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Using Apophysis (Basics)



Using Apophysis.
Tipps And Tricks, Part I

Number 1: Patience

Patience is the most important thing when using Apophysis. When doing
photomanipulation, drawing or other stuff, skills are the thing you need.
Not here: You need Patience. If you don't have patience, you shouldn't
use Apophysis. But you still can try other stuff: What about jumping
from high buildings, huh :D?
Most of the Apophysis-Stuff that is submitted to DAs FractalArt Category
is pure crap…most of it? 95% of it. At least.
I do about 100 fractals in Apophysis per Day, for pure Meditation – remem-
ber that this program is FUN. Guess what? I find a good fractal once a
week, sometimes no good stuff in 2 weeks. So what? I not angry about it,
and I don't start Apophysis and render the first thing I see.
If you want to get good in Apophysis, then search, search and search for
good flames. Create new flames every day and you'll start to get a feeling
for what is really good. Save the Parameters of the ones you really like.
When you've got 10 good ones, take the best and throw away the rest.
They're not worth it. Sounds brutal, but it's just the truth. With my method
you'll become an Apophysis God in half a year.

Rule Number 2: Preferences

*Window size: Keep your main window as small as possible (You should
of course still be able to have a good look on your flame). You'll be able
to browse through different flames at a very high speed and theres not the
danger of boring waiting times which will lead to the render of boring flames.

*Display quality: Go to "Options" -> "Display Quality" and enter a higher
value. Experiment with this. It will give you a better preview on your flame,
but might result in longer render times while browsing through flames.

*Scripts: This is very important. Use the scripts that come with Apophysis.
And download some other ones from the web. If you don't apply any scripts
to your flames, you will not be able to do a good flame. The "built-in", raw
flames are not really usable in most cases. Click "Scripts" -> "Open" to open
a script, then click "Scripts" -> "Run" to apply it.

Rule Number 3: Experimentation

It's important to know and use the features of the program to work with
it. It won't help you just to look through the random stuff that is automatically
popping up when you launch the prog.

*Gradients: Most so-called "Experts" will tell you that the gradients that come
with Apophysis are crap. Guess what? They are right. Go to *Apophysis
and download some new gradients or find some others with google. Try these
on your flames. You'll be surprised how brilliant a rather boring flame can look
with a good gradient on it.

*Mutation: Keep the Mutation window open when browsing new flames. USE it!
The greatest fractals I did came from the most unspectacular flames that were
mutated. Again: Patience is important. Do at least 10 mutations of every flame.
If you don't see a good mutation, click on the middle image to get some new
ones. If you feel the need to do more than 10 mutations per flame: GREAT.
You got it.

*Adjust: Experiment with this one. Zoom into your fractal. Change the
background. This can give you some great results, nothing is more boring than
these monochromatic flames on black. Don't know what I'm talking about? Click
Digital Art -> Fractal Art right here on DA. You'll see them everywhere.

*Editor: Well, at least from my point of view the editor was just made for the
illusion of having control over the fractal. It's important nonetheless. Use it for
your final adjustments when you've got a good flame. But make shure that you
don't make too strong changes here, it might destroy the flame you've worked
on. This is the only thing in Apophysis where skills are needed. If you don't feel
the need to use it: Fine. You can make great stuff without it.

Rule Number 4: Rendering

Use "Flame" -> "Render to Disk" to save your final image. The settings here
are important as they will effect the final picture. Render at least 1000 by XXX
Pixels, and please: Render to .png, not to .jpg. You can convert it later to upload
it to DA, but .png is losless while .jpg is compressed and will give you lower image
quality. Put the quality counter to at least 500. Some do 2000, but I think that’s a
bit too much and will use to long to render. If you need your work for a print, render
as large as possible.
Remember Rule No.1 while rendering your flame. A good render can easily take
10 hours. My tip is to leave on your PC and render the flame while you sleep.

Rule Numer 5: Post-Production

So you've rendered a boring flame and you think you can make it good with your
graphic prog? Forget it. Post production won't improve a bad fractal, but it can
sometimes polish a good one. Don't do anything on the image itself unless you
are really skilled with graphic works. In most cases you'll just destroy your work.
What you CAN do is playing around with colours, saturation, brightness etc. You
also might cutoff certain parts or resize the image to try to watch it from another
point of view. Adding a border will make the image look more sophisticated.
Postwork in general isn't making or really improving your image, it's finalizing it.

I hope this tutorial does help someone and is able to improve the quality of at least
0,1% of the works on DA. I basically just explained the way I work. Remember that
Apophysis is FREE, so you can just download it and start working with it, even
when you have never done anything like that before.

Remember that bad fractals done in Apophysis are just the result of a lack of patience.
That's the most important thing I'm trying to teach you.

By the way: If you like to see some of my own Apophysis-works you're invited to
take a look at my gallery. But I don't have many of them up here on DA. Why?
I just want to show the GOOD ones.

Favs & Comments appreciated.

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