Tools and Toys
The tools range from fun toys to powerful, professional tools, and most of them are free! Many integrate with Google so you may want to create a Google account just for this project - it's up to you. Most, but not all of these tools are web-based.
You should be able to open this up, figure out how it works and have fun with this. There are lots of online "toys" that are actually worth playing with just for the experience, they'll give you ideas.
This category is for things that may take a little learning but don't need lots of effort.
These items will require some studying but are worth the time. You can watch a few YouTube videos to get to grips with it, right?
These are complex tools for those who are more technically minded, or researchers or professionals. But hey, don't let that stop you.
If you need to hide all the faces in a photo, this app will help.
Microsoft sway is an excellent tool for assembling multimedia into a media-rich article.
Search for sounds (on Freesound) they "play" similar sounds.
Full audio midi workstation
An interesting map tool that highlights points of interest.
Automatically generates a sketch, and a poem/story... quite interesting.
Rasturbator is fabulous tool. It chops up your image so that you can print it on twenty or thirty pages, glue them together to fill an entire wall.
Google Colab Notebook to generate images from text
Wonderfully fun online toy to generate harmonies with machine learning.
Can you make music with 3 unusual instruments?
You describe the sort of music you want to hear, and A.I creates a playlist based on that description.
I added "post-punk-industrial tribal drums distorted guitar with funk bass, creating incredibly anger and tense discordant melodic noise" and it made this list - how'd it do?
Remove annoying watermarks from images.
Give this app a short piece of midi and it will generate a repeating generative version of it, Philip Glass style.
An A.I powered tool that paraphrases, summarizes and improves your textual content.
Create crazy beats with Groove Pizza
No better place to start learning to code than with Scratch.
A 3D world in which your doodles are automatically animated
Paint your own chimera with some help from A.I
Amazing 3D tool. You can create scenes and interactions using Scratch-like coding.
Edit wavs etc.
This wonderful tune creates interesting chord progressions for you. I tend to choose piano, turn off drums and set the bpm to around 80.
You have to pay to download the midi, but there are ways around this, using tools that turn recorded audio into midi. Although this may introduce errors or inaccuracies, we will live with these happy accidents.
Interesting. Choose your next book by its first line.
Pretty amazing voice generation A.I
Mac and iOS only I'm afraid, but a very cool vector editing tool.
Boords is the collaborative online storyboard creator.
A brilliant list of idioms. For fun, pick one at random and "bend" it slightly to give it a different meaning.
A brilliant tool to morph between two images. You plot the points, it generates a gif file.
Tools to help you create Augmented experiences.
WayScript lets you create webhook functions, like APIs, or workflows using a visual workflow editor.
An excellent vector graphics editor, that leans towards creating design mockups.
Music/audio hosting site.
A lovely tool for creating "unfolding stories" that get longer, interactive narrative style, but different. You can add paragraphs, choices and add image URLs (which is interesting, because that means you *could* use almost any image out there on the web.
For developers, stories can be output in .json format, meaning *real writers* could use this tool to "tell a story" and developers might incorporate it into a game easily. Interesting.
Interesting map tool that generates new routes for your run or walk
Create animated explainer videos, animations and more easily. I made this movie ident in a few seconds.
Remove an item from a photo seamlessly and easily.
Search for an academic paper, and explore a network diagram of related papers.
Lovely tool that uses AI (though why we need to know that, I don't know) to help you create regular expressions (if you don't know what those are, count your blessings).
Node network diagram builder.
Lots of example text-based A.I apps that you can use to help your ideas along. If you like what they do, you could maybe integrate that feature via an API into your app.
Make unusual sounds
Nice little SVG doodling app. A sort of join the dots way of working, maybe for making plans.
Quite advanced video editing.
Create your protest artwork, and give it to the community to use. Interesting idea.
Need help creating a name for something out of other words? This app lets you add a number of words then makes all the alternatives for you.
Enter your brand name and A.I creates your logo(s).
Draw your design with simple colours and have A.I turn it into a more realistic image.
This particular timeline has a collection of disgraceful peoples' pronouncements surrounding Covid, from Toby Young to Julia Hartley-Brewer.
But the tool itself, is a pretty amazing tool for creating timelines, with features such as being able to import from Google Calendar.
