Now and again a stack comes along that’s so striking that you have to buy it, even if you don’t have an immediate use for it. We’ve got quite a few examples of stacks like this sitting in our drawer that have never been used in anger – Elixir’s Bloom stack, Nimblehost’s Parallax stack, RW Extras’ Showcase Ultra, Rapid Ideas’ News Grid and more – but that we don’t regret buying them; they’re just biding their time until the right project comes along.
The Card stack is a slideshow quite unlike any other we’ve seen for Rapidweaver so far. It takes images – between one and three per slide – and turns them into floating 3D cards that are animated courtesy of some clever CSS. Each slide can have a title, subtitle and some descriptive text as well as a call-to-action but and that’s it. One suspects that whatever’s going on underneath the hood is quite finely tuned and so there’s no option to add other stacks to your slides.
Images can be laid side by side or stacked on top of each other and the contents of each slide can be set to animate in and out using one of six ultra-smooth transitions. Once in place, the cards hover there like little 3D spaceships out of Close Encounters. It’s a powerful effect, but should you find it over-the-top you can always scale things back by turning off the drop shadow, shadow animations, dots and arrow navigation; additionally, the slides can then be set to autoplay, pause on hover and you can fix the slide interval as well. You can have a maximum of five slides and good web practice suggests that’s more than enough.
Each slide can be set to a colour or you can drop in a background image. Use a single slide full width and the navigation will disappear and voilá – you can create a great-looking animated hero banner in a few minutes. The HUD provides options for adding ALT text to each image as well as a link and the whole stack is responsive – you can set the slide height for three different break points – so it works well right down to an iPhone screen.
We found that the first release of the stack didn’t show up in some themes but the latest version includes a couple of extra options – ‘Foundation Theme’ and ‘If not working check this’ – which fixed the problem.
The Card stack does a very specific job and you won’t find yourself reaching for it every time you build a Rapidweaver website . But should you need an effect like this then – short of hunting down a script on Code Canyon or the like – the Card stack is currently the only game in town. An excellent, innovative stack.