Dynamically load hi-res images with Isotope

16 Nov 2011 · by David DeSandro

Isotope can make any ol' image gallery especially more compelling. But if you're loading in 20+ images at a time, it makes sense to get the smaller images with manageable filesizes. Rodrigo Sanchez was curious if there was a way to load in high-resolution, big filesize images after user-interaction, like when the image is clicked.

The solution is to use a little bit of Isotope, but mostly depend on some custom jQuery to handle the logic.

  • Markup uses smaller thumbnail <img>, but links to larger hi-res images in <a>.
  • When a link to an image is clicked, we'll check if a larger image needs to be in loaded.
  • If so, first we'll add a loading GIF indicator to help users be patient.
  • The large image will be dynamically added with jQuery, using the href attribute from the <a> as the src for the new <img>.
  • Isotope's included imagesLoaded is used to detect when that new image has loaded.
  • After the image has loaded, we hide the small image, and show the large.
  • If an image is clicked and it already has loaded a big image, we just need to show it.
  • To Show/hide images, we'll toggle a class .large. Simple CSS styles will handle what gets hidden/shown with that class on or off

View fiddle - Isotope - dynamically load images

Loading these big images into the Isotope layout will typically put them in a different spot from their thumbnails. You can add automatic scrolling with the jQuery scrollTo plugin.

  • Get position of the container's top.
  • Set itemPositionDataEnabled: true in Isotope's options. See details on itemPositionDataEnabled.
  • When clicked, use $.scrollTo. The top value is calculated from .data('isotope-item-position').y + containerTop.

View fiddle - Isotope - dynamically load images, and scrollTo