Sunday, February 22, 2009

Apophysis - Webbing

I kinda like these weblike fractal, but they are very hard to perfect.
They want to go blurry/noisy right away when I try to tweak them.
And then there are the color flaws that are hard to perfect also.
I displayed it on white background within Apophysis and that helped me see the coloring better.

I up'd the Brightness then up'd the Saturation in the Options Menu.
That seems to work well when the colors/gradients are too dark, blah.
I got some "blowouts" with this one, though.

3 triangles - linear, sinusoidal, spherical variations
A combo I want to play with more.

Apophysis Forced Symmetry Rotational Twelve

One I pulled out of my "unrendered" fractal files.

1 triangle - Spherical and Julian variations

Add 12 more with:
Forced Symmetry, Rotational, Order/Limit 12
(Options Menu, Random Tab)

One reason why I think people like Julia/Julian variations is they are very easy to morph into something pretty.

IrfanView - Slideshow

Another thing I discovered IrfanView can do is display user chosen EXIF info during a slideshow.
Click on the Help within Slideshow and it tells you how to display what you want.
Very handy.

I also tried creating a screensaver *.scr within Slideshow. That's pretty easy to figure out.

The only tricky part for me was getting the MP3 to play the way I wanted it to. I figure that out by trial and error.

What I liked best:
I had 4 images for the screensaver.
My MP3 was duration 8:35 (515 seconds).
I reduced the MP3 to 64kbps in Audacity to reduce file size of screensaver.

IrfanView, Slideshow, Slide Advancement, Auto after 180 seconds.
(180x4 = 720 seconds)

What that meant is the song finished playing and there was a long silence (no music) as the images continued to display.
(720-515=205 seconds, or duration 3:42 of silence)

Once the first image displayed for the second loop, then the music began once again.
I liked the silence break from the music.

I'd prefer that the song played only once and then quit as the images continued to loop indefinitely until I pressed Escape.
I couldn't figure out how to do that.
Final screensaver filesize was about 5,000 KB (4.88 MG).

In that same "Show Text" area mentioned above for displaying the EXIF info,
you can just type in whatever text you want to display on the screensaver images.

You can save it as a *.exe file instead of *.scr if desired.

This is a very nice feature that I plan to work with some more.

Different than the My Pictures Slideshow that I have in Windows XP.

IrfanView Filter Effects

As mentioned recently, I installed the latest IrfanView and plugins for it.
I think it will run all my plugins that I usually load in Paint Shop Pro 9.

And MORE, actually.

Some plugins crash in Paint Shop Pro.
One I was always curious about was Filter Factory Gallery Q Liquid Metal.
I tried running it in IrfanView and it works.
IrfanView has two ways to load Filter Factory plugins, BOTH require them to be converted to *.8bf format. I thought perhaps one of them would load the *.ffl format, but that is not the case.

Also, I tried two of my favorite plugins, MuRa Clouds and MuRa Perspective, and they work in IrfanView also.
Though with a few limitations.
No custom Foreground/Background colors, no transparency.
Although, you can probably work around that easy enough by exploring what options IrfanView does have.
For example, maybe colorizing the clouds after you make them.

This means that anybody out there can create some very nice images in a matter of minutes for FREE with minimum installation software.

Irfanview + MuRa = endless fun and creativity inspiration.

(Get the MuRa Copies plugin/filter also.)

Happy creating!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


So that had to be Venus in the western sky about 8:30 p.m. CT tonight.

So bright, hard to ignore.
The stars were really bright (no moon).
I wish I had an observation deck with telescope and camera ready for moments like this.
It's about 6 degrees above zero outside.

Feb Night Sky
Venus Image

How about some tunes to go with that...

Venus by Shocking Blue
Google it

#1 Billboard Hot 100 Feb70

Bananarama covered the song in 1986.


"A goddess on a mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
A summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name..."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dreamy Lights - Apophysis Fractal For The Day

Another Apophysis 3D fractal I created.

Fractal of the Day
Fractal of the Day by Jim Muth

He's been doing that since March 1997.
Tells some interesting stories sometimes to go along with the fractal.

I liked Search For Reality
Search For Reality
FOTD -- February 14, 2009
"I have been fascinated with 'reality' ever since my father introduced me to the puzzle of reality when I was around age 12...."

To create his fractals, Jim uses FractInt
developer's version
developer's version (Link to fractal software list.)

I do plan on exploring other fractal software programs. I have installed and looked at Chaos Pro (see above software list link). It has layering and animation features that look interesting.

UPDATE: - 26 JUL 10 - Changed hyperlinks per comments.

Pretty Sierpinski In Inkscape

It's been a while since I've loaded Inkscape, but I remember it did some rudimentary fractals.
There is a new update version 0.47 coming out soon, so I'll have to review that then.

I guess I haven't used Inkscape much because the tutorials I see on the Internet are for creating things I can more easily do in Paint Shop Pro 9, so I'm not motivated to tackle it in Inkscape. There are so many features original to Inkscape that I wish the tutorial creators would address instead.

Like some pretty vector fractals.

Manual Reference for rendering fractals in Inkscape:
Inkscape >Effects > Render

Sierpinksi is under:
L-System (Fractal-Lindenmayer)
Sierpinski triangles. Inputs: Order 5, Angles 60, Axiom A, Rules A=B-A-B;B=A+B+A.

How do I connect that with this formula?
Sierpinski {
axiom F+F+F
angle 3

Not sure. When I saw that, I thought of Inkscape and went digging.

But anyway, here's MY formula for the Inkscape Sierpinski I posted here.
(Similar to iteration level of the Apophysis Sierpinski.)

Text for copy/paste:

Input Order:
Axiom A
Rules A=B-A-B;B=A+B+A
Order 8
Step Length 1
Angles 60

This is VECTOR, so I made one 1500 wide (lock ratio on toolbar) and then cropped top left corner in Paint Shop Pro for details.

Okay, here's a question...
Fill = orange
Stroke = green
How come some of the holes are filled with orange and some are not?
Purple is background layer.

More stuff to create in Inkscape:

My Apo Sierpinski.
Also search for Sierpinski.

Inkscape Screenshots illustrating features.

Direct link to png pertaining to The L-system (Sierpinski).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Apophysis 3D Version - Bubbles Under The Sea

I haven't played much with the 3D version of Apo.
It is s-l-o-w.
The Adjust popup where you set the pitch for "3D" perspective is buggy.
Can't use Flame3 renderer.

I decided to try some of the scripts available for it.

The images are from running 3D_Bubbles_Script_by_Shortgreenpigg.asc

This is pretty much the kind of thing you get after running the script and setting the pitch at 50 and maybe moving triangles around.

Layered several times in Paint Shop Shop to increase the bubble definition. Added some clouds layering too.

Okay, now let's go wild and crazy and start pulling at those triangles (2&3)...go ahead just grab a handle and pull it way out. Yank it up, down, blah blah...

Yeow! I like it. Lively. Again layered several times in Paint Shop Pro.

After a 40 minute render, my FAV is finally ready to process...

Kind of an underwater look...deep sea fractal.

Fractal Notes:
Tri 1 Bubble .2, Pre_Blur 1
Tri 2 Julia 3D 1
Tri 3 Julia 3D 1
FX Curl 3D 1

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fractal Music

Fractal Music anyone?

I've started googling/studying the topic.

Best music and software I've found so far:
Phil Thompson

Gingerbread: The Mandelbrot Music Generator v2.0
Was shareware, now freeware.
No longer supported or updated.
But it came highly recommended when googling the topic.

And a tutorial is at site.

Free Legal MP3 Downloads
Creative Commons

Individual songs to downloads
(Try Chimera [v2] 23.8MB 320kbps 10:24 Duration)

Entire CD Downloads

I would like to add music to my fractal animations eventually.
Creating my own would be ideal.
But may use some of Phil's.

Spiralia2 Apophysis

More Apo renders.
I think I was playing around Cabin Tom's Spiralia script at the time. Just never rendered them until now.

This is as close to "broccoli" as I've gotten so far.

The next one is just a spiral I liked.


Fractals in Nature
(It's called "Romanescu" broccoli.)

Crusty Linears Apophysis

Those were colorized in Paint Shop Pro with some clouds added in the background.
One of those happy accidents, just trying different things.

Here's what they look like straight out of Apo, no other processing.

What a difference coloring and background makes!

These very simple 2 triangle linear fractals are fun to zoom in/out on.
I love the crusty texture.

I figured out how to do a zooming animation on these.
Combining and editing two scripts
1. Animation Render.asc
Script comes with Apophysis, spits out 100 rendered images.
2. Animate Expand & Contract.asc
Found here:
Patrick's Scripts
It took some work, but the basics are all there.

I tried the Flam3 script too, but did not like it. Too blurry.

I'm still working on perfecting it.
Might be other better methods, I don't know about yet.
Using Paint Shop Pro 9's Animation Shop to animate, of course.

Good News Bad News Good News

So I finally had motivation to update my very old IrfanView software and to install all the plugins for it too.


Well I found out those fractal images I was creating in preparation for animation using that Flam3 script had the flame parameters embedded in the Images. (I think this would increase the file size too. Good to know for optimization purposes.)

Yessery it's right there in the batch file it creates:
REM ------------
REM Embed Flame parameters into the rendered file.
REM Change it to 0 to remove the parameters embed.
REM ------------
set enable_jpeg_comments=1

So I got excited.
I did not know I had the flame parameters.

This is GOOD NEWS.

Viewed the image info within Paint Shop Pro 9.
The info is truncated.
So I decided to try IrfanView, but I had to update first.
Well, it truncates the info even MORE than Paint Shop Pro.

Okay, GOOD NEWS. lol

All I'm missing is the coloring though, so I can still make use of what flame info is there.
In IrfanView I found out I can copy to clipboard the EXIF image info.
This is good for my photography.
I can view EXIF info in Paint Shop Pro 9, but could not copy and paste it.
I had installed the Canon software last summer just so I would have more access to the EXIF info too.

And here all I needed to do was update my IrfanView software.
I forget that handy dandy little thing.
The only time I use it is for full screen slideshow viewing of my photography.
I guess I should explore it more.
It probably has other useful features I do not know about.

I think IrFanView creates ico files.
I know I'm going to find that useful some day, like when I decide I want to create a favicon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Animation Apophysis

I've been learning how to animate fractals I made in Apophysis.

I learned two ways to create the frames/images in preparation for animation.

1. Use Apophysis scripts that come with the program
(There is a script to preview and a script to create the frames.)

2. Use a script that uses Flam3 rendering for a different animating effect.

Those scripts took some study and work before I could use them.

Once I had created the frames (images) then I needed animation software to animate.
I used Paint Shop Pro 9's Animation Shop. Frame transition effects, like fade, in Ani Shop is another option to try.

Part1: Beginning Scripts and Animation
UPDATE 22 Apr 11: Dead link. Look for info here.

Claire Jones has tweaked the original Apo scripts.
Flam3 Script Tut
VirtualDub was the recommended free software to create animations, but I have not tried it.

Crusty Sea Shell Fractal Apophysis

Something I made just messin' around in Apo. Try as I might, I could not improve upon it. It wanted to be what it was. I did create a nice bed of "sand" for it in Paint Shop Pro, which is easy to do with some noise and texture.
3 Triangles/Transforms
Tri1 is a swirl/Julian variation (which is an interesting combo to play with)
Tri2 & 3 are Linears which create the spiral.

NOTE: Andrews Set 32 A Pretty Windy Day plugin for sand texture.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sierpinski Valentines

Added a Final Transform Heart Variation to my Sierpinski fractals in Apophysis.
Hearts added with brush variance in Paint Shop Pro, of course.

Sierpinski in love:

Two Sierpinskis on a date:

Sierpinski valentine:

Idea thank you to:
Sierpinski Valentine Cartoon

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I guess I'm going to have to widen out and use a more general label, fractals, instead of just Apophysis. I was watching these videos online about the Mandelbrot set and of course, I had to come up with some nice Mandelbrot fractals to post with it if I'm going to blog the links. So I created these fractals in Fractal Explorer.


I like the background patterning on this one:

This one looks like a bug:

Another "bug" with a colored background:


It all started at MeFi.

Which linked to Ebert's philosophical post.

Which linked to a site that has a video tutorial, The Amazing Mandelbrot Set Tutorial.

Ebert also linked to the complete 54 minute video, Explaining the Mandelbrot Set: Arthur C. Clarke's "Fractals - The Colors of Infinity.

And don't miss the Mandelbrot song.

Google fractal music.
Which is a topic I have not researched yet.

Here's a closeup crop of a 1024x768 size fractal "bug" I made showing the "baby" Mandelbrots:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Apophysis Patterning2

I found a rotational setting in Apophysis that's fun to play with.
Options Menu, Random Tab, Forced Symmetry, Type=Rotational

Options Menu
Variations Tab - I selected only a few to play with - Linear and Hyperbolic.
Random Tab
- Forced Symmetry, Type Rotational (not sure what Order 4, Limit 12 does - default)
- Number of Transforms 2
- Random Batch, Batch Size 10
Ctrl/B - Generate some random flames

Looked in the Transform Editor and I saw 3 Linears in precise positions (forced rotational symmetry), plus 2 more triangles of Linear and Hyperbolic Variation (Selected in the Variation Tab)

Here's the details on the image above. I must have deleted a triangle/transform then added one (linear 5) then added bubble .2 variation to it.

The ones I tried mutate (F7) well. Some of the results blew me away, they were so sharp and good. I played with the speed slider. .3 was REALLY good on one and and .1 was good on another. I think that's the first time I've ever gotten really good results with mutating. Surprised me. The Transform Editor tells me the 3 precise positioned triangles don't move when force symmetry rotational fractals are mutated. And another triangle I added and positioned at center did not move either when mutated. Not sure I understand when they move and when they don't. I'll have to play with it more.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

How About Some Tunes To Go With That

The Sundays, Here's Where The Story Ends.

Currently at YouTube
Google it.

The souvenir of the "terrible" year becomes the souvenir of the "colorful" year.
Some interesting comments on the song at

Image Creation Notes:
Andrews Filters Gallery 5, Fan and Gallery 13, Space Warp.

Apophysis Mandelbrot

I set out to create a Mandelbrot fractal in Apophysis, but then I found out sometimes Apo users, like Claire Jones, switch to the free Fractal Explorer software to do traditional Mandelbrots.
I wasn't really wanting to learn another fractal software right now, but, turns out, it was pretty easy to create your basic Mandelbrot in this software. I ran the flood plugin on the above fractal I made in Fractal Explore. I liked it.

In Apophysis, there is a Mandelbrot plugin available at Deviantart, but it is very slow and cumbersome to work with, and the results weren't all that exciting either.

It is possible to make a basic Mandelbrot variation with just one triangle/transform.
In Transform Editor
Create a New Blank Flame (click icon top left)
Variation, Julian 1 (delete 1 under Linear)
Flip H and V (click icons top near right)
Triangle Tab, move right by .1 twice and Scale down by 200

There is a Mandelbrot flame (parameters) posted here.
Copy and paste within Apo.
It was created in Apo 3D version, but it also works in the Apo208beta2 version.
The Linear Triangle 2 can be deleted and you'll still have the same Mandelbrot fractal.
The shape is slightly rounder than what I made, but just have to make my Julian slightly smaller to accomplish the same thing.
If doing some patterning with this basic fractal, I would think it would be better to use precise sizing and movements, because otherwise it will create noise and imperfection in the patterning results.
Here are a few patterning efforts and variations I made from the Mandelbrot setup:

Apophysis Patterning

Another important thing in mastering Apophysis is learning how to do patterning (including rotationals/spirals) and I've been studying that.
Can't say I've created anything I really like, but I will post some examples anyway. Coloring skills are also important and I'm not very good at it.

A few ways to study patterns in Apo.
1. Find scripts and flames that do patterning and study them. They are both just plain text files and can be opened in any text editor. So I study them that way and also study them within Apophysis Transform Editor. I've studied spirals this way.

2. Find some tuts (tutorials) on patterning.
Two good ones that I've found and worked thru:
a. Rotationals
b. An Intermediate User's Guide by Carl Skepper (pdf file) found here.

My notes:
Rotationals and spirals involve stacking several Linears and rotating them, sometimes scaling them.
Patterning seems to be more about exact positioning of transforms, usually Linears, in certain patterning positions.

NOTE: Some fractals in the rotational tut sample flames download has Post_Transforms (PX).

NOTES on the Carl Skepper tut/guide.
If you want to copy/paste text from that tut, the pdf is in google cache.
The Metallica Script is here.
However, I got a
"syntax error line 55"
when I tried to run the script.

LINE 55 says:
// Reset Symmetry as new transforms and even out the weights as new transforms
may have symmetry set at 1

The line wrapped.
I just commented out (add //) the part that says "may have symmetry set at 1"
and then the script worked.

The pdf file does not contain the last section of the script.

This tut talks about things like:
Filling in the holes.
Sharpening the pattern.
Very helpful.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Out My Window

One of those NOW moments...

Pretty glittering snow pattern.

Some record snowfalls and record low temperatures this winter.