[Warning: Very long post, with detailed instructions. Sorry about that -- first post, haven't figured out how to post attachments, yet!]
RE: How to generate an Apophysis animation
There are several methods available for generating animations from Apophysis flame batches. Some may be better than others, depending on your desired results. My particular (ancient but free!) method is described below. My instructions may make it seem like a very complicated process with a gazillion steps, but the basic steps are these:
1. Install the necessary scripts and utilities (flam3, tw_morphPrvRen.asc, Virtual Dub).
2. Create your flame batch in Apophysis.
3. Run the tw_morphPrvRen.asc script to render a series of morphed PNG files.
4. Wait. Sometimes for a very long time (a few hours to several days or even weeks) depending on the size of your flame batch and the speed of your processor.
4. Use Virtual Dub to concatenate the sequence of PNGs (frames) into an animation (video).
(See below for tools descriptions, download links, and instructions.)
TOOLS and DOWNLOAD LINKS
I use the following (freeware) tools:
DISCLAIMER AND WARNING: BE SURE TO VIRUS CHECK ALL DOWNLOADS! I have not used these sites for a few years, so I do not know if they are still secure. (Links still work.)
* tw_morphPrvRen.asc --- This is an Apophysis script written by Thomas Williams (4/30/2006). This generates a .bat file which you then run to generate the series of morphed flame PNG image files, based on the current set of flames in your batch. Install in the Apophysis script directory. Download link: http://apophysis.wikispaces.com/file/de ... PrvRen.asc
* flam3 -- The flame algorithm used to generate the flame morphs. Install at the top of your C:\ directory. Download link: http://code.google.com/p/flam3/downloads/list
* Virtual Dub -- A video capture/processing utility for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows platforms (98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista/7), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Use this to concatenate the PNG files to generate your animation in your specified format. (I usually use uncompressed AVI format, but there are several other options.) Run the install script to install to the proper location (Program Files directory). Download link: http://www.virtualdub.org/
You will need to install all three of these utilities before following the instructions below.
HOW TO CREATE AN ANIMATION IN APHOPHYSIS + VIRTUALDUB
To render a flame .png set for animating:
These steps create the sequence of morphed .png files that will become the individualframes in your animation. After creating the PNG files, you will use VirtualDub (freeware from http://www.virtualdub.com
) to process the fileset and generate your .avi video.
1. (Optional) Rename the existing "anims" directory (c:\flam3\anims) if you want to save the previous set of .png files (if any). Then create a fresh (empty) "anims" directory under the directory C:\flam3\ (c:\flam3\anims). The PNG files generated by the tw_morphPrvRen.asc script will be written to this directory.
3. Set up your flame batch in Apophysis.
Either generate and edit a random batch (Files > Random Batch) or use the Editor (View > Editor) and/or Mutation generator (View > Mutation) to create your own batch.
4. In Apophysis, open the script "tw_morphPrvRen.asp" (Script > Open > select "tw_morphPrvRen.asp" from your scripts directory, and click OK.
5. Run the script (Script > Run).
Details and tips:
When the script starts, the initial "Parameter Input" dialog box displays. (This is a series of dialog boxes for you to specify your rendering parameters.) Enter the following:
a. Enter "1" to preview the animation, or "2" to render the
PNG files, and click OK.
b. Enter the flame name (name for the .flame file to be
generated by the script), and click OK. The default is
the first flame in the batch.
c. Enter the output path, and click OK. The default is
d. Enter the render width (desired resolution width for each PNG),
and click OK.
NOTE: A higher resolution (width and height) results in a longer
rendering time (but better quality for video).
e. Enter the render height (desired resolution height for each PNG),
and click OK.
f. Enter the render quality (default = 20), and click OK.
NOTE: The higher the number, the better the quality, and the
(substantially) longer it will take to render the PNGs.
g. Enter the filter radius (default = 0.4), and click OK.
h. Enter the Oversample (default = 1), and click OK.
i. Enter the filetype (jpg, png, or ppm), and click OK. (Default = png)
j. Enter the number of frames per animation stage (default = 100).
This is the number of morphed PNGs to generate between flames in
your batch. So, if you have 10 flames in your batch, and generate
100 morphs between each flame, you will end up with 900 PNG files
(no morphs are generated for the final flame, as it is the last
image in the sequence). The higher this number, the (MUCH) longer
it will take to render the PNG set (as there are more PNGs to render).
Also, as each PNG = 1 frame in your animation, a higher number of
morphs (PNGs) also creates a slower motion animation (e.g., 200
morphs between flames will create an animation 1/2 the speed that
100 morphs would create).
i. Enter the Keyframe Interpolation (1 = linear, 2= smooth), and click OK.
j. Enter the path where the flam3 application is installed
(default = c:\flam3\), and click OK.
This generates a .bat file and .flame file in the anims directory.
K. Run the .bat file generated by the script (double-click on
the .bat filename).
The script then begins to render the sequence of PNG morph files. This may take a very long time, especially if you are using a large flame batch. My machines are kind of slow, and I run very large flame batches (100 flames or more) at 100 to 200 morphs per flame, so some of my batches have actually taken several days to fully render. I do not recommend this approach
It is best to use a smaller flame batch (especially for first attempts), and run a larger project in smaller batches. Remember that no morphs are generated for the last flame in a batch, so if you are splitting a batch, be sure to duplicate the last flame in a split batch as the first flame in the next split batch in the sequence.
After you have rendered your PNG set, the next step is to concatenate the PNGs into an animation.
HOW TO USE VIRTUALDUB TO MAKE AN ANIM FROM APOPHYSYS RENDERED FILES
To create the animation from the rendered set:
1. Open VirtualDub.
2. Select File > Open Video File
3. In the "Open Video File" dialog box enter the following:
a. For "Files of type," select "Image Sequence (*.png, *.bmp, <etc.>)"
b. For "Filename," select the first rendered PNG file in the batch.
c. Select the "Automatically load linked segments"
checkbox (bottom left corner of dialog box).
d. (Optional) Select "Ask for extended options after
this dialog" option.
e. Click "Open."
This will pull the entire sequence of rendered files -- in proper order -- into a concatenated sequence of frames in VDub.
4. To save the output (concatenated sequence rendered as a video file), select File > Save as AVI.
NOTE: If you find the resulting AVI file cannot be played by Windows Media Player (or QuickTime or whatever), try resaving the sequence as "old format AVI" (File > Save as old format AVI). For some reason, on some platforms the old format works better. This may have something to do with which codecs you have installed on your machine.
TIP: For best quality, do not compress the output. To prevent compression, do the following:
a. In the VDub menu bar, select Video > Compression.
b. In the left pane of the "Select video compression" dialog box, select the option "(Uncompressed RGB/YCbCr)."
c. Click OK.
d. THEN render your file (File > Save as AVI).
TIP: In VDub, you can also split a long video into segments (File > Save segmented AVI), which is useful for splitting up long videos into several smaller parts for posting on YouTube.
You now have an animated Apophysis video!!!
Hope that helps.