So Many Toys

Screwed around a bit with Harmony last night after work; a spare but fun online sketching tool that’s part of the ongoing Chrome Experiments series.

Ever since the sublime original KidPix, I’ve liked art tools that ditched the obvious analog metaphors (paintbucket, eyedropper, pencil), but kept the idea of limited control that makes traditional picture-making so unpredictable.

Drawing with tools like “fur” and “ribbon” are like taking a dog for a walk. You may have a route picked out, but there’s going to be a lot of sniffing and straining at the leash.

Check out the other Experiments if you haven’t already. Assuming your browser plays nice with modern javascript toys (a selling point for Chrome of course) there are some real gems in there. I especially like the really simple ones.

Discussion (8)¬

  1. ggn says:

    Well, Trace (or mr. Doob) has a myriad of interesting web apps on his main site (http://mrdoob.com), I usually spend a few hours when I stumble upon his website. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. the squares brush almost looks like it’s producing infinite canvas panels!! lol

  3. Sandra says:

    I’ll stop saying this for a while after this, because I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I don’t want to tie my creativity to proprietary software—I need source code for my work tools.
    It might sound weird that I use hardware that I have no idea on how to build or have no control over, but as long as the software is free I can always reuse the files, port them over and so on.
    I’ve lost a lot of my work in the nineties just by using proprietary software that became obsolete. With web apps, the temptation is so big because the software is right there, just a click away—but I don’t trust them with my data especially for creativity.

      • Scott says:

        That’s how I got the above image, of course, but I understand Sandra’s concern. It worries me sometime how much I’ve become Adobe’s bitch when it comes to file formats.

        I can save a JPG, or even a layered TIFF from Photoshop but it leaves out a huge amount of info and editability.

        • true 🙁

          I still kick myself for somehow loosing the digital copy of that college magazine I did with your interview. Now all I have is a scanned in pdf. I feel like It’s been frozen. Not that there’s a need to “unfreeze” it, but I do like to play with past projects, and I appreciate the ability to do so.

  4. The world is very small. The mechanisms in Harmony were first implemented on The Scribbler which I discovered on Zefrank’s website. Just today, a friend of mine sent me an email saying that she had the chance to meet Ze Frank and talk to him about his video post “Brain Crack”– the addictive pattern of idolizing uninitiated ideas instead of taking the risk to bring them to life. Scott, based on the “I can’t stop thinking!” motivations of your work, you’d appreciate the advice. http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/archives/2006/07/071106.html