of wonderful Component Carousel episodes to talk about, and some great CodePens to dig into.

Discord Community

We’ve started a Frontend Horse Discord community! It’s a fun, inclusive place where you can hang out, chat with friendly devs, and learn from wonderful people. We’ve got custom emotes, a few channels started, and a bunch of friendly folks!

Join the Discord

If you’re not familiar with Discord, it’s similar to Slack but geared towards communities, where Slack is best for work and companies. Hope to see you there!

Learning Container Queries

We had the brilliant Stephanie Eckles on Component Carousel, and she taught us so much about CSS Grid, Container Queries, and even some art direction!

Container Queries are only in Chrome Canary, so Steph showed us how to progressively enhance our CSS Grid to work fine on current browsers, and look fantastic if container queries are supported. Check out the difference:

Two gifs side by side scaling down, one with container queries doing a few more layout shifts.

Steph has such a great teaching style, I know you’re going to really enjoy this episode.

Animating SVG with the Web Audio API and GSAP

Did you know that you can take values from an audio source to animate a GSAP timeline? Last week on Component Carousel, Andrew Rubin showed us how it’s done!

When the music plays, these three Fast Food band-mates headbang in time to the beat!

What makes this even cooler is the fact that Andrew drew the characters himself AND created the music that they’re rocking out to. Plus, the month’s theme of Heavy Metal Burger Joint was Andrew’s idea!

Watch how Andrew pulled this off in the episode replay on YouTube.

Multicolor CSS Text

This one was sent in by Arran in the Frontend Horse Discord!

Shireen Taj created a wonderful text effect with this pen. They’re putting a linear gradient on the background of the h1, then applying the background-clip: text; property.

This does what it sounds like: it clips the background to the text.

Then, setting the text to color: transparent;, we only see the background where the text would have been.

Here’s a visual of the steps:

Four images, showing the progression from a linear gradient background, to text on top of that background. Then to just the text,a s the background has been clipped to it. Then making the text transparent so the background shows through.

Generated SVG Plants and Shapes

Check out these lovely generated plants and shapes from Natalia. Click to generate a new bit of art.

Natalia is generating SVGs, randomizing the color and positions of the shapes.

Then she adds the feTurbulence and feDisplacementMap SVG filters to warp the shapes for a more natural look. Check out the difference in this closeup.

Two images, one showing the filter's effects making wiggly lines. The second image showing crisp clean lines without a filter.

Natalia’s work was shown to me by George Francis in the Frontend Horse Discord.

Generative Grid Layouts

I really love this tutorial article from our friend George Francis! George breaks down the steps of the tutorial:

  1. Add some { x, y } points to a 2D space. In this example, the point’s positions are random but biased towards a focal point.

A scattering of points

  1. Subdivide the space into quadrants based on the density/position of the points

The scattered points wrapped in squares

  1. Store a reference to the resulting rectangles (these are the grid areas)

Shapes drawn in those squares at random

  1. Use the resulting grid areas to position stuff! In this example, I am using squares and circles to form a simple pattern.

The previous squares removed, leaving only the shapes.

George goes on to make some really wonderful generative pieces with this workflow. You can take it and add your own color palette, variety of shapes, and whatever else to add generative grids to your own projects!

Read the Article

I loved this tutorial so much that we had George come on stream with us and chat about it, and generative art in general. Give it a watch on Youtube.

Upcoming Events

Here’s what we’ve got cooking on the Twitch stream this week.

Casual Coding with Cassie Evans

Tuesday we’ll have the fantastic Cassie Evans on the stream! It’ll be a casual chat and we plan to go through some hidden GSAP goodies and learn together.

Not only is Cassie of my favorite people, but an SVG and GSAP expert! So if you’re looking for a great way to spend your Tuesday, make sure you’re following on Twitch so you get notified when we go live. (We’re still nailing down the time).

Wednesday we will have Three.js expert, Bruno Simon, coming on Component Carousel!

It’s the first episode for this month’s new theme: Kaiju Demolition Services. Through the month of July we’ll have four fantastic guests build components around that theme! At the end we finish with another super cool website.

Bruno will teach us how to use physics with Three.js and rampage through a 3d city!

Physics Based city destruction with Three.js - guest Bruno Simon!

Follow on Twitch

Twitch Appearances

I’ll be on a couple other shows this week as well! On Thursday I’ll be on SliceZone over on the Prismic channel, then Developer Hangouts with James Perkins.

Then on Friday I’ll join Ben Myers on his Some Antics show!

So long, partner

That’s all for this week! I hope to see you in the new Discord Community and in the chat for this week’s streams.

Follow Frontend Horse on Twitter, and on Twitch. If you enjoyed this, I’d be over the moon if you share it with a friend or tweet about it.

It’s the end of the trail for now, but I’ll see you next week. Take care.

Your Neigh-bor, Alex

Buy Me a Coffee at

Fill your mailbox with frontend fun

A weekly newsletter that demystifies the best CodePens, tutorials, and resources. It's always fun, free, and you can hang up your spurs any time.

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Check out past issues
A mailbox stuffed with letters