You want the users of your web app to be able to use their webcam to take their own profile shots and you’d like them to be able to personalize or stylize the picture before uploading it your weberver. Or maybe you’ve seen one of those fun photobooth-type apps that takes photos, applies cool image effects to them and lets you share them… wondering how they worked.
Imagine if your HTML5 app could programmatically access your webcam, take snapshots and modify the image data procedurally. You could then let your user’s upload or share their self portraits.
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to do that and more. Building on some articles that I’ve shared in the past, I’ll walk you through a sample application that displays the video from your webcam, applies image processing effects to that video, lets you take still snapshots of the filtered video and lets you serialize the snapshots so that they can be uploaded to a web server.
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HTML+CSS suck for building apps.
There I said it… I mean lets face it, building apps in HTML+CSS is pretty much like doing word processing in LaTeX. What ever happened to decent visual tools? And I’m tired of dealing with weird quirky layout issues.
Don’t get me wrong HTML for building apps is definitely (eh) OK and it’s been proven that you can create applications at scale with it. But I think you end up working around quirks in layout behavior way too much. HTML was originally designed for making non-wysiwyg “rich” text documents. The ability to build apps is bolted on and feels like it.
Also I can’t help but wonder will the pinnacle of visual application design tools be Interface Builder or Delphi. I don’t think we’ve really moved forward in terms of the visual tools used to build apps since the advent of these tools. Rich Internet Application frameworks and plugins like Flash and Silverlight (along with FlexBuilder and Blend) tried to solve this within the browser. But it’s looking more and more like these are going to fizzle out of existence.
So What to Do?
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Give it a try.