When Microsoft launched IE9, they sponsored a number of interesting demo projects to showcase its hardware acceleration and HTML5 support. I posted about one of these projects some time ago - A Rough Guide To The World.
The Endless Mural is another such showcase project. It's a drawing application with a twist: as you make gestures and draw lines across the canvas, fractals bloom in your wake. That means your gestures serve as a rough outline that the application uses to render a ton of abstract-looking "glyphs" that spiral, explode, and do all sorts of crazy things.
You're not going to draw anything coherent with this, but if you like abstract art, it's certainly fun. It's also surprisingly fine-grained. When you click the Draw menu, you get a selection of four different "gesture behaviors," such as swarm, burst, spiral, etc. You also get to pick from twelve different artwork sets (used for the glyphs drawn on the canvas), and each of those has four possible color variations.
When you're done expressing your inner artist, you can save your work and add it to the site's namesake, the "endless mural" itself. That's a showcase of all of the art created with the site. When you view a drawing in the mural, you can hit Play and see a complete animated playback of how it was created.
One of the things I like about the project is how tasteful Microsoft's sponsorship is. There is no huge IE9 logo plastered all over the page, and you won't find an irritating banner exclaiming "best viewed under IE9." In fact, I've used it with Chrome, and it worked beautifully. The only evidence of Microsoft's support is in small print on the front page of the site: "made possible by the generous support of Microsoft and Internet Explorer 9." That's very nice.
Filed under: web 2.0