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Author Topic: What do you use to render and why?  (Read 2495 times)
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Sigillum Militum
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« on: April 04, 2012, 01:51:46 AM »

Beyond some minor touch-ups in the GIMP, I use the programming language OCaml. It compiles to machine code and is reasonably fast (see here: http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32/which-programming-languages-are-fastest.php). Plus it has garbage collection and a decent standard library. It's also functional, supporting partial application, static type inference, etc. while not going completely overboard in terms of purity like Haskell does.

I don't like using editors like UltraFractal or Apophysis because I don't feel that the work is truly mine when I'm done with it. Other things being equal, you have to do a lot more of your own work to get a desired result, and you also have more choice in the outcome. Getting a decent result after all that hard work seems more rewarding. (Although, ultimately, I suppose I'll have to design my own set one day.)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 01:56:51 AM by Sigillum Militum » Logged
lxh
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 03:49:26 AM »

First of all i have great respect for all who code their own fractals. But if i would do this by my own - just to feel that the output is 'really mine' - i would still ask myself: What is mine? Did i develop the hardware, the os, the programming language? No. We all are working with 'other people' tools and ideas and THAT brings us further .. from the essentials in life up to funny colorful computer pictures.
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Sigillum Militum
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 07:18:25 AM »

First of all i have great respect for all who code their own fractals. But if i would do this by my own - just to feel that the output is 'really mine' - i would still ask myself: What is mine? Did i develop the hardware, the os, the programming language? No. We all are working with 'other people' tools and ideas and THAT brings us further .. from the essentials in life up to funny colorful computer pictures.

That's a point but, relatively speaking, the sense of ownership is still deeper this way.
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DarkBeam
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 01:42:23 PM »

I don't like using editors like UltraFractal or Apophysis because I don't feel that the work is truly mine when I'm done with it. Other things being equal, you have to do a lot more of your own work to get a desired result, and you also have more choice in the outcome. Getting a decent result after all that hard work seems more rewarding. (Although, ultimately, I suppose I'll have to design my own set one day.)

This is deeply untrue. I see that thousands of people use Apophysis *but* I can recognize in an instant the "good" users; detailed images, balanced colors, and from some times stunning special effects like dyanmic blur etc, that prevoiusly were impossible, but beginners can not simply obtain that. And you are spending a lot of time to implement "obvious" things programming only on your own; you will never hear different and new ideas, resulting in always the same stuff; you will tendentially use your formulas in correct, predictable ways while often great results can be obtained using them ... well wrongly wink . So... I suggest you to focalize on writing plugins for existing programs and to keep in contact with people to have a constant feedback pf new ideas! wink
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 01:44:59 PM by DarkBeam » Logged

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Dinkydau
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 02:21:46 PM »

There is so much that can be done with apophysis, you're really missing out on a lot of stuff. Some users mainly do what others are doing, but those who try out new things, combine plugins that were never combined before in a very nice way, or show off new ways to use existing techniques and combining them, those are the ones who make the best use of apophysis. It would never have gotten so big and there would never have been such good fractals if no one collaborated and combined existing knowledge to try new things. I always try to make unique fractals by doing things that I haven't seen before, or doing it in a different way so that it brings something new. Also, If I'd go to deviantart now to check out the new fractals, I'm sure I will be able to guess with quite good accuracy who made which, only by seeing the fractal. People really develop their own style over time, their own style and not that of the program!

But even zooming in the mandelbrot set, nova mandelbrot, burning ship etc. can be done in an artistic way. I'm currently going that route. My first renders were rather meaningless, but look at what stardust4ever has achived:
http://stardust4ever.deviantart.com/art/XX-Reactor-Core-Deep-Zoom-131573460
Now that is unique. You need a lot of experience and creativity to find things like this. Random zooming is cool to start with, but you won't find a lot of interesting shapes that you can find if you think first, do some research, and then zoom. Even zooming in to existing fractals that are completely others' ideas can be done in an intelligent, new, creative way.

Of course it's very good if you think outside only the popular programs and that way come up with totally new ideas that aren't possible in existing software, but eventually I don't think it's anymore artistic or important. (Unless you discover something REALLY amazing of course.)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 02:23:45 PM by Dinkydau » Logged

taurus
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 04:41:44 PM »

I don't like using editors like UltraFractal or Apophysis because I don't feel that the work is truly mine when I'm done with it. Other things being equal, you have to do a lot more of your own work to get a desired result, and you also have more choice in the outcome. Getting a decent result after all that hard work seems more rewarding. (Although, ultimately, I suppose I'll have to design my own set one day.)

for me barely understandable. i use computers and software as tools to achieve my aims (not only with fractals). feeling uncofortable about that, is like a fotographer feeling uncomfortable, about he didn't sand the lenses in his camera on his own.

so what? huh?
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David Makin
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 04:59:56 PM »


I don't like using editors like UltraFractal or Apophysis because I don't feel that the work is truly mine when I'm done with it. Other things being equal, you have to do a lot more of your own work to get a desired result, and you also have more choice in the outcome. Getting a decent result after all that hard work seems more rewarding. (Although, ultimately, I suppose I'll have to design my own set one day.)

