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Author Topic: Fractal Architect 3D - fractals done the Mac way!  (Read 11215 times)
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Sockratease
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2014, 12:39:15 PM »

Gentlemen.

Maybe you have issued a call to arms before you even know what you are warring over?


It seems to me that this debate should not be public. The awareness of public visibility sometimes does strange things to our reason and our common sense. I think it is not too late to take a step back, to take a deep breath, and get a bit of a distance between your anger and your better self.

Punch a bag if that helps. Call up an old friend and vent if that helps. Run five miles if that helps.

Then consider, both of you, if maybe this whole conversation should start over. Perhaps even with two apologies? Certainly with less publicity.

Thank you for stating that more diplomatically than I could ever have done!

I was debating locking or moving this thread to a hidden section as it was obviously deteriorating to bickering.

I shall remind all involved that in advertising law it is perfectly fine to say "I am The Best!" or "This program beats every other program out there!"  but it is considered slander to say my program is better than {name of some competing specific program}.

So if we could please limit these statements to either specific statistic comparisons or just broad general statements, things would be much less heated.

Thanks.  afro
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« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2014, 10:12:57 PM »

I think it is generally accepted that advertising consists of lies and disinformation for the biggest part. Objective comparisons based on exchangeable flame seeds is great, but it does indeed overlook the user experience. Which for many artists is a big thing, if you ask me. Problem with GUI's, layout, styles and artists in general is the subjectivity. This is their main tool, like lies are a big tool of advertisers. For me the phrase "done the Mac way" is a big turnoff. For others it will be the hook.

The Big Battle (that's how wars start out, right?) between FA and Chaotica seems to be:

1. User experience
2. Image quality

The first case just ask for lots of user reviews, with all the bias and subjectivity that comes with it. This will easily turn out to be a mud-throwing contest, but it should not. The second ask for objective comparisons out output, based on equal input. Then close-up and diff's, where the subjectivity creeps in again. That OK, as long as we are aware. Keep the game light, don't start the next techwar.

By the way, I love to judge the pics! Bring them on ...  fiery
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sbrodheadsr
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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2014, 04:14:24 AM »

Viewers, we need to make sure your browser is color managed first before you proceed.
This link: http://photographylife.com/is-your-browser-color-managed will tell you if it is or not.

If its not color managed, this article will tell you which browsers you can use: http://petapixel.com/2012/06/25/is-your-browser-color-managed/
(Might be out-of-date. I read somewhere that last fall, Chrome had finally become color managed.)

Far, the image you posted did not have a color profile to it, so I used the Mac ColorSync Utility to tag one copy of the image as sRGB and one as AdobeRGB.
Here are the two tagged images:

Far's Chaotica Image tagged with sRGB color profile


Far's Chaotica Image tagged with AdobeRGB color profile


Viewers, if these two images look the same your browser is definitely NOT color managed and will not show the correct image colors.

The AdobeRGB color profile has a wider color gamut, so the fractal will show more color saturation.
The actual pixels in the file are not changed (no color matching done). The only difference between the files is the attached color profile.
The browser uses the file's attached color profile to know how to interpret the color values in the image.

Flam4CUDA for Mac (I am its author) and all Fractal Architect versions are color managed and ask for the color profile to attach to the
image files it produces. I personally prefer AdobeRGB over sRGB for the richer colors.

All these images produced by Fractal Architect in this post were rendered on this Mac laptop:
Retina Mid 2012  15" Macbook Pro  (laptop) with a Nvidia GeForce GT 650M and i7 CPU with 8 Gb of memory.
The native display resolution of this particular Mac is 2880 x 1800 pixels (its Apple's 15" Retina display).

Fractal Architect 3d version 3.1.2 was used to produce these images.
The current release available today (January 10, 2014) on the Mac App Store is version 3.1.1.
The next post will have commentary on the changes made for version 3.1.2.

Fractal Architect 3D image rendered with this GPU and color profile sRGB.   Render quality 5000. Super Sampling Width: 0.35 pixels Adaptive Gamma: OFF


Fractal Architect 3D image rendered with this GPU and color profile AdobeRGB.   Render quality 5000. Super Sampling Width: 0.35 pixels Adaptive Gamma: OFF


Fractal Architect 3D image rendered with Intel i7 CPU and color profile sRGB.   Render quality 5000. Super Sampling Width: 0.35 pixels Adaptive Gamma: OFF


Fractal Architect 3D has a new render setting called Adaptive Gamma (discussed in next post).

