Author: Rob Hawkes
Publisher: Friends of Ed, 2011
Aimed at: Existing programmers
Pros: Good introduction to Canvas that succeeds in being fun
Cons: Very basic
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
The subtitle of this book is For Games and Entertainment and it focuses on creating classical sprite based 2D games.
While there are arguably more interesting graphics features that are associated with HMTL5 - i.e. WebGL and 3D graphics - Canvas is the only one that has fairly universal support. What this means is that if your application can fit into Canvas then it is worth using it.
This book is an introduction not only to Canvas but to many of the ideas of sprite-based animation.
Chapter 3 is where we really get started with Canvas and it covers drawing basic shapes. Chapter 4 moves on to saving and restoring the state and graphics transformations. Chapter 5 deals with images and video - including processing video and then displaying it using Canvas. This brings the Canvas tutorial to a close and at this point in the book (page 160) you are ready to move on to animation.
Chapter 6 introduces basic draw,update, clear animation and points out that using object oriented sprites this becomes much easier to organize. Chapter 7 moves on to more advanced animation in the sense of adding velocity, acceleration and collisions to sprites.
Chapters 8 and 9 provides two fairly good examples of how to implement complete games - a space bowling game and asteroid avoidance. Both are fairly simple but provide an insight into how to go about putting everything together to create a game.
The final chapter is about the future of Canvas and includes sections on SVG and Flash v Canvas, WebGL and a range of other topics.
If you want to use Canvas to have some fun then this book does a good job of keeping the fun in the equation.
As long as you aren't a complete complete beginner or an advanced programmer it is recommended.