Webcam to character fun. Choose a character, then make it dance by dancing.
Create mobile apps using "block-coding"
Live hacking of CSS code. Greate for learning.
A great tool to make "polygonal" art.
Super simple video conferencing. Simple.
Fabulous sketching app for iOS and Android.
This tool generates music (based on parameters) in lots of different genres and you get three free downloads. You can get a mixed .mp3 or midi file. Very impressive.
Collaboratively create HUGE pixel art.
Text-to-Image Google Colab notebook. Run all the code sections, add your text, and get an image AND a movie.
Tool to create depth maps, which can be used to create fake-semi-3d pics.
Another huge collection of A.I tools
Create maps for your story
Textable is an Add-on to a really interesting visual tool call Orange3. With them together you can do textual or data analysis and shaping, and filtering, WITHOUT coding.
A full, multi-track sequencing tool.
What if you could only use emojis to make music? Bonkers!
A tool where A.I tries to reveal the meanings of songs.
Play music with your web cam
Use A.I to create panoramic images. I made a birch forest. Not sure how useful this is.
Interactive fiction platform. Not tried this yet.
A search engine that doesn't return the obvious, well known, high ranking results, but instead returns unpopular, obscure, less visited pages. Go find weird stuff you couldn't before.
See this <a href="https://search.marginalia.nu/explore/random">random</a> link.
Copy .csv data and play with visualisation possibilities.
Create background soundscapes
Design your own meme, AND get access to the code that make it
Image resizing for social media
Free, open source games development environment. One day, I'll get round to having a go with Godot.
A color-picker but for the names of HTML colours.
Draw a doodle then animate it with your webcam and body. Loads of fun.
Start the beats and beeps, let it play on.
A bot responds to your messages.
A site that has a collection of, er, things. I think this would be a great site for ideation, or being creative but you will have to figure out how.
An unusual search engine that old returns one, weird, old book.
Lovely desktop animation tool with onion skinning.
Tonespace lets you play one note and intelligently augments what you’re playing with chords and arpeggios.
It connects via Midi (so to a synth or Garageband) and plays musically similar notes. Because it generates midi, you can “record” it and then use it in whatever DAW you are using.
No sooner does a new technology arrive, than someone tries to leech money out of it. A site to BUY prompts for A.I.
An audio editor VERY like Audacity, but in the brower.
Designed to blend, or morph, faces together, I added an elephant's eye and got this strange output.
Google Maps but opened at a random place on earth, in Street View mode.
An app with which to make AR (Mac)
Not free, by any means (about $29 per 5 minute track), but an interesting music generation tool.
Python code to generate QR codes, even animated ones.
Create pleasant background sounds
Now you can upload pictures, and set the parameters.
A game to teach GIT
Use your keyboard to play samples
Fabulous tool to create mobile and desktop apps, like Powerpoint but with code.
Create zooming gifs.
Amazing A.I. tool that lets you define the text for painted areas of an image. A.I then fills in and blends a generated image into the image you have uploaded.
Start audio processing with a flow diagram like language in the browser. OMG! Amazing!
Uberduck is a sophisticated text-to-speech tool.
This tool takes short texts and turns them into melodies
Another text-to-image AI tool. This one uses Midjourney.
Python-driven web application tool. Looks great.
Easily create your own maps with scribbles on
Boomy is A.I. that automatically generates music in various genres. And as an added extra you can upload a vocal audio and it will bend it to the melody.
Create an infinite zoom video. Although I never quite get what I want, the results are always interesting.
Generates a number of random animals for you. If you dig around, it can also generate places, flags, food and lots more.
Really interesting text visualisation tool
Create 2D games without coding.
A.I Text-to-image tool. Nice results (formerly DALL-E)
A really power API for getting words to generate stories etc.
An amazing tool to create interactive games with a flow-coding interface, but equally could be used to make training materials. The primary use for this tool is to collect research data about what choices people made.
A search engine to find XR sites.
EasyLang is a web-based programming language that is simple and doesn't have arbitrary syntax.
This is how Python started, a language to help people learn coding. Really excellent.
An handy extension for the Chrome browser that lets you screenshot the page and save it with cropping or full page.
