There would appear to be dozens of apps out there that take advantage of the powerful iOS platform to enable users to create art dynamically using particles. Unfortunately, most of these apps lack the features and customizability to enable thought and planning to be a part of the creative process. Like fractal artists, users of particle visualizers enjoy some level of control over their creations, giving them the ability to make something truly unique with their own touch of personality, intertwined. Uzu manages to be both complex and simple at the same time, which is a remarkable undertaking for any artistic developer.
To start, Uzu caters to a wide variety of users. At its basic level, Uzu is a particle visualizer that’s fun to play with. Preset settings allow you to get up and playing with these tiny little jumpy pixels very quickly. Because the app is multi-touch optimized, your control over the particles is different depending on how many fingers you use, and where you put them on the screen. Various shapes, patterns, and designs can form around the area you manipulate on the screen, giving you an amazing sense of control over what is really a chaotic spattering of particles.
Customizability is extremely high on this app, including setting various symmetry points for particles, and determining how they respond to one another should they make contact with you or themselves. A pause feature allows you to manipulate the particles in real-time and release your hand to pause their action. This allows you to capture better images, without worrying about the pattern you’ve created collapsing as you do so. An automatic setting will manipulate the particles for you, letting you sit back and enjoy the show.
Just about everything can be customized, and these various customizations can be stored as presets for later use. Particle count (up to 9,000), motion trails, speed, line drag, particle size, hue offset, colors, and alpha settings are all accessible with an easy slider. Playing around with these settings will yield dramatically different results with even the slightest change, making each pattern completely unique to you.
Further to that, you can select from a large number (10 to start) of touch modes that change how your touch impacts the particles and their relative response.
Without a doubt, Uzu is the most complete particle visualizer I’ve tried for the iPad. It makes the creation of art both fun and complex at the same time. Uzu is currently available at $1.99; I’d say this is a bargain for what you receive.