text_wf

Name:text_wf
Type: 2D blur
Author:Andreas Maschke

Description

The text_wf variation incorporates a line of text into a flame. It is a blur variation like circleblur and starblur, meaning it ignores the input and just generates a shape; but instead of the shape being a circle or star, it is a line of text. The brain processes words differently from images, so this can add a new level of depth to fractal flames. Or the text can be a single symbol (not necessarily a letter), using text_wf as a blur with a specialized shape. Text_wf can be quite versatile.

Using text_wf is easy, but it does have some quirks that we need to know about to use it effectively. Like all blurs, text_wf will interact with the other transforms in the flame. So if we just want a simple label or caption, we need to add a new layer to separate the text from the rest of the flame. In the Layers tab, click Add to add a new layer, then in the Transformations tab click Add to add a new transform. In the Nonlinear tab, change linear3D to text_wf. Use the Gradient and/or Color tabs to set the color, then back in the Nonlinear tab do the following to set up the text (these are general steps to follow every time you use text_wf):

  • Next to Params, make sure “text” is selected and click the gear icon on the far right. Enter the text in the popup, and click OK. A quirk: Line breaks are ignored; all the text will be put on one line. Don’t make the text too long or JWildfire will hang for awhile while it processes it. If multiple lines are needed, use multiple transforms with text_wf.
  • Pull down the parameter list and choose font_name, then click the gear icon to set the font. If desired, check Bold or Italic (or both). Click OK. A quirk: Size is effectively ignored. We’ll set the size next using the scale_x and scale_y parameters.
  • If the other parameters are not showing, click the triangle next to Params to show them. Note that text and font_name are not in the list since they are special and need to be set using the gear icon. Skip the first couple and set scale_x and scale_y to get the desired size and proportions of the text. Unless the text contains only one or two characters, it will appear scrunched up; increase scale_x (or decrease scale_y) to fix this.
  • Use the offset_x and offset_y parameters to move the text to the desired position. Alternatively, move the triangle for the post-affine transform; either will work, but the parameters are usually more convenient. If the text needs to be rotated, that can be done using the post-affine transform; there are no parameters for rotation. A quirk: offset_x and offset_y move the text more than the post transform using the same values.
  • Examine the text carefully for jagged edges, especially on curves and diagonal lines. If they exist, increase the font_size parameter to help smooth them. This will most likely be needed if the scale values are increased significantly. The top text below uses a low font_size value of 200, and has bad jaggies. The bottom text has a value of 750, which is more appropriate for the very large text used here. A quirk: Jaggies are a form of aliasing, but don’t use the antialias parameter to reduce them; use the font_size parameter (which might be better named font_resolution since it doesn’t affect the display size).

That’s it. The antialias parameter doesn’t normally need adjusting, and the baseline parameter has no effect. Note that although text labels or captions can be added in JWildfire using text_wf, the text tools in graphics editors such as Gimp and Photoshop are easier to use and have more features.

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