Fractal Layers in ChaosPro
Normally fractal generators calculate bitmap images of fractals. Well, this is not really surprising! ChaosPro does just the same. But lets see what this really means and what makes ChaosPro more powerful than many other generators:
A fractal image makes use of a fractal type, some kind of transformation, an iteration formula and some kind of coloring. Some fractal generators allow you to specify only very few parameters, often transformations cannot be specified, whereas others allow you to specify many parameters. But at the end, a single fractal image is generating by using the parameters provided by the user of the program.
After that the user has a nice image. Ok, and what happens next? Often these images are put into a painting program in order to do some post-processing which should make the image even more beautiful. Sometimes the image just gets antialiased, sometimes the image gets wrapped around a sphere, and sometimes the image gets merged into another image.
One of the best post-processing programs available (and one of the most expensive) is Adobe Photoshop. And one of its main features is the layering: This makes it possible to put images on top of each other. If an image then contains transparent sections, the images below shine through. It's as if the images are arranged in a pile (see image at the right).
This kind of layering is possible with ChaosPro, too. Often a single image is too boring, but combined with another image a fascinating new image can be the result. In order to merge an image with the images below several merge modes can be selected (just as in Photoshop). Additionally you can specify a global factor for the merge mode, i.e. how strong the "merge method" should be applied.
Base Fractals and the Container
So in ChaosPro there are standard fractals, lets call them base fractals. They can be calculated, their parameters can be changed, just as in any other fractal generating program. Base fractals include all types, for a complete list see "Fractal Type Reference" in the table of contents at the left side of the help window.
And then there is a special "fractal type", the type "Layered Fractal", which acts as a container for base fractals: It lets you add any number of base fractals to its list. On drawing this special type the fractals contained in its list will be calculated. The images will be put on top of each other (according to their order in the list) and the final image will be displayed.
It sounds complicated, and perhaps you may ask whether it really helps. But believe me, the results are amazing!
Always remember, ChaosPro has base fractals and the type Layered Fractal, which can contain any number of base fractals. Much confusion exists due to users not being aware of the difference. Each layer in a "Layered Fractal" is a normal base fractal. So you cannot assign an iteration formula to a "Layered Fractal", it's of no use to adjust the palette of a "Layered Fractal" and you cannot zoom in into a "Layered Fractal": All these things can only be done with base fractals, i.e. with the layers of a "Layered Fractal". If you want to zoom in into a "Layered Fractal", you need to zoom in into each layer (which is a base fractal) of it.