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Posts tagged ‘Drawing’

Silk: Surreal Abstraction in a Browser

New web technologies give us the ability to create outstanding, beautiful artwork in our browser window without Flash. Silk is an app unlike anything we’ve seen before. We had trouble nailing down how to describe it since we couldn’t compare it. It’s not a tool or a game.

Visit Silk, and click-and-drag a line across your browser. Once you let go, an organic shape will begin to form and glide across your screen. The design looks like waving fabric, or arcs of lightning, or smoke from a cigarette, all depending on what your draw. The shape cycles through colors as it grows, giving you a piece that you’ll want to save and share with friends. Hold down your Shift-key and move your mouse to control the wind.

What surprised us about Silk is that there is a business model behind the tool. The website previews upcoming iPhone and iPad apps. After all, with an app like this one, why would you want to be limited to your browser? We don’t have any other details at this point. But, once they are released in the App Store, we’re willing to bet they will become instant classics.

Favwork: Designer Showcase Community

Forget about invite-only showcase sites or pay-to-play design directories. Favwork is a free, welcoming community for all designers to upload and showcase their best work.

Creating an account is as simple as signing in via Twitter. Once you upload your work, share it across Twitter. Other users can stop by and like your work, and the most liked uploads are featured weekly on the homepage.

The site’s layout is very similar to Dribbble, but Dribbble controls quality by requiring a referral in order to register. As a result, similar sites often lock out solo freelancers and unintentionally places greater emphasis on exclusivity. Favwork successfully shifted the focus from building enthusiasm for an exclusive community to building enthusiasm for great work. And since the community is powered by a social site like Twitter, the barrier is low enough for anyone to join. Kudos, Favwork.

MarkUp: Annotate Websites

MarkUp is a free bookmarklet that allows anyone to scribble and type on any website.

The service works exactly how you would expect. Drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar, and click while visiting a website. A small toolbar will pop up in the upper-right hand corner of the page, allowing you to change color and stroke thickness. Click to draw, and begin painting the website you’re viewing. Once you finish drawing, you can move around any lines or text boxes. Your Delete key works as expected, and hitting ctrl+z or cmd+z to undo works too.

Using MarkUp, drawing on a site feels like you’re using a sophisticated drawing application. Lines come out crisp and polished. Edges smooth once you release your mouse button, which gives you a set of scribbles that are ready for sharing.

And sharing may just be our favorite part of MarkUp. Along in the toolbar that pops up, you have the ability to Publish your annotations. The service generates a shortform URL that can be shared with colleagues. People viewing the published page cannot edit your changes, but they can add their own marks or start fresh and publish a new page.

MarkUp is a free service, and since it is distributed via a bookmarklet, no software or scripts are required. Give it a try. It’s the type of web app that may find a permanent place in your bookmarks bar.