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Over the years this group has been a great inspiration to many. It has come to our attention that real life has put a burden on us older admins :).  So, we are looking for new energetic apophsis artists that are willing to take on the task of getting this group active again.

Requirements would be that you need to have a good knowledge of how to use apophysis, energetic attitude to assist other artists in learning how to use apophysis, and the want to get activities going within this group.

Please have apophysis work in your gallery as you apply we will be looking at your portfolio to see how knowledgeable you are with apophysis.

Please apply by mailing the group so we won't loose your application in the comments.

Thank you,

Cmptrwhz.
Hey folks,

during the last week, I had C-91 around (:heart:) and obviously, we did some fractal work together :w00t: During this, we needed to create some ad-hoc plugins to do the things we wanted to do. Well - not that it's something new for me because I kinda do this all the time but it gave me the idea that maybe I should write up how you actually create the plugins with x86 / x64 processor architecture support. I'm well aware that it's not very well documented so I try to fill this gap now with this little guide.

First off, I don't like to call it a "new" way to create plugins. You still create them with the same interface you had before when JoelFaber (afaik, it was him) set up the plugin infrastructure. But I felt maybe since Apo is sort of bound to Microsoft Windows and Visual Studio is a super comfortable development environment every professional Windows developer has at hand anyway, I could use VS and C++ to create them instead of a random GNU-C environment which is always somehow incomplete and bulky to me personally.

Yeah, I know. GNU-C is the way and blah. But as said, this way came up through a personal need of mine and I'm in no way saying that you can't compile x64-plugins without VS. Pretty much all you have to do is set the architecture in MinGW and alter some pointer lengths and you got it.

Anyway. Here is what you need to do to create plugins the way I publish them - in x86-, x64- and legacy*)-versions :)

*) the "legacy"-version is always the plugin compiled with MinGW under Windows so it doesn't depend on the MSVC++ redistributable. It's sort of a requirement to allow the plugin to be used under some older WINE-environments for OSX and Linux computers

Preparation



I'm assuming you work under Windows. Otherwise, I don't know how you think you will get VS to run heh heh :D
So first, you need a working installation of Microsoft Visual Studio. And no, the (free) express editions won't do. You need the Professional/Premium or Ultimate 2012 or 2013 version. I highly recommend 2012 unless you feel like converting the plugin projects and want your users to require a newer runtime. I know it is super expensive but this guide requires it. But feel free to make it work for VS Express - it's not that it's impossible. Just that I didn't do it yet :)

Once you have downloaded and installed it, you can can download the Apophysis plugin SDK and extract it to any folder. This folder will become your new working path for any plugin you do with it. So maybe put it somewhere you remember it and preferably not right on your desktop. You can see that I use the same thing so I'm pretty sure it works as it is because I've got the whole thing in subversion and check it out on "virgin" computers (who didn't even see Apo before and just got a fresh install of Visual Studio) regularily ;)



Creating your plugin from scratch



To create a plugin from scratch, all you have to do is either:
  • open create_plugin.cmd from explorer or
  • open a command prompt in your working folder and enter create_plugin <name_of_plugin>


Then a new folder should appear named after what you just entered as the name of your plugin. In there, you find a .vcxproj-file for Visual Studio and a .cbp-file for CodeBlocks (a free IDE for MinGW) I recommend you edit your plugin in Visual Studio (also because this guide shows you how) so open the .vcxproj-file with Visual Studio.

You will find that your plugin is split into the files "variables.h" and "[your_plugin].h" - why I did the split is something I honestly don't remember but I didn't change the template yet. Either way, you just edit name and variables in variables.h and the calculations in the other file - your generated plugin project already has the name set right and some example variables you can either delete or change.

From there, it's up to you - maybe you want to read how to compile it for all architectures and legacy targets down below :)

Converting an old plugin project to VS-friendly structure



Simple as that - take your .c file (the source code of the plugin you want to convert) and drag it to update_plugin.cmd in the explorer. Alternatively, enter update_plugin <path_to_c_file> in the command prompt of your working folder.