Fractal Architect 3D image rendered with this GPU and color profile sRGB.   Render quality 5000. Super Sampling Width: 0.35 pixels Adaptive Gamma: ON
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sbrodheadsr
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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2014, 04:56:40 AM »

There are a number of topics I will discuss.

First: apologies for slow image downloads. Dropbox's upload server seems to be down. https://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=110208
The web server I use is a dog compared to Dropbox. I will change the links to Dropbox when its back up.

Second:

I will only mention one thing about the images: The coloration of portions of the central orange orb.

Fractal Architect 3D corrects for clipping of the RGB color channels for each pixel when the Fractal Histogram is converted to an RGB image.
Scott Draves, the inventor of Flame Fractals, wrote this excellent article on the effect of clipped RGB colors: https://code.google.com/p/flam3/wiki/HighlightPower


I suspect that the Chaotica renderer used a small Highlight Power setting for this fractal rendering. (This is a hunch, but let me show you why.)

Fractal Architect has a built in Histogram viewer that shows the state of the histogram and contains a lot of useful image. It gives the overall Histogram statistics and allows you to inspect each pixel in the histogram (the red X). It also shows the place in the histogram with the most hits (the blue X).

Its a monochromatic image with black pixels having zero hits and white having the highest hits.



Note the biggest color discrepancy between Chaotica and FA in the color orb is at points in the histogram having very high number of hits.
For example, the pixel at the red X had 202,880 hits compared to the mean hits per pixel of 3025 hits per pixel.

More to follow...
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sbrodheadsr
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« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2014, 05:17:40 AM »

Adaptive Gamma

If you study the mathematic logic used by all flame fractals renderers today, there are in fact two erroneous assumptions in the math formula
used to convert a specific pixel's histogram value to the final pixel's RGBA color value.

Those incorrect assumptions are:

1)  100% of the points in the renderer point pool are retained by the fractal and hit the histogram.
2)  Every point in the point pool is 100% fused.

For example, for the competition fractal the retained fraction is only 30% - not 100%. (See Histogram stats shown in histogram view)
That means that the calculated gamma value used to convert the histogram to the RGBA color value is incorrect.

The main effect of this error on the image is that the output image will be dimmer than it should be and color saturation be lower.
You can manually compensate for this error by just tweaking the Gamma value of course.

Fractal Architect 3D has a new optional Adaptive Gamma on/off setting. If turned on, FA will correct the gamma value for the retained point fraction and fused
fraction. The last image in the images post above was produced with Adaptive Gamma turned on.
Note the improved tonal range, brightness, and color saturation.

Of course, you could fiddle with the Gamma setting too to achieve the same affect. Adaptive Gamma just gets you a lot closer to the ideal image without you having to play with the Gamma value.


Anti-Aliasing

Fractal Architect (all versions), Flam4CUDA for both Mac and PC uses a Gaussian Dither algorithm to achieve anti-aliasing.
Its only setting is called Super Sample Width whose units are in pixels. A good default value is 0.35 pixel.

That was the setting used in the FA images shown above.

Fractal Architect does not support Flam3 Super Sampling where you render the image to twice the size of the desired image size and have the renderer produce an image that is 1/2 the internal rendered size.

You can still do this manually in Fractal Architect by rendering to twice the desired size and by using a Photo or Image editor to reduce the final image to the desired size.



Open Source Fractal Architect OpenCL Rendering Engine

The Fractal Architect 3D OpenCL rendering engine kernels are Open Source and are licensed under GPLv3 just like Apophysis.
The kernel templates and the entire variation library source code is included in the Application bundle downloaded from the Mac App Store.
The actual OpenCL kernel source code used to build each variation set are found in the app's Application Support directory.

Being open source, it can be used by any open source flame fractal project as an alternate renderer. (Though it may take a bit of work to do.)
Other open source projects can embed the source code into their own projects and customize it as they wish.
My only request is that they call this alternate renderer the Fractal Architect Rendering Engine in their documentation and About window.
This is just a personal request - its not mandatory.

Being licensed under GPLv3, the license is Irrevocable which means I can't change my mind in the future. It is yours forever.

