0561e0b Apr 27, 2015
@janpaepke @johnpolacek @grayghostvisuals
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Table of Contents


While developing with ScrollMagic something became stuck and you don't know what went wrong?
Or you think you may have discovered a bug?

We'd love to help you get to the bottom of it, but before you post an issue please proceed in the following order…

1. Make sure your console is clean.

ScrollMagic outputs a lot of useful debugging information to the console of your browser. So make sure to check it first when inspecting the problem.
In Chrome the console is opened by clicking "View → Developer → JavaScript console".

If no errors are appear, make use of ScrollMagic's debugging capabilities. Both the controller class as well as the scene class offer the loglevel option, and when set to 3 it will output even more useful information.

  • Does the controller update, when you scroll?
  • Is your scene object behaving correctly?
  • Do the events trigger at the correct position?

2. Is there a problem with the animations?

2.1 Make sure they're happening at the correct scroll position

Quite often the reason you don't see your animations is because they're happening outside of the viewport either before you scrolled past the element you're animating or immediately following.

An easy way to make sure is to add visual help by including the ScrollMagic indicators plugin.

Simply add the file reference into your html:

<script type="text/javascript" src="scrollmagic/uncompressed/plugins/debug.addIndicators.js"></script>

Then use scene.addIndicators() to obtain visual indicators depicting where your scene should start and stop.

If you're sure that the scene is triggering when you desire and the item is in view, then please do the following...

2.2 Make sure the problem lies with ScrollMagic and not with your animation Framework

Most animation-related problems are caused by an animation framework (GSAP/Velocity) or a misuse thereof. A very common mistake for example, is that the selector for TweenMax turns up empty.

For GSAP the recommended best practice is to create your tweens, but refrain from adding them to the ScrollMagic scene object using setTween. This ensures that ScrollMagic doesn't manipulate the animations in any way.
If you have a look at your site now, you can check if the animations plays out the way you wanted to. If they don't, the problem is obviously not rooted in ScrollMagic.

Check out the GreenSock Forums to get help using GSAP.
Get help for VelocityJS on their GitHub issues page.

Once you have your animation playing as intended, add it to the ScrollScene.

Hint: If your animation is further down in the DOM and you can't reach it before it plays, just add a delay to it. Just don't forget to remove it once everything animates like you want it to.

3. Isolate the issue

Some problems are caused by other elements, scripts or overlapping scenes on the page. Try to make a separate test-page containing only the respective scene. This will also help you with step 5 (posting the issue).

4. Search for similar problems

Chances are someone already ran across something similar to what you're experiencing.
Check stackoverflow or use the GitHub search at the top of the page to see if there's already a solution waiting for you.

5. Post your question in the issues section

Once you've completed steps 1 - 4 and still have no resolution, you're welcome to post your question in the projects issues section. We'll be happy to help you with your problem.
In order for us to be able to do that efficiently, and also for future users to benefit from the solution, we ask you to abide by the guidelines below.

Support Guidelines

When posting a bug or a question, we request that you keep these guidelines in mind to make it easier for us to get you the best help we can and for everybody else to learn from the answer.

  • Focus: Only one issue per post, please.
    Don't hijack someone else's post: If you have a new question, please post a new issue.
  • Caption: Try to find a title that helps other people see what the post is about and makes it easy to find later. Avoid generic titles like "Problem with Scrolling".
  • Description: Try to describe your problem as simple as possible and always keep in mind that the people reading it have no idea about your project and its parameters. How would you explain it to someone who doesn't even know ScrollMagic?
  • Configuration: Please include OS, browser name and other information that might be necessary to reproduce your issue.
  • Format: Use paragraphs and structure your text using all the great features of GitHub markdown. Pay special attention to the triple ticks (```) followed by the language name to ensure syntax highlighting. Formatting greatly improves understanding and ultimately helps you to get better answers.
  • Code: In many cases constructive support can only be provided if the issue is accompanied by the relevant code. We can't stress the word 'relevant' enough: Please don't post 500 lines of code from 3 files into your question.
  • Showcase: The VERY best way to ensure quick and competent help is to provide an isolated showcase of the issue. This could be done on jsfiddle, CodePen or Plunker.
    Again: Try to make this as concise as possible, instead of copying your entire website's code.
    HINT: For your convenience we prepared a jsfiddle base template for you: (Please fork and then update.)
  • Links: If you feel you HAVE to post a link to your own environment because an abstract example isn't possible for some reason, please make sure it's a dedicated URL which will remain available after your issue was resolved and development has finished. This way it will be available for future users with the same problem.