It's only a demo, but it is lovely.
Brilliant tool, but paid unfortunately, but you can use it once (or clear your cookies and use again).
It turns a text phrase into YouTube videos with those phrases. Amazing.
Code music. Wonderful
Create interactive narrative videos. Fab!
Create your own fonts
If you need to tag, or codify some text, looking for themes in transcripts, this free web-based tool is great.
The Five Minute Poem gives you prompts, but also has a ticking clock.... "don't over think it!" Brilliant!
Audio editor with loads of effects.
An A.I tool to generate textures for 3D models
Very nice browser-based audio editor, has echo, reverb etc effects.
How far can you get in 5h, on a train.
Interesting open source desktop tool that turns video information into audio.
Have fun with a strange digital choir
Text to music and rap lyrics A.I
You add a start image, and a text prompt, and Kaiber generates video.
Connect to your data source and create an interactive dashboard visualiation
A slow, but create Google Colab Notebook that turns text into images.
Warning: Profanity! But, based on a training catalogue of lots of lyrics, this Machine Learning tool will take any subject and generate lyrics for you.
A drawing tool that is like a notepad with graph paper.
Worth a look.
Oh my word! Amazing. A full audio workstation that works in the browser, on Android and iOS.
Another automated Haiku generator. I like this one because it shows its source (a wikipedia page) and somehow makes intriguing poems.
As you type, A.I finds artefacts in its collection that matches what you have written.
Voyant is a great tool that takes text and generates word frequencies and tag clouds.
This tool will generate a 100 things for you.
Unusual Russian tool for designing interactive narratives or story plots. You enter characters, and locations and plot points, linking them together.
At the end, you can export as a .csv file.
Brilliant text tool. Write, or paste in a few paragraphs of text. This tool then translates it to and from lots of languages, bending the words into similar but strange reflections of the original.
If I'm honest I have no idea, but it sounds gorgeous.
Painting tool with some interesting brushes
Block coding p5js/Processing. Lovely.
An A.I tool that creates a slide presentation for you.
Create images that move, or change when you do.
Interesing tool that finds musical artists BETWEEN two artists.
Interesting tool that searches Freesound, and lets you create soundscapes by clicking samples repeatedly, or letting them loop.
Paint on a revolving canvas.
Although having some quirks, this tool let's you easily add backgrounds, characters and speech bubbles etc, OR use the in-built collection of graphics. Simple, but I like it.
Another A.I text-to-image tool
Pay your own price for this great downloadable zine-making app. This has to be the winner of THE CRAZIEST APP ever. It's really good fun.
Really nice web-based Markdown editor.
Select your mood and key, and Autochords does the rest.
p.s You may need Soundflower to record your chords...
Amazing 3D sketching tool. It lets you push, pull and stretch a virtual piece of clay.
A.I drawing assistant. You rough out your sketch, let A.I add the detail.
Mix Soundcloud and Youtube track on two decks
Maybe use this tool with <a href="https://randomwordgenerator.com/">this random word generator</a> to create a new word.
A tool to create very interesting maps
A.I powered dystopian search engine. You are now living the future and it's BAD!
Play music with your face.
Strange drawing suggestion tool
Image into audio
Crazy livecoding tool for visual effects. Learn a few functions, chain them together, and boom! Crazy!
Create AR audio walks with this tool.
Great image editor
Musenet takes an "intro" and then "evolves" it with AI in different styles such as Beatles, Mozart or Bluegrass. Interestingly you can upload your own custom midi track and let it evolve that too.
I tried adding a file created by Computoser as a starting point, and I think it made it more Beatles-y but it's hard to tell. Doesn't have a download option.
The latest version of this fantastic image editor. Has fantastic tools for isolating a part of an image.
Nice prompting tool, but for drawing.
A tool to isolate tracks from an MP3 file.
Not free, but you get 14 days trials and you can either select a character, or upload a photo and get A.I to generate a video of them speaking your text. Pretty freaky.
Create immersive soundscapes, free wav download
Give this tool a band and it will create a Youtube playlist of similar bands. It has a few extra params (like years) too.
A really easy and fun 3D animation tool. Draw a character, inflate it, then animate it by moving the points.