A new folder should appear named after the .c file you just converted. From there, it's pretty much the same as the previous paragraph about creating a new plugin from scratch except that for this template, I've already undone the split into [name].h and variables.h - sorry for the inconsistency. I'll fix it later :)

Compiling your plugin project to all targets at once



Pretty much, you can set your target architecture in Visual Studio and compile in release mode and then copy your .dll from the bin-folder to the Apophysis plugin folder. But that's something which is kind of uncomfortable. Here is an easier way:

Simply drag the folder which one of the previous scripts generated onto the file build.cmd or enter build <name_of_plugin(_folder)> in the command prompt of your working folder. That's it, you should find all three versions of your plugin in the folder named ".output" ready for you to copy it anywhere.

If you want to build all plugins at once, you can run build_all.cmd from the explorer or run build_all from the command prompt of your working folder.

Testing plugins from Visual Studio



The project templates are already setup so that you can simply use the "Run" command in Visual Studio (usually F5) to start an instance of Apophysis with your plugin installed.

Alternatively, you can enter test <name_of_plugin(_folder)> in the command prompt of your working folder. Sorry, I didn't add drag-and-drop support for plugin folders to this script yet - didn't need it because you can test right from Visual Studio.

You can even set breakpoints and anything. But note that, of course, Apophysis will run A LOT slower when a debugger is attached.

If you want to start Apophysis with a test flame for your plugin loaded right away, you can save a flame as "test.flame" into the folder of your plugin. Visual Studio will pass this file to Apophysis when it's loaded. This way, you can start Apophysis with your plugin installed AND your test flame loaded when you hit F5 in Visual Studio. How comfortable!




I hope this helps you a bit. If you are against this workflow or environment, this guide was probably not the right thing for you to read and I apologize with the hint that the SDK generates CodeBlocks-projects for you as well :)

Cheers!
Exciting news guys! 

A fractal artist meeting is being planned for 25-27th June, 2014 to be held in San Sebastian (Spain) and you are all invited!
The venues for this 3 day event have already been booked and invitations are going out to the fractal artist worldwide. This is a chance to meet and vacation with other fractal artists while also sharing in a day of lectures to learn more about fractal artistry, the history of fractal art and the tools we use.
A few US artists got together informally a few years ago and had a terrific time meeting each other and sharing ideas. We decided that the next one needed to be in Europe so that more people could attend.

For more information, please visit Math Artistry and don't miss your chance to register.








Hey guyz !

Here's a good news for everyone!
This friday at 1PM CDT (today) in the #Aposhack  there will be a awesome critique session for all your fractal work ! 
From new comers to the old fart everyone will be able to have a critique and and will be able to have and find clue to make some more awesome artwork !

Be sure to find your local time to come and join us for this critique session here : 




Gallery makeover project : Fractals

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 10:03 AM
Hi guys! :iconlawooplz:

As I've mentioned in my last this week in my MC, you may have seen that actually there's a huge project around gallery makeover.
Fractal could be impact and could change now ! 

For our main gallery actually we have this structure :



Which seems to be OK for me.
But it's my own opinion, and I'm not the community ! 

:bulletblue: So you, what do you think of this ? 
:bulletblue: How would you change it ?

What I think is important to keep in mind is the fact that we're trying to be the more generic as possible...

So I think I won't accept suggestion like : "Please give us real sub-category in each category ! Like a Ultra Fractal folder, an Apophysis folder and a Mandelbulb folder"
I support that simply because it's impossible to keep those kind of sub-categories up to date...
Imagine if each time a software is create, you must re-structure each subcat, move all the "misscat" deviations etc...

Also the main aim of this project is to "simplify" our categories to make them even more efficient ! 
So we're actually deleting and merging many of them. (don't worry actually fractals are not impact) 



Now let's take a look at our Resources and Stock images gallery ! 
Here I think we could make some more efficient changes !

Here's our actual structure :


At first sight the main structure seems OK.

:bulletred: IMO I would love to change the Parameters Pack name to Parameters
Why ? Simply because actually we should not have only PACKS in this gallery.
There's no place where to post fractals with parameters, which make them really hard to be found outside of some specifics groups folders... 

:bulletred: How would you change it ?
:bulletred: What are your needs in our Resources gallery ?

Don't hesitate to ask for something or to tell me your opinions about our category structure.
It's time to create some awesome for you and made by you !

Take care and stay devious

:heart:
Damien


Suggestions recap:

- Update the Raw fractal category with :
_ 2 Dimensional Fractals.
_ 3 Dimensional Fractals.

- Removing the animation gallery.

- Find a way to include 3D software textures / meshes / palette.

- Rename Parameters Packs for Parameters.

- Allowed more file formats in Parameters.


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