After the trial run of CanyonDeep, I've decided to revise the plan for that project. It's not practical to render a full-size version of that animation right now. I will make something that goes moderately deeply into the crevice, then zooms more deeply into the structures at the edge of the walls. This should happen in late March or early April.
New Music Loops
I bought a couple of new sets of loops for Acid. Secant Animation 2 is my first effort using one of them.
I have posted a few new blooper images on the web site. These images are the result of hours of tedious work that had to be followed by still more hours of tedious work.
Motion Path Control
To create an animation, all the details