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Tuesday Two.Oh! A Tool for Creating

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. :)

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be taking a look at a tool called Cloud Canvas.  Now, a note: I am not (repeat, NOT) skilled at the arts of Photoshop (an opportunity for a COIL on Wheels maybe??).  This tool is geared towards those more savvy in this regard: but I didn’t think this was a reason not to explore the tool.  The thing you need to keep in mind is that you may have more luck than I did. So, let’s take a look at Cloud Canvas.

From the site: “CloudCanvas enables creative people to make digital art, design and other rich media right in the web browser.  No plugins are required.”

Find them on  Twitter.

The homepage of Cloud Canvas is very busy- but there seems to be a lot of information available if you dig a little- for instance the menu across the top offers information as to what’s included in the tool and who the team behind Cloud Canvas is.

So, after investigating a little in the “about” tabs, I decided to launch that puppy and see what happened.

Well, at first, nothing.

The tools weren’t populated- nothing worked.  Since I was working in FireFox, I figured I should try IE.  Same thing.

So, it turns out you need Goolge Chrome for this to work well.  The took works with Google’s technology, so Chrome seems to be the best platform on which to us it.  Once I settled into the tool with Google Chrome it seemed to run much easier.

Here’s what it looks like when it opens correctly:

Once you launch the tool you’re asked to sign into Gmail.

There’s the swatches tool for backgroud and text coloring.  What’s neat about this tool is that it picks up the colors in your art already and gives you a complimentary palate.

Then there’s the brushes tool.

You can search Clip Art, Google Images and Deviant Art for images to insert into your project.

There’s also a “Font Store” but it seems that none of the fonts have been loaded and that aspect of the tool isn’t live yet.

You also have your normal set of tools (draw, shape, paint, etc).

I decided to pic a picture from Google Images and just mess around.  One thing to note for you Photoshopers, there is a layering aspect to this tool.  So there’s a pretty good degree of sophistication (it’s just above my skill set… obviously).

Occasionally I would run into a snag and the page would stop working.  It did happen several times, in Chrome, and i’m not sure what I was doing to make it hiccup.

Another thing is I had a really hard time trying to save the image.  When I saved it to my Google Docs, all I got was a code.  I tried copy/pasting that into this blog, but it’s just code not the picture.  I wonder if I were to upload in photoshop or something if it would read.

Here’s the random code generated when  I saved my picture.  It’s SVG.

<svg id=”svgtop” width=”640″ height=”480″ xmlns=”; xmlns:xlink=””&gt;
<!– Created with CloudCanvas – –>
<title>Layer 1</title>
<image transform=”matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) translate(0,0) scale(1.0549999475479126,1.0766667127609253) translate(0,0) ” xlink:href=”; height=”300″ width=”400″ y=”0″ x=”0″ id=”svg_1″/>
<text transform=”translate(-46,-10) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) matrix(1,0,0,1,0,0) translate(75,4) translate(237,250) scale(1) translate(-237,-250) translate(237,222) scale(2.4583332538604736,2.3214285373687744) translate(-237,-222) ” xml:space=”preserve” text-anchor=”middle” font-family=”serif” font-size=”24″ id=”svg_2″ y=”243.5″ x=”261″ stroke-width=”0″ stroke=”#000000″ fill=”#ff0066″>AW!</text>

Beyond this I really wasn’t able to make sense of the tool.  I think if I were to have a better understanding of some of the other creation tools out there I would better understand Cloud Canvas.

COILers!  I KNOW there are some talented people out there.  Take a look at Cloud Canvas and let us know what you think?  Is this a good free alternative to photoshop?  What do you think about this tool?

I think, if there’s one thing I can draw from today’s discussion, is that I need to brush up on my Photoshoping skills.


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