Addictive Web-based Drawing Apps

This post has taken me a long time to make - every time I visited a site to play with the drawing tool I lost most of the night to it's charms. I wanted to talk about some of the coolest tools I've found, namely Scrbtle, Psykopaint, Mr. Doob's Harmony, Rot.Sketch, Weave Silk, Bomomo, Odosketch and Pixelatr  

Scrbtle
http://www.scrbtle.com/scrbtle.php
"Scrbtle is a generative drawing tool that consists of a scripting language with a simple set of commands and predefined variables. The idea behind it is to create nice graphics and to learn how to code in a playful way." This is a lovely opportunity to edit code in the manner of http://processing.org and http://nodebox.net but in your browser, and is simple to use as either a novice or a more experienced coder. It has infinite potential in generating artwork and allows code tinkering that you can view instantly.

Psykopaint
http://www.psykopaint.com
Convert your photos into paintings as well as being a pretty cool drawing canvas - this Flash app shows that Flash is still very much in the game for immersive web experiences. There's some nice features: being able to sample from the photos below and paint and manipulate the photo in the style of assorted artists brush strokes, which always holds the potential of being a little cheesy, but is just a way of naming an array of brush styles. I almost preferred using the canvas without the photo due to the variety you can achieve through the brushes, colours and layering.

Mr. Doob's Harmony
http://mrdoob.com/projects/harmony/
I got completely absorbed in Harmony, it feels great to draw in and some of the brushes (such as 'Shaded') create beautiful graphic connections, allowing you to 'find' the shapes when drawing. The whole thing is modular so the author can keep adding more brush styles whenever inspired. The drawing styles are all variations of the neighbour points connection concept - (see http://www.zefrank.com/scribbler/about.html ), read more about the app here http://mrdoob.com/blog/post/689

Rot.Sketch
http://www.jeanhelfenstein.com/rotsketch/app/
This is an HTML5 experiment by Jean Helfenstein and is really fun to play with. It's a bit like a digital spirograph, and once you set up the points, you can let it draw on it's own, or you can speed up the process with holding down the space bar, make up new points and generally faff about until you create something gorgeous which you can then save. 

 
Originally made as an iPhone app that you spin on the table to create the spirograph 
See more examples of artwork created: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32800945@N03/sets/72157625746519271/z

Weave Silk
http://www.weavesilk.com
This is lovely to watch, and you can share your 'silk' which shows the viewer the animation you instigated.

Bomomo
http://bomomo.com/
I spent a while going through all the various algorithmic button choices and found some favourites, only for them to be ruined by a rogue next choice! That's what is intriguing about this app...the skill of knowing when to stop.

Odosketch
http://sketch.odopod.com/
"Odosketch is a Flash drawing application that was first launched in August of 2006 for an Adobe Design Gallery feature on Odopod. Opopod left the tool open for anyone to use and there's over 19,000 sketches saved so far." I liked this when I used it years ago, it's controlled palette, brush set and subtle transparencies create tactile drawings that feel very real. Also has a nice playback function for every live and saved drawing so you can see how others built up their drawings. Pixelatr
http://www.chromeexperiments.com/detail/pixelatr/
"A massively multi-user collaborative pixel art page. Lets any number of users edit the same large grid of pixels in real time. Created in Javascript, WebSockets, SVG, Raphaël, node.js" - this app brings out your inner bad as you can draw over other people's pixels in realtime as they watch. This is engaging - you spend ages drawing something only to have someone else mess about with it while you watch, it gets really funny as your pixel doodling and competing with unknowns (which gives you a lot of psychological freedom)!

Fractal Lab | Live WebGL fractal explorer

A month ago I posted 'Beautiful 3D Fractals by SubBlue' - http://kathykavan.com/3d-fractals-by-subblue - I mentioned that Tom Beddard was working on a WebGL 3D fractal renderer that lets you explore fractal structures in real time, well it's here. You'll need a WebGL enabled browser (best with Google Chrome or Firefox 4beta) and then head over to www.fractal.io and get playing!

More articles on the web app:
http://www.creativeapplications.net/webapp/fractal-lab-webapp/
http://createdigitalmotion.com/2011/03/joys-of-opengl-in-a-browser-webgl-1-0-... 
http://www.fractalforums.com/3d-fractal-generation/revenge-of-the-half-eaten-... 

Make Your Tweets into Penguin Modern Classic Covers

Fun and quite addictive to see how your tweets look when generated as Penguin Modern Classic covers - rather convincing results me thinks. Type in what you want the tweet to be about e.g. # = '@kathykavan' & the web-app pulls in feeds of that # content. Have a play here: http://gravitron.com.au/twittermodernclassics/ and see other people's here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twittermodernclassics/