Minimalist distraction-free text editor. For when you just need to get on with it.
This tool also lets you save to Google Drive or to your desktop.
Open-source database/spreadsheet tool that offers something between a relational database and a spreadsheet, like NoCoDB.
Interesting Lenticular project, like Holbein's anamorphic skull, using a really interesting visual programming tool, Meemoo.
Large directory of A.I based tools.
Paint to make sounds.
Make your own games and share them with your friends.
An interesting tool. It's like a wizard for sonification.
A collection of various text-to-image tools, often Google Colab files for creating unusual images.
Another few excellent tools here too (including a tool up upsize small images)
Drop .mp3s onto this and enjoy
Create your own pulp fiction cover. Loads of fun.
This tool generates lovely Chinese ink scrolls of landscapes.
"Esoteric" generative music coding tool. Can be a challenge to set up, it works with midi, but is so intriguing to use.
Tools to adjust batches of images, such as face removal (this looks handy)
Incredible "end-user" tool for visualistion network graphs.
Turn your doodles into, er, pictures
Learn how Regexs work
Upload an image and this will create you multiple colour schemes based on the colours in the image.
AR and VR for p5js.
Discover how your favourite TV shows episodes are ranked on IMDB.
A tool that turns any audio file into midi.
"Paint" with text, creating pyschedelic textures.
Wonderful image editor
Interesting. A visual text processing language.
Uses A.I to make a small image bigger without going all pixelated.
Brilliant storyboard tool. Plan your next movie.
Use Scratch-like block coding to generate 3D objects
Another text-to-image tool
Do you want to hear what your voice would sound like in the Temple of Love in the Taj Mahal? Of course you do. You'll need headphones for this.
Find fonts you like
...complete with random generative graphics
Fabulous little bookmarklet that makes searching for CC images easy.
Really nice and simple SVG vector-based drawing editor.
Fun tool with which to explore microtonal tunings, and you can even send it to midi.
Interesting colour theme maker.
Make gifs and images with a heap of bizarre effects
Not sure if this works. I want it to. A.I to help you write jokes
Define a place with "just three words". Like Google Maps but poetic.
Use this dialogue tool to "begin a conversation".
Loved by data scientists and artists, this editor lets you code fabulous things
Simple online 3D model maker.
I made this
A text to image tool. I put in "Digital Skills and Creativity at the University of York" and got this.
A tool for kids 8yo+ to learn coding an interactive narrative game.
An online music sequencer that is pretty amazing AND A.I generation of tunes and chord progressions is built in. Amazing!
Enter some text, and it gives you your text in lots of weird fonts and characters.
Play piano with other people, live. Amazing.
Lovely free animation tool for Android or iOS.
Fabulous, free, AR making tool.
This tech demo shows Style Transfer being applied to your webcam or a picture you upload. Lots more interesting demos <a href="https://streamlit.io/">here</a>.
Lovely free, web-based tele-prompter, or autocue. Really helpful if you're recording a voice track.
It even has mirroring so you can hold a sheet of glass, and reflect onto it, looking straight at the camera. Nice.
Create stories with audio fragments. Great for music analysis.
Nice collection of both free and paid whiteboarding tools.
Another Style GAN tool that takes a sentence you give it and artificial intellgence creates your picture. Here I said "Boris Johnson looking like a pig". The result isn't always what you expected but they are always interesting in someway.
Lovely little flipbook animation maker (slight shame about the gridlines. See also Pencil, the desktop app)
Nice character generator, or a good tool if you want a nom de plume perhaps.
Let A.I evolve you a picture. Great fun and you get some weird stuff.
Change the parameters and make music, sort of.
Amazing no-code way to make generative music using flow diagrams.
A tool to create maps and mazes.
Use A.I to generate images from text
Works on a laptop or mobile. Point your camera at something and AI tell you what it is (hopefully) AND translates it for you.
Another strange tool. Search for sounds, add them, and then draw on the timeline grid to play them to create unusual beats and soundtracks.
Type an music and visuals just happen.
Really unusual paint tool.
Strange tool that takes the popular sounds from Freesound and turns them into an automatic soundscape.
A FULL midi keyboard (that you can use your computer keys with). Useful
LIve editing of regular expressions.
