Monthly Archives: July 2018

Quick line in HTML and JavaScript

Usually if you want to draw lines in HTML you use canvas or SVG. Awhile back I wondered how I might do it without those. This is really just a proof of concept speed coded answer to that question:

This works by using a div with a border, rotating it and scaling it as needed so it fits between two arbitrary points.

This could be abstracted a bit more, but it works pretty well. I usually choose `setInterval` over `requestAnimationFrame` when prototyping - because I like to easily be able to change the speed of
framebased things like this. If I were to try and make this code more dynamic, I would probably switch out to `requestAnimationFrame`.

If you try and connect two lines together - you’ll notice some inaccuracy - a good argument for using SVG or canvas over something like this. That said, if you are connecting two elements using a single line, this inaccuracy would become irrelevant.

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Color Breeder (aka Features)

Choose two colors to breed them and create 5 new colors:

This is a speed coded pen from awhile back - the features object is interesting - it allows two objects to be bred together. In this case two colors. I could see this is as part of some advanced/abstract colorpicker that allows the user to home in on a color.

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Quick SVG with Javascript

If you look into creating SVG dynamically with JavaScript you might stumble upon `document.createElementNS`. In most simple cases, you don’t need to go down that path. Contemporary libraries handle this stuff internally now (they didn’t always) or if you’re going vanilla… you can integrate this kind of thing somewhere:

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3d Point to 2d Point (Easy Mini 3d Engine)

Many years ago when I had just started programming I found this absolute gem by Andries Odendaal.

modern es6 version

let rotX = 0, rotY = 0,
    perspective = 500, 
    currX, currY;
// learned something like this at Andries Odendaal's 
function point3d(x, y, z) {
    let cosX = Math.cos(rotX),
        cosY = Math.cos(rotY),
        sinX = Math.sin(rotX),
        sinY = Math.sin(rotY),
        posX, posY, posZ;
    posZ = z * cosX - x * sinX,
    posX = z * sinX + x * cosX,
    posY = y * cosY - posZ * sinY,
    posZ = y * sinY + posZ * cosY;
    depth = 1 / (posZ / perspective + 1);
    currX = posX * depth;
    currY = posY * depth;
    return [ currX, currY, depth ];

Here’s is an example of it in action:

I’ve used this code many many times, it’s just easy to throw into any language and instantly get 3d points rendered in 2d. Here is a short video of a Java applet from 2003 called “Catch Env” that made use of it:

Here is the source code for that ^^

You’ll notice in that source, that I nested the equation to allow for local and global transformations. It was around that time that I learned the ins and outs of real 2D and 3D matrix transformation math… Ken Perlin’s classfiles from NYU were a real help when I was learning that stuff. I don’t think this was the exact file I was working with, but it was definitely on his site somewhere.

Before all that, during my junior year in college I created a 3d engine based off Odendaal’s code in Director (Lingo). Here is a video of some of the demos for it:

…and here is a strange screenshot from my personal website at the time:

Just an example of a powerful snippet and a gateway to learning matrix transformation math. When I first really dug in to html5 canvas - before WebGL was supported so widely - having this trick up my sleeve was great. As you can see in the below link, I used it more than a few times back then:

Daily canvas experiments:


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