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HTML5 Canvas Paperback – 10 May 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 750 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (10 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449334989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449334987
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Native Interactivity and Animation for the Web

About the Author

Steve Fulton is an author, speaker, and game development professional. He works at Mattel Toys as Sr. Manager Of Software Development for the Digital Play division.

Jeff is an R.I.A. web and mobile game/application developer who has been cultivating an audience for news, stories, blogs, and tutorials about Flash, Corona, and now the HTML5 Canvas at his own website ( for the past five and a half years. Jeff is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Producto Studios ( and can easily be found on Twitter daily using the handle @8bitrocket.

Jeff previously worked as a web development manager at Mattel Toys for 14 years, helping to create Mattel’s extensive online presence.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After working through the second chapter I was already becoming comfortable with using the Canvas for drawing vector graphics, which is most of what I wanted out of it at the time. The book continues to describe rendering text, and then images while kind of wandering off into the domain of game development. I think games provide a good scenario to cover subjects like animation, optimising rendering and input handling, but this books seems to digress into a full blown development manual. Most of the book is about making games and a lot of it has nothing to do with HTML5 Canvas. For example: Almost 30 pages are dedicated to an algorithm called A* which is described in the book as "a grid-based path-finding algorithm used to find the shortest 'node' path from point A to point B." No it's not: A* is an abstract search algorithm that can be applied to pretty much any positively weighted graph with a known start state and goal state and where an admissible heuristic can be applied to guide the search. Personally I'd prefer it is this book was shorter and focused more on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the most accessible entry to learn HTML5's Canvas. It covers everything from first steps to advanced game development techniques, honed through years of developing games with Flash.

I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn HTML5 Canvas, especially if you come from a Flash games development background. But even if you aren't it's easily the best book on the subject.

This won't teach you everything about HTML5, but it covers Canvas perfectly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The best HTML5 Canvas Book! 19 July 2013
By Financial Reader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read the Core HTML5 Canvas book, the For Dummies HTML5 Canvas book as well as the Canvas spec. This is by-far the best book. The book is very comprehensive and offers good examples. It also takes the time to do the JavaScript right. The book is well organized by topic and does not throw me around like the Core book. It is very in depth unlike the For Dummies book. And it has examples and explanations unlike the official spec.

This is one of the few books that will live on my desk!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic 7 Jun 2013
By Kody A Crouch - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition

The authors want to present a strong introduction to the HTML5 canvas as well as providing advice, examples, and guided tours through the deeper levels of the canvas. The book is focussed on games because, well, that's why most people want to use canvas! Even so, there is a some very focused material on video/audio/image integration which will also be great for designers.


Fantastic job! To be honest, I hate javascript. I chose this book mostly out of curiousity. But the book is great. From start to finish, there is very little space that is not used wisely. Tons of examples, from simple standard introductions to highly instructive, complex HTML5 games. It's also an excellent tool for becoming a better game developer or programmer in general.


If you already know Javascript or jQuery and are interested in games or html5 apps with canvas content, this an excellent book for that.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More about gaming, not as much about the canvas specifics. 16 Jun 2014
By T. Bowers - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe it's me, but I didn't get as much out of this book as I expected. I think I read the first 3 chapters and found some helpful information there, but after that the book quickly launched into gaming aspects and I quit reading. Given the content of the book it should have been titled 'Canvas Gaming' or something like that. It's fine that the book is about gaming, but it was so much about gaming it didn't delve into a lot of the aspects about canvas. For example, aspects like mouse coordinates and canvas position, like relative, absolute, static, etc. I had to look aspects like that, and more, on the internet. I expected those aspects to be covered in the book. The book covered canvas basics, then quickly progressed to complex canvas aspects. It went from foundational things straight into gaming. I hoped it would have contained all the intermediate aspects too. Not everyone wants to develop a game. I don't. I need to develop a canvas for the development of image maps and signature capture. Knowing what I now know about the book I would not have purchased it. I don't think I should buy a book on canvas and then need to search the internet for answers to a bunch of canvas aspects not covered. I wanted a book to avoid that. Looking some uncommon aspects up is expected, but not the majority of those I need. And, maybe some of the aspects I need are HTML5 aspects, but they directly affect the use of canvas and need to be coded up to us canvas correctly and fully, so I expect them to be covered. Again, maybe it's just me, but that's my opinion. So, I gave the book 3 stars for - It's Okay.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Everything you ever wanted to know... 31 May 2013
By Jeff & Wendy S - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...about 2D graphics in Javascript. It's such a joy to program in Javascript, especially writing games like in the golden age of home computers. The authors of this book have that passion and it shows through tons of information and numerous practical code examples. If you have a basic background in programming and game logic, this book will help you create fun graphics-centric games for the web. Over 700 pages of coding goodness.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Heads up ... the Second Edition is available 16 May 2013
By Syed Z. Hosain - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A word of warning. The Second Edition of this book has just been released by O'Reilly, but this Amazon listing does not state that (like their listings usually do). Probably because it is so new.

Please search for that version (or get it directly from the O'Reilly web site) instead of this older one - amazing that I can say "older" even though it is barely 2 years since this edition. :)

In general, I find this a good book to understand about the new-to-HTML5 Canvas. Definitely worth it, since it brought me up to speed on the topic. An easier read than the official HTML 5 specification.

EDIT: I wrote the above back in May ... when the page showed the First Edition. Now, it shows the Second Edition and is up to date.
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