Brilliant map tool that shows which dynasties and empires have owned that land over time.
This tool can help you download a video from a tweet.
Loads of fun generating animated typography with sliders galore.
Excellent infographic tool.
Choose the genre and mood and let AI generate a two minute track. 3 downloads with free use. Quite interesting. Could be used for a promo video.
A depth map creation tool
An incredible number of visualisation of data types.
Published in 1928, a "A New Method of Plot Suggestion for Writers of Creative Fiction".
Search for sounds and create unusual loops of samples.
Lots of interesting brushes
Photo clean-up tool
Play some cool sounds and drums with your computer keyboard
Absolutely amazing little image mush-up tool. Go give it a whirl.
Turn text into samples
Move sliders and buttons to make art. Cute.
Tool that uses A.I to upscale the size of smaller images, hopefully without losing detail
Make 3D models
Free image hosting. Useful if you're using Twine or similar.
A text-to-video tool.
Unusual toy with which you can paint in 3D on a disappearing canvas. Interesting.
I'm really not sure how to describe this image editor. Like nothing you've every seen. Just go give it a go.
A site to learn how to code
Create your own cartoons
Start drawing, AI finishes it
Create a stylish web site for free.
Change some parameters and let Computoser generate you a music track, downloadable as midi or mp3.
Drop your text onto the screen and make your own.
Make lovely abstract background images
Machine Learning as an "easy to use" online service.
Turns your webcam into an effects booth.
Text-to-3D image texture
This free desktop app can make some interesting noises, and if you use the arpeggiator (ARP) then you can create almost ambient loops.
A really nice style transfer thingy. You type in a sentence and it makes an image.
Nimp is like Apple Quartz Designer, or Touch Designer. A web-based flow diagram image editor. Interesting.
Lots of high end GLSL graphics tools use this model to create special effects, this tool might be a good introduction to the concepts.
Create textual interactive narrative adventure games easily.
Not free, but you can use it developer mode to create compelling image-based Augmented Reality experiences. Great tool
Adobe's web-based text to image tool. At the time of writing free and beta.
Super simple video editing
Describe the music you want, and this make it (kinda)
Reload the page and a new map of a dungeon is created for you. Amazing.
Tool for creating memes.
A tool to compose or arrange unusual chords - and you can then save it in midi (maybe importing it into Garageband or BespokeSynth).
The A.I that seems to be able to do almost magical things, except be funny.
Huge collection of links to resources and tools related to storytelling.
Doodle yourself an animated gif. Good fun!
A visual flow-based coding tool for generative art.
Chipmunk or Dalek?
Strange tool to "travel" through colour space.
Play an unusual rational keyboard. Very eno.
A really nice, free, mindmap tool.
Isolate vocals or drums from a music track to get your own "clean" samples.
Generates maps of fictional villages.
A utility that converts audio, movies and images into various formats. Looks useful.
Strange flow diagram tool to create plants and leaves that can be saved as 3D models.
Nice flipbook animation tool, but NO EXPORT option. Also requires Flash.
Huge collection of A.I tools.
Totally crazy audio experience. Choose some words then travel in a universe made of those sound samples.
Online coding in various languages and environments
Disaster of an interface, but a nice tool that searches YouTube transcripts for what you want.
Brilliant site that is a mixture of a database of people and corporations and governments etc. and tools to "connect the dots" between them.
For example, take a look at How Fracking Special Interests Infiltrate the UK Parliament
See also: My Little Crony
Lovely interactive generative music tool. Make music like Brian Eno.
Small pattern-oriented web synth with which you can create electronic music very easily. Lots of fun once you figure it out.
Listen to radio from different countries, from different decades.
Type and your words become notes
Just click the buttons and get a groove going
MIT App Inventor is a block-coding tool with which you can create downloadable Android applications as .apk files, FOR FREE!
A lovely collection of tools for web developers
Give A.I some words and Woolitze will make it in wool for you. Sort of.
Handel is a small procedural programming language for writting songs in browser.
A nice version of oblique strategies, but online.
Generates animated 3D mansions... really unusual.
If you select your problem type, Be Creative will then suggest creative methodologies for you to use.
An updated Creative Commons search engine (sponsored by Wordpress). Much better.
