Fractal Art Week
here and, after people asking me tips on how to make flowers with Apophysis, I decided to write this introduction guide for the Fractal Week. There might be more in future.
Live with it: crafting flowers with Apophysis isn't the most original thing ever, but at least we can try to approach to the technique in another way and try to make them different from the multitude of results that can be found here on DeviantArt.
First of all, check the two blooms tutorials by lindelokse
, which are the starting point for this technique:
Before we start...
Just so you know, 2D flowers are generally more versatile and suitable for crazy experiments
than 3D ones. You can use more variations and plugins on 2D flowers without messing the shape up (and they will still be as spectacular as 3D flowers).
That's why, in this guide, I will work on a 2D bloom.
A simple Apophysis flower shape is made up of a minimum of three transforms, which I usually call:
- the blur transform;
- the shape transform;
- the final transform (a regular FX).
I will go through every transform and give you tips, and make a simple yet presentable.
Remember there's also the possibility to add extra transforms to make lights, bubbles and other special effects. In this guide, I'm just doing a basic bloom with no extra stuff.
I made my basic shape!
(gamma: 2 ; brightness: 7)
Let's try to tweak it.
The Blur Transform
The blur transform
gives texture to your bloom. It's recommended to keep its weight at default value (0.5), otherwise the fractal will lose brightness either on the edges or on the buldge of the flower (depending on whether you set a higher or lower weight). Although, in some cases, this fact can come in handy.
(Left: weight < 0.5 ; Right: weight > 0.5)
Blur transform - tips:
- Add flatten if you're working with Apophysis 7x.15C or higher, otherwise your bloom will be super dark!
- Try to use different kinds of blur, other than gaussian_blur: there are blur_circle, starblur, sineblur, blur and many others! (set the opacity of the blur transform to zero if you don't want the external part of the bloom to be blurred - the circle around the flower)
(Left: blur_circle; Center: sineblur; Right: starblur)
- If you prefer to keep using gaussian_blur, lowering its value will make some sort of shadows under the petals, while increasing it will make the petals look less solid. Add a tiny bit of another non-blur variation (like log) to make the color spread differently. Balance the values of the variations wisely, to get a better effect. I changed the colors a little bit to make the difference more visible:
(Left: gaussian_blur; Right: gaussian_blur + log)
- You can use something else rather than a blur! Try disc, eyefish or swirl with pre_falloff2 to get funky textures!
(Left: eyefish + pre_falloff2; Right: swirl + pre_falloff2)
- Instead of putting the value of the blur manually, click on the name of the variation you're using and drag the mouse back and forth. You will be able to control the blur better and obtain nice shadow effects. (this trick is valid for every occasion!!!)
The Shape Transform
Changing the weight of this transform will have the same effect as if the weight of the blur transform is changed...only the other way around.
Try on your flower to understand better what I'm talking about.
This transform can be changed in size, moved, rotated, deformed, and you can add a multitude of variations that will bring special effects.
Shape transform - Tips
- Getting cracks and folds is really easy! A bit of log, polar2 or wedge will do. Positive values for cracks, negative values for folds!
(1st and 2nd: log; 3rd and 4th: polar2; 5th and 6th: wedge)
- Speaking of wedge, it's the responsible for the delicate thin lines that appear on many flowers. Treat them as thin folds (hint hint) and mind that wedge has a variable called wedge_count. A similar result can be achieved with shredrad2. I said enough!
(Open the images, otherwise it's impossible to see: I like 'em very thin)
- There's a plugin called whorl which is very interesting, especially for the borders of your petals. Keep it at a maximum value of 0.2. In the examples, I kept the variable whorl_outside at 1.5.
(whorl increases in this direction >>>>>>)
- Other plugins and variations (try to guess what I used ) can give funny results. Just try them in combos and see what you get!
- Replace linear with another similar variation or plugin. You can try loonie, falloff2, bwraps, curve and many others!
(1. curve; 2. falloff2; 3. lazysusan; 4. mobius)
The Final Transform
Without discussing about what the final transform specifically does, let's say that juliaN
et similia are not the only variations you can use to obtain a bloom (or something else which is amusing to see anyway).
You can also combine them with pre_ and post_ variations and get nice results.
Let's see some examples.
Final transform: tips
- bipolar and mobius can do something too, as well as ngon! Play with the variables and adjust the transforms to get a bloom!
(Left: bipolar; Center: ngon; Right: mobius)
- Try other variations, such as log or escher. For a better looking result, remove cross from transform 2.
(1. bwraps; 2. escher; 3. log (with cross); 4. ngon)
- Try some pre_ or post_ variations: post_bwraps, post_curl, pre_falloff2...and many others!
Don't be afraid of experimenting. Get inspired by your fellows and challenge yourself to discover how they did their works. That's how an artist grows.
Here some examples that go beyond the classic bloom result (from every program!):
I have nothing left to say! I hope you enjoyed this guide, and I wish you happy fractaling