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Author Topic: Animation Software Used with Fractals  (Read 9186 times)
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Nahee_Enterprises
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« on: October 16, 2006, 09:02:26 PM »

Animating fractal images has been around for a very long time.  In fact, I have some old GIFs that are over 20 years old now.  And the video "Fractals: The Colors of Infinity" came out back in 1997.

My main interest is in the following areas:

  • What software people are using now for their own fractal animations??
          *  Fractal generator/s??
          *  Animation tool/s (used to combine all the images)??
          *  Etc...
  • What file formats does each of you prefer when outputting an animation??
  • What codecs are the best, and/or the most popular??
  • What file sizes do you try to keep to, such as a maximum??

I have been compiling a list of these basic answers from other sources and would appreciate any feedback from those Members in this Forum.
 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 01:18:48 PM by Nahee_Enterprises » Logged

heneganj
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 10:17:45 PM »

My interest is predominantly rendering fractal animations to DVD.

I have used Fractal Extreme the most as it renders zooms in a very unique way.  Apart from that I have used Chaospro a little and Ultrafractal too.

I always render to AVI as hard disk space is cheap.  I nearly always use the HUFFYUV codec but there's another codec called Lagarith (4CC is LAGS) which I also tend to use.

I tend to do any processing on AVIs with VirtualDub. Particularly recompressing - it's good at that.
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Zoom
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 05:03:45 AM »

What software people are using now for their own animations when using fractals??
I use Ultra Fractal 4 Animation.

What file formats does each of you prefer when outputting an animation??
AVI. That's the best format a DVD burner program of mine uses. I keep the quality up to maximum though so it doesn't lose too much. Sadly, YouTube converts my 640x480 AVI to a 320x240 FLV, with mediocre image quality.

What codecs are the best, and/or the most popular??
The best ones (and the most common!) are DivX and XviD. I use XviD exclusively because of DivX not working for me 100%.
However, I find that so many different codecs are needed out there to play movies, that I have to get FFDShow or the K-Lite Codec Pack which should help prepare us in case we suddenly need an exotic codec. But I wouldn't use them to encode anything.

What file sizes do you try to keep to, such as a maximum??
YouTube forces my animations to be under 10 minutes and under 100MB at present. However I would likely violate these boundaries with non-YouTube videos. For most of my zooming animations I've generally stuck to 1 minute.
As a sort of limit, I cannot make an animation render that is larger than my current HD free space (for calculating purposes), and it's usually under 10GB these days.
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alan2here
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 01:14:16 PM »

Ultrafractal for Animation
I don't like codecs/filetypes that make it look fuzzy, like jpeg does
I would prefer to downlaod a large highly detailed file than small fuzzy and low resolution one
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lycium
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2006, 04:10:05 PM »

Quote from: Nahee_Enterprises
What software people are using now for their own fractal animations??

my own ;) i either export a bunch of numbered bmp files for use with virtualdub (preferred, since i can then resize and make smaller versions with xvid instead of huffyuv) or use the win32 avi writing interface directly.

Quote from: Nahee_Enterprises
Animation tool/s (used to combine all the images)??

exclusively virtualdub.

Quote from: Nahee_Enterprises
What file formats does each of you prefer when outputting an animation??

huffyuv for my own archives, xvid for putting stuff on teh internets.

currently i'm investigating hd formats (specifically wmv hd and x.264) for a big a/v project...

Quote from: Nahee_Enterprises
What file sizes do you try to keep to, such as a maximum??

must fit on a dvd.
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bradorpoints
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006, 10:09:33 PM »


         
Quote
*  Fractal generator/s??
Ultra Fractal 4, Chaos Pro (steepest learning curve), and Fractal Explorer.
         
Quote
*  Animation tool/s (used to combine all the images)??
Nothing too fancy - just Virtual Dub to compile the frames into AVIs.  If it's for commercial work - Adobe Premiere (which is loaded with features, but sucks the life out of my PC and is relatively, and understandably, slow).  With Ultra Fractal 4 - I render the AVI directly to the HD, for the shorter animations.  For longer animations I render as frames in case the machine crashes or get interrupted for some reason.  Batch render, in other words.  For non-commercial batch work - the best is IrfanView.  Scaling, renaming, basic processing - it's slim and fast.
         
