Canvas: Share & Play With Images

Thanks to camera equipped mobile phones and cheap cameras, we’re literally flooded with pictures, both online and offline. Pictures speak a thousand words, but, at times, you might have to add a couple of words of your own to make them perfect. A funny crown or a tail or horns can liven up the images when shared with friends and peers.

It would be lot more fun if you could share the goofy image manipulation you’ve done of a popular celebrity or see a few created by someone like you. Founded by the uber popular meme creating legend Moot of 4chan, Canvas is a fun app that helps you share and play with images.

Overview

Overview

Overview

Canvas is currently in closed, private beta and you will have to apply for an account. I waited for over a month or so but if you have a friend using it already, ask him/her for an invite. During the beta period Canvas is using Facebook Connect to validate users and handle invitations. Only your friends already using Canvas will be able to see your photo and name in their invite panel. I got only one such invite, so they are pretty hard to come by. After Gmail, I guess it’s Canvas that has executed the clever plan of using invites to drum up the hype.

Ease of Use

User Interface

User Interface

Even after signing in with your existing Facebook account (via OAuth), Canvas will put you through a short sign up process. After signing in, you will land on a page that is a collage of all the popular images that are floating in the Canvas ecosystem. All images tend to be funny one way or another with varying degrees of offensiveness laced on them. The language or content might be occasionally be a bit more offensive but largely Canvas promotes itself and strives to be a Worksafe site.

Genre Specific Categories

Genre Specific Categories

As I have mentioned above, Canvas is all about manipulating images and the ones displayed only make that fact crystal clear. Images are tucked into various categories based on their popularity, activity, comments received and the newest ones to enter the stream. Also if you’re looking for genre specific categories, try the drop down menu titled Everything. For now, images can belong to any one of the above mentioned categories but the developers promise that the ability to create your own custom categories is coming soon.

Remixing Images

If you’re planning on sharing an image, viewing their comments or replying to them, you can just hover over them to bring up the hidden options. It’s nice to see the badges (more on them later) with the number of upvotes an image has received so far. To see all the comments posted so far, use the expand icon on the top left corner of the page. Adding your perspective to an image is referred to as a Remix. Click the image you want manipulate (or spoil, based on your drawing skills and intentions).

Starting a Remix

Starting a Remix

Canvas has as many decent set of tools as the oldest version of Windows Paint (yes, that’s a snub) but taking into account that I am no Pablo Picasso and my drawing skills have not improved a bit from the Kindergarten days, it’s more than enough for me and most of us. You can always use Photoshop or other pro ninja image editors to create a snazzy remix and then upload it back. No one’s stopping ya! But with what’s available here, it is only possible to extract a few drops of lemonade.

Tools

Tools

They have got 11 different fonts including the crowd favorite Comic Sans. It’s a bit tricky if you try to add text to the image – you will have to click on the image and add the content from the left pane. There is an airbrush, eraser, flip tools, undo & redo, color picker and a couple of others.

Stamps

Stamps

The real interesting feature is Stamps. Use the Stamp icon from the toolset and you will now be able to add an overlay to your current remix. Canvas allows you to search for stamps from their own collection. If you can’t find one that you like, upload your own or search in Google Images without having to move an inch from the app. Add a couple of words of wisdom and you are ready to unleash the remix into the world.

Before uploading the image, Canvas asks for a pledge that the image is clean and is not NSFW. Posts violating the terms of service will be removed. Repeat offenders will have their accounts deactivated. You have the option to submit your remix or original creation anonymously, but I guess they would be recording your IP to ban your account in case of any violations.

Sharing With Others

Dragging Badges for Upvote

Dragging Badges for Upvote

Canvas has made sharing extremely easier with some new tools right below the stickers. Drag any of the share icons to any image to quickly post that URL to Facebook, Twitter or StumbleUpon. In the same manner, drag and drop badges on the images and they will get an upvote in the appropriate category. Threads are public now, so even non-registered users can click through if you share a link with them.

Final Thoughts

So what exactly is the point of this web app you ask? Frankly, there isn’t anything of significance that can change the world. But it’s absolutely ridiculous for us to expect every single web app to solve a huge problem. Canvas is pure, unadulterated fun and its about time we all took sometime to blow of some steam. Hope they add some better image manipulation tools in the future. If you got access to it, give your friends a taste of Canvas and send them an invite!

Share Your Thoughts!

Is Canvas funny and playful enough? See yourself uploading and voting up some goofy images?


Summary

Canvas is a fun app that helps you share and play with images.

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