Apophysis is a free program, created originally by Mark Townsend, which can be downloaded from here. There's a beta version, also for free, which can be downloaded from here. To create most of the images I post in this blog, I use the 2.08 beta version, though I also have the 2.09 beta version.
Some people have asked me how I make these pictures, so here's a brief explanation. When you start the Apophysis program, it creates a random batch of images. Most of them are not nice at all. I take a look at the list and select an image which looks interesting enough to start working on it.
This has potential. So, I click on the little button with triangles on it and this is what I see:
What are those big triangles? Well, those triangles determine the shape of the image. You can move the triangles around the grid, rotate them, or change their shape by clicking and dragging the corners. After doing that, I get this image:
Not very nice yet. This needs further tinkering. I click again on the button with the triangles.
There's a Variations tab on the right. Each triangle has one or more variations assigned. Those variations are shapes. Each triangle adds its variations to the overall image, and they interact in some way. Some combinations make more interesting images. You have to find the right one.
When I put the mouse cursor over each triangle, I am informed that:
triangle 1 - radial_blur + wedge_julia
triangle 2 - bubble + scry
triangle 3 - horseshoe + hemisphere
The numbers on the right panel tell me how big is the impact of a particular variation over the image. The bigger the number, the bigger the impact. There's too much radial_blur in my image, so I choose a smaller number. If a particular variation has a negative impact on my image, I change it to zero. If I want to add some other variation to the image, I select a triangle and change the selected variation number to something bigger than zero. I keep moving the triangles around until I find an image I like.
After a while, my triangles have the following variations assigned:
triangle 1 - linear3D + radial_blur + wedge_julia
triangle 2 - bubble
triangle 3 - horseshoe
I added linear3D to the first triangle because it creates typical fractal patterns.
Now my image looks like this:
Ah, this is something I like! I move the image around with the hand button and I change the size with the +/- buttons (to see those buttons, the program window must be in full screen size).
I click on File/Save Parameters..., and save the parameters for this image (the instructions to recreate it). Then I click on Flame/Render to Disk..., and select a size and quality for the image (the bigger the size and quality, the longer it takes the image to render). Finally, and after cropping the black sides with an image editor, this what my image looks like:
There are many other things you can do, like changing the gradient (colors), adding more triangles, and using scripts, but this is how you basically work with an image in Apophysis. I'm not an expert and there are many tutorials on the web, as well as mailing lists and Facebook groups.
Have fun with Apo!