How to use different Ways to Color Linked Transforms

Changing the gradient on linked transforms makes the color of all the transforms the same, as in this image:

To get multiple colors, there are multiple ways of achieving this.  The first is to change the color speed of the transforms, under the color tab.  Doing that gives an image like this:

Or, you can add the dc_carpet variation to some of the transforms, giving you can image like this:



The color speed challenges were advised by David Mann. Here are his tips on achieving that:

“Slow the color of the linked xform down a bit, adjust “speed” under the color tab and you can alter them to your heart’s content. I’ve spent a lot of time over several months trying to figure out how to get the colors to distribute evenly over my fractals, although I can’t say I have it “down”, I have learned that you can get colors out of virtually any fractal. Unless it’s like a 1 xform fractal, and even then, you can EG add a linear3D set to 0 to add some color and stuff like that. Here’s how I understand it, and someone correct me if I’m wrong here….

All linking does (as far as color goes anyway) is alter color “speed”, which controls the rate color is applied to each transform. It changes the *linked* xform’s speed to 1, which applies color at the same rate as the one it’s linked TO, setting it to “1” basically means it’s getting 100% of the color of the parent xform distributed across it. So, setting it to something less than one, will sort of “unlock” the colors again, if you will, I usually start with something like 0.993 and step down by increments of .01 till it starts responding well, then mess with the other sliders a bit etc, until things even out. It doesn’t “unlink” them, since it also affects xaos, the only thing really unlinks them is using ‘reset all’ in the xaos tab (if JW is also doing something “under the hood” when you link stuff, I’m not aware of it, but I could easily be mistaken here 😀 ).

Like I said though, you can get colors on almost anything, I’ve noticed almost all of them seem to have a “sweet spot”, between color and color speed on each xform where all the colors distribute evenly also. Getting the colors to distribute properly makes such a massive difference, almost as much as changing the gradient itself, it allows you to get so much more detail, and shows patterns within patterns you wouldn’t otherwise see.. These are just my observations, I am by no means an expert <– (my disclaimer) lol

All that being said, I’ve spent days trying to get the right mix of color and speed on the correct xforms to get the correct distribution on certain fractals. It can be tedious and frustrating, true, I go back through, set them all to 0 and start over until the colors are right. It’s usually a matter of setting speed on one or two xforms to 0.8-0.993 and leaving one significantly lower, which will become the one that controls color over the whole thing. It then becomes a question of which to set high and which to set low. Understanding that “speed” controls how heavily color is distributed across a given xform is kind of the key to the whole thing. Anyhow, hopefully this excessive bit of breathing on my part will be found useful by someone.

For the record, since the latest release, linked xforms behave a bit differently though (some have said “correctly”, but I wouldn’t know as I’ve only been doing this a little over a year, so I know nothing about how Apo handles it). It used to be that hitting “reset all” in xaos unlinked stuff completely, so you could delete the linked xform without your fractal disappearing, but it doesn’t seem to do that anymore, so it IS doing something else under the hood, I just have no idea what it is haha.”

Scotty Landis offered a bit of his knowledge on distributing color throughout a fractal, whether transforms are linked or not. (If linked, color speed needs to be adjusted first, or dc_carpet must be used.) “I just like to hit distribute color, I then randomize palettes and speeds and can get nice effects.

If you modify the frequency it sometimes distributes the color over fractals with more detail”

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6 thoughts on “How to use different Ways to Color Linked Transforms”

  1. I like to think of linked transforms as a way of executing variations in sequence, as opposed to in parallel. A standard transform with multiple variations executes each of the variations and adds the results together. There are exceptions, but their order doesn’t usually matter. In a chain of linked transforms, the first transform’s variations are executed, then the second transform’s variations, and so forth (with affine transformations between each if desired). This is implemented mostly by the xaos settings, but some color settings are needed to make it work “correctly” (this was the “fix” to the add linked transform button in version 3.21).

    First, the draw mode of all but the last transform in the chain is set to hidden to prevent the partial results of the sequence from showing in the flame. (When deleting a linked transform, you need to set the draw mode of the original transform back to normal for it to be visible.) Second, the speed of all but the first transform in the chain is set to 1, making them keep the color assigned by the first transform. The idea is that the color of the whole chain is controlled by the first transform, making color adjustments easier. Of course, nothing prevents you from adjusting the color speed of linked transforms if it helps you achieve what you’re looking for!

    One way of thinking about color speed is that it controls how fast the color moves each iteration from the previous color to the color specified on the color tab for the selected transform. The “normal” speed is 0, which will move the color halfway to the specified color each iteration. Positive speeds slow this down, moving the color less than halfway each iteration, with the extreme of “1” keeping the previous color (not moving at all). Negative speeds speed it up, moving the color more than halfway, with the extreme of “-1” moving it all the way to the specified color.

  2. though i never really understood how the coloring stuff work, i consider the coloring of each variation as a system of “how to make a projection” to the overall flame.
    Few many simple things to keep in mind :
    color speed @ -1 = solid color (a kind of)
    color speed @ 1 = transparent color (a kind of)

    Normal, opaque (with opacity), hidden are another ways to modify colors of a specific variation and how to project it on the overall flame.

    xaos :
    to : how to project/recolor this variation to the others.
    from : the contrary.

    if you do not want a specific variation reflects to itself, just put its “from” xaos @ 0

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