Here’s a creative entertainment app that Einstein would’ve loved! Flux, created by Peter Hudson, is an interesting little app that allows you to create living art out of moving particles using simple mulitouch gestures. With just your fingers you can create beautiful and complex particle animations. You can truly customize all aspects of your creation down to the number of particles, the frequency of its pulsations, the type of forces that affect it (resembling gravity), and so much more. Your creations can be saved for future enjoyment and captured as a still image so they can be shared with your friends. Personally I haven’t seen another app like this, and as terrible as my creations were I found myself mesmerized by its beauty.
There are subtle features in Flux that can create extremely creative and vastly different outcomes. The colorful particles displayed within the app are generated by a series of emitters. You have four types of emitters at your disposal that produce drastically different effects. You can choose to emitt particles from single points, lines, rectangular shapes, and circles. You can customize the number of particles emitted (up to 3,000 particles), the velocity and frequency at which they’re emitted, and the length of time the particles stay alive (P-Life). The number of available combinations and the difference in the final result are so vast it’s unlikely that two people will create the same artwork.
You can further customize you’re particle animation using Forces. Forces are the energy within the app. Much like gravity you can use a variety of forces to influence and alter how the particles move, shape, and interact within your creation. There are three different types of forces for you to leverage: Vacuum, Perturb, and Disable. Vacuum sucks particles into its center like a black hole sucking in stars, Perturb pushes and pulls particles in a particular direction just like gravity or wind, and Disable stops particles within a small area from moving. Vacuum is definitely my favorite effect, but regardless of which force you choose, you can customize how each one affects your masterpiece by tweaking things like the range, power, and speed.
To sum it up, Flux is a pretty sweet entertainment app. It’s not exactly easy to figure out how to create detailed artwork, but I guess experimenting and learning different techniques is half the fun. If you’re not a creative person, or get bored with things easily then you may not like Flux, but creative types and people that need a little distraction during the day to keep themselves engaged will love this app. It’s a great alternative to a stress reliever and also appears to fascinate the heck out of small children (my nieces and nephews can attest).
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Requirements: iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad; iPhone OS 3.0 or later
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