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Advanced animations

In the last chapter we made some basic animations and got to know ways to get things moving. In this part we will have a closer look at the motion itself and are going to add some physics to make our animations more advanced.

Drawing a ball

We are going to use a ball for our animation studies, so let's first draw that ball onto the canvas. The following code will set us up.

<canvas id="canvas" width="600" height="300"></canvas>

As usual, we need a drawing context first. To draw the ball, we will create a ball object which contains properties and a draw() method to paint it on the canvas.

var canvas = document.getElementById('canvas');
var ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');

var ball = {
  x: 100,
  y: 100,
  radius: 25,
  color: 'blue',
  draw: function() {
    ctx.beginPath();
    ctx.arc(this.x, this.y, this.radius, 0, Math.PI*2, true);
    ctx.closePath();
    ctx.fillStyle = this.color;
    ctx.fill();
  }
};

ball.draw();

Nothing special here, the ball is actually a simple circle and gets drawn with the help of the arc() method.

Adding velocity

Now that we have a ball, we are ready to add a basic animation like we have learned in the last chapter of this tutorial. Again, window.requestAnimationFrame() helps us to control the animation. The ball gets moving by adding a velocity vector to the position. For each frame, we also clear the canvas to remove old circles from prior frames.

var canvas = document.getElementById('canvas');
var ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');
var raf;

var ball = {
  x: 100,
  y: 100,
  vx: 5,
  vy: 2,
  radius: 25,
  color: 'blue',
  draw: function() {
    ctx.beginPath();
    ctx.arc(this.x, this.y, this.radius, 0, Math.PI*2, true);
    ctx.closePath();
    ctx.fillStyle = this.color;
    ctx.fill();
  }
};

function draw() {
  ctx.clearRect(0,0, canvas.width, canvas.height);
  ball.draw();
  ball.x += ball.vx;
  ball.y += ball.vy;
  raf = window.requestAnimationFrame(draw);
}

canvas.addEventListener('mouseover', function(e) {
  raf = window.requestAnimationFrame(draw);
});

canvas.addEventListener("mouseout", function(e) {
  window.cancelAnimationFrame(raf);
});

ball.draw();

Boundaries

Without any boundary collision testing our ball runs out of the canvas quickly. We need to check if the x and y position of the ball is out of the canvas dimensions and invert the direction of the velocity vectors. To do so, we add the following checks to the draw method:

if (ball.y + ball.vy > canvas.height || ball.y + ball.vy < 0) {
  ball.vy = -ball.vy;
}
if (ball.x + ball.vx > canvas.width || ball.x + ball.vx < 0) {
  ball.vx = -ball.vx;
}

First demo

Let's see how it looks in action so far. Move your mouse into the canvas to start the animation.

Acceleration

To make the motion more real, you can play with the velocity like this, for example:

ball.vy *= .99;
ball.vy += .25;

This slows down the vertical velocity each frame, so that the ball will just bounce on the floor in the end.

Trailing effect

Until now we have made use of the clearRect method when clearing prior frames. If you replace this method with a semi-transparent fillRect, you can easily create a trailing effect.

ctx.fillStyle = 'rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.3)';
ctx.fillRect(0, 0, canvas.width, canvas.height);

Adding mouse control

To get some control over the ball, we can make it follow our mouse using the mousemove event, for example. The click event releases the ball and lets it bounce again.

var canvas = document.getElementById('canvas');
var ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');
var raf;
var running = false;

var ball = {
  x: 100,
  y: 100,
  vx: 5,
  vy: 1,
  radius: 25,
  color: 'blue',
  draw: function() {
    ctx.beginPath();
    ctx.arc(this.x, this.y, this.radius, 0, Math.PI*2, true);
    ctx.closePath();
    ctx.fillStyle = this.color;
    ctx.fill();
  }
};

function clear() {
  ctx.fillStyle = 'rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.3)';
  ctx.fillRect(0,0,canvas.width,canvas.height);
}

function draw() {
  clear();
  ball.draw();
  ball.x += ball.vx;
  ball.y += ball.vy;

  if (ball.y + ball.vy > canvas.height || ball.y + ball.vy < 0) {
    ball.vy = -ball.vy;
  }
  if (ball.x + ball.vx > canvas.width || ball.x + ball.vx < 0) {
    ball.vx = -ball.vx;
  }

  raf = window.requestAnimationFrame(draw);
}

canvas.addEventListener('mousemove', function(e) {
  if (!running) {
    clear();
    ball.x = e.clientX;
    ball.y = e.clientY;
    ball.draw();
  }
});

canvas.addEventListener("click", function(e) {
  if (!running) {
    raf = window.requestAnimationFrame(draw);
    running = true;
  }
});

canvas.addEventListener("mouseout", function(e) {
  window.cancelAnimationFrame(raf);
  running = false;
});

ball.draw();

Move the ball using your mouse and release it with a click.

Breakout

This short chapter only explains some techniques to create more advanced animations. There are many more! How about adding a paddle, some bricks, and turn this demo into a Breakout game? Check out our Game development area for more gaming related articles.

See also

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 Contributors to this page: onurtemizkan, lol768, fscholz
 Last updated by: onurtemizkan,