Mon, 28 Feb 2011 PixelToy review
An animated image processor and synthesiser you can control with sound
- Manufacturer: LairWare
- Pros: Output to QuickTime; apply animated effects to your own images
- Cons: Latest update relies on Rosetta to run
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
PixelToy has a distinct whiff of Marmite about it. You’ll love it or hate it. If you like applications with clear production goals you’ll fall into the latter camp. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a few minutes of mindless spectacle, then PixelToy may appeal.
Difficult to slot into one pigeon hole, PixelToy is best described as a creative tool. It uses images, text and sound to generate psychedelic animations of the kind you might find in the visualisation features of many media playback tools. The difference with PixelToy is that you’re much more in control of the algorithms that render its trippy results.
So, you can choose from a slew of different presets, change the colour scheme, add elements, configure particle streams and select filters. You can stare at the colourful results in a window or at full screen, or output animations to QuickTime format for later viewing.
Choosing a preset sends PixelToy off into an algorithmically generated reverie
One of the tools finest features is that it reacts to sound. You can plug in a microphone and visualise your own voice or use a tool like Soundflower to route any noise, internal or external, through the software.
There are a couple of caveats. Though still actively promoted and available, PixelToy isn’t a universal binary. You’ll need Rosetta installed to run it on Intel machines. And the interface doesn’t make choosing presets easy.