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Colourful web app turns doodles into 3D visuals

Google is doing some incredibly creative things with artificial intelligence at the moment. We've already drawn your attention to AutoDraw, its online app that can turn your doodle art into crisp images. And there's Quick, Draw!, a high-speed Pictionary-style game that not only tries to guess what you're drawing, but also uses your scribbles to improve the effectiveness of AutoDraw.

Do a bad drawing or just a random doodle...

Do a bad drawing or just a random doodle...

Now someone's used Google's technology to create a delightful piece of online doodling fun. Inspired by his two-year-old daughter's love of drawing – which she calls "no-ni no-ni",  Google UX engineer Jongmin Kim (opens in new tab) has made NONI NONI (opens in new tab), a website that turns your doodles into 3D structures made up of colourful balls.

...and NONI NONI guesses what it is and makes a 3D image

...and NONI NONI guesses what it is and makes a 3D image

Simply scrawl a shape or a letter, and NONI NONI uses Google's machine learning tools to guess what it is, and then takes illustrations from AutoDraw, and also from artist Sanghee Cho (opens in new tab), that it then turns into colourful 3D visualisations. It makes multiple suggestions, so you can choose your favourites.

You can spin around and zoom in and out of the finished results either using the mouse wheel or two fingers on a touchscreen. You can then clear the image and start again either by holding down your mouse button for a couple of seconds, or by shaking your device, Etch a Sketch-style.

It can even do letters, too

It can even do letters, too

It's perfect for kids (and we've had quite a bit of fun with it as well), and it's all done in HTML5 with SVG, WebGL and the Canvas element. You should definitely take a look at the site's About page, too, as it features a lovely psychedelic animated backdrop that we could watch for ages.

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Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.