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Getting Started
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Layering in ChaosPro
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Release 4.0

Getting Started

ChaosPro main window

Now that you have ChaosPro, let's see if the program suits your needs.

The aim of this chapter is to show you how to use ChaosPro. Afterwards you should be able to create fractals and perform the most common tasks (but you still have to learn and explore a lot).

When you start up ChaosPro, you'll see the main application window (see above...). It is very unlikely that there will be any additional windows open (unlike the above illustration where I have opened several windows for demonstration purposes and in order to confuse you...) Below the menubar you’ll see the toolbar. The most important things in it are the dropdown comboboxes. The left one contains the projects, i.e. the available collections of fractal data sets. If you know FractInt, then you already know that "projects" are parameter files (e.g. the file FractInt.par would be one). Each project contains fractal data sets, shown directly beneath the project dropdown combobox. These entries are fractals ready to be calculated. Simply select one and press the green traffic light to start the fractal calculation. A new window is opened and the selected fractal will be drawn in it.

Note: All actions in ChaosPro are done in real time; i.e.- if you change the palette, the current fractal gets this palette instantly assigned to it. If you change any other parameter, then the change is immediately passed on to the fractal and the fractal is recalculated. ( This is performed without having to click on any 'Ok' or 'Apply' buttons).

Note: ChaosPro is designed to be asynchronous, i.e. you can do what you will with it at any time. You may calculate several fractals at the same time but your actions will only alter the fractal that is active at that time. ChaosPro uses modeless dialogs (which do NOT block the application).

At program start-up, ChaosPro scans the sub-directory 'Fractals' for parameter files and loads all files it finds into this directory. It then scans the sub-directory 'Palettes' and loads all palettes it finds. You can specify more directories to scan at program start using the Properties Dialog (i.e. - if you already have other directories containing your favourite *.par or *.map files...)

You have hopefully calculated your first fractal (by pressing the green traffic light). How can you change its size? You have two possibilities: you can do this by resizing the window (the rightmost entry in the status bar shows the current size during your resize action), or by opening the size window (Menu/Fractal Windows / Size Window). In this window you can select one of the predefined default sizes, or you can enter your own sizes.

Did I mention that you don't need to close this window in order to open another window? Simply click onto another fractal entry in the toolbar and click the green traffic light to start that fractal calculation. This is what I meant by saying that 'ChaosPro is asynchronous'. You don't need to close a window to open another one; you are free to do what you want at any time.

You are now ready to open the parameter window 1. Some fractal types have many parameters and these are grouped into two windows. We will start with fractal types which only use one parameter window. You can view or change these parameters as you wish and your changes will be automatically sent to the subtask, which restarts the calculation process.

Before I forget, the 'Areawindow' contains the area related values, such as the area of the complex plane, the rotation point and the rotation angle.

Now let's try some magnification changes ("zooming"). You can do this very simply with the mouse. Calculate a fractal image and, when you find an interesting spot, double-click the left-hand mouse button on that part of the image. ChaosPro will zoom into the fractal by a magnitude of 2, and the calculation is restarted. If you miss the exact spot you wanted to enlarge (this sometimes happens), then click the image and, holding the left hand mouse button down, drag the fractal image, until the area is displayed. If you would like to zoom out of the image, then double click the selected area with the right mouse button and ChaosPro will reduce the magnification by a factor of 2 (and restart the calculation).

You should now get some practice in creating your own fractal images. In order to do this, choose the menu item 'Fractal/New Defaultype/...' and select any of the built in fractal types. As a result of choosing an item, another entry is added to the fractal entry drop down box in the toolbar; this describes the type you chose and is filled with the default parameters for that type. You can now open parameter windows and change these values, or you can zoom around the image as you please.

I do not wish to explain the whole program at this point as there's still very much to do. I hope that you have gained enough information to get some practice in using the program. If you have any questions, read the corresponding chapters. If you don't find the information you need in the online help file, then contact me and I shall try to find the time to answer your questions...