Reintroducing Color Cycling Using HTML5 and Canvas Element

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Reintroducing Color Cycling Using HTML5 and Canvas Element


Techie Tuesday


I have just spent a greater part of my morning hypnotized and mesmerized by a particular website. Click on the picture below and you will be taken to the website that occupied me for several hours. Go ahead explore and enjoy the several scenes on offer.


Of course when I come across something as beautiful and intriguing as this demo, I need to go and discover how it was made. By some whimsical, fanciful, perhaps bordering on delusional ambition, I too, would like to be able to come up with something similar.


Here is where my research brought me: Joe Huckaby cracks the code for displaying color cycling online. Joe works with Mark J. Ferrari’s old images.


More about Mark J. Ferrari:

Mark is a graphic artist who took the technique of color cycling to a whole new level, and produced absolutely breathtaking scenes. Mark who also illustrated all the original backgrounds for Lucas Arts Loom, and some for The Secret of Monkey Island, invented his own unique ways of using color cycling for environmental effects that you really have to see to believe. These include rain, snow, ocean waves, moving fog, clouds, smoke, waterfalls, streams, lakes, and more. And all these effects are achieved without any layers or alpha channels — just one single flat image with one 256 color palette.


Joe, Mark’s high school buddy, “thought now would be the time to reintroduce color cycling, using open web technologies like the HTML5 Canvas element.”


As related by Joe Huckaby on

This demo is an implementation of a full 8-bit color cycling engine, rendered into an HTML5 Canvas in real-time. I am using 35 of Mark’s original 640×480 pixel masterpieces which you can explore, and I added some ambient environmental soundtracks to match.


Having myself tackled successfully the Spritely animation technique that uses pure HTML and javascript which I showcase on my homepage on design desk aRk2 – alternative web animation methods will, I guess, continue to fascinate me.


Joe generously shares his JavaScript and C++ source code to his color cycling engine which you can download for free at


From where I am now as a web developer I continue to be grateful to artists and web design/web developer geniuses like Joe, Mike and the warm friendly folks at Spritely who generously share their talents and knowledge.


I hope you enjoyed Mark’s masterpieces which Joe revived on the HTML5 platform.









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Techie Gizmos: Low and High


Techie Tuesday


 Soda Bulb Light


High tech, low tech, these products caught my eye and made it twinkle.


Let us start with this very low technology light source made from a plastic softdrink bottle. In the deep dark slum quarters of one of Philippine’s largest city, makeshift houses are devoid of light. Electricity is absent or expensive and most inhabitants go through their day to day in very dim interior conditions. Installing a water-filled softdrink bottle atop the roof provides enough daylight to illuminate a small room. It is called the Solar Bottle Bulb.





Frequent images of cities deep in flood waters greet us and have become reality for more and more people. Climate change and its dire effects is upon all of us and each part of the planet is experiencing their own peculiar nuance of the changing weather patterns. As a response to floodwater conditions this product is very relevant and should be standard emergency equipment in every household. Click on this website to find out more about this technology of producing drinking water from floodwaters.


 Water to the rescue



From coping with not so ideal living conditions we continue on this thread with an idea on how to make more room for unexpected dinner guests in cramped quarters. I have seen this before but this design in black with its sleek framed black and white picture is nice.



 Picture Table



Shifting gears now to our fascination for sleek gadgets. A perfect partnership of old technology with a recent popular one.



Pop Phone for igadgets





Making a statement by going invisible.



Invisible Speakers



Speaking of invisible…this is my favorite.   I want one.  :)  This is still a concept cellphone by designers Cho Sinhyung & Jeon Jungjae.  Who knows that in the near future new technology will allow this to become a reality.



Transparent Cellphone Concept from designers Cho Sinhyung & Jeon Jungjae



Another version of the transparent cellphone.


RFR iPhone by designer Fabio Merzari








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Comments Off on Technology and Fashion

Technology and Fashion


Techie Tuesday



It is not a far fetched pairing – Technology and Fashion. As part of my weekly postings my Tuesday is assigned to the ‘techie’ side of me.


I have pending in my drafts a series of tutorials for setting up a WordPress Website for Ignoramouses like me. I am waiting for inspiration to hit me with a ‘light bulb’ moment on how to approach it. I come across great WordPress tutorials on the internet. I need to offer something new. Present my lessons like a recipe so that domestic divas like me can relate and pick up right away? Or maybe like sewing a dress with patterns as my main element in my teaching modules?


In the meantime while the above post is brewing and placed in an incubator I bring you something which melds two of my passions: Technology and Fashion.





On one level the two complement each other very well when technology/social media in the form of Fb, Tweeter, Instagram, Pinterest is used by producers of fashion events and accessed by consumers in a partnership that does not diminish the value of, say, like an exclusive runway fashion show. The possible dilution of haute couture by broadcasting its show on a livestream channel accessed by millions online proved to be a false notion. Demand for actual seats on the live show increased while demand for purchases for the clothes from online consumers also grew.


The addictive features of immediate feedback and interaction of social media fit in very well in the fashion world. Instant gratification via praises and recognition from friends and peer affirm our individual need for swift validation. This interactivity is being exploited by savvy retailers. One name brand has even promoted a strategy to allow fb members to host their own livestream fashion show on their own fb wall. And I guess as far as the objectives of fashion house Burberry is concerned, it worked!



On another level – the fields of technology and fashion find themselves married on the actual garment itself. Solar panel technology is being applied on to a necklace, or on a blouse where even just a brief exposure to the sun gather enough energy to power an mp3 player, or a cellphone. Engineers are finding ways to tap into the kinetic energy produced by our very own body movements and translating this to feed our ever increasing array of electronic gadgets. Textiles are being produced that respond to our need for cooling or heat. On the works is a textile that when exposed to the sun cleans itself. No need for laundry.



 Solar Panel Dress



Solar Panel Necklace by Swedish Design Student Mae Yokohama



3D Fashion



Flutter Dress by Halley Profita for the hearing impaired



Solar Power Purse



Kinetic energy harnessing shoe



The first programmable t-shirt: t-shirt OS





What an exciting future we face in terms of what we wear. Functional Fashion/Wearable Technology is something I am looking forward to. How about walking around in my very own solar panel dress, hanging it up when I get home and then plugging my airconditioner into it? oooo…that indeed is a ‘flash bulb’ idea! Forget then my WordPress Tutorial which is sitting and just mulling in my brain incubator – designing a home powered by my solar/kinetic energy clothes is a far better way to spend my Techie Tuesdays! 😀









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