Later this year, I plan to create an Open Source project for a demonstration basic reference renderer that will run on
Windows, Mac, and Linux. It will be able to read Apophysis, Flam3, JWildfire, and Chaotica fractal files. It will render images to any size.
Since it will be based on the Fractal Architect OpenCL Rendering Engine, it will run on any OpenCL compliant GPU and CPU.
It will be the exact same rendering engine that the Fractal Architect 3D app uses.

Being a small working renderer, I hope the simple reference implementation will encourage other open source projects to adopt the rendering engine.

Andreas, you have created some exciting new ways to combine and layer fractals in JWildfire. I would like to work with you, if you wish, to get the FA alternate renderer fully capable of supporting your new innovations. I would love to see JWildfire crank out fractals on good hardware.

Viewers please look at the awesome images Andreas' innovations make possible: https://plus.google.com/communities/118391398023168606746


Fractal Architect 3D version 3.1.1

This render competition turned out to be a great assist to the FA rendering engine by exposing previously unknown render bugs.

We found 2 serious rendering issues in version 3.1.0, which is the must recent update on the Mac App Store:

1) There was a rendering artifact surrounding the central orange orb when rendering on the Nvidia GT 650M GPU.
    My son correctly diagnosed the problem as a Full Warp vs Half Warp granularity issue that allowed a race condition in the point pool.
    Fixed!! Thank you Steven.

2) The CPU renderer did not show the rendering artifact. Instead, the problem for CPU rendering only occurred when
 a fractal had both a Final Xform and one or more transparent  normal Xforms,  the transparent Xforms would be visible in the rendered image.
 (The GPU render did not have this problem.)
   Fixed!

The effect of these renderer changes on the ATI GPU families and Intel HD Iris GPUs has not been tested yet.
I will get this tested and released later this week. Of course, Apple has to take its testing & review whack at the app too before you can get
it from the Mac App Store. So in 10 days or so, you will have the renderer fixes in the upcoming update.



.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 02:05:08 AM by sbrodheadsr » Logged
sbrodheadsr
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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2014, 08:30:58 AM »

Pencil Thin Lines Anti-Aliased

To achieve thin - thin lines that are anti-aliased, its easy.
Render to 1600 x 1600. Reduce the image size to 800 x 800. Here I used Acorn with Lanczos scaling. No other changes made with Acorn.

Fractal Architect 3D image rendered with GPU and color profile AdobeRGB.  Render quality 5000.
2x Supersampling     Super Sampling Width: 0.35 pixels Adaptive Gamma: ON
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sbrodheadsr
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« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2014, 08:45:38 AM »

Find the Tiles Contest

When rendering on an old 2009 GPU with 256 Mb of GPU memory, you might find that you only have 60 Mb of video ram available.
(The 2012 Macbook Pro I have been using has 1024 Mb of GPU memory by the way.)

Time to tile !!

OK some people say tiles are bad and make for poor images.
I intend to disprove that and you will help me.

This 1600x1600 image has more than 1 tile.

Send an email to me by going to http://fractalarchitect.net and click on the Contact Me link at the bottom of the page.
In the email tell me how many render tiles were used to create this image.

The first 15 people that can tell me the correct number of tiles in this image will get a Mac App Store Promo code that will let you download
Fractal Architect 3D for free!

The contest closes on January 21, 2014 or after 15 people tell me the correct number of tiles - which ever occurs first.
The correct number of tiles and a histogram showing the number of entries for each tile count will be posted afterward.

Have fun!

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Syntopia
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« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2014, 01:42:35 PM »

The AdobeRGB color profile has a wider color gamut, so the fractal will show more color saturation.

In your example you attached an Adobe RGB profile to an existing image without any profile (thus assumed to be sRGB in browsers). This will make the image look different, but on most platforms it will just increase the contrast and clip the color values when converting to sRGB. A typical monitor is pretty close to the sRGB gamut.

Instead, test if you can see any difference between this sRGB PNG (made from a screenshot):
http://blog.hvidtfeldts.net/media/sRGB-gimp-with-profile.png

And your Adobe RGB tagged image:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7233470/comparisonrender_AdobeRGBtagged.png

The situation may be different for prints on wider gamut monitors and printers, but even there is some discussion whether it is worth it: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/adobe-rgb.htm
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thargor6
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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2014, 01:57:25 PM »

Andreas, you have created some exciting new ways to combine and layer fractals in JWildfire. I would like to work with you, if you wish, to get the FA alternate renderer fully capable of supporting your new innovations. I would love to see JWildfire crank out fractals on good hardware.
Hi, I'm responding here, because I don't know what messaging-platform you use otherwise (and your site currently seems to be down), feel free to contact me per personal message or e-mail to discuss this further.

