4 Awesome Things You Can Do With HTML Canvas

The people at Skilled.co created a cheat sheet that allows developers from all experience levels to create unique images and art to fit any of their web design needs. HTML5 advanced technology permits designers to not only create images, but full animations that range from simple movements to complex. The <canvas> element bears significant potential for those interested in game design.
Not only is the cheat sheet easy to read, but Canvas also responds to every JavaScript event, allowing users to click normally, use regular keyboard commands, and utilize button clicks. It saves time, too, since experienced coding enthusiasts no longer have to commit the individual codes to memory - they can just refer to a couple pages that are saved in their bookmarks, only a click away. New designers have a handy reference while they learn to code. Freelance designers will find that their time per project is drastically shortened since the convenience of the cheat sheet allows them to code more efficiently.

So, let's take a quick look at some of the neat things you can do with the new <canvas> element.

1. Transformation

Canvas applies the use of general geometry to its coding. You can transform an object, causing it to resemble another type of object, while still keeping its original structure. Although the image looks deformed, it is technically the same as it initially started out. Although several critical points may change, the points surrounding them remain in place and unchanged regardless of the transformation.

The canvas element uses three specific transformations. Using these three transformations allows the user to use a much wider range. These three transformations are:




Scale will allow the designer to change the size of the canvas, to give the designer more room to create. You will need to input parameters to modify the "scale" field and permit yourself a larger canvas. Rotate allows the coder to turn the canvas, which grants them even more power over the creation. Translate will shift the entire canvas into a new position, which does not literally rotate the canvas (per se). In reality, the canvas technically stays the same in the browser system, but the modified coordinate system is what results in the perceived change.

There's two "sub" elements to Transformation. The first is General Transform, and the second is setTransform. They are much more powerful than Transformation by itself, but also a lot more complex. Experienced designers shouldn't have any real problems learning it. However, someone who is not as advanced may struggle with the complexity of the scripts and coding. It may take novice coding enthusiasts longer to grasp the advanced script, but it is not a challenge from which they should shy away. These sub elements are helpful to understand and commit to memory, however, as many combinations of Transformation (scaling, rotating, and back to scaling, as an example) can be accomplished with just one General Transform.

2. Shadows

Shadows! What better way to add depth and "pop" to your design? Shadows are the best part of any realistic, complex graphic. Here, we'll show you a couple of ways Canvas helps your design stand out with the "Canvas Rendering Context 2D!" This tool allows the user to add shadows not only to the objects on the canvas on which they're working, but also on the text they've included. Best of all, it doesn't all have to be uniform.

There are four aspects that decide the location of the shadows and how the shadows manifest. These deciding factors are:





All the objects in the context setting have shadows but they remain outside of the designer's visibility when shadowing isn't modified from the default setting. The default settings for shadowOffsetX, shadowOffsetY, and shadowBlur are zero, and the default setting for shadowColor is "transparent." You can adjust the angle and blur of the shadow with just a few lines of script. ShadowBlur can also give you a neat color outline around text! You can change the color of the shadow, so it doesn't have to be the same color as the original text, either.

3. Complex Shapes

You can draw complex shapes with the <canvas> element by using the two simple shape methods for drawing rectangles:


The first command draws stroked rectangles and the second command draws filled rectangles. To draw more complex shapes, the designer can build "paths." To do this, begin with:


With this method, the coding enthusiast will create a series of basic scripts that will carry them from one pre-existing point to a new point. For example, you would begin with:


Then, you would make a straight line to the new point with:


Then to:


Or, for a curved line:




To close the path use:


You would draw a line from the last point that you drew and back to the first point again. Afterwards, you need to draw the entire path with either:


4. Line Caps and Joins

In addition to all the above, web designers also enjoy the freedom of choosing how they render lines in the context area. They can even choose how to format the caps and joins of lines. To do this, the designer uses:


The designer can also modify the points of angles. To do this, they use:


There's also three settings for lineCap:


There's three setting to lineJoin, as well:


The default for lineJoin is miter and the designer must modify this setting to achieve the other two formats.

So, these are only a few things you can do with the new <canvas> element. There's a lot more involved than what is outlined in this overview, but you can find more information at:.

Using Canvas is a rewarding experience that is sure to grant the designer saved time and easily accomplished, yet impressive, results in their web designing endeavors. For those who are just dipping their toes in the water, who are only just experimenting with the fascinating fields of programming or graphic design, Canvas can potentially help you learn more about coding and assist you in furthering your knowledge and skills.


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