Is there a good method for dynamically drawing clouds with HTML5 canvas and javascript without using images?

I am trying to create a background for my website that uses canvases to draw stuff, get the data URL of it and set it as the background-image property of an element. The method works, but I can't find a good way to draw a cloud on the canvas. Other simpler things like the sun and stars are easy to do without images, and I would prefer to keep the entire script image-less. Drawing a multitude of circles around a point can slightly do it, but I would prefer a more realistic way to do it. Thanks in advance.



I have just created Cloudgen.js, an open source library that generates clouds for the canvas. The approach I took uses overlapping circles, each with a radial gradient and transparency. Cloudgen.js provides a way to draw a single cloud with the "drawCloud" method or many clouds at once with "drawCloudGroup". As clouds are roughly circular, using "drawCloudGroup" also allows you to create single clouds with more interesting or predefined shapes.

You can find Cloudgen.js at


Ok, I have been thinking about the problem of draw clouds, and this is where I am at.

HTMLCanvasElement.prototype.makeCloud=function (xLast, yLast, rLast, lLast){
    rLast = (rLast || 50)
    lLast = lLast || Math.random()*25+75;
    var x = (xLast || 250) + Math.random()*(2*rLast)-rLast/1,
        y = (yLast || 250) + Math.random()*(1*rLast)-rLast/1.5,
        r = (rLast) + Math.random()*10-7.5,
        l = (lLast);

    if(x-r < 0)
        x = r+1;
    else if (x+r > this.width)
        x = this.width-r-1;
    if(y-r < 0)
        y = r+1;
    else if (y+r > this.height)
        y = this.height-r-1;
    if(r <= 0)
        return this;
    else if(l>100)

    var ctx=this.getContext('2d');
    ctx.fillStyle='hsl(0, 0%, '+l+'%)';
    ctx.arc(x, y, r, 0, Math.PI*2, true);
    if(Math.random < 0.01)
        return this;
    this.makeCloud(x, y, r, l)
    return this;

It generates some pretty crazy stuff... can anyone think of any improvements? i know editing the canvas prototype isn't the best thing to do, but my application uses a bit of chaining and this makes it flow better.


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