Exploring Hidden, Weights and Xaos 

Let me start off by telling you what this tutorial is about, It is more of a work flow method for looking at the different tools you can use to clean up a fractal or create a different look. It is not about any expert explanation from a math perspective. There are other tutorials for those explanations on the internet.

My Work Flow example –

  1. I either tweak or create a fractal
  2. I sometimes will tweak or create a triangle pattern. I will use a pattern if it is 3 or more Linear3d.
  3. If my Fractal has some anomaly or elements that I don’t like, I will follow a 3 step process to clean it up. In this example flame – I had lines streaking through the fractal and a lot of noise.

I start by looking at additional variations that are added to a transform. I check and see if I have set it to Pre, Normal or Post. Each will produce a different effect. In this case, I did not set my Z scale to post.

  • To fix other anomalies; I start by switching transforms to hidden or normal draw mode. I will start with transform1 and work down to the last one. I just hide and unhide to see which transforms are projecting in what areas. It helps me with narrowing down an area that I want gone or even helps with the Xaos settings. You may ask, why not just remove the transform? Well sometimes its projection may be acting to effect other variations, even though it is hidden. However, I will remove it to see if it affected anything. If in fact nothing changes – then I will go ahead and remove it. I will then look at weights of each transform and set each to zero 1 at a time. I then decide to bring some back up to 0.5. Sometimes you will find 2 or 3 that are producing a lot of grain; in this case I will leave it set to 0. Keep in mind some artist will differ on this method and will add a little blur to a transform to make it fill in better. I prefer to get things crisp first.


  • I then go to Xaos and use the same method on the “from view”. I will go through 1 by 1 turning a transforms projection on and off to eliminate parts that I don’t like. My use of Xaos is a bit different and it was meant for a more mathematical approach. There are other tutorials on the internet that will explain a different use of Xaos. I use it to my advantage to just clean up the flame and make it crisp.

  • Open the flame pack provided and select the 1st flame which is the one that looks pretty bad. The flame is set to a 22 pitch. We are going to look at the Zscale variation that I added to Sigmoid. I noticed a lot of lines and noise that just makes it look terrible.
  • Xaos flame pack

Click transform 1 variation 2. Click non linear tab.  Go ahead and click the Pre (little button to the left) Make note of what changes take place. Click it again and return it to normal. Now click Post and make note of what it does. It turns off the projection effect of Zscale. I could remove it, but sometimes it may not be a good idea. Best to leave it

Do a quick render and you should get something like the Thumb nails. I will look at the draw mode for each transform 1 at a time. For the sake of time, Select color tab. Go to Transform 4 and set the draw mode to hidden and make note of what happens. A projection in the bottom left hand corner is turned off. Go ahead and set it back to Normal. This is a useful tool in taking out unwanted projections. Keep in mind though that you may have to sacrifice something to get a crisp flame.

The Lines should be gone now! Now set Transform 1 weight to Zero and make note of what happens.

Now go to transform 2 and set that transform Weight to 0 and watch what happens. That cleans up all the noise in between the Linear3d shape. Do a quick render to see the detail.

So lets change Transform4 to Julian2 and power -4 , You should get something that looks like this. Click on the Xaos tab and you should see a table with View as “to” and a View as “From”. Select view “From” and go to 4 from 4. For the sake of argument, you don’t like the projections that I circled – you would click a choice of 2 boxes to the right of the table. You can manually change the value in the box or use the 2 pre assigned values in the button below it. 0=off and 1=on. Go ahead and change the value to 0 and you will see those anomalies that I circled turn off. This is the beginning of understanding that Xaos is nothing more than one variations projection on to another variation.


Ok, Lets do another Xaos adjustment – Lets go to transform3, make sure you are still on the Xaos tab, Make sure you are on View as “From”. Select 3 of 4 and set to 0 by clicking that 1st small pre assingned button. The projection that I circled is turned off. That concludes my work flow for cleaning up a fractal. I hope this helps in laymans terms about this process. You can now move and scale the transforms for a different look.

One Last thing to do and that is to center it. Go to the Camera Tab and enter the values that are shown at the bottom for (Center X=-0.2358, Center Y=-2.0153 and Pixs per unit= 212 to 314. You can also adjust to your liking.

Example 1 with Lace_js added as a final. Gradient Changed 1000q

Sigmoid Linear3D Zscale Curl3d 1000Q adj Br Xaos6 Julian2 Lace_js final tile3

Example 2 with MinkQm final 1000Q

Sigmoid Linear3D Zscale Curl3d MinkQm final

Example 3 Curl3d swapped out to Julian2 power6  1000Q

Sigmoid Linear3D Zscale Julian2 power 6 MinkQm final

Example 4 basically just played with the Curl3d variables 1000Q

Sigmoid Linear3D Zscale Curl3d 1000Q adj Br Xaos4

Example 5 not part of this tutorial now. It was made in revision 1.

Changed the gradient. Variable tweaks of the Curl3d.

Sigmoid Linear3D Zscale Curl3d 1000Q adj Br Xaos7 Z w 2 0 weight





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