Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lighting Your Fractals

Lighting can make or break an image. Getting a good balance of lights and darks is a great task that can really set an image apart from the rest. Changing it, without any other changes, can totally remake the entire atmosphere. With fractals, this is also true.

Learning to control the lighting in a fractal image is not always easy, but at the same time doesn't have to be a daunting task every time. You can take a few short-cuts that will really help. Although these will refer to Apophysis, the general idea, will pertain to just about any fractal or almost any image for that matter.

Try out several different color schemes. Depending on the image style, some may work better with tones that vary greatly between steps, like a rainbow gradient. Others may work better as a fairly monotone or within a limited range of tones, like pastels or neutrals. Try out lots of different ones. As you get more experienced, you'll be more likely to pick out what styles of fractals will work best with what gradients. Find one you like and render your image. If you have time and patience (and I don't usually) you can render a few test images at lower resolutions and see what you like best for your final render.

Don't worry if its not perfectly how you would like. You can edit it in Photoshop, GIMP, or any other graphics program. This is called post processing. I've got a few tips for this also.

When you render your image, I always render it with a transparent background in PNG format. This gives you the best control when post processing. The transparent background is very useful giving you more control.

More tips will follow soon so keep watching this blog for some great tips.


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