Google App Engine
The project is built and hosted on App Engine, Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications. App Engine allows us to easily build, maintain and dynamically scale the project.
User Accounts and Authentication
App Engine uses Google accounts for authentication, which provides enterprise-grade security and allows users with existing Google accounts to skip the sign-up process. Accounts on This Exquisite Forest store profile information including contributions, favorites, draft animations, curation privileges, notification settings, and a drawn portrait.
The more visitors the app receives, the more resources App Engine assigns, allowing it to dynamically scale depending on traffic.
Google Cloud Storage
Google Cloud Storage provides video and image hosting for the project. The service provides duplication across Google’s global data centers, meaning the animations (stored as WebM files) are served quickly to users around the world, regardless of location.
The project makes use of several HTML5 features in Google Chrome.
The HTML5 Canvas element is showcased in the site’s drawing tool. Canvas is hardware-accelerated in Google Chrome, offloading rendering to the GPU and reducing CPU load, which improves performance.
Google Chrome renders SVGs quickly, as seen in the site’s scalable tree browser.
Web Audio API
The Web Audio API provides music playback when the user views an animation. Music is dynamically generated for each tree based on the input of the contributors.
Many of the project’s styling and transitions utilize CSS3.
HTML5 Video Tag
All animations are played back using the HTML5 video player.
WebM is an open source video framework that compresses videos into a small file size (considerably smaller than h.264) while maintaining high quality.
Google Web Fonts
The fonts on the site are all freely available Google Web Fonts.
Local storage allows saving local settings across browser sessions.
Wacom Tablet Support