Further to my last journal entry about the release of the alpha version of Mandelbulber;
I'm happy to announce that the finished version - v2.02 - of this superb 3D Fractal renderer is now available for free download!
Get it from: sourceforge.net/projects/mande…
Mandelbulbers' creator Krzysztof Marczak, has the following to say about its features:
"This is first release of Mandelbulber v2. The program was rewritten from scratch to have a nicer Qt based user interface. I hope you like it.
What is new compared with the old Mandelbulber?
- user interface is based on Qt 5 environment (before was GTK2+)
- instead of separate windows, there is big main window with all functions grouped in moveable and detachable docks (View/Save window state stores favorite window configuration)
- most edit fields have sliders to set value by mouse. Edit fields where range of value is very high, have a slider with logarithmic scale.
- new camera-target functionality and navigator. It is now possible to move/rotate camera and target separately.
- new and more efficient algorithm for image refreshing. Now there is no need to wait until first percent of image is already rendered. New refreshing method is more intelligent and for instant is able to refresh SSAO effect for only latest rendered lines of image
- textures (for background, environment mapping....) has previews
- new setting file format. I know that you will blame me, but in next version will be import function for old Mandelbulber settings (in 95% should be possible to convert)
- every edit field shows tooltip with default value and parameter name which is the same in setting files
- every parameter which is not default is bold
- every edit field in context menu has reset to default function
- new 3D cursor shows coordinates and distance from camera and actual function
- for hybrid fractals there is separate tab to set parameters for each formula
- thumbnails for settings preview are cached
What is still missing compared with old Mandelbulber?
- animation editor
- rendering via network
- OpenCL support
- some fractal formulas
*****What is new in Mandelbulber v2.02?
- added importing of settings from old Mandelbulber (v1.21). It works in 95% cases.
- added 'legacy_coordinate_system' parameter to provide compatibility with old coordinate system (upside down)
- added primitive objects: box, sphere, plane, cylinder, torus, circle, rectangle, water. There is no limit for number of objects. All objects can be rotated around 3 axes and placed using mouse pointer
- added 'repeat' operator for all primitive objects and fractal
- added setting for position and rotation of the fractal
- added example setting files and 'Load example...' option
- added example textures to the package (for background, environment mapping and light maps for ambient occlusion effect)
- added crossplatform consistent random number generator based on the gsl library. See the README for new dependencies. This solution guarantee the same results under Linux and Windows (e.g. the same color palette)
- fixed bug: 'fractal_constant_factor' parameter was ignored
- fixed bug: glow effect used wrong color
- fixed bug: there was error in calculation of equirectangular projection
- fixed bug: corrected and updated list of required system packages
- fixed bug: there was wrong calculation of distance if "Iteration threshold mode" was enabled.
- fixed bug: preview was displayed even if settings weren't loaded successfully*****
Further interesting ideas which are possible with new application framework:
- in animation editor will be possible to set different interpolation for each parameter and to change value of selected parameters for every keyframe by one click
- visual spline tangent editor for parameter interpolation
- export/import animation to/from csv file
- automatic animation of selected parameters with sound (frequency bands)"
A whole lot of changes there then, and with still more to come!
Now on a slightly sadder note; regarding our cherished Mandelbulb 3D, its creator Jens 'Jesse' Dierks has formally announced on FractalForums that he has officially ceased development of the program.
However, on the brighter side, he has also stated that he will release the Delphi source code on application to FF's chief administrator cKleinhuis. So if anyone out there feels they have the skill and determination to take the program further, read the thread at:
Given the the right hands at the wheel, we could yet see this wonderful, ground-breaking program go further....64bit anyone?
That's all the noo folks....