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Author Topic: New big version - Fractal Architect 4  (Read 973 times)
Description: We proudly present the new version!
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« on: May 15, 2015, 10:09:13 AM »

Hi all!

I'm very glad to be able to present to you the new version of Fractal Architect. This is a huge update! It's been very long in the making, but finally we can present it. There are several new features and a lot of improvements. Let's go through the most important ones.

Multi-track Animation Sequencer

This is the big one. In the Sequencer you can have several tracks of animations. You have one track of keyframes and can add several tracks of extra animations for changing the animations of the keyframes. The big use of this is that you can sync everything to an audio track. You enter the bpm of the audio track (either directly or with tap tempo) and set up bar lines. You can then sync the animation tracks by lining them up with the bar lines, and mark the tempo changes and beats in the audio track. And you can animate every parameter of the fractal. That gives you a huge palette of possible animation effects!

New Transform architecture

Now you don't need post- and pre-transforms but can use any transform as a post or pre. It works by chained transform groups. You start out with a normal group and can add as many post and pre groups as you like. The order of the groups are calculated in serial, and within the groups the variations are calculated in parallel. The system is very powerful and easy to use and the effect is almost as big as final transforms. The final transforms can have pre and post groups too. Another advantage of the new architecture is that you can have several instances of the same variation in the same group. You can have a julia and then add a second julia to the same group to further enhance the effect.

Lua Scripts

You can make scripted random fractals to get a good starting point of your explorations. Scripts are included from various sources, like Wildfire and Apophysis and my personal favourite, the old Mac app Oxidizer (simil3 and simil4). You can also use tweak scripts for adding different colors or pre/post variations to the mix. The tweak scripts can be used from several places in the app, including the random fractal settings and the Variants Editor.

You can also write your own scripts, or edit a copy of an existing one, with the built in lua script editor. It's easy to write a script that adds a certain variation as pre or post for instance. There is a syntax checker in the script editor.

Cross Breeder patterns

In the Cross Breeder you can now use patterns. In a normal cross breed, transform no. 1 in the first keyframe changes into transform no 1 in the second keyframe. With patterns you can set up, either by hand or random, that transform no 1 changes into transform no 3, and no 2 changes into no 1 or whatever. With a fractal with 4 transforms that gives you 24 possible cross-breed combinations, and with 9 transform you get 362 880 possible cross-breed combinations. That's from just two fractals!

Custom variations

You can now write your own variations or edit existing one, and save them in My Library. There is a built in editor for editing the variations. Now you can make truly unique fractal art! If you don't know one piece of code from another, just change all the numbers and get usable results in a few tries. If you know your code, hey, the sky is the limit! Both lua scripts and custom variation can soon be shared via Github.

True 3D camera

The camera can now move freely in 3D space. You can set a look-at-point. Supports 3D fly-throughs and orbital camera. Camera position and look-at-point can be animated with spline curves.

Add keyframe button

This is not a feature that is announce very big by Steven Brohead, but to me it's a very important button. It lets you save the fractal being edited as a new keyframe from many places in the app. It's very good when doing stills, as you never have to miss a good version of the fractal you're working on. Find something interesting on your way to something else? Save it as a new keyframe and don't miss anything. When doing animations you can very easy set up interesting changes and add them as new keyframes from within the Triangle Editor.

Base version is free

Free to download and try on the Mac App Store. Bigger render resolution, more advanced animations and GPU rendering is available as in-app purchases. If you're unsure if your system can handle GPU rendering, there is a try-out render with 16 different fractals to check it with. You don't pay for something you can't use.

That's some of the news in the new Fractal Architect 4. Example images, screen shots and video tutorials will follow.

All the best
Lennart Ístman
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