If you’re looking for a slick, picture-oriented brainstorming app for the iPad, Visualize, by Reallusion, may just be your new best friend. The app provides a quick, touch-based way to lay out ideas in a visually appealing and mentally stimulating fashion. The price is about right to, meaning there’s no reason not to give the app a go—or read our full review below.
Concept and Functionality
In essence, Visualize is halfway between a collage utility and a sticker-based scrapbooking app. The app allows users to create layered images of their own drawings, images, text, and backgrounds to express ideas. It’s a neat concept, and with quick drag-and-drop navigation, it lends itself to some truly thoughtful layouts.
The app comes with a mountain of customization options, as well. Within the drawing function, users can change the brush size, opacity, color, and even brush type: There aren’t quite as many brushes as I would have preferred, but that being said, there are certainly enough present to satiate the palate. I also would have liked to see the ability to draw directly onto a project, rather than using doodles as separate stickers.
Users can also hand chop their photos from the Photo Gallery to create personalized stickers. I particularly liked this features, as I do a lot of blackout poetry on my iPad, and it was immensely rewarding to cut and crop my work into collages. Text is easy as well—users simply boot up the text command and plug away, creating stickers with customized messages in a cinch. Even the background can be edited with various filters. All in all, it’s an impressive set of features, and one that will appeal to visual thinkers.
Design and Layout
Visualize sports a touch-oriented interface that genuinely does the iPad’s screen justice. Users can tap to drag artwork about the project’s face, or even pinch to resize a sticker on the fly. Tapping an object also produces a pop-up list of commands, making it a snap to delete, resize, recolor, or edit the shadow of an element.
All the non-touch functions are listed along the bottom, making it easy to get at the areas you want in a hurry. I particularly found the layers function appealing: The design is so easy to use and so intuitive that it makes a cluttered mess like a collage simple to navigate. There’s no landscape mode, though, which seemed like an odd, portrait-biased omission to me.
Priced at $2.99 in the App Store, Visualize is certainly higher than free doodling apps like Adobe Ideas. That being said, the touch focus, easy navigation, and sticker-oriented layout of the app means it will appeal most to those looking for a quick brainstormer, rather than the professional mobile artist.
Visualize requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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