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January 27, 2013
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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 General 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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