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  • Mood: Mesmerized
As you might have noticed I'v been quite inactive for some time already, and the main reason for it (apart from varous real-life activities, like work and such) is ofcourse that I am a bit unsatisfied with Apophysis and it's possibilities for making fractal art.

Although the program is quite powerful now, especially when using "xaos" and a variety of plugins, often I had a feeling that things are getting just too hard to control and I need a different kind of program interface for building fractals.
Besides, I really don't like how Apophysis hides some mathematical terms under silly names like "triangles" or "variations", which makes the program harder to use even for people somhow familiar with math. :nerd:

So I've been thinking about this for some time, and just a few ... years :slow: ago, during 2011 New Year holidays I suddenly managed to visualize how I want my fractal editor to look like.

The main idea is - everything is a transformation.

In Apophysis we deal with a single list of "transforms", each being a sum of transformations called "variations". All transformations happen at once, and we cannot put one transformation before another without using some unusual hacks like writing a special "pre-" or "post-" version of the transformation code. Ofcourse we could simulate the same by messing with "xaos" weight modifiers that change the way the next "transform" is chosen, but working with many transformations this way is quite inconvenient.

Now, in my model a transformation is any function that we can put coordinates into, and get some transformed coordinates in the output. We can apply transformations one after another, and ofcourse we can look what's inside of a transformation - which can be a simple calculation with parameters that we can change, or a number of inner transformations, that we can add or remove or edit in the same way. Or both.

Some transformations work on coordinates, some other work on colors - or maybe they can change colors based on coordinate positions, or vice versa. Some transformations may not need any input at all, like random number generator we use in Apophysis under the name "blur". Some transformations may not do any changes by themselves, but apply their child transformations in some way. One example is "random choice" transformation, which applies one of its inner transformations at a time - and if we call it repeatedly from another transformation called "iterator", we get an Iterated Function System :)
So the whole fractal itself in this case becomes a transformation, that we can copy-paste into another fractal as an element, which is sort of cool.

Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to make anything more than a prototype renderer for this kind of fractals... But now I have no better things to do, so I'm working on the editor :pc: I do not intend to make it Apo/flam3-compatible, and I don't want to make any kind of random generation (have you seen a "create random photo" button in Photoshop?). I want to make a kind of fractal editor that will help people to understand how fractals work... Or at least do this better than Apophysis :)
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:iconablipintime:
ABlipinTime Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Currently, I'm also busying myself with fractal art. The flam3 algorithm (as used in Apo) isn't so hard to use once you understand the math. I see what you mean, though, and for awhile, I've wanted more control over my designs as well. And actually, I figured out how fractals are made BY trying to make my own program.
The difficulty in what you're describing is on the programmer's end, sadly. I hope you're able to finish, though. It's always a pleasant thing to see our dreams realized.

In the meantime, I've made tutorials for helping people understand what's going on behind fractals, which you can read on my blog.
chronologicaldot.wordpress.com…
chronologicaldot.wordpress.com…
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:iconcornellg:
cornellg Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Wonderful, I hope you succeed and I would be very interested in being able to use the program. Good luck, we're all rooting for you.
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:iconbrittanniarain:
BrittanniaRain Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ummm....what?  :-)   i love fractals..addicted to them.  But I am a word person.  I can write  and rhyme and analyze most creatively  with an extensive vocabulary and no spell check needed.  Thats me.  The art of the fractal is beyond me.  My mathmatical skill and ability to navigate  in that horrendous sea of numbers, codes and computer software would leave me lacking and drowning in its depths.
So...I will gladly sit here at the  wading pool end of things, dipping a toe and enjoy the beauty that true fractal masters like yourself create.
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:iconmobilelectro:
Mobilelectro Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013
This sounds really great, If there is anyone who can make editing fractals have more control and possibilities it is you :) I am still amazed at what you did with apophysis.
Look forward to hearing more about this project in the future.
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:icontabasco-raremaster:
TABASCO-RAREMASTER Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Isn't ChaosPro 4.0 a beauty ? :idea:

It made me love flames and IFS while being able to combine them.
Well , loved them already but it seems that Apo dislikes me.:laughing:

Splendid idea , succes with developping .
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:iconslobo777:
slobo777 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sounds like a great idea. Make transformations pluggable somehow, and writable in C, and I'll happily contribute, even if it's just converting plugins into transforms for you.
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:icondark-beam:
dark-beam Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Student Artist
YEY!!! Apo is too damn hard to use. Me approves. :la:
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:iconeowyn831:
Eowyn831 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm so excited to see what you create. I have tried Apo twice + tutorials. I just don't get it. :(

Makes me really sad and angry. :frustrated:
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:iconmagnebula:
Magnebula Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This sounds like a fantastic concept. If you need any sort of help with testing, I know my way around coding a little. Either way, thank you for your contributions!
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:iconthargor6:
thargor6 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013
I had a similar idea which I implemented as "sub-flames" into my software one year ago: it allows you to use any flame as variation, here is an example: [link]

The problem for me was that it does not lead to really new results and users did not adapt it well, maybe because it was too easy and one did not need to enter 57322 weird numbers to use it ;-) - hopefully your approach will be better :-)
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:iconzueuk:
Zueuk Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Digital Artist
I made an Apophysis hack with "sub-flames" once too :nod: and indeed, the biggest problem was not to render it, but for user to understand what to do with it :slow:
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:iconthargor6:
thargor6 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
I must admit that I still stick to your 2.08 3d hack if it comes to Apophysis. I usually do not like hacks, but this one was done right. It makes the transition from 2D to 3D for the user smooth like a charm. So I also adapted it in my software. Before, I also played with 3d flames, but they were different and not as much addictive.

In the case of sub flames I thought I had given something like this (great power, but easy to use) to my users. But they did not really accept it. I'm still very addicted to it by myself, because you can build very complicated scenes in a few moments and nest it (without dealing with Xaos).
Just made such an image using your hyperbolic tiling plugin: [link]
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:iconmobilelectro:
Mobilelectro Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
Sad :( I would have known exactly what to do with that :)

I'm glad your playing around with fractals again!
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:iconfractanimation:
fractanimation Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
I'm writing a new program. Everything is a transformation.
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:iconaspidina:
aspidina Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
it's a great idea, i'm waiting!! :)
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:iconone-tough-one:
one-tough-one Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sounds like it would be very cool :)
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:icononebadpenny:
onebadpenny Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013   Digital Artist
OH!
Oh Oh Oh!
I do SO want to see what comes of this!
yay!
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:icondeadened-glow:
deadened-glow Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am quite interested in what you are planning to do.
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:iconf--l--a--r--k:
f--l--A--r--k Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Looking forward to hearing more and seeing your progress!
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:iconcmptrwhz:
cmptrwhz Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
omg I can't wait. Please let me know once your done
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:iconvaerli:
Vaerli Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
How about GPU support?
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:iconmfeemster:
mfeemster Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
This is a bit late, and I don't mean to hijack this post, but I feel it's relevant.

My project Fractorium has implemented most of Apo/flam3 in C++ and OpenCL, with Qt5 for the UI. Nvidia and AMD cards are supported, so give it a try. Any feedback is appreciated.
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:iconzueuk:
Zueuk Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013   Digital Artist
only if someone will explain to me how to do it :slow:
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:iconvaerli:
Vaerli Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
I'm taking a multi-core graduate level programming class and we're currently working with nVidia CUDA programming.

The project page on sourceforge says Apophysis uses Delphi/Kylix. That's just the IDE, and you're using C++, right? My course is focusing on C++, so I may be able to implement GPU rendering with nVidia cards. I'll look into Radeon cards at the end of my semester and see if they're that much different.

Of course I don't know how in depth my class will go. Apophysis mostly is just a large number of float and double calculations though, right?

Also, I'm not completely sure if you actually are using C++. What is the primary language most it is written in?
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:iconzueuk:
Zueuk Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013   Digital Artist
C++ indeed :nod: I'm using Qt creator with MSVC 2012 compiler.