Quote
  • What file formats does each of you prefer when outputting an animation??
AVI for non-video work.  "professional" animations are usually rendered at 2x video res as a sequence of BMP or PNGs (any file format that does not compress the image - just the file).  For BMPs - I'll turn on NT file compression to that folder (It doesn't slow down noticeably).  Before I create the animation file, I batch rescale the images to 720x480 and then compress to AVI.  This minimized the "dancing ants" effect.
Quote
  • What codecs are the best, and/or the most popular??
I use Microsoft's MPEG4 (part of the WMV universe) codec most often - that and XviD.  Quicktime looks the best - but the file sizes are insane.  (I don't mess much with the advanced options of the codec - I'm sure there a threshold in there somewhere that would make our lives one non-stop party) I don't know if they are the best - any compression really shows.  Fractal animation is one of the hardest to compress due to its abstract nature - any slow-down or change in quality is noticable.  My theory on this is because your (at least mine!) mind can't fill in the blanks.  Look at the old 80's animation - you'd be lucky to get more than 8 frames a second - but because the motions are depictions of real-life activity, you auto-tween the motion.  And, the sound effects help in such animation - with a sound effect, a two frame motion gets by.  Not with fractals.  Same thing applies to abtract CGI work.  In the next couple of years, these issues will slowly evaporate thanks to HD (whatever that's supposed to mean).
Quote
  • What file sizes do you try to keep to, such as a maximum??
I don't factor this - as long as it doesn't fill up the hard drive!  Archives go to DVD-R and tape - or compressed to a QVGA AVI.  Zoom mentioned youtube's limit of 100 clams - I wasn't aware of this, but in the event I want to post a +100 big ones - these's video.goole.com.  I don't know what their limit is, but it's more than 100 smackers.
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JackOfTraDeZ
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2006, 05:57:34 AM »

I wrote my own utilities in VisualBASIC; they generate the script files and algorithms which then run FRACTINT in batch mode to generate the animation sequences as a collection of GIF files. Fractint itself only renders static images and can not directly do animations like UF or FE. ALL the animations on my site were (are) made with these.

I had them posted on my site for a while but pulled them because people had trouble figuring out how to use them and then blamed me! Updated mandelbrot zoom programs are currently on my site, the (old, original) versions of the complete animation utility suite are still floating around the web. Google for "fractint animation suite".

The GIFS are then compiled to AVI (cinepac codec, which works fine) using a progam called VideoMach; it is excellent, get it at gromada.com.

For upload, the free microsoft media encoder is used to create the WMV format files, which is an MPEG4. Very good reduction of file size, but some hit in resolution.



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Nahee_Enterprises
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2006, 07:44:18 AM »

    I wrote my own utilities in VisualBASIC; they generate the script files and algorithms which then run FRACTINT in
     batch mode to generate the animation sequences as a collection of GIF files.   Fractint itself only renders static images
     and can not directly do animations like UF or FE.   ALL the animations on my site were (are) made with these.

     I had them posted on my site for a while but pulled them because people had trouble figuring out how to use
     them and then blamed me!   Updated mandelbrot zoom programs are currently on my site, the (old, original)
     versions of the complete animation utility suite are still floating around the web.   Google for "fractint animation suite".

     The GIFS are then compiled to AVI (cinepac codec, which works fine) using a progam called VideoMach;
     it is excellent, get it at gromada.com.

     For upload, the free microsoft media encoder is used to create the WMV format files, which is an MPEG4.
     Very good reduction of file size, but some hit in resolution.

Would that be version 2.0 by CyberDyne Systems Inc. ??
 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 01:24:46 PM by Nahee_Enterprises » Logged

JackOfTraDeZ
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 05:23:47 AM »

yes
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VanlindtMarc
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 01:13:52 PM »

Quote
  • What software people are using now for their own fractal animations??
          *  Fractal generator/s??
          *  Animation tool/s (used to combine all the images)??
          *  Etc...
  • What file formats does each of you prefer when outputting an animation??

to made fractals :
    jwildfire
    Mandelbulb3D
    Mandelbulber (normal & opencl)
    Structure Synth


to made videos :
    AviDeMux
    PiTivi
    OpenShot
Quote
  • What codecs are the best, and/or the most popular??
h264?

Quote
  • What file sizes do you try to keep to, such as a maximum??

No, i dont care
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Dinkydau
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 05:58:28 PM »

For fractals I use:
Apophysis to design fractals and create sequences, flam3 external renderer to interpolate parameters and render the frames, but flam3 was not being updated so after some time the possibilities in apophysis were way ahead of what flam3 could render and I stopped using this. It's still a good program.
Apophysis with the apophymator script to do in apophysis what flam3 used to do, and such avoiding the need of updates for new plugins to be used (various exceptions exist, though).
Fractal extreme for the mandelbrot set which I'm using right now



File formats:
Flam3 and the apophymator script render frames as bmp, png or jpeg files. Png or bmp is to be used because jpeg has quality loss. You don't want quality loss before the final encode. The result of re-encoding material with quality loss is that each time it happens, some more quality gets lost again and again and again. You probably don't want to use bmp either because png has very good lossless compression and supports transparency, while bmp has no compression and no transparency.

Fractal extreme doesn't output frames. It does render frames, but it comes with a standalone program to create videos from the fractal extreme movie files which contain the frames. Fractal extreme movie player can create smooth movies at variable speed, which is better than changing the speed in a video editing program. The reason is that if you use a framerate of 60 and slow down the video, the actual framerate will (for example) be 41 which is not what you want. Plus, 60 is not a multiple of 41, so the video will not play smooth anymore. You can output avi videos with any codec you install. Since you will probably want to add music, text, effects etc. later the above information about quality loss applies. It's best to use a lossless codec.



Video software:
When I'm done with lossless frames or videos and ready to make a final video, I use after effects. This program is way overkill with how many options it has, but at least it can do everything that I would ever want and the final result is high quality videos. That's a personal preference.



Codecs and file size:
I prefer the h.264 codec. At first when I started to make videos the amount of information was very overwhelming. There were insanely many codecs and file formats, frame rates, resolutions etc. Especially the codec part was confusing to me. I simply tried every codec and the options that I had installed and were available in after effects and by now I have concluded that the h.264 codec is the best codec for very high quality videos, which means: good colors, high bitrate, high framerate, sharp details etc. There may be better codecs for low quality videos, but I have never investigated that.

When it comes to file size, I have no limits. I want videos to look very good even if that means they take up a lot of space. I have been using bitrates from 50 to 70 Mb/s. Higher bitrate is always better, but I think that from there on, quality improvements are hardly noticeable. To reduce the file size a little, it's never a bad idea to use 2-pass encoding.



Some tips:
If you want to publish videos on youtube, use a framerate which is a multiple of 30 because youtube will convert your video to 30 fps if needed. Also, youtube uses mp4 and h.264, so it's most efficient to use that for what you upload as well. Other video sites may have different specifications.
Use a high framerate such as 60 if your video contains elements which move fast. It makes a huge difference.
Don't use windows movie maker.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 06:02:56 PM by Dinkydau » Logged

Kalles Fraktaler
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 06:18:34 PM »

I create frames in jpeg, create avi with api and import them to moviemaker and create wmv that I upload to youtube...
3 errors of 3 possible embarrass
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Dinkydau
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 08:20:18 PM »

Lol, but you did solve the framerate "error" some time ago, so that would make it 3 out of 4.
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eiffie
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 11:32:55 PM »

I write to multiple uncompressed AVI files - but then use moviemaker and upload to youtube for 2 of 3. It looks just as bad in the end.
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Dinkydau
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 01:47:45 AM »

That's why I have mostly provided a link to the original file with my videos on youtube. Whenever anyone else does that, I do download the original files.
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