• JWildfire 3.00 release: 3D rendering, improved UI and Mac OS X support

    It has been a while since the last release, but sometimes things just need time 🙂
    I can’t remember exactly, but I think we had in the end 6 ALPHA versions and 9 BETA versions to finally finish
    what is now simply called “JWildfire 3.0“.

    I know, most people never read notes, and I hope I will still have your attention. In short:
    new version = 3d rendering + new UI + experimental GPU rendering + Mac OS X support + endless list of changes

    endless list of changes = integrated in the UI, so no need to read too much at once, it will be still there
    when you start the app the next time 😀

    The complete list of changes is tremendous, I will post only a little excerpt:
    3D SOLID RENDERING
    – completely new 3d (solid) rendering mode for flame fractals, featuring
    – ambient shadows
    – distant light-sources
    – specular lighting, several diffuse-response functions
    – reflection-mapping
    – hard and soft shadows
    – z-buffer-output

    – new “obj_mesh_wf” and “obj_mesh_primitive_wf”-variations to allow you to integrate
    meshes as shapes into your fractals. While “obj_mesh_wf” allows you to load arbitrary
    meshes (e .g. found in the web, there are tons of free meshes out there), you may
    use “obj_mesh_primitive_wf” to use numerous predifined presets
    – both variations support:
    – uv-colormaps
    – uv-displacement-maps
    – geometry-smoothing (using the Taubin-smooth-algorithm)

    – new “yplot2d_wf”-, “yplot3d_wf”- and “parplot2d_wf”-variations to generate geometry
    by plotting arbitrary mathematical functions (e.g. “sin(x*x+z*z)”)
    – all of those variations contain many very cool presets, e.g. there are 35 presets
    included in the “parplot2d_wf”-variaton, just slide through them by changing the
    “preset_id”

    – new “plane_wf”-variation for easy creation of a textured plane
    – script-generator (which creates scripts from a flame) also creates solid-attributes
    for solid flames

    – support for invisible objects which can receive shadows. This way you can let
    fractals cast real-looking shadows on objects inside a background-image, inspired
    by Oak Fractal Sandbox by David Byrd (http://www.davidbyrd.io/)
    – this options is supported by the variations “obj_mesh_wf”, “obj_mesh_primitive_wf”
    and “plane_wf”

    – completely new DOF for solid rendering with bokeh-effects. This DOF is a post-effect
    (and works totally different than the regular DOF) and is not visible in the fast-preview(!).
    But, it also gives better results.
    One way to adjust the DOF is to turn solid rendering of in order to show the regular DOF
    in fast-preview, adjust it (position and strength),
    and then turn solid rendering on again

    – new “Solid Julia3D”-random-flame-generator to create random solid flames
    – new “Solid (experimental)”-random-flame-generator to create random solid flames
    – new “Solid (stunning)”-random-flame-generator to create random solid flames
    – new “Solid Labyrinth”-random-flame-generator
    – new option in the Prefrences to disable solid-flame-random-generators inside the global “All”-random-flame-generator

    IMPROVED UI
    – huge UI change: the main flame-window was broken into multiple smaller windows
    – new Navigator-window to make it easier to navigate between windows
    – window-state for all windows inside the desktoip is saved in the Preferences
    – new “Tips of the day”-window, may be turned off
    – the Welcome-window (still providing some useful links) is not show per default,
    but you can reach it in the menu
    – Customizable background and convenience-darkening effect (see
    desktopBackgroundImagePath and desktopBackgroundDarkenAmount in the Preferences)
    – supplied a background-image from my own library
    – removed the combobox to select the edit-plane, and added three buttons in the
    main editor area instead
    – new “List of changes”-window to display the list of changes made in the software
    – improved image-quality for scaled image-display on the desktop (e. g. after
    loading an image or displaying a rendered image)
    – option to auto-reload saved images from the interactive renderer (in order so be
    able to check them quickly), may be turned off in the Preferences
    – option to manually save a z-buffer-image in the interactive renderer
    – buttons to easily randomize light-position and light-color (for solid flames)
    – the params in the nonlinear-tab can now get “expanded” in order to access them
    all at one time, thanks to Martin Flink to the suggestion!
    – new parameter tinaDefaultExpandNonlinearParams in the Preferences to turn the
    expansion of the nonlinear-param-controls per default to on
    – exchanged some icons in the main editor
    – variations-editing: the controls use non-fractional step-size when changing a parameter having integer-values (like
    power of “julia3D”-variation)

    GPU RENDERING
    – experimental gpu-rendering by integration of FACLRender, and external GPU
    renderer, made by Steven Brodhead (see the integrated info-window for more
    details)
    – new info-window about GPU-rendering
    – new GPU-render window to interactively render flames, only available
    under Windows.
    Quick way to test out if a certain flame works, you would usually do this,
    before you animate it, and then finally use the batch-renderer with enabled
    GPU-renderer to render a sequence.
    – integrated the external OpenCL-renderer in the batch-renderer
    – new option tinaFACLRenderOptions in the Preferences to influence the options
    used to invoke the external GPU render

    MAC OS X SUPPORT
    – native installer for Mac OS
    – some optimizations for Mac OS X to improve user experience
    – made “System” the default theme under MacOS
    – renamed the main class to JWildfire in order to get “JWildfire” displayed as application on Mac
    – changed to initial directory for the directory-select-box in the flame-browser (works now on Mac)
    – set up default resolution- and quality-profiles when no preferences file could be found

    MISC
    – new “Orchids”-random-flame-generator

    – New local hue parameter at the Local Gamma tab (called “Gamma”), allowing much more variations in color than using only the default coloring
    – New randomizer-buttons at the Local Gamma tab, to randomize each parameter individually

    – added a quarter-render-size option in the Interactive Renderer

    – Removed the Shading-tab and all the options for Blur-Shading, Distance-Color-Shading and Pseudo3D-Shading.
    – the popular blur-shading was re-introduced as new option under the “DOF / Bokeh” – tab as “Post blur”
    – distance-color-shading was removed completely, if you liked it, please keep an old version
    – Pseudo3D-shading is obsolete due to new 3d rendering

    – removed the rarely used brightness-slider in the main editor
    – removed the rarely used Chaotica-bridge

    – recreated the SystemInfo window and added a function to clear the cache (which hold resources like fonts, meshes, …
    in order to speed up future calculations)
    – new “Transfer to Interactive Renderer”-button in the main editor
    – removed the MutaGen-button in the main editor

    – added two new parameters to the “subflame_wf” variation: “colorscale_z” (adds depth to the outer flame according
    to the color-information of the inner flame) and “use_colors” (use the computed color-information of the inner
    flame as color of the outer flame)
    – the “subflame_wf”-variation also respect hidden samples now and can recover iteration after receiving
    invalid results (e. g. division by zero)

    – added new parameters “axis”, “centre_x”, “centre_y” and “centre_y” to the “pre_wave3D_wf”-variation
    – added experimental “direct_color”-parameter to the “truchet”-variation

    – new “MobiusN”-variation by eralex

    – replaced the link to variation-guide, hosted by user FractalGee, which seems to be permanently off, by a link to
    the variations-list supplied by Don Town

    – 3 new SINEPOW-filter-kernels (with predefined power-levels)

    – the “Rnd”-button now can also operate on newly created flames

    – refined the default resolution- and quality-profiles

    – improved the speed of the MutaGen

    – changed the layout of the sub-tabs “DoF” and “Solid rendering”

    – slightly shorter startup time due to the use of more simple random-flames-generator at startup

    – support for loading and saving Fusion-compatible *.spl-files in the motion-curve-editor

    – moved the “Rnd”-button at a new “Misc”-tab

    Have fun!