The interface is designed (or, rather, deliberately not designed) for exploration through play – both for you, as the user, and me, as the person who made the weird-ass interface. It's intended to facilitate a vaguely meditative and creative environment.
The tiled buttons at the top are presets – use them as jumping-off points, or click your way through them to see what's possible before starting afresh by yourself. The ⌘ preset has all options set to their defaults, so it's a good starting point once you've played around a bit.
The sliders determine all aspects of the generated images. Hover over the icons next to them (which feature glyphs from Imperial Aramaic and Phoenician) for descriptions of what each slider does. You can also edit the options directly through the text inputs next to the sliders, which you're able to conveniently tab through. And pressing +, →, or ↑ while your mouse pointer's hovering over a slider will increase its value (-, ←, or ↓ will decrease it instead). Press shift at the same time to adjust in 10× larger increments.
If you find that changing a slider slightly modifies some behavior you'd expect to be the domain of other sliders: Let's just say that's a constraint designed to send your creativity down fresh paths (and not a result of lazy implementation details).
At the bottom of the sidebar, there's a couple of buttons: Firstly, the conjoined buttons sporting chevron icons provide undo/redo functionality (the usual keyboard shortcuts work as well). Upon clicking the self-explantory "Export" button, you'll be presented with a choice of available formats: PNG, JPEG, SVG, and JSON, the latter two of which are intended for pen plotting. The adjacent "Share" button reveals a shareable URL that encodes your options, which comes in real handy if you want to show a thing you've made with UJI to someone else. (If you press alt while clicking either button, the default action is performed in each case – PNG download slash URL-to-clipboard-copying.)
About the name: I could pretend that it's referring to the concept of uji in Zen Buddhism, but really, the letters just lend themselves to a pretty logo, an initial iteration of which I had previously cobbled together with my pen plotting tool Brachiosaurus and later made the final logo (along with the undo, redo, export, and share icons) using the Markdeep Diagram Drafting Board.
git clone this repository or download a ZIP, then open
index.html in your favorite browser. Of course, link sharing doesn't make a whole lot of sense in that context, but the rest should work just fine.
Features I wanted to add but didn't because I would've gotten bored of it and never released this thing in the first place
Perhaps I'll knock some of those down at some point if motivation strikes. (Update: Done quite a few, but there's always more!) In the meantime, feel free to file an issue if you really want one of them to be implemented (or do it yourself and send a pull request!).
- Some way of randomizing options without constantly generating junk, see here.
- WebGL rendering for performance – although blend modes and blurring might not be so easy there, and the current
<canvas>-based approach would still be needed as a fallback.
- Exporting the generation process as a video, see here – this might be worth revisiting later since it's only been made possible at all somewhat recently. [In a similar vein, "meta sliders" that enable the generation of short animations like this one. But that seems too complex from a user-interface perspective (and prohibitively slow to render all the frames for even just a preview), so this is really just a pipe dream.]
- Due to an oversight early on, for circle/square/triangle-shaped lines, the line terminates a bit short of its origin – the lower the segment count, the more apparent this is. That's not a difficult fix, but it would subtly change the appearance of previously-created-and-then-accessed-through-share-URLs drawings – for some of which the present behavior may constitute a point of important visual interest – so, if this was to be addressed, some sort of drawing algorithm versioning scheme appended to share URLs and downloaded filenames would be required.
- The ability to drop a previously-created drawing back into UJI and resume modifying the parameters (extracted from the filename).
Chrome tends to draw less distinct/clear/bright lines than other browsers.
You may use this repository's contents under the terms of the bespoke It's the MIT License Except You're Not Allowed to Make an NFT Unless You Use the Proceeds to Feed Birds & Send Me Pictures of Them license, see
However, the subdirectory
fonts/ contains third-party webfonts with their own licenses:
- Renzhi Li's Iosevka Aile, the typeface used throughout the interface, is licensed under the SIL Open Font License Version 1.1, see here.
- Google's Noto Sans, which provides the glyphs of the ancient scripts used for presets and slider labels, is also used in accordance with its SIL Open Font License Version 1.1, see here.