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jQuery Ripples Plugin

By the powers of WebGL, add a layer of water to your HTML elements which will ripple by cursor interaction!

Important: this plugin requires the WebGL extension OES_texture_float (and OES_texture_float_linear for a better effect) and works only with same-origin images (see this link for more information on using cross-origin requested images).

Click here for a demo and to see how to use it.


Include the script at the end of your page after including jQuery, or when you are using bundling tools such as Webpack or Browserify, simply import it into your bundle.

The quickest way to use this plugin on an element is to ensure that the element has a background-image set (currently only URLs are supported), then initialize the plugin as follows:


Optionally you can tweak the behavior and appearance by initializing it with options (See the options secton for the full list of options):

  dropRadius: ...,
  perturbance: ...,

The plugin also has several methods to programmatically add drops, show, hide or remove the effects among other things. See the methods section for more details.


Name Type Default Description
imageUrl string null The URL of the image to use as the background. If absent the plugin will attempt to use the value of the computed background-image CSS property instead. Data-URIs are accepted as well.
dropRadius float 20 The size (in pixels) of the drop that results by clicking or moving the mouse over the canvas.
perturbance float 0.03 Basically the amount of refraction caused by a ripple. 0 means there is no refraction.
resolution integer 256 The width and height of the WebGL texture to render to. The larger this value, the smoother the rendering and the slower the ripples will propagate.
interactive bool true Whether mouse clicks and mouse movement triggers the effect.
crossOrigin string "" The crossOrigin attribute to use for the affected image. For more information see MDN.



Call $(selector).ripples('drop', x, y, radius, strength) to manually add a drop at the element's relative coordinates (x, y). radius controls the drop's size and strength the amplitude of the resulting ripple.


Call $(selector).ripples('destroy') to remove the effect from the element.

hide / show

Call .ripples('hide') and .ripples('show') to toggle the effect's visibility. Hiding it will also effectively pause the simulation.

pause / play

Call $(selector).ripples('pause') and .ripples('play') to toggle the simulation's state.


Call $(selector).ripples('set', name, value) to update properties of the effect. The properties that can be updated are:

  • dropRadius
  • perturbance
  • interactive
  • imageUrl (setting the image URL will update the background image used for the effect, but the background-image CSS property will be untouched)
  • crossOrigin (setting this won't have any effect until imageUrl is changed)


The effect resizes automatically when the width or height of the window changes. When the dimensions of the element changes, you need to call $(selector).ripples('updateSize') to update the size of the effect accordingly.