Monday, March 16th, 2009

More Particles in JavaScript

Category: Fun, JavaScript

A long time ago we covered a simple particle engine in JavaScript, used to produce a toy fire effect (about two years later it was ported to canvas and got much faster).

Pawel Witkowski wrote in with another particle demo, this one as a teaser to his promised future full-featured JavaScript particle framework:

I spent some of mine free time to create this nice effect in pure Javascript. Actually I plan to make a whole libary for it. Just to show you what it might give you i prepared some cool example…

He goes on to discuss performance a touch:

Please don’t blame me for performance :) I tried almost everything I could get to make it faster. I used and tested a few trick of optimalisation to give you some result of mine tests:

1. Hiding element, moving it then showing – does not increase performance. In fact it is faster to do:


This is what I observe in this application, but also in mine application that I currently work in my job (moving map tiles).

2. Fastest way to move object is to directly set style attribute via:

  1. element.setAttribute("style","left: 10px; top: 10px");

But this does not work in IE. Instead you could use:

  1."top:10px; left:10px";

But to make things strange – this is slower in IE than setting, and style.left separately.

Canvas, my friend, canvas. My favorite part of the source code is the in-line font definition, partially reproduced here:

  1. var font=
  2. [
  3. "    :::$    ",
  4. "  :+: :+:$  ",
  5. " +:+   +:+$ ",
  6. "+#++:++#++:$",
  7. "+#+     +#+$",
  8. "#+#     #+#$",
  9. "###     ###$",
  10. ":::::::::$ ",
  11. ":+:    :+:$",
  12. "+:+    +:+$",
  13. "+#++:++#+$ ",
  14. "+#+    +#+$",
  15. "#+#    #+#$",
  16. "#########$ "

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 9:00 am

3.9 rating from 30 votes


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Oh yes

Please gods of javascript let us have the good old Snoqualmie Screensaver in javascript!

(for those of you that don’t know Snoqualmie, it’s now re-released as Zen Light ( )

Comment by SchizoDuckie — March 16, 2009

@Ben, Dion: No mention of so far?

Comment by Aimos — March 16, 2009

That is unreal, excellent work!

Comment by scoult01 — March 16, 2009

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