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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 am
Posts: 53
You definitely have some abstract stuff. I can see how you did a lot of them. I suggest using the camera transform for any adjustments in Chaotica. You can leave linear on the transform and then setup either a pre or post transform. Mirror_x and mirror_y, julian2, moebius or something similar will probably give you the best results if you're aiming for symmetry. Feel free to message me on discord any time or on here and i can offer suggestions if you want them. I have a lot of tricks for design. In fact I'm going to link an image here of something I never published but designed completely in Chaotica.

https://imgur.com/Xb7Qglo

So, it's definitely possible to get some good results.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:41 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
Posts: 18
Thanks for the tip, Pug. BTW, you write really nice tutorials!

It’s become clear during this conversation that your artistic aims are significantly different from mine. It appears to me that your current process is to work primarily within a fractal generation environment in order to create a whole host of beautiful geometry. I too was seduced by that process at first. I still find beauty in geometry and occasionally will create fractal forms that become ends in themselves, though not much of that work will actually make the cut when my new website goes live later this year.

I moved on from creating beautiful geometry years ago since it is mostly an impersonal experience in a very crowded world of them. These days, Apo is simply a tool that I use to create components that serve a much different image creation process that happens outside the fractal geometry software environment. As such, I’ve developed a work flow that can sift through a lot of raw material in a short amount of time in order to collect a few gems. Those individual flames are rendered, key-worded, and placed into a database. Later I can use those keywords to locate entire groups of flames with similar characteristics. From those I can select a handful to either be used as is, or re-edited in Apo if I need to massage them further, mostly to resize the output, or to synchronize gradients so that the selected few may be used in combination with each other and incorporated into broader imagery that isn’t much about geometry at all.

Chaotica is a really nice piece of software, but it doesn’t yet support my image crafting needs. If I had to rank the top three areas that would allow it to become useful to me, neck and neck at 1&2 would be incorporating an adaptation of Apo’s symmetry feature in the random batch creation settings, and the introduction of a robust gradient editor that allows more than just curve adjustments on the HSV parameters of a randomly chosen gradient. You might want to revisit the gradient editor in Apo for a refresher on the power and usefulness of that component. I use all of it regularly in my batch creation and subsequent massaging of individual flames. A close third would be the ability to set a random batch to only include a chosen subset of the 200+ transforms currently available in C. Oh yeah, at number 4 would be documentation of the software worthy of a $100.00 investment.

Keep on fanning those flames! :-D


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 12:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 am
Posts: 53
You might give ChaosHelper a try. It's a tool written by Chaosfisure and it allows you to use a gradient in Chaotica. You can get some stunning results with it once you understand how to use it.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 3:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
Posts: 18
Oooooo Dude!

I followed your breadcrumb this morning and found ChaosHelper. Michael has done a brilliant job. So easy to use and SO close, yet ultimately a swing and a miss. Here is why.

In Apo, I can select 4 flames from my database, prepare a batch file, open the batch in Apo, and then copy/paste the gradient from any of the images to all three of the others and save the new flames off to disk (without rendering) in about 3 minutes. If need be, while they are still open I can select any of the flames and further tweak the gradient(s) for rotation, blur, frequency, and contrast in addition the the HSV parameters before saving off the new .flame files. On a side note, I can even set up a default gradient to use in Apo for all random batches which is also a missing feature in C that is an annoyance, though not a deal breaker.

BTW, there is a bug in C that doesn’t allow one to use the pallet editor on imported .flame files when they first arrive. The flame seems to be correctly colored, but the editor remains blank until one chooses to browse and find a similar palette in C which can take a pretty long time since it is a randomized process. C doesn’t seem to be handling the .xml <coloring> tags in a manner to allow anything other than rendering out as is. The curves in the palette editor only become visible by choosing a new gradient (palette)….but I digress.

Setting that aside for a moment, the process in C using ChaosHelper for gradients doesn’t support copy/paste of just the gradient info in the .xml file. The entire flame .xml must be imported into CH, which then defeats the purpose. The only real work-around is to hunt and peck around the various .dlls to find a gradient to one’s desires and then one by one by one by one by one, open each desired flames, apply the chosen gradient and re-save. Unfortunately, even after all that busy work, one still can’t adjust rotation, frequency, blur, or contrast on the resulting gradient. All four of these are still MIA in a C work-flow and have been important parts of my Apo workflow ever since v2.09. That might help you imagine how anemic the C pallet editor feels to me. CH is a great step in the right direction but alas, still only half a loaf.

If the folks at Glare are even reading this, you should notice the fact that a customer had to design a supporting app just to solve a portion of the glaring, (pun intended), absence of a proper gradient editor in C, that should have been there in the first release.

I’m still toying with the idea that I can fit C into my workflow in some manner, but for now, I’m still completely relying on the old tried and true Apo, warts and all!

And now I’m off into the 90 degree heat and humidity doing some market research for when I enter the world of art fair exhibitions starting next year.

Happy Day!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 am
Posts: 53
Yeah, it does need work. I still think we could learn a lot from each other though. So, if you want, say hi on discord. Have a great day!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
Posts: 18
I mentioned it my previous post. I'm hopeful that at some point someone at Glare will at least give us some indication that they are listening:

1. Open Chaotica (see screencap in following post for a suggested tool arrangement)
2. File>Open world --- find and select a single Apophysis .flame file, then press Open

Notice here that the Palette Editor Remains blank, even though the coloration on the display is the same as the gradient used in Apophysis. Obviously, C is able to read the color parametrics in the Apo .xml data and echo them to the screen, and even output to .png exactly as they would in Apophysis, however, no curves in the PE???? It’s gets stranger…. With your flame file still open

3. Press the Palette Button
4. Click any of the Palette variation thumbs other than the first one and watch the behavior in the Palette Editor.
5. Test adjusting the HSV curves of your selecton. Give ‘em a good tug to get big things happening! --- nothing unexpected yet.
6. Click the original pallet (first thumb) and compare the appearance in the main window to the gradient in the Palette Preview window. Do they match?
7. Try adjusting the newly appeared curves.

Nothing appears to happen, yet the render engine fires up and tags the CPU and GPU in the same manner as in step 5. What’s up with all of that, and the preview mismatch too???? !!!! ? Continuing on…

8. Repeat Step 2 choosing a different .flame file and let it render a bit
9. Examine Parameter Browser
10. click the first variation thumbnail
11. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Chaotica gets stuck in its head after opening the first .flame, and totally looses it’s mind with regards to the Palette Editor function. Therefore…

12. Repeat Step 2 choosing a different .flame file and let it render a bit
13. This time click the Palette Button
14. Examine the Parameter Browser

Well, at least we have the new flame here, however….

15. Click the first thumb variation
16. Edit the curves.
17. Select a different variation
18. Edit the Curves

….aaaaand C has lost its mind....again!

Can others confirm?

On a side note, what is the deal with the idea that when one has a batch of flames open in the World Browser, choosing to select any of the variations that appear in the Parameter Browser, (palettes, transforms, Shaders, Selectors), closes out the entire batch except for the one that one is selected?

That’s just wrong!


Last edited by Regnad Kcin on Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:49 pm
Posts: 18
Suggested tool arrangement


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ChaoticaToolArrangement.JPG
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