HTML5 Canvas

In this HTML5 canvas tutorial you will be able to learn:

  • The coordinates system of the canvas
  • How to draw basic shapes
  • How to fill the shapes with a colour of your choice
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The main drawing element in HTML5 is canvas; it is where we draw or animate images.

The <canvas></canvas> Element

The new canvas element is providing us with a container to draw graphical objects, with the aid of JavaScript. The images are produced on the canvas by the code written in JavaScript within <script></script> tags.


This is a 400 X 300 canvas element.

The blue border is produced by CSS.

The code is as follows:

<canvas id="Canvas_Two" width="400" height="300" style="border:5px dashed #0000FF;"> </canvas>

Then, the canvas and its graphic drawing object, getContext() must be referred to in JavaScript as follows:

var c=document.getElementById("myCanvas");
var ctx=c.getContext("2d");

2d indicates the use of element for 2-D graphics.

The Coordinate System of Canvas

HTML5 Coordinate System

Now, let's draw some shapes on the canvas. The full source code for the shapes are given below the drawing.

Circle, Line, Arc, Rectangle, Line-Join


As you can see, it is fairly simple to draw shapes on the canvas provided that you have a clear idea about the coordinate system of the canvas.

The Code for the above Shapes:

<script type="text/javascript">
var cv = document.getElementById('Canvas_Two');
var cnt = cv.getContext('2d');
//--------------------------------------code for the line---------------
// begin the task
// initial point
cnt.moveTo(200, 150);
// final point
cnt.lineTo(300, 50);
// colour for the line
cnt.strokeStyle = "green"
// line width
cnt.lineWidth = 5;
// command for drawing
//---------------------------------------- code for the circle------------
// begin the task
// coordinates of the centre(x,y), radius, initial angle and final angel in radians, anticlockwise=false
cnt.arc(100, 70, 60, 0, 2 * Math.PI, false);
context.lineWidth = 2;
// color for the circle in Hexadecimal form
cnt.strokeStyle = '#0000FF';
//-----------------------------------------code for the arc-------------------
// begin the task
// coordinates of the centre(x,y), radius, initial angle and final angel in radians, anticlockwise=false
cnt.arc(100, 200, 60, 0, 0.5* Math.PI, false);
context.lineWidth = 2;
cnt.strokeStyle = '#FF00FF';
//<-------------------------------------------code for the rectangle-------
// begin the task
// coordinates of the initial point(x,y), width and height
cnt.rect(300, 100, 80, 50);
context.lineWidth = 2;
cnt.strokeStyle = '#FFFF00';
//-------------------------------------------code for the line-meeting--------
// begin the task
//line one
cnt.moveTo(230, 225);
cnt.lineTo(350, 280);
// line two
cnt.lineTo(280, 150);
// join the line: it could be miter, round or bevel
cnt.lineJoin = 'miter';
cnt.strokeStyle ='#00FFFF';

Drawing Custom Shapes and Filling

The context.lineTo() object - and other drawing objects - can be used to draw complex diagrams on the canvas.

The following shows how a regular hexagon is drawn on the canvas and then painted.

The Code for Filled Hexagon

<canvas id="Canvas_Four" width="400" height="400" style="border:5px solid red"></canvas>
var canvas = document.getElementById('Canvas_Four');
var cnt = canvas.getContext('2d');
//code for the six sides of the hexagon - use Pythagoras' Theorem with coordinates for calculations
cnt.moveTo(135, 80);
cnt.lineTo(265, 80);
cnt.lineTo(315, 200);
cnt.lineTo(265, 320);
cnt.lineTo(135, 320);
cnt.lineTo(85, 200);
cnt.fillStyle = "blue";
cnt.lineWidth = 10;
cnt.strokeStyle = 'lightblue';

In order to make sure all six sides are equal, Pythagoras' theorem is used in determining the exact coordinates:
c2 = a2 + b2.




Resources at Fingertips

There is a significant selection of tutorials here, covering ASP.Net, HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. They are categorized clearly for you to access them easily on any device - desktops/laptops, smartphones and laptops.
There are quite a few of them on HTML5 Canvas and CSS3. In addition, there are tutorials on JavaScript and ASP.Net too.


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Recommended Reading


The best book to master HTML5 canvas animations. The author tells you how to manipulate the canvas element with JavaScript in a progressive way - starting from the easier to harder worked examples. It is ideal for anyone who wants to be a game developer in HTML5.