Archive for February, 2010

New Feature: Playback

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I am very excited about today’s new feature: Playback. This means that you can now take any picture on Colorillo and watch how it was created!

Animated tree drawn on Colorillo
Playback controls

Underneath a picture there are now playback controls (see the screenshot). You can click the play button and after the playback data has been loaded from the server you will see how the picture came to life.

The icon depicting the tortoise allows you to change the speed of the playback. You can use the slider to move within the time, e.g. to watch a specific section of the drawing again. When you want to continue to draw (given you are not in read only mode, click the X to close the playback).

When you are in the gallery you need to click the picture again in the preview mode to look at the picture under its own URL in readonly mode. Then the controls will appear underneath.

Here are some very nice pictures to try out:

I can’t stop watching the playbacks of the greatest pictures on Colorillo. I hope it will be similar for you :)

Rename other users, and more

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In what has almost become a regular weekly update I can present you more cool new features for Colorillo.

If you are a regular user on Colorillo, you might have found people that you liked drawing with. Unfortunately, this was often just a one-time experience. Next time you would not know if someone’s there that you had drawn with before.

Maybe you have exchanged information about yourselves through the chat feature, but this was rather unpractical, even more so as there are no private messages on Colorillo. I have tackled this problem in two steps:

Rename other people

Rename other usersThis could be a first step for finding people you like drawing with.

When you identify the drawers (remember the last line feature) you would like to draw with again, just give them a name. Next time you arrive at Colorillo, you can find them again in the user list.

Mind you that the name you give other people will only be visible for yourself. Also you can’t see if other people have given you a name.

Take people with you to a new picture

Follow a user to a new pictureMost likely you will discover new people on the Colorillo homepage where everyone can draw. Then it might happen that someone comes along and destroys the drawing that you have been creating. Bummer!

But now, you can just pick the people you enjoyed drawing with, and just invite them to come along to a new picture. How this can be done I will show you in the next section.

New process for starting a new drawing

Start a new drawing screenI have revamped the process for creating a new picture. Just as before there are two variants of this:

  1. Create a new and empty picture
  2. Start a new picture based on the current one

(Actually I frequently use the second option to “store” great pictures for the gallery: I create a new picture based on the current one and then just leave it alone)

There used to be two buttons beside the picture for this: Now I have reduced it to one. When you click it, a window appears with the selection between the two options. And here comes the new and interesting part:

Furthermore you can choose if you would like to invite someone on the current page to come with you. There is a list of people who are currently on this page, alongside with a checkbox beside each one. Use this to select the people you want to invite (now it comes in handy if you have renamed them before)).

Custom brush sizes

Custom brush sizeThere are 4 brush sizes that I have chosen in the beginning to suit your drawing needs. But some people wanted more fine-grained control:

When you are on the advanced colors panel, above the brush sizes there is a new sliding bar. You can use that to modify the size of the pen pixel by pixel. If the mouse is too clumsy for you, you can also use the keyboard shortcuts [ and ] (any people with different keyboards than US have problems with that?).

The slider above the line is used for opacity. I have switched to jQuery UI for the slider and removed the caption showing the percentage of the opacity. For one you can see what it looks like in the color panel just above. Otherwise you can use the keyboard shortcuts 1, … 9, 0 for changing the opacity to a certain level.

I hope you enjoy these new features as much as I do. If you have further ideas for Colorillo, just keep them coming. Thanks!

Picture Gallery

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

There are treasures lying around at Colorillo. They have been created (in part) in cooperation by talented drawers. I don’t want to hide these treasures away but show them to you. I have therefore created a picture gallery where you can look at all pictures that have been created at Colorillo.

On the front page there is a new button on the left side that will lead you to the gallery.

I have integrated voting into the gallery, so that the most beautiful pictures can move to the top, and offensive images (sad for humanity that some people don’t have anything better to do than draw stupid stuff on web pages) can be downvoted in an instance.

Example of browsing the Picture GalleryYou can change the number of images displayed on a page as well as the sort order (top right). When you click an image, you see something like this on the right.

Additional information is being displayed for each image, for example the number of drawers and lines that make up the picture.

For your convenience there are also keyboard shortcuts, such as left and right to walk through the pictures (it will also automatically go to the next page in the background if you have arrived at the last picture). Use up or down to vote.

So when you are not that good at drawing, or the mouse is preventing you from drawing the most beautiful picture, why not just enjoy the gallery? And if you come across a cool picture, please vote it up. Or down, should it be offensive. Thanks!