I have made a basic clock canvas example before however maybe now it is time for another canvas example of a clock this time maybe I can make it into something a little more interesting. There are many things that come to mind when it comes to ideas for canvas clock projects, but for now I think that it might be best to start out with something only slightly more advanced from my basic canvas clock example.
This will be a clock that involves a pool of display objects or particles as they are some times called that move around the canvas. As the day progresses the count of particle objects that are active will increase to to a certain point at which it will come back down again.
This is just one silly little idea that came to mind when it comes to be thing about making some additional canvas examples that are just basic clock like projects. Making clocks is a nice diversion from other canvas projects such as games that can become very complicated and time consuming endeavorers. My experience with making clocks thus far however has been a more rewarding, and therapeutic experience thus far. Just like with games there is a lot of room for originally and creativity, so lets take a look at this slightly more advanced canvas clock with particle objects.
First off there are a few methods that I will be using in the clock.js file that creates the state object as well as the draw,js file also. So I will be wanting an general utility library to pack methods like this.
The clock.js file creates a module that is used to create the main state object for this canvas example. I then use this state object with another module in my draw.js file that will draw the state of this object to the canvas. In my basic clock example I just had a create method that would be used over an over again to create an up to date clock object, however in this example I have both a create method and an update method. The reason why is that I do not want to recreate the pool of particles over and over again each time.
At the top of the module I have a helper method that I use to create a text format of the current time. After that I have another helper method that returns a date the represents the starting time of the current day, this is used to find a percent value for the progression of the current day later on.
I then have another helper that I use to set the speed and heading of a given particle. This is called when creation the pool for the first time, and also each time a particle reaches the outer edge of the time ring that I have made for the clock face.
Here I have the method that is used to create the particle pool for the first time. Each particle object will have an index value as well as its current x and y position. In addition a particle will have a pps value or pixels per second value that is used to set the speed at which the particle will move, along with a heading value that will of course be the direction it will be moving.
I set particle to active based on the current day percent value of the clock object.
Update the pool moving each particle that is currently set to active.
Set the day percent value and sec percent value of the clock object to there current values.
The public API of the clock module consists of just two methods, one to create a clock object and the other to update one.
In the draw.js file I have a bunch of methods that I use to draw the state of a clock object to a canvas element. I break alot of things down into separate methods to help keep things a little more fine grain. For example I have a draw method to just draw the text part of the clock face.
So ow that I have a utility library as well as my clock and draw files I can now use all of this in a main.js file and get everything working with just a little html. In the main.js file I create and inject a canvas element, and get a reference to the drawing context of the canvas element, as well as set some values for it. I use the create method of the clock modules to create a new clock object, and use the update method of the clock module in the body of an update loop. In the update loop I use my draw module to draw the various parts of the clock face with the current state of the clock object created and updated with the clock module.
When this canvas example is up and running I get what it is that I would expect. Particles move outward from the center outward, and the count and speed differs depending on the time of day, and week.