Regarding the discussion: very interesting, but I think too many topics inside of one thread. I would suggest to create a new category "Fractal Architect" and create one thread per topic.

Best regards,
Andreas
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Sockratease
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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2014, 03:06:48 PM »

Find the Tiles Contest

When rendering on an old 2009 GPU with 256 Mb of GPU memory, you might find that you only have 60 Mb of video ram available.
(The 2012 Macbook Pro I have been using has 1024 Mb of GPU memory by the way.)

Time to tile !!

OK some people say tiles are bad and make for poor images.
I intend to disprove that and you will help me.

This 1600x1600 image has more than 1 tile.

Send an email to me ...
In the email tell me how many render tiles were used to create this image.

The first 15 people that can tell me the correct number of tiles in this image will get a Mac App Store Promo code that will let you download
Fractal Architect 3D for free!

The contest closes on January 21, 2014 or after 15 people tell me the correct number of tiles - which ever occurs first.
The correct number of tiles and a histogram showing the number of entries for each tile count will be posted afterward.

Have fun!

Hi. 

Many people dislike and distrust posts in a forum requesting people send an email.  It's a common tactic of spammers and other shady characters to harvest email addresses.

I suggest everybody just post their replies here rather than use an email.

And to prove I practice what I preach, my guess is - 206!

No ...  wait.

That's my age.

I'd guess 4 tiles, as the image is not big enough to justify any more.

Will this software run on OSX 10.5?

I refuse to upgrade past that as most of my favorite programs don't work on 10.6 or higher.

It doesn't really matter as my macbook is down anyhow and I'm too broke to get it fixed, but if I ever do get the money, I'll fix the one I have before getting a new one  afro

Hi, I'm responding here, because I don't know what messaging-platform you use otherwise (and your site currently seems to be down), feel free to contact me per personal message or e-mail to discuss this further.

Regarding the discussion: very interesting, but I think too many topics inside of one thread. I would suggest to create a new category "Fractal Architect" and create one thread per topic.

Best regards,
Andreas

The site being down is another great reason to just post here!

I noticed a lot of crowding of the recent posts page from this thread too - I think I may merge a bunch of double and triple posts by the same person consecutively.  Does anybody else think this program deserves it's own sub-forum?  It may not have the staying power to justify that, but it is generating a lot of discussion!
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Lelle
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« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2014, 03:07:24 PM »

I'm trying to post some images, but I can't fit them within the allowed attachment size. I've rendered them to png. What do you prefer, change to a compressed format or lowering the size? Or maybe better to put them on another site and just link to them?
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Sockratease
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« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2014, 03:12:18 PM »

I'm trying to post some images, but I can't fit them within the allowed attachment size. I've rendered them to png. What do you prefer, change to a compressed format or lowering the size? Or maybe better to put them on another site and just link to them?

Put them on another site and just link to them.  Or embed them with the [img] tag.

Many people don't click outside links to see the images, but embedding works fine.

Attachments are not intended for images except for illustrating minor points.  They are mostly for parameter files and other non image content.
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« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2014, 03:40:50 PM »

256 tiles  grin (I don't have a Mac so feel free to give my prize to whoever wants it  wink)
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mfeemster
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« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2014, 08:57:26 PM »

Hi Steven, thanks for those lengthy writeups, very informative.

I have a quick question. I don't have a mac, so I've been playing with flam4cuda on Windows, gotten from here:

http://sourceforge.net/p/flam4/code/HEAD/tree/

I wanted to know if that code is the most up to date, and if it's what's used in FA? It renders images to file, but always seems to crash. Either way, I've been examining the code and would be interested in contacting you further on it. What is the best place to reach you for that? Thanks.

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tatasz
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« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2014, 10:03:49 PM »

as a quick oppinion, the rendered image seems very blurry, which isn't good since one would want the lines to be sharp and contrasting with the blurry blobs. Wonder if you could render it with sharper AA.
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