Totally easy way to make crazy graphic effects.
Create 3D objects with block-coding.
Tool to make your own emojis from existing emojis.
Useful if you are trying to code audio or animations.
A tool that "relights" a photo using A.I
I'm in love. Bespoke Synth is a way to make music and sounds using a visual flow diagram metaphor. Never have I had more fun. This tool is fabulous and free.
A.I takes music and creates a video for you, slowly (there's a long queue)
This wonderful flag making tool lets you start from all the world's flags, or add Wikimedia commons graphics.
See also, this catalogue of imaginary flags.
Great text-to-image tool that uses Stable Diffusion or Dall-e.
Listen in to various forests.
Web-based. Remove backgrounds from images easily.
Alter all the parameters to create your own sound effects
This project takes media archive material and turns it into "beats". Worth a play....
Choose or upload an avatar and animate it to your soundtrack.
Meme creating tool.
Zine are small and often handmade, self-published magazines.
This tool is something I made so that you can draw all the pages and then download it and print on one A4 or A3 sheet. You can then fold it into an 8 page zine and colour it in.
The source code is here.
Like those jointed wooden toys that animators, or artists use to see what a body in a certain position might look like.
Not a tool, but AIAAIC's independent, free, open library of 900+ incidents and controversies driven by and relating to AI, algorithms and automation.
Collection of VR puzzles.
This tool selects a random person for you to use as a creative prompt, and then asks leading questions to help you develop your ideas.
Bring any photograph to life with A.I.
Interesting idea. A.I turns your videos into 3D figure animations by uploading a video of you dancing.
Nice little A.I tool that writes the next few sentences in your story.
Scribble on this strange Mondrian-like grid, click the samples below, and instant funky rhythms.
Upload a picture and let artificial intelligence turn it into Anime. Here's me.
Write interactive narrative fiction (the online version). Create your own adventure game!
An incredible music making app. And it sends to midi. Wow!
Grist is a spreadsheet-relational-database hybrid (like Baserow and NoCoDB). I like these no-code/low-code products because for most people (i.e not enterprises) a relational DB makes a lot of sense, but in terms of tools and UX they are awful, so people use spreadsheets and lose "relationalability".
Split vocals from a music track.
AI generates "new" words for you.
The Cards for Humanity team have created this fabulous deck of cards to help you think about inclusive design.
Create a "talking heads" video using artificial intelligence, in multiple languages.
Random concepts to help with creativity. Amazing what you can make with just three words
Canva's Comic tool, with loads of great templates is fantastic. Start from a layout and you can drag in your graphics.
As it says on the site, "A SIMPLE YET SECRETLY POWERFUL PAINTING APP".
Generate random words to use as a creative prompts
Alter parameters, create textual animations
Text-to-video tool on Hugginface.
Google Colab Notebooks are documents where you can mix notes and Python code.
They are brilliant for creating teaching resources, or, working on a project where you are figuring it out as you go, because you can create little fragments of code, and run them one at a time.
I made a "duck walking" sprite sheet. Could be useful for animation.
See fab visualisations and animations and begin hacking them.
A really interesting collection of image tools to do really unusual things. Worth a play. Go make art.
Based on Hypercard, this web-based authoring tool looks great.
Upload a drawing, and this tool turns it into an animation. Fun!
A strange tool for creating symettrical patterns
Designed for kids (and very like p5js), BitBox is great for learning coding. It has lots of "stamps" and sounds built in.
Creative writing prompt tools
Create beautiful web pages.
Interesting tool to search YouTube for interesting samples to steal.
Really interesting tool. You can upload an image, and that image becomes the landscape in a 3D VR world.
Create your own URL - I made myworldofnonsense, and you have a "live" editable grid you can share with collaborators.
Veed is an easy to use video editor, with which you can edit YouTube videos, along with your own content.
Is a fantastic tool to create zoomable presentations. When artfully used you can simply add a heap of pzazz to a simple presentation.
Find the latitude and longitude coordinates of a place here: https://www.latlong.net/ then have it make a poem about that place for you. Or just go to the site and see what it makes.
Nice code editor that you can live code with other people, and chat as you all type.
Amazing tool to "play" a collection of samples whilst manipulating them.