• Mandelbulb-plugin for Lightwave 2019 now supports colors


    This plugin allows you to render the famous Mandelbulb-fractal, invented at http://www.fractalforums.com, in Lightwave3D.
    (You may see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandelbulb for a quick description.)
    Technically, the plugin must be used inside the new “Empty Volume”-shape, introduced with Lightwave 2019, and provides the
    distance-estimation for the Mandelbulb-“shape”.

    See the supplied README-file and example-scenes for more details.
    The plugin is availalable both for Windows and MacOS.

    Download: http://www.andreas-maschke.de/lightwave/pf_mandelbulb.zip

    Mandelbulb (detail)
  • JWildfire 5.00 release: introducing weighting-fields as new artistic tool

    Just released JWildfire V5.00 as another major update.

    This time, introducing a new artistic concept to flame-fractals: weighting-fields.

    I had this in mind for a while, but never found the time to really “grasp” it. When you look at my fractal art, you will notice that I’m usually striving for a very energetic and organic style.

    Flame fractals support this style a lot, but I’m was often looking for “more”. Finally, weighting-fields are the implementation of what I was looking for.

    The basic idea: to add some kind of “natural disturbances” at the transform-level of the flame-fractals. But, allow that in a very artistic way by just modulating an existing fractal shape. Allow to easily try out if different “styles”.

    You may choose between different types of this kind of disturbance, for example “Perlin Fractal Noise” for a very organic style. But, you can also load image-maps (photographs) for very individual styles. Each style comes with a lot of options to tweak. You may chose a weighting-field at the transform-level. So you may even combine different weighting-fields inside one fractal in non-destructive-way.

    Currently, the following fractal-parameters may be affected by a weighting-field:

    • variation-amount
    • variation-parameter-amount (for up to three parameters per transform, like frequency of a waves-trandform)
    • color-index (allows subtle color-changing effects)

    With version 5.00, weighting-fields are integrated into JWildfire as “first-class-citizen”:

    • there is some new “weighting-field”-aspect inside random-flame-generators (similar to random-symmetry-generators or random-gradient-generators). Currently, there are 6 built-in random-weighting-field generators. The default one is “All, sparse”, which means to randomly generate weighting-field-aspects, but only for a few random flames.
    • there is new Mutation-type WEIGHT_FIELD inside MutaGen
    • there is a new “WField”-tab under the “Transformations”-tab,where you can create, edit and generate weighting-field-related effects.
    • scripting is completely supported
    • by design, the performance-impact is moderate, and you may even animate weighting-fields

    To get started, just load a favourite flame of yours and the press the new “WFld”-button at the left of the preview-area. Repeat it multiple times to see what is possible.

    To see what is going on, select a transform and enter the “WField”-tab under the “Transformations”-tab. Have a look at options and see how they change when you press the “WField”-button. Play with them while changing them manually.

    To generate random-flames with weighting-fields always enabled, change the “WField”-setting at the upper left of the main editor from “(All, sparse)” to “(All)” and hit the “Random batch”-button.

    Other new features:

    • Improved performance and stability due to an internal mechanism to evaluate costs of variations/plugins.
      There are three types of cost: initialization time, calculation time and memory consumption.
      JWildfire will prefer variations with low costs for performing “randomization-tasks” like generating random-flames.
      There will be even variations/plugins which become completely “counted out” and never be touched in such operations. This will improve general performance and stability, but also give variation/plugin-developers additional the freedom.
      They may try out new things freely, without the danger of compromising the whole application.
    • new option to specify the number of random-flames, generated during program-start (tina.initial_random_batch.size, defaults to 3)
    • new coloring type: DISTANCE, provided by Rick Sidwell: Uses the gradient indexed by the distance the transform moved the point.
      Color determines the starting point and Speed controls how far along the gradient each unit of distance moves from there. Like other coloring types, Speed -1 sets the color to the specified color. The input color is ignored, so unlike the others Speed 1 will still change the color. DISTANCE is especially effective for coloring flames made with a single non-blur transform (blur transforms ignore the input point, so the distance and thus the color of each point is random).
    • new COLOR_TYPE-Mutation for MutaGen to randomly apply the new color-types (NONE, DIFFUSION, TARGET, TARGETG, DISTANCE)
    • significant performance-improvement in the refreshing-behaviour in the UI, you especially notice this when changing variations in the “Nonlinear”-tab
    • new way of resetting params of variations to their defaults (as suggested by Michael Bourne):
      •  double-click at the “Var x”-label to reset all parameters to their defaults
      • double click at a specific param-label to reset it’s value to the default value (you need expand the param-panel to access the labels) Please note, that there are some parameters which have random defaults.
    •  this way of resetting params may also used at the “WField”-tab (but is not available at all other places, yet).
    • Rick added added some new tips to TipsOfTheDay.html, and a new preference to remember the last tip shown at startup and display the next one at the next startup.
    • new “juliascope3Db”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “waves22”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “waves23”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “waves3”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “waves42”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “waves4”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “waves22”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “hex_modulus”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “truchet_hex_crop”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “truchet_hex_fill”-variation, provided by Brad Stefanov
    • new “dc_triantess-variation”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_poincaredisc”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_worley”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_glypho”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_fingerprint”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_pentatiles”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_quadtree”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_sunflower”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_gabornoise”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_cairotiles”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_moebiuslog”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • new “dc_inversion”, provided by Jesus Sosa
    • Rick has updated the text in the About-section

    Thanks Rick, Michael, Brad and Jesus (just in random order) for their valuable contributions!

    Just click the “Random flames” button to start playing around and have fun – click the “WFld”-button to have even more fun 🙂

  • JWildfire 4.10 release

    Just released JWildfire V4.10, which is a another big update. Again, thanks Rick Sidwell, Jesus Sosa, Brad Stefanov and all others for their dedication and valuable contributions!

    Complete changes (you can also see this list inside the program at the any time, see Help->List of changes ):

    • New variation: dc_code by Jesus Sosa
    • Enhancements to dc_ variations by Jesus Sosa
    • Tips for Apophysis users (in Fractal flames: Help window) updated
    • Preference tinaCustomVariationsPath is now used for custom_wf and custom_wf_full
    • New Color Type feature
      There are now two coloring types, selectable per transform on the Color tab:
      NONE (the default for final transforms) does not change the color; this is the way final transforms have traditionally
      worked in JWildfire
      DIFFUSION (the default for normal transforms) uses the Color and Speed settings with the gradient; this is the standard
      method for coloring flames.
      Changing the Color Type for final transforms to DIFFUSION allows final transforms to adjust the colors, as it does in other
      flame programs.
      Changing the Color Type for normal transforms to NONE allows them to manipulate true color (rgbColor) variations without
      sucking the color away.
    • various fixes by Rick Sidwell
      – Save Fg opacity in flame file
      – Subflame fixes to prevent hanging JWildfire
      – Stop spurious message when changing quality profiles
      – Show correct color speed when adding linked transform
      – Add default macro buttons when no preferences file is found
      – Fix bug with RECTANGLE control shapes
    • reduced the precision of PointCloud-export in order to use less memory
    • new “Phoenix”-random-flame-generator
    • new variations (no particular order):
      by Jesus Sosa
      by Whittaker Courtney
      – pre_recip
      by Brad Stefanov
      – gridout3D
      – cone
      – dc_carpet3D
      – tqmirror
      by DarkBeam
      – holesq
      – spligon
      – plusrecip
      by TyrantWave
      – henon
    • various fixes by Rick Sidwell:
      – Fract variation bug fixes
      – Bug fix: adjust xaos when deleting xforms
      – Fix NotSerializableException when saving render state
      – Fix Help frame anomalies
      – Fix bugs in Open Image
      – Script from flame: add draw mode and preserve z
      – Script from flame: add centreX and centreY
    • removed dc_escher variation (copyright issue) which was introduced with 4.10 RC1

    Just click the “Random flames” button to start playing around and have fun 🙂