#89: Frequently Asked QuestionsOk guys, I think it's time to do a little FAQ, because I read the same questions over and over.More Like This
Let me see if it's useful for somebody.
OMG, what is this?
It's a fractal, baby!
What is a fractal?
It's a really difficult question to answer, but I'll try to keep it as simple as I can. So, fellow fractalists, if you're reading, I won't be that precise in answering.
Wikipedia says: "A fractal is a mathematical set that has a fractal dimension that usually exceeds its topological dimension and may fall between the integers."
Wait, what? I didn't even understand myself.
Ok, a fractal is basically the repetition of a same "image". This image can be repeated with its original dimension or fractal dimension (it can be resized).
For example, let's pick the Romanesco Broccoli (the image is from Wikipedia):
As you can see, it's a repetition of the same "peaks" over and over, each of them with diffe
Apophysis F.A.Q.We noticed there was a constant income of recurring questions about Apophysis on the group's homepage, so I collected the most common ones and Xyrus-02 kindly answered them for us .More Like This
Where do I get Apophysis? Is it expensive?
Apophysis is free, open-source software. That means, it does not cost you a cent. In addition, everyone is able to change the software using
the available source code. This is also why there are different
versions of Apophysis:
The "official" or "main" version of Apophysis. You can download it from Apophysis.org
Apophysis 2.08 3D
The original Apophysis 3D hack. You can download it from Sourceforge.net (where you can also get newer beta versions of Apophysis 2.x)
A popular version of Apophysis including all 3D features, better support for Windows Vista and Windows 7 and a
How to find out what a transform doesNot really a tutorial this time, just some exploration ideas.More Like This
There is no extensive guide to all transforms and plugins. So how do people figure what they do? The way is to experiment, and there are some techniques that work quite well for me.
As examples, i will use spherical and loonie.
A short note
For all the mathods below, make sure you try the following:
Change all the variables and try different combos of themMove the pre affine of the transform aroundScale and rotate the pre affine
Add it as post transform to squares or circles
Start (from blank) with square or sineblur, and add the variation you want to try out as post transform.
Lets start with square:
default square spherical post_transform loonie post_transform
Coloring in Apophysis - Part 1A brief guide to coloring in Apophysis. A Chaotica tutorial on the subject coming out soon tooMore Like This
Special thanks to BoxTail for reminding me about an important tool the dummy here forgot to add.
Last but not least, if you fancy the gradient i used as example here, you can download it from:
To change or edit your gradient, you will use the Adjustment window. To open it, click on the gradient button under the menu.
A new window will open:
1 - Getting a new gradient
There are 4 basic ways to change your gradient:
Presets: click on the Preset button to view a huge list of built-in gradients.Gradient Browser (first button on the right): allows to load user created gradients. You can download some nice packs
Isometric Fractal Art Tutorial - Part 1In this tutorial, i will explain how i created some of my recent "isometric" works. For example:More Like This
Softwares needed: Apophysis and Chaotica.
Prerequisites: you will need some previous knowledge on how to use Apo and Chaotica. If you have any doubts, please check those out:
Apophysis ManualChaotica ManualXaos RevealedChaotica Editor Basics
Plugins used: square.
Start from blank, and add 1 transform with square = 1. You should have something like:
Common Frameworks 1: TilesToday, we will quickly learn how to make simple Tiles in Chaotica.More Like This
To do this tutorial, you will need Chaotica and Chaoshelper.
Here, we have 3 examples of tiles:
2. Simple Base
It is easier to use a simple base to set up the tile, and then replace it with something more elaborate.
Create a new empty World (File >> New Empty World), and switch to the Editor. Add a new iterator, and add a Square tranform to it. I set the square amount to 0.8 so the resulting square is 0.8 units wide.
3. Tiling Time
Now, add 4 iterators with linear transforms, and position their affines as on the picture below: 1 unit right, 1 up, 1 left, and 1 down. You can use snap to grid
Chaotica Editor Basics - UpdatedAn illustrated explanation of Chaotica`s World Editor.More Like This
It also features the Apophysis equivalents (when those exist). The left column corresponds to Chaotica, while the right column is Apo.
This is how the Chaotica Editor looks like:
The World Editor has the following elements:
toolbar ("New Iterator" and "New Transform" buttons)world nodes (the tree view of the iterators)node editor (details of each node)
If you cannot see one of those, right click one of the visible widgets and click the corresponding option to make it visible again:
To zoom in and out the affine editor, use Alt + right mouse button.
To move, around, Ctrl + right mouse button.
Iterator (Chaotica) &
Post_depth TutorialLets give the word to zy0rg, the creator of post_depth plugin:More Like This
That variation is used to create the depth blur effects in 3d fractals.
Unlike Apo's native depth blur, with this plugin you can use any variation (I'd recommend sineblur) for blurring.
The drawback compared to native blur is that you need to place the blurred object "manually" (i.e. using ztranslate, rotate_x and rotate_y) so it might be a bit tricky to use. But I think that the result is 99.98% worth it.
You can download post_depth (and a few cool blurs) here:
A few examples of post_depth results:
To use post_depth, you will need par
Pre and Post AffinesA short visual guide of the effects of pre and post affine transforms. To illustrate how they work, we will use two examples: tiled Bubble (check out the tile tutorial to learn how to make it: Common Frameworks 1: Tiles) and a single iterator with Square transform.More Like This
Also, check out the definition of an Affine Transform.
Pre and PostAffines
Both Pre and Post affines work in a similar way, but pre affine is applied before the transforms and post affine is applied after them.
Affine transforms can be used to move, scale, rotate and skew elements of the fractal.
Left, pre affines. Right, a post affine (dotted axes) in the World Editor.
To add a post affine to an iterator (if it is not visible), click on flam3 transform no
Common Frameworks 2: Elliptic SplitsToday, we will quickly learn how to make a simple Elliptic Splits Framework in Chaotica.More Like This
To do this tutorial, you will need Chaotica.
1. Elliptic Splits
First, lets take a look at how the elliptic splits base fractal look:
How the Elliptic transformation works? Take a look at the picture below. It features a single iterator, with a blur (gaussian + radial_gaussian) on pre_transform and Elliptic transform:
Elliptic creates a vertical stripe centered on 0,0 and 2 units wide.
Splits, as the name says, split the plane. It has 2 variables, splits_x and splits_y. Setting x to a non null value will create a vertical split, and y, a horizontal split.
Structured IFS Fractals - Basic ElementsFractal Art WeekMore Like This
This article is about structred IFS fractals - basically, stuff made with Apophysis, Chaotica, and other similar software. Those aren't formal names of the things - just a little system that makes things easier for me.
A structured fractal is basically composed of main structure (framework), fillers and effects.
This decomposition, of course, is not universal and not even unique (one may see a transform as filler, while another as framework, for example).
This is the transforms or a group of transforms that create the main shapes of your fractal. Removing or replacing one of those transforms with something else will change drastically the looks of the work. Many frameworks have emtpy areas to be filled with fillers .
While some frameworks people use are quite hard to figure out (those are few though, since there are not many people able to find their own original crazy structures), other are common, explained in many tutorials, fe