Lately I’ve been posting a lot of very deep technical articles, and reviews of very useful applications and products. But I think the time has come to review something frivolous and only for entertainment.
I’ve found something that’s not a game but it’s also not productive in any way. It is so pleasing I have to share. The app is called Fluid Simulation by Pavel Dobryakov for iOS. When you launch the app, all you’ll see is a black background with a hollow, white circle in the upper left. For a moment you’ll be baffled, but the only logical thing to do is touch the screen.
You will be rewarded with a glorious burst of colored light where you touched, which will fade in a moment. Wait, if I touch it and get light, what if I move my finger around? Suddenly you’re painting with glorious light that moves like, well, a fluid simulation! Your first touch might be shades of yellow, the second pink, the third turquoise. Each stroke lingers, so adding strokes adds this beautiful cacophony of light together. If you do it just right you can get the different colors to bang into each other like little mushroom clouds of color.
If you put Fluid on an iPad, it feels even more like painting with liquid light because of the giant surface. As soon as you’re on this bigger surface, it will occur to you to add a second finger. If two fingers look so cool, how about 3? 5? 10! Technically you can do multi-touch on iPhone, but it may not occur to you straight away and once you get past a couple you can’t see the colors for all the fingers in the way.
But wait, Allison, I’m on Android! What about me? I want to play! Good news – Pavel loves you too. I installed Fluid Simulation on my moto g7 from the Google Play Store and it’s just as gorgeous and fun there with multi-touch.
Pretty soon you’ll think, “well that was swell but what else can it do?” That”s where the little circle comes into play. There are a ton of settings to mess with that change the behavior of the light as you paint with your fingers. There are viscosity and radius and time and vorticity and bloom and sun rays and speculate and more!
I don’t have a Ph.D. in fluid dynamics but I’m thinking maybe Pavel does because the toggles and sliders make really interesting differences to the look of your dynamic playground. As you play with these settings, you’ll realize you’ve got nearly endless combinations you can create. You can even save presets of your settings so if you find combinations that please you, you don’t have to be afraid of losing them when you play with the switches.
If you throw Pavel the grand sum of $4 as an in-app purchase, you get even more switches to play with like pressure and edge and emboss and fringe and pixelated and flare and more and more. For free he lets you even take screenshots to try and capture the beauty of your fleeting creations. I’m not sure why that’s free, I would have charged for it.
It sounds so very clinical to describe Fluid Simulator. Let me pull a few quotes from Pavel’s “about” on the App Store to give you a feel for the app and for the developer himself.
This beautiful creation can help you to chill, relieve this pesky stress from your mind and enjoy your moment of life, right now. When you first launch it you gonna be freeze by a beauty, that magnificence, that you have never ever seen before. Believe it or not you will become happy playing it, squeezing every seconds from it, to experience love and connection to our big universe. Is it not yet convincing for you? Then you are a type a person that this app is made for. It’s going to reassure your grumpiness and you would become a very enjoyable person to be around with. Also show it to your kids, they gonna like it. You only have one life so what are you waiting for. Stop reading this and play it.
I loved that part! Here’s some more:
You may ask how it works and I can say it works by a force of magic. Our universe works by principles of emergence, small physical rules makes all life possible. This app simulates liquid, gas and water. This is a simulation of fluids life. Very satisfying and trippy experience. Watch those colorful swirls. Feel the flow. Become enlightened person. You should really stop reading this and install the app instead. Get a fresh dose of fluids to your mind! Just stop already! Do it!
Seriously, how can you NOT play with Fluid Simulation after hearing that? In my research for this very serious topic, I discovered that he’s even made a web-based version and put it up on GitHub for all to enjoy at paveldogreat.github.io!
If you want to compare notes with other Fluid Simulation people, he’s got an open Discord server where people share screenshots and ask questions. Pavel himself has been helpful in answering some of my questions. You can join, as he says, “the best Discord server in the world at https://discord.gg/CeqZDDE“.
If you don’t believe me that this is an awesome app to relax your mind, maybe you’ll believe the 5,789 who have given Fluid Simulator an average of 4.9 stars on the App Store.