Time Needed : 30 minutes
In the hopes of providing you with endless hours of enjoyment and exploration with the JWildfire fractals, I'll attempt to walk you through the fractal flame script creation process as well as share my ideas for editing scripts. Because there is so much to this technique, I'm going to split it into portions. The first is the most basic.
Scripts allow you to change parameters in a fractal flame to generate a random or pre-determined sequence of fractals. Usually random because it allows us to experiment with various settings without having to go through the time-consuming process of manually tweaking a setting through many different values just to see how it might look. Scripts allow you to experiment with various fractal looks by adjusting multiple values at once while simply clicking a Run Button each time.
Sorry if you don't use Windows; hopefully the gist of this will apply to Macs and other systems as well.
So, without further ado, let's get this party started.
- Where are your scripts stored?
I'll assume you haven't downloaded any additional scripts for the purposes of this tutorial, but the same ideas apply even if you have. You'll need to go to JWildfire's settings menu to figure out where they're stored.
In the settings menu, we need to choose Preferences to see where JWildfire will be storing our scripts.
- Find the tina script path
Scroll down the options list until you find the tinaJWFscript path. You may already have an entry here from earlier installing scripts; if so, don't worry; all you need to do now is make a note of where the scripts are placed. If you don't already have a folder for scripts, create one on your computer (in my case, it's inside the “My Documents” folder), and then copy/paste or type the location for it into the box to the side of where it says tinaJWFscript path.
- Creating a script from a flame
So, in order to create a script from a flame, we must first load a flame or have one already displayed in JWildfire. Here's an example of how I'm doing it. So, once you've loaded or are displaying a flame, let's get started. This is probably the simplest way to learn to script, and it's what I do most of the time.
- Scripts area to create our first script
In JWildfire, we navigate to the Scripts and Custom Buttons area to the right of the Transformations tab. Simply click on it. It should say “Built-in scripts” and “Your Scripts.” If you've already installed other scripts, don't worry about those showing underneath; we'll get to that later; instead, make sure Your Scripts is selected. Then select the From flame option. Based on the loaded flame, this will generate a new script file.
- Name your script
Give it a crazy name, well, call it what you like really. I've gone for a completely unique name here, which took all of my imagination.
- Script created!
When you click OK, your script is created, which hopefully feels good. You should now see the script listed in your scripts area. Later, I'll recommend that you create a folder within your script location specifically for your scripts later, but for now, this is just a quick demonstration of how to get started with them.
Have you noticed the text underneath when you click on the script name? That's the script's info file. It's useful for providing on screen information to others, and it, like your scripts, can be edited with any text editor. We'll get to that later; for now, let's run our first script.
- Running our first script
This is easy, you can either click the name of the script under the “your scripts” then click Run , or you can double click the name of the script to run it also. So, let's run it and see what happens. You won't need any special safety equipment to run this.
- Script output
So, how did our fractal look after we ran the script? Did anything change? Well, I know you'll be disappointed, but your fractal's colour is the only thing that changes. This is a little boring, but it's because we haven't yet randomised anything. Because the colour change randomiser is built into the script, we'll have to tweak it to make it do crazy things.
- The script files
You'll find two files in the folder where you requested JWildfire to generate script files. The description section of your script is a file with a.txt extension and the actual script with a .jwfscript file extension. We'll need a text editor now to change the scripts and descriptions.
We need our editor to be free because who wants to pay for anything ? So, I'd recommend Notepad ++ (Windows), but you're free to use anything you like. This will be the start of the second section of our script adventure. So, for now, just be happy that you wrote a script and can certainly tell others about it at parties.