09 November 2012

Project: In2Ideas HTML5 Website

This is the complete rework of the front page of my (now ex) agency to show case our experiences and expertise. The concept was that the whole site is a mind map which is often associated with brainstorming & ideas generating.

The key feature of the site is the mind-map-like navigation in which you can drag to move in any direction. It works on both desktop and tablet's browsers. Looping animations are made of SVG graphics which were authoring in Flash and then converted to Google Swiffy. The dynamic dash lines were programatically drawn on HTML5 Canvas. To support older browser (IE8+), Flash will be in place of the SVG & Canvas graphics.

My roles: technical researcher, key front-end developer.
Technical highlights: HTML5, CSS3, RequiredJS, jQuery, Google Swiffy, FlashCanvas

Live URL: http://in2ideas.com

More screen shots:
Interaction demo:

28 August 2012

HTML5 Wordle Tag Cloud

Wordle JS

This is a direct port of my AS3 Wordle Tag Cloud to HTML5. Please read my old blog post for some background.

Some technical notes:
  • Thanks to Canvas' RenderingContext2D.measureText(), I can calculate size of the words off browser's stage.
  • Initially, I was using Canvas as rendering stage for the tag cloud. However, it demands extra work to make the words interactive. So I decided to use normal block text with CSS3's transform/rotate. The result is texts are searchable and out-of-the-box hyperlinks.
  • The position checking process may cause browser hang momentarily if run through all of the words. I have split the process of each word into each RequestAnimationFrame to avoid the script hang.
However, there is still room to improve, for example, enhancing the intersection check and using any angle rotation...

There you go! Check out the live demo and source code.

14 August 2012

Google App Engine for static websites

Nowadays, there are many options to host a static website (portfolios, generated weblogs, front-end demos, etc.) for free. One of the best ways is to push your static files to a Github's repo and publish them through Github Page.

A lesser known solution is to make use of Google App Engine (GAE). Actually, GAE is designed for building and publishing high-performance, highly scalable web applications written in Python, Java or the newly-introduced Go language. However, by tinkering with the set up and deployment process, I figured out that it is also great for hosting static website with no server side coding at all. Like Github Page, your static website will be served through http://[your-app].appspot.com or you can customize it with a (sub)domain.

The advantages of GAE over Github Page are: higher static files quota (known in GAE as blobstore, known in Github as repository size); allowed SSL; better performance (since GAE app is hosted with reserved thread and bandwidth); possible to supplement data and dynamic server-side scripting later.

27 June 2012

Project: ISS 2012

This is a post-event highlighting microsite for Intεl Sοlμtiοn Sμmm!t 2012. The site is to capture the activities and everything related to event in the forms of videos, photos & other kind of materials. Audience of this microsite are participants of the event and other users of APɅC Intεl Channεl Pοrtal which is a member-only partners relation web site.

Live URL: www.%69%6E%74%65%6C.com/apac/channel/ISS2012/index.html [?]

Technical features:
  • jQuery
  • Galleria photo gallery (library)
  • OSMF's Strobe Media Playback (component)

Obfuscation Reasons

17 May 2012

Fish Boids - Three.js Demo

This is my adaptation from the Three.js Birds Demo which was featured in the famous HTML5 Music Interactive Film The Wilderness Downtown.

The original birds demo was done by Mr.Doob based on the boids simulation. You can read more about behind the scene of The Wilderness Downtown and the flocks of birds simulation from his blog here. (Thank Mr. Doob for your awesome Three.js library and the nice bird demo.)

The significant adaptations that I made to this school of fishes simulation are: the fish objects are PlaneGeometry with bitmap texture; some tweaks to the boids' speed and movement to make them more fish-like; and making the fish wiggle its tail instead of bird wings' flapping.

This fish and the bird demos are used in my side-project for my friend's HTML5 portfolio.

Now, go see the demo. The source code can be found on Github.

10 May 2012

A Cave, 3D Stereo Images & 2-State Looping Animation

When I visited this cave during the trip to the central provinces of Viet Nam. I wanted to capture it magnificence and beauty but the cave's texture was too complex to visualize its depth and space on 2D photos. I recalled this 3D photography technique and tried to take some stereo photos of the scenes (take 2 photos of the same scene from 2 slightly different position) and made them into 3D stereo animation when I get back.

Traditionally, these 3D stereo images are presented by a 2-frame animated GIF. But GIF images are not efficient for live photographs and they normally take up more bytes than JPG for large pictures so I decided to use CSS and JavaScript to reproduce the animation with JPG photos.

Basically, the JPG is set as background of a div which has dimensions of half of the image. JS will shift the background-position at intervals revealing half of the background one at a time. And here's the results.

During the making of the effect, I also explored its possibility with CSS3 animation and steps() function. The result is the same without any coding. But for the sake of compatibility for the audience, the said demo still use JS. I put the CSS3 solution on Dabblet for later reference of similar 2-state animation. Check it out.

18 April 2012

Tutorial: Realistic Waterfall with CSS3

A recent project requires me to create a realistic running waterfall. For such task, what came first to my mind was to use animated GIF or PNG sprite sheet and loop them frame by frame. Then my friend, Justin, explored more with a semi-transparent water layer overlaying a static waterfall image using Photoshop & Flash. The result was really satisfying. So I decide to adopt it into our project which is pure HTML. Thanks to CSS' background repeat and the new CSS3's animation, the task was really simple to achieve and straight forward.

Here's the demo & source code on Dabblet: http://dabblet.com/gist/2403656

It is worth noting that CSS3's animation is still an experiment feature. You can still achieve same result using JS to shift the background at intervals.

Let me explain step by step to re-create the effect:

13 April 2012

Geany: open-source SublimeText for front-end developer

When I started doing JavaScript, I kept searching for an ideal JS code editor that is free, lightweight and fast just like FlashDevelop, my favorite ActionScript counter part. (In case you're wondering, I have made a Wine mod of FD4 and been able to run it on Linux). Most JS editors I tried were Java-based, heavy and code assistance is as not good as I expected.

Then I discovered SublimeText 2 and Geany. The former is commercial and the latter is opensource. Both of them are cross platform, lightweight, fast and has syntax highlighting for quite a number languages. For JavaScript and front-end stuff in particular, they both have some support for code hinting and auto completion but fairly limited.

Geany interface

15 March 2012

Project: Justin Portfolio

One of the projects to challenge my skill in JavaScript and HTML5. The original parallax scrolling experience is coded from scratch with the help of MooTools framework. I learned a lot from this project and  got everything I need to handle larger front-end interactive websites.

Visit the site.

Technical features:
Related posts:

06 March 2012

Project: J&J HTML Template

This is an HTML template for a privately developed CMS website. The job involved converting Photoshop .PSD files into HTML/CSS template, Javascripting validation for contact form and Google maps interaction. At the same time, I custom made the Flash banner carousel with the text & images customizable via XML feed. Due to CMS restrictions and corporate's guidelines, the template is rather traditional.

The live site can be visited here: www.comms.%6A%6A%73%65%61.com [?]
Note: the CMS developers have altered some layout and client-size logic. Here's the link to my demo site before integration.

Technical notes:
  • jQuery
  • Google Maps API


20 January 2012

Demo: Stage3D Fireworks with Flare3D

My going back to Flash to experiment on Stage3D. The animation make use of Flare3D engine. Thanks to its built-in shaders and particles components, I was able to create the fireworks and the lightning effects without much trouble. However there's still room to improve the fireworks effect with more particles.

View the demo.