I'm sorry but apart from a difference in language used - why would stuff you've produced in say UF (or ChaosPro etc.) using transforms/formulas/colourings that you've written yourself be any different from writing the whole thing yourself from scratch ?
AFAIK the only reason to do so is that if you're good enough then the render times will be faster - but you can program *absolutely anything* within UF or indeed ChaosPro - though not necessarily sticking to the use as intended originally e.g. being able to do deterministic or chaos-game rendering of IFS or flames using the contractive method is possible in UF, just not as easy as using Apo (but potentially far more user-friendly for those who don't know programming e.g. if someone could be bothered converting Apo to class-based formulas rendered in the global section in UF).
I'm still hoping that in v6 of UF Frederik will add array parameters - then Apo will essentially be redundant as user-defining of the transforms is the main stumbling block in UF with respect to IFS type fractals (straight IFS/RIFS/LRIFS or flames and whether contractive or escape-time).

Edit: Of course if you're writing stuff yourself that uses the GPU in some way then UF and ChaosPro are currently not alternatives....
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 05:03:27 PM by David Makin » Logged

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eiffie
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 05:31:12 PM »

A large part of what is "art" is the creative process. If sig feels more creative writing from scratch that is all that is important. As for darkbeam - man you go overboard on nearly every post! Obviously there is merit in going your own way - that is where new ideas come from.
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lxh
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 07:30:09 PM »

... that is where new ideas come from.
That's partly true. But i think it's more effective to take what's there, invert it completely by your own ideas and push it to the next level. This is what's called innovation. And this is what morphed the trolley to a car.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 07:45:22 PM by lxh » Logged

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Sigillum Militum
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 08:49:53 PM »

This is deeply untrue. I see that thousands of people use Apophysis *but* I can recognize in an instant the "good" users; detailed images, balanced colors, and from some times stunning special effects like dyanmic blur etc, that prevoiusly were impossible, but beginners can not simply obtain that.

I wouldn't deny that that you can be creative with those tools. I just feel, personally, like I own the outcomes far less. For me, part of algorithmic art is the creator writing the algorithm.

And you are spending a lot of time to implement "obvious" things programming only on your own

Doesn't take me long in fact.

you will never hear different and new ideas

Sure I will. That's why I'm here.

resulting in always the same stuff; you will tendentially use your formulas in correct, predictable ways

Right now I'm exploring Julia sets drawn from the ducky fractal. The great thing about these is that, unlike traditional Julia sets, they're very distinct from each other.

Granted, I am only doing gradients of two colors right now. I could be doing more post-render stuff in the GIMP, too. But it wouldn't be hard for me to do otherwise and there's some virtue in that kind of simplicity after all.

I'm sorry but apart from a difference in language used

That's the most important part. I don't like domain-specific languages. I don't even like the language that comes with R.

Furthermore, I'd have to pay for UltraFractal and ChaosPro.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 09:04:27 PM by Sigillum Militum » Logged
lxh
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 09:08:22 PM »

For me, part of algorithmic art is the creator writing the algorithm.
Writing the algorithm? What you mean? Inventing or translating to another syntax?
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Sigillum Militum
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 09:49:35 PM »

Writing the algorithm? What you mean? Inventing or translating to another syntax?

It's on a continuum. Creating my own set would be the pinnacle. Tweaking the rendition of an existing set with one's own code isn't far behind though.
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lxh
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 10:21:21 PM »

So, if i got you right you don't like other fractal software but you like the ideas and formulas behind, take what you get to paste it into another syntax just to say "it's mine". Hmm ... i'm off now.
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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 10:41:27 PM »

dudes, programming something by oneself helps to get deep understanding of thing - e.g. i remember how often i switched the julia/mandelbrot seeds to see that by just switching input/seed params a whole new fractal was done, and i couldnt even believe it after examining each line of code, and what was going on - and in fact back in the times when ultrafractal with its decent fractal formula compile came out i was deeply depressed because it was(is) a perfect program for coding and designing fractals, this programs formula database hase accompanied my fractal programmings ever since....

when it comes to implementing a formula it is easy stuff doing it on your own code, when it comes to editing/undo/redo/saving/animation a decent program is more worth than gold ... writing own formulas helps understanding them, and hence the "magic of unknown" is taken out of using other programs, because you understand what is possible and why ... keeping that in mind a beautiful collection of formulas, nicely colored is surely "ones own" art ... with the severe fact that you understood what you did ... wink
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cKleinhuis
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 10:43:05 PM »

both programs uf and cp are free to use, and the only limitation is a trademark in the outputtet final renders, and isnt chaospro free after all
and as far as i know fully compatible to uf....

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