There are a variety of video/image synthesis software programs available. This would include Pure Data (pd), Quartz Composer and Max/MSP/Jitter. Most of these image synthesizers have their roots in the original "Moog Modular" which was an analog music synthesizer developed in the 60s by Bob Moog. The advantages of modular synthesis are power and programmability. The disadvantages are that they are hard to program.
We developed DotMatrix using later forms of analog keyboards as a design foundation. For example, the Mini-Moog, which is also a programmable synthesizer, is more of a fixed-function device. Instead of having an unlimited arrangement of oscillators and generators, you have a fixed set of features which can be quickly and easily programmed. And parameters can be adjusted on the fly for performance needs. The Mini-Moog also includes an audio input with live filtering of source audio. In DotMatrix, this would be analagous to the camera input which runs through our video filter before being combined with shape generation and so forth.