I thought I'd write up a journal piece listing all the resources and things that I have put together, plus some mentions of some free utilities that I use with my fractal stuff. A lot of this stuff has trickled out before some of you have started watching me, so it is nice to recap it. I had mentioned it someplace and someone encouraged me to do so, so here it is. Be careful what you ask for! LOL Anyway, here are applications that I use in conjunction with Apophysis and ~Apophysis-J
If you haven't seen it, I have a ton of scripts available at [link]
I have a tutorial on how to write a script available at [link]
as well as a script which I posted (but was written by someone else) which totally automates converting a flame parameter set into a script. It can be obtained at [link]
I have over 5,000 fractals available as wallpaper on my Picasa web gallery at [link]
(This is in addition to an additional 2,500 or so that I didn't consider worth rendering full size and only have as thumbnails on my hard drive).
If you want the parameters for any of these images to play with and modify yourself, my other gallery at [link]
has all the parameters embedded into the comments of the full size images. You need a login to get to those full-size 1280x800 images, but you have only to ask...
I also host My-Fractals.com, where I do things like host some scripts (need to update that) and a page of Apophysis tips ([link]
you would like free Gmail type service (it is hosted by Google) with a free My-Fractals.com email address, those are free as well. Even if you don't want "yet another email account", it can be set up to automatically forward to your main address. You could use one to archive all the history of the Apophysis mailing list, for example, while forwarding that email on to your regular email address. Visit [link]
for all the details.
And, if you want a subdomain to point to another place, I can set those up as well. For example, apoj.my-fractalsDOTcom is much easier to remember than membres.lycosDOTfrjfbouzereauapophysis.html and I use the former to reach the later.
I also have my unassisted batch render program. It is available at [link]
and is fully documented there. I use it to have another system render for me during set hours and email the images and email me the results as they finish. This is great to run on a work computer, for example, that has a ton of horsepower that is unused overnight and on the weekends. With all the options readily set in the INI file, you can use it to not render and only email, not render *or* email but embed parameters in the comments, or other things.
The program I wrote to embed parameters into images is available at [link]
. It requires ImageMagic to be installed. More on that later. It looks through the current folder and every flame file that it find with an associated JPG, it embeds the parameters into the comments of the image. If you want to use this with PNG files, you will have to use the BatchRender program or wait a bit until I release the next version of this utility. There is a new one coming, but more on that later as well.
The first little utility I wrote is a program that adds additional hotkeys to Apo. When this little utility is running in your system tray, it adds the following:
right arrow = render
left arrow = save in flame pack to render later
end = run script
By using these and the up and down arrows, I can quickly navigate through a large flame pack. The utility can be downloaded at [link]
That is all I have to offer.
I do recommend some other free utilities though.
Autohotkey is the program I use to script all my automation utilities. It is a free download at [link]
My BatchRender program requires FLAM3 and BLAT, both are free. FLAM3 is available at [link]
and Blat, the command-line email program, is available at [link]
The download for ImageMagick is at [link]
and is required for my utilities that embed parameters. Commands of particular note in that free download are Mogrify, which does the embedding, and Identify, which can be used to see in your parameters are indeed in an image.
In order to extract comments from an image into flame file, the best free tool that I have found is Jhead, which can be downloaded at [link]
Combine.exe is a Godsend. It is a free utility available at [link]
and can combine all your scattered flame files into a single flame pack so that batch scripts can be run against them.
Thumbnailbar is a nice (and free) little utility that will create a large collage of your images and incorporate that into a web page. Clicking on a thumbnail in the web page will load the full size image. In webmaster lingo, it is an image map created for you. I've used this utility for years, but can no longer find it on the web. If you want the program, I've mirrored it at [link]
And, speaking of collages, all the collages that I do for my scripts are done with the same program that I use to upload to my primary gallery, Picasa. Picasa is a free download from Google at [link]
and is a great tool for typical photo and image editing. It isn't as advanced as Gimp, Irfanview, or Photoshop, but it is easy to use and fits my budget.
Irfanview and Gimp can be downloaded freely at [link]
The free (seeing the trend here yet?) photo gallery software that I use for my new photo album is available at [link]
Finally, I wanted to mention what is next on my agenda. I am working on adding code to BatchRender and to ImbedParams to also load in additional comments into the image. What I discovered is that if you have stuff in your flame inside comment tags, Apophysis will ignore it. I want to do something like include contact info and creative commons license info in a text file. The program will include that at the top of the comments in the image prior to showing the parameters themselves. I have requested that Apo-J display any such comments if they are found in a flame at the time the parameters are loaded. Not sure if that will occur, but one more way to identify an image or parameter as your own can't be a bad thing.
I am also going to be creating a utility for Windows (again using AutoHotkey) that will check for available memory and launch ~Apophysis-J
with the proper command line arguments to use whatever memory is available instead of the low default memory usage that it normally uses. This will allow for larger renders without having to edit a BAT file and change the memory depending on what all else is going on whenever you decide to launch Apo-J.
Well, that's about it. Hopefully there is something on this list that will benefit you and take some of the work out of your art work. If you have any questions about any of these things, let me know. I have a huge collection of other free utilities that I use for non-fractal related stuff as well. If there is interest in it, I'll share those as a separate journal article.