I think there is some kind of Qt-friendly intrface for CUDA somewhere, but I'm not starting to figure things out before I have something actually working without a GPU.
What about OpenCL btw? I have an nVidia video card, but I can't expect everyone else to have one...
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:iconvaerli:
Vaerli Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
I really don't know too much about OpenCL. I don't think we're gonna cover it at all, so it's harder for me to understand unless I go through the process of learning it all on my own, and just from trying some OpenGL stuff, it's really hard to understand things from those two programming structures. It seems like there's some image objects and function calls, but getting the linkers and everything in place is still a pain. It may be easier than we would think in OpenCL, I just don't know.

I'm more of thinking of just making it a final exporting render option, not moving all rendering to the GPU(Although it would be really nice to).

As for the cards, I know we can't expect others to have them, but if they do, it'd be a major bonus. I recently read something on the SF forums and they mentioned something about an 18 day render time or something ridiculous like that. Assuming we could get nVidia cards to run it, we'd probably be able to make it go many times faster. GPUs are so much quicker working with floats, doubles, and ints.

I'll see what I can do when the time comes. I'd probably need the rendering code, and more time. Maybe over the summer. I'll definitely be looking into it though.
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:iconlyc:
lyc Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
maybe you should ask these guys :lol: [link]
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:icondepaz:
depaz Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
I really like the idea. I'm visualizing it, multiple transformations that are part of other transformations, and so on, organized in a nested way. We're used too used to use "hacks" and xaos to deal with the way Apophysis does things, and sometimes is really uncomfortable. I agree, that would make things way more easier and logical. Sounds like the end of an era.
I'm really looking forward into it, I wish you good luck with the project :)
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:iconlyc:
lyc Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
you've already seen this somewhere, haven't you ... ?
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:icondepaz:
depaz Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
Of course, Chaotica is following that approach :) , It's the way to go :thumbsup:
I should have mentioned it ;)
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:icontimemit:
timemit Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Nice one..bring it on :eager: as ever thanks to those who create these cool tings :iconkodamaplz:
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:iconcatelee2u:
catelee2u Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Look forward to seeing it!
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:iconcyberxaos:
cyberxaos Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
Oh my god, it sounds absolutley AMAZING! I can't wait to see it :squee:
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:iconlyc:
lyc Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
you, me, and everyone else had this basic idea that apo/flam3 is an abomination ;) and that IFS can be done more naturally... I've been rambling about this in our #Aposhack for some years already too :slow:

it's a lot of work to do both the editor and renderer right so if an IFS app comes out soon with both, it's a strong hint that it has been made to end the apophysis era too... ;)

PS. you're not gonna call it zueukotica anymore? :P
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:iconzueuk:
Zueuk Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   Digital Artist
only if you rename yours to lycotica :p:p
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:iconpsion005:
psion005 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sounds insane .. I'd call it psychotica :iconspazattackplz:

Me--->:iconlooolplz:
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:iconzueuk:
Zueuk Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013   Digital Artist
:rofl:
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:iconlyc:
lyc Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
:lol: fair enough XD
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:icongraphiclia:
GraphicLia Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
I don't even pretend to begin to understand the math so if doesn't look scary I'll give it a try.
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:icontatasz:
tatasz Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
Very interesting :eager: to try it
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:iconpiethein21:
piethein21 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
alrighty :headbang:
im eager to see the program :eager: and use it ofc ^^
I study math but still dont understand all mathematical aspects of apo xD. Some things are explained to me but i forgot again xD.
"but working with many transformations this way is quite inconvenient." yep :lmao:
",i>that we can copy-paste into another fractal as an element, which is sort of cool</i>" if you do that now it can be so much work :faint: (with xaos i mean)

I have some questions :)
-how will it perform in relation to apophysis? will it be faster?
-how do you wanna do the "xaos" (the table thing is giving lots of labout xD, though i understand you do have to have something to let your comp know how you want the points to flow through the transformations)

As a last comment i wanna say even though that apo has some "issues" its a great program for me where i have the feeling i can express myself into and i really enjoy working with it :)
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:iconhmn:
hmn Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cool
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January 27, 2013
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