Thank you for helping us maintain this project by abiding by these rules.

One last note: When you receive a GitHub notification email about your issue it allows you to directly reply to it. If you use this feature, please delete the original message so it doesn't clutter up the issues resource with redundancies.

Development Contribution

Wanna dig into the source code of ScrollMagic or even contribute? Awesome! In order to compile ScrollMagic, you'll need Node and Gulp.

If you don't already have them installed, here's how to get them:
First, download and install Node.
Now use the node package manager, that comes installed with Node.
To install gulp globally open your console (i.e.MacOS X Terminal) and type: npm install gulp -g

That's it! Now you're set to start developing!

Prepare the Development Environment

Open your console and navigate to the ScrollMagic directory.
To install the necessary development dependencies, use npm again:

$ npm install

Sit back and watch the magic happen – once it's done, so are you. Now you're ready to start building and testing.

Directory Structure

Here's how the ScrollMagic source files are organized:

  • /dev base folder for ScrollMagic development
    • /dev/build contains files relevant to the build, like configuration files or the masthead
    • /dev/docs contains configuration and template files for the docs generation
    • /dev/src all the ScrollMagic source files, including plugins
    • /dev/tests unit testing environment
      • /dev/tests/fixtures html files for usage in tests
      • /dev/tests/karma additional js files needed for the tests
      • /dev/tests/spec contains all the spec files written in jasmine

Build ScrollMagic

For clarity reasons the ScrollMagic source files are split up and can be found in /dev/src. When building ScrollMagic these files are combined and saved to the appropriate locations. The build process also automatically checks for javascript errors and minifies the main file.

To initiate the build process run:

$ gulp

You can pass in various command line arguments to influence the build:

-b=[RELEASE] | alias: --bump=[RELEASE]
If supplied, this flag will update the ScrollMagic major, minor or patch version.
Can be 'major', 'minor' or 'patch' and will default to 'patch', if undefined.
example: gulp -b=patch

-o=DIR       | alias: --out=DIR
Define output directory. If not supplied the default directory '/scrollmagic' will be used.
example: node build -o=tmp

-d=[DIR]     | alias: --doc=[DIR]
Flag to also update the docs. If no directory is provided the default output directory '/docs' will be used.
example: node build -d

-h           | alias: -?
display available command line options

For new releases the build command would be:

$ gulp -b -d

This will update the version from X.X.1 to X.X.2 and also generate new docs.
In most cases you won't need these parameters, though.

The build supports another relevant option: During the development phase you won't need to generate minified files or update docs. In order to save time and make the build finish much faster run this:

$ gulp development

This will exclusively generate new, uncompressed dist files to /scrollmagic/uncompressed.


ScrollMagic comes with a test suite that makes sure that everything works as expected after changing the source code. When using it, please make sure you have Chrome installed on your machine.

To start the test suite call:

$ npm test

The testing environment will remain open and automatically restart the test cycle whenever you change something.
Tip: In case you don't know – to quit the process use ctrl+c.

To run a single test cycle and exit immediately, use the following command:

$ gulp test

NOTE: The main scene methods have not been fully specced out yet, but will be added in the future.

Pull Requests

Before sending a pull request, please make sure all tests run successfully. When you've added a new feature to ScrollMagic please be sure to write a new test for it if you're able to do so.

Please do not include dist files in your pull request (everything in /scrollmagic). They will only be included with a new release and an updated version number.

Library Support

There are many ways in which you can support ScrollMagic and contribute to its advancement:

  • You can consider making a donation so more time can be dedicated to maintaining the source code and helping the users. No donation is too small and every little helps!
  • You can write tutorials, make CodePens and examples to help other users to learn how to use ScrollMagic. If you're interested in contributing to the ScrollMagic Wiki, please reach out!
  • You can have a closer look at the at the bottom banner of the demo page - maybe click it from time to time? :)
  • You can spread the word about ScrollMagic on twitter or Facebook. Hashtag followerpower!
  • And last, but not least: Make awesome websites with ScrollMagic and show the world that this is not a tool meant to be overused and provoke an epileptic shock in the visitor, but engage him/her through content structuring and experience-enhancing storytelling.