Flam3 is the name of the original flame fractal codebase made by Scott "Spot" Draves and is the godfather of all flame fractal apps existing today, including Apophysis. The Flam3 pack contains: flam3-render, flam3-animate and flam3-genome programs. It can render still images (like apo), and animations used by the Electric Sheep screensaver app. Back around the early childhood of Apophysis an early version of the Flam3 (version 1.x?) fractal code was glued together with a graphical interface and early Apophysis was born.
Actually Flam3 is still under development by Erick Reckase today (2011). I have to mention that Flam3 version 3.0 was released this year and you can easily install it on linux/mac/win and even on freebsd and other exotic os-es.
Similarities and differences:
- the triangles that you grab around in apophysis are called coefficients in Flam3,
- a transform in Apophysis is called xform in Flam3
- every flame contain typically 1-10 xform/transform
- every xform/transform contain some variations like: linear, swirl, horseshoe, etc.
- a flame file is an XML file and it contains various general fields, like: brightness, gamma, zoom, quality, size, etc, and it contains xforms as well.
- apophysis has a nice gui, Flam3 package is a command-line only utilitarian app.
Apophysis and Flam3 are nearly the same internally, and a flame file exported from apophysis will produce an XML file that will render nicely using flam3-render. However Flam3 has many-many-many more variations for you to tweak and apophysis cannot render those extra ones. What do I mean?
Here is a list of variations in Flam3 v3.x (2011). Inspect the first dozen variations they are present in apo's built in list however the last 3-4 dozen variations are present in Flam3 only:
Flam3 has other exotic features like density estimation, various dithering methods, color handling methods etc.
After all Flam3 is more advanced in terms of giving those cool VARIATIONS mentioned above, but it lacks an easy to use gui, while apophysis lack already existing flam3 features but you can make nice flames using your mouse only.
What would be the ideal IMHO?: Implement those cool-fresh-and-new Flam3 v3.x variations in Apophysis, otherwise leave apo as it is.