What's that? We have to stop playing with Kaleider and actually write a review of it? We're not sure that we can. This mesmerizing program does so many cool things that we're having trouble prying ourselves away from it.
Despite our love for this program, we cannot tell a lie: its interface is a mess. There are buttons and menus and things across the top and bottom and down the right side. We can't even say that we understand most of what the program does. But it's fun and it's beautiful, and for that, we love it. Kaleider allows users to apply a very wide range of effects to images, making them look as though they're being viewed through a kaleidoscope. Some results look like psychedelic art from the 1970s, others like Victorian wallpaper. The number of effects and possible ways that they can be combined is staggering, with funnel, mirror, kaleidoscope, and 3D options. Users can grab a point on an image and drag it, shifting the effects endlessly. Although users can create and save new images with the program, we also enjoyed its automatic effects feature, which animates an image according to user-defined parameters and can optionally play music. We could spend hours staring at this thing and watching the shapes change. Users who are actually interested in learning the ins and outs of the program will enjoy the well-written built-in Help file, but all users will enjoy playing around with the program and experimenting with its features.
Kaleider has a 22-day trial period. It installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to all users.
Kaleider manipulates images (and videos) to emulate various Kaleidoscope, Mirroring, 3D Mirroring and Funneling effects. It is a capable graphics tool for people who are interested in symmetry, tiling, tessellation and mosaic patterns, with controls for manipulating images and tiles. Effects can be shifted interactively with the mouse, essentially re-rendering the same effect based on different relative positions within the source image, allowing you to experiment with the results and decide when a picture suits your taste. Multiple patterns can be combined to create composite Pattern Combo images. High resolution images can be displayed and saved with flexible options.
Aside from any usefulness though, Kaleider is really just entertaining and fascinating to watch while in Automatic Effects mode, with an endless variety of randomly selected effects wandering across the screen according to randomly selected patterns. The Rooms feature exhibits Kaleider patterns in 3D perspectives, optionally with automated Roaming motion. In Mask/Mandala mode rendered patterns are merged with a background color or image, based on a shape or stencil. This visual experience can be accompanied by music from the built-in Audio Player. Kaleider display sequences can be captured to Video, and actions can be Scripted to create choreographed performances of dynamic art, optionally controlled via a MIDI device.
What's new in this version:
Fixed a problem with the MIDI Control feature.