jd557 / minart Edit

A minimal scala library to draw images in a JVM/Javascript/Native canvas

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Minart is a very minimalistic Scala library to put pixels in a canvas.

It's mostly useful for small toy projects or prototypes that deal with generative art or software rendering.

Minart is still in a 0.x version. Quoting the semver specification:

Major version zero (0.y.z) is for initial development. Anything MAY change at any time. The public API SHOULD NOT be considered stable.


  • JVM, JS and Native support
  • Small footprint
  • Double buffered canvas
  • Integer scaling
  • Keyboard and pointer input
  • Surface blitting (with a mask)

Getting Started

The Canvas

The Canvas, which provides the operations required to draw on the window and read inputs:

Rendering Operations

  • getPixel(x: Int, y: Int): Option[Color]
  • getPixels(): Vector[Array[Color]]
  • putPixel(x: Int, y: Int, color: Color): Unit
  • fill(color: Color): Unit
  • And more...

Input operations

  • getKeyboardInput(): KeyboardInput
  • getPointerInput(): PointerInput

Render Loop operations

  • clear(resources: Set[Canvas.Resource]): Unit
  • redraw(): Unit


  • width: Int
  • height: Int
  • settings: Canvas.Settings
  • changeSettings(newSettings: Canvas.Settings): Unit

Creating a Canvas

The simplest way to create a Canvas is to simply create a default canvas with Canvas.create(settings: Canvas.Settings) (e.g. Canvas.create(Canvas.Settings(width = 640, height = 480))).

This will immediately create a window that can manipulated with the canvas operations.

In practice, it's sometimes cumbersome to have the constructor perform side-effects like creating the window, so it is recommended to use the default CanvasManager instead, with CanvasManager().

The CanvasManager has a single init(settings: Canvas.Settings) method, that creates and returns a LowLevelCanvas (a Canvas with an extra close operation).

The RenderLoop

While Minart provides Canvas implementations for the JVM, JS and Native, writing cross compatible render loops is not trivial (JavaScript render loops work with callbacks, native render loops with SDL need to read the SDL events to see if the window was closed...).

To tackle this problem, the RenderLoop abstraction provides helpful operations to handle the render loops.

It also takes care of creating and destroying the window.

Note that clear/redraw still need to be called manually (since in some cases, it might be useful to not call those methods, especially clear).

The render loop definition might seem a bit complicated (since it attempts to be agnostic of the effect type. There's an ImpureRenderLoop implementation that simply uses side-effectful functions.

  • singleFrame(renderFrame: Canvas => Unit)(canvasSettings: Canvas.Settings): Unit
  • infiniteRenderLoop(renderFrame: Canvas => Unit, frameRate: FrameRate)(canvasSettings: Canvas.Settings): Unit
  • infiniteRenderLoop[S](renderFrame: (Canvas, S) => S, frameRate: FrameRate)(canvas.Settings, initialState: S): Unit
  • finiteRenderLoop[S](renderFrame: (Canvas, S) => S, terminateWhen: S => Boolean, frameRate: FrameRate)(canvas.Settings, initialState: S): Unit

Sample Usage

To include Minart, simply add minart-core to your project:

libraryDependencies += "eu.joaocosta" %% "minart-core" % "0.3.0-RC1"

Or just create a new project using the provided giter8 template, with:

g8 https://github.com/JD557/minart

The examples folder contains some sample code.

Here's a simple example that renders a color gradient to a screen:

import eu.joaocosta.minart.backend.defaults._
import eu.joaocosta.minart.graphics._

object ColorSquare {
  val canvasSettings = Canvas.Settings(width = 128, height = 128, scale = 4)

  def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = {
      .singleFrame(c => {
        for {
          x <- (0 until c.width)
          y <- (0 until c.height)
        } {
          val color =
            Color((255 * x.toDouble / c.width).toInt, (255 * y.toDouble / c.height).toInt, 255)
          c.putPixel(x, y, color)

Multiplatform support

To compile for different platforms, one needs to either use import eu.joaocosta.minart.backend.defaults._ package and use the apply method or use the correct Canvas and RenderLoop.

The following canvas and render loops are available:

  • All: PpmCanvas
  • JVM: AwtCanvas and JavaRenderLoop
  • JS: HtmlCanvas and JsRenderLoop
  • Native: SdlCanvas and SdlRenderLoop