- 1 Q0001: JWildfire freezes my system. What can I do?
- 2 Q0902: What are params?
- 3 Q0903: What are scripts and how are they used?
- 4 Q0004: Isn't a Java program slow?
- 5 Q0005: What are HDR files and how are they used?
- 6 Q0006: How to change render size?
- 7 Q0007: How can we add plugins? I'd like to use the "snowflake" plugin but i'm not sure how they work with JWildfire.
- 8 Q0008: What is the Interactive Renderer for?
- 9 Q0009: There doesn't seem to be a button to change the output or even the quality in the movie maker tab. What am I missing?
- 10 Q0010: How do I render a transparent background where the black background usually shows?
- 11 Q0011: I downloaded a font to my computer and it isn't showing up in JWildfire. What do I need to do?
- 12 Q0012: Mac OS X issue: I had quite issues to run JWF for the first time on Mac OS X.=
- 13 Q0013: Windows issue: windows error message "could not locate Javaw..."
Q0001: JWildfire freezes my system. What can I do?
JWildfire never freezes your system by itself. Being a Java application it uses a fixed pool of memory. This pool of memory is managed by a so-called "garbage collector". If your memory pool is very large or your pool is used to the limit (if you are low on memory) your system my become frozen from time to time if the garbage collector is working. The following can help to reduce those freezes: (1) decrease the process priority of JWildfire in the task manager (reduces system freeze, but not JWildfire user interface freeze), (2) increase your memory (hardware or virtual memory if hardware is not possible), (3) increase the heap size in the startup options, or (4) use the interactive renderer (which does not use oversample and uses less memory than the normal renderer).
Q0902: What are params?
"Params" are definitions of fractal flames you can exchange with other people or save to disk. These are XML files you can post as text. You can recognize them by starting with either "<flame ...>" or "<flames>..." The most simple approach to load params into JWildfire is to copy them into clipboard and then using the "From clipboard" button in JWildfire.
Q0903: What are scripts and how are they used?
Scripts are just small programs which help you to automate things you could also do manually. The most popular scripts for JWildfire (or Apophysis) create or modify fractal flames. You may ask "Why not just load a flame file?". You are right, but scripts can include random numbers (i.e. they can be used to create random computed results). In most cases the random values used are in a certain range and not totally random. But the script will still create an infinite number of results! JWildfire scripts are written in Java, where JWildfire exposes all properties of a fractal flame to be used in scripts. This way you can even create random flame generators on your own. Just have a look at the various examples supplied at the "Script" tab.
Q0004: Isn't a Java program slow?
No, it isn't. Compared to a native app like Apophysis it is a little bit slower because a native app can use all stuff like graphics display or mathematical functions in a more direct or "shorter" way. Regarding only the "hard facts" the current release behaves stunningly, you can render images at really high resolutions in an adequate amount of time. If you are interested in technical performance measurements: I have done some test renders in JWildfire and Apophysis and compared the results: www.andreas-maschke.com/?page_id=1345 But what always was very important for me was the overall performance rather than the technical render performance. I designed the interface to be as user-friendly as possible and the app as stable as possible, thus allowing the user to focus on creating his/her art.
Q0005: What are HDR files and how are they used?
HDR stands for "high dynamic range" and is a term for images with a huge amount of different shades of different colors. So many colors that no device can display them. Imagine a scene in a forest where sunbeams break through the tree crowns. There you have both many different shades of darker colors (tree trunks, ground, flowers, etc.) and many different shades of bright colors (sun beam, tree crowns). The HDR images generated by JWildfire have a precision of 32 bits per color channels and represent the raw iteration data. (So one could say that they are the real raw fractals.) To make a HDR image visible on a computer screen you must reduce its color range. This process is called tonemapping. Tonemapping in detail is a whole field of science and is beyond the scope of this FAQ. But there are many programs which can do it, e.g. LuminanceHDR, Photomatix or Photoshop, where LuminanceHDR is free software.
Q0006: How to change render size?
Render sizes are defined in so-called "resolution profiles". There are some predefined resolution profiles but you can define any number of your own profiles. Those resolution profiles can then be used in all parts of the program where you choose a render size (Flame editor, Interactive renderer, Movie maker and Batch renderer). The resolution profiles are defined and modified on the main tab using the detail button to the right of the resolution combo box in the right upper edge of the window.
Q0007: How can we add plugins? I'd like to use the "snowflake" plugin but i'm not sure how they work with JWildfire.
The Apophysis-plugins are compiled 32Bit-Windows-binaries and do not work directly in JWildfire. They must be rewritten in Java so that they can be used in JWildfire. This is usually very easy if the original source code (which is usually included) is available. Please note that it is not sufficient to know the mathematical formula or concept behind a variation to make it work 1:1 in JWildfire. The "snowflake" plugin is a good example, there is no way to build it from scratch because the term "snowflake" does not describe all of the necessary details.
Q0008: What is the Interactive Renderer for?
The interactive renderer serves two purposes:
- Explore random fractals in a really funny way. You can now follow the rendering of a fractal. If you have seen enough just press the NEXT button to get a new randomly generated flame. If you like it you can save it or copy it to the clipboard to tweak it in the main editor. Of course, you can load or paste any (non random) fractal into the interactive renderer.
- WYSIWYG: Render an image until you are satisfied. Here is no oversampling applied. You can save the image all the time while it is still rendering. This enables you to have a closer look at it to see if it is really finished, e.g. in a image processing software.
Beware, the interactive renderer never stops automatically and will render until hell freezes :-) You must always stop it manually or finish the program.
To make the movie-generating-process more robust it is strictly divided into three steps:
- Generate the fractal params for each frame (using the Easy Movie Maker or Dancing Flames Movies -module). Each fractal parameter is stored as a separate file.
- Render the images by using the Batch renderer (using any resolution or quality settings you want). You can cancel the rendering process at any time and continue it later. I. e., the renderer creates only images which are not in place yet. I.e. to re-render all images you must delete them.
- Use the generated frames (and maybe a cool sound) to generate a movie you may upload to Youtube etc. Currently, the movie-encoding is not supported by JWildfire directly, because it is a rather complex task and I have not found any satisfying (free) components which I could include into the program to do the job. But there are a couple of free programms out there, e. g.:
Q0010: How do I render a transparent background where the black background usually shows?
Turn on transparency on the coloring tab, (under the edit window) and use "Display/hide transparency" button at top of the preview window to visualize it.
Q0011: I downloaded a font to my computer and it isn't showing up in JWildfire. What do I need to do?
Once you install the font it should show in JWF. Close and restart the program to make sure it takes.
Q0012: Mac OS X issue: I had quite issues to run JWF for the first time on Mac OS X.=
It took me a while to understand that JRE was not enough for running it but I figured out finally that I needed to instal JDK and select the JDK path rather the JRE path for JWF to run. "
Q0013: Windows issue: windows error message "could not locate Javaw..."
This issue happens either because one does not have java installed or there is a problem with the last installation of an update.... the solution is to remove any versions of Java on one's computer and to download the latest version.