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 Post subject: Throwback to Apophysis..
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2021 2:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
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Back in the day we could limit the parameters of a new batch of worlds to a limited number of transforms (variations as they used to be called) selected in advance via a checkbox in the options section.

Is there a way to do this in Chaotica? If not, it would be a welcome addition in narrowing down the "look" of a new batch of worlds.

Also, back then one had a checkbox option to "force symmetry" to Bilateral, Rotational, or Dihedral. This does not seem to be available here.

Any hope of these enhancements becoming available once again?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 8:10 pm 
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Hey Regnad,

Re: limiting parameters for a new batch of worlds: You can specify how many "variations" as Max/Min iterators in the Random world generator settings.

Re: "force symmetry", I'm not familiar with what this is. However, you can modify the symmetry of the entire world by going to Window -> World Editor -> Toggle camera transform. Under the Camera transform dropdown tab you can add new pre- or post- transforms to achieve certain effects like Bilateral symmetry.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 10:19 am 
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The first request is a great feature request in my opinion, and it should also include the "Transforms" randomizer, not just the world randomizer.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 2:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
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Reblandon said:
“Re: limiting parameters for a new batch of worlds: You can specify how many "variations" as Max/Min iterators in the Random world generator settings.”

Yeah, I wasn’t quite clear about my request. I am aware that the number of transforms can be selected in Chaotica within a range, however one cannot simultaneously set that range and also limit that range to a selected subset of individual transforms for an entire random batch as can be done in Apo v. 15D x64. (see screencap below.)

Re: "force symmetry", I'm not familiar with what this is. However, you can modify the symmetry of the entire world by going to Window -> World Editor -> Toggle camera transform. Under the Camera transform dropdown tab you can add new pre- or post- transforms to achieve certain effects like Bilateral symmetry.

Again Reblandon, I was probably not clear. I’m talking about a setting that would affect an entire random batch, not just a single world. (again, see screencap below)

When I discovered Chaotica a short time ago, I was so excited about the power, speed, and elegance of the render engine and the quantity of new transforms available that I only spent a small amount of time digging deep before buying a license. Apophysis has always been a PITA when it comes to the render engine implementation. It is so unwieldy that I have to create a low-rez group of “worlds” and then off-load the .flame files to a separate computer where they can then be sequentially batch rendered at full-bore on all cores without tying up the cores on my studio workstation.

After paying the overly large licensing fee and spending a lot more time with Chaotica I still find the render engine outstanding and world editor really nice up to a point. Unfortunately, the rest of the application is woefully lacking in customizations to the point that I’ve pretty much decided to drop back to Apo 7X v15-D to take advantage of its huge variety of settings that allow customization of the creative process on a level that Chaotica can’t yet even approach.

While Chaotica may be a good entry level application for those who have never worked with fractal flames before, it simply cannot service the needs of someone who has been working professionally with a much more robust (and free) platform for over 10 years.

My first hint at a problem was the extremely limited on-line documentation that leaves out almost as much as it includes.

The second is when I asked to license my laptop in addition to my studio workstation and was pointed toward the on-line licensing routine that would allow for me to install it on my laptop for use outside the studio. Imagine my surprise the first time I went to use it when I was in an area of the country that had no cell-phone service or internet access. The application throttled back to the non-license limitations crippling my workflow because it couldn’t hook up with Chatoica’s servers to verify the license. Even Adobe with its idiot CC licensing model doesn’t do that without a couple weeks delay, allowing one to get back to civilization and re-confirm the license. What happens if Nick suddenly goes out of business? Is my studio machine in jeopardy of dumbing down?

After that it just went downhill. After creating a couple hundred very cool basic flames out in the wilderness, I got back to the studio and tried to start seriously editing them and discovered the anemic nature of Chaotica’s editing customization.

Chaotica looks nice at first glance, and works spectacularly well for what it is. I’ve found that I can import most my Apo .flame files into Chaotica to take advantage of the fantastic rendering engine, though there are a tiny handful of transforms in Apo that don’t seem to be supported, so the some renders don’t look like the original Apo flames. I haven’t taken the time to sort out which transforms are unsupported. That would take a rather Herculean effort and a lot of time to determine. Chaotica does have more than three times the number of transform types that I have available in Apo, but I still can’t see it being of much use to me other than occasionally rendering an individual Apo flame for a quick look at a high rez version that has been customized in Apo.

Here is a very small look at the settings available in Apo 7x v 15D x64. (the last release 7x v16. has a lot more transforms available, but it is staggeringly slow to the point that those extras aren’t worth the effort unless I find myself with a lot of time on my hands. Also, a great many of those can’t be implemented by Chaotica.)

https://imgur.com/kzqOWNp


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ApophysisSettings.JPG
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 2:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
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yeah, the screencap messed up the formatting and I can't find an edit button or a horizontal scroll bar so I'm re-posting just the text here.

Reblandon said:

“Re: limiting parameters for a new batch of worlds: You can specify how many "variations" as Max/Min iterators in the Random world generator settings.”


Yeah, I wasn’t quite clear about my request. I am aware that the number of transforms can be selected in Chaotica within a range, however one cannot simultaneously set that range and also limit that range to a selected subset of individual transforms for an entire random batch as can be done in Apo v. 15D x64. (see screencap below.)

"Re: "force symmetry", I'm not familiar with what this is. However, you can modify the symmetry of the entire world by going to Window -> World Editor -> Toggle camera transform. Under the Camera transform dropdown tab you can add new pre- or post- transforms to achieve certain effects like Bilateral symmetry."

Again Reblandon, I was probably not clear. I’m talking about a setting that would affect an entire random batch, not just a single world. (again, see screencap below)

When I discovered Chaotica a short time ago, I was so excited about the power, speed, and elegance of the render engine and the quantity of new transforms available that I only spent a small amount of time digging deep before buying a license. Apophysis has always been a PITA when it comes to the render engine implementation. It is so unwieldy that I have to create a low-rez group of “worlds” and then off-load the .flame files to a separate computer where they can then be sequentially batch rendered at full-bore on all cores without tying up the cores on my studio workstation.

After paying the overly large licensing fee and spending a lot more time with Chaotica I still find the render engine outstanding and world editor really nice up to a point. Unfortunately, the rest of the application is woefully lacking in customizations to the point that I’ve pretty much decided to drop back to Apo 7X v15-D to take advantage of its huge variety of settings that allow customization of the creative process on a level that Chaotica can’t yet even approach.

While Chaotica may be a good entry level application for those who have never worked with fractal flames before, it simply cannot service the needs of someone who has been working professionally with a much more robust (and free) platform for over 10 years.

My first hint at a problem was the extremely limited on-line documentation that leaves out almost as much as it includes.

The second is when I asked to license my laptop in addition to my studio workstation and was pointed toward the on-line licensing routine that would allow for me to install it on my laptop for use outside the studio. Imagine my surprise the first time I went to use it when I was in an area of the country that had no cell-phone service or internet access. The application throttled back to the non-license limitations crippling my workflow because it couldn’t hook up with Chatoica’s servers to verify the license. Even Adobe with its idiot CC licensing model doesn’t do that without a couple weeks delay, allowing one to get back to civilization and re-confirm the license. What happens if Nick suddenly goes out of business? Is my studio machine in jeopardy of dumbing down?

After that it just went downhill. After creating a couple hundred very cool basic flames out in the wilderness, I got back to the studio and tried to start seriously editing them and discovered the anemic nature of Chaotica’s editing customizations.

Chaotica looks nice at first glance, and works spectacularly well for what it is. I’ve found that I can import most my Apo .flame files into Chaotica to take advantage of the fantastic rendering engine, though there are a tiny handful of transforms in Apo that don’t seem to be supported, so some renders don’t look like the original Apo flames. I haven’t taken the time to sort out which transforms are unsupported. That would take a rather Herculean effort and a lot of time to determine. Chaotica does have more than three times the number of transform types that I have available in Apo, but I still can’t see it being of much use to me other than occasionally rendering an individual Apo flame for a quick look at a high rez version that has been customized in Apo.

Here is a very small look at the settings available in Apo 7x v 15D x64. (the last release 7x v16. has a lot more transforms available, but it is staggeringly slow to the point that those extras aren’t worth the effort unless I find myself with a lot of time on my hands. Also, a great many of those can’t be implemented by Chaotica.)

Yeah, see the previous post to get the screencap


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 2:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 am
Posts: 53
I do agree that a lot of what you're saying has merit. The manual is not well written and that's one of the reasons I wrote the tutorials on my blog. You might want to check them out. As for the editing differences, we should talk. I found that at first the features I used every day in Apophysis were missing from Chaotica. As I learned more about IFS systems and how Chaotica works I realized that not that much is missing. Chaotica uses a slightly different method to design things and when I understood that method, I found that I didn't really miss the Apophysis features as much as I thought. Feel free to shoot me a message on discord. You might join us in the fractal chats server if you want. There's a lot of people there who are even better at it than I am and they are always up for questions. Link is on my blog. See the tutorials section here for it. :D

As for the licensing...yeah, understood! My internet went out for over 24 hours on my day off and it was horrible to not be able to use my normal work flow. Hope they can work something out on that one.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 4:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
Posts: 18
Hi Pug!

Thanks for the contribution! Before I go into more of a technical deep dive, I should as you a question. Is your use of Chaotica primarily as a tool for creating stand-alone fractal worlds, or do you use it primarily as a device to create many different fractal forms to be used as source material, (think paint), that will be combined into a larger image construct?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 am
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Stand alone stuff primarily.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 7:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
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Ah ha! I suspected as much. I don’t do that.

I have a database of somewhere between 1500 – 2K fractal forms (and growing) that that I’ve created over the years. I use these forms in various combinations to create other types of imagery. Many times I’ll need to “marry” two different flames created at different times, whose structures are compatible, but with wildly different gradients. (gradients in Apo are called pallets in C.) I very much like the UX in the C gradient editor, but sadly it is limited to adjusting three parameters of a single pre-selected gradient. In Apo, I can open the two forms in a single instance of the app. Then I can copy/paste the gradient from one to the other so that they can be joined together in the final image without the jarring color difference. I can select from a whole host of provided gradients, and can even create one of my own from a .jpg image that has the color sensibility I’m looking to apply to a selected form.

The imaging settings are quite similar to Apo with the exception of the BG color that doesn’t use industry standards of 1-255 for RGB I don’t know what the heck is going on there, but I don’t really rely on that very often since I work exclusively with transparent .PNG files in my compositions. The Highlight Power is a great option to have!

I haven’t yet discovered a way to batch render a folder of .flame files in C. I only see a way to open them one by one in separate instances of C. The only “batches” I see are the ones that are provided at random by C.

I’m not certain if you took a look at the entire screen cap I posted. It highlights my need that I asked about at the top of this conversation. If you can relay to me how those two functionalities are available in some other way within C, I’d hear them gratefully.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 7:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 am
Posts: 53
that's why we should talk. batch rendering is possible it just takes a little fiddling. There is also a way to get gradients to work in Chaotica. poke me on discord if you can. I'd really like to go over your workflow and see if there's a work around.


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