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 🙂


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