“Visual synths” go in a slightly different direction from general-purpose tools. They produce visuals generatively in a way that seems more like an instrument. Splash is one new effort to do that, and thanks to the Unity game engine, it boasts some spectacular, bubbling, sparkling 3D graphics. The tool is free, supported only by donations, and currently in alpha.
Melbourne-based developer Brad Hammond explains how he sees the tool:
This is a program that anyone should be able to pick up, scribble a few lines, twist some dials, mash a few buttons and have something aesthetically interesting come out the other end. The same way that I have fun when playing with my friends music synths, I have no idea how to use them properly but damn do I have fun sitting there mashing the keys, twisting bits, making alien sounds. I want to bring that kind of fun to Splash, along with the deeper ability to fine tune and tweak to create crafted visual compositions.
I would also like to heavily focus on the real time aspect of Splash and what it means. All the visuals are real time rendered, and interactive, but beyond that I want to emphasize real time art as an exhibition of process as much as the final product. The act of creation is an amazing instant and in my opinion needs to be explored more heavily in contemporary digital art.
You can get an early glimpse of what this might all look like in the videos above. But even better: sign up for testing on Mac or Windows. Documentation and a blog with development updates and early tests of the results, plus testing opportunities so you can try it yourself:
Thanks to Grigori Korotkikh, aka vj vdmo Kstati (of VJ Union Australia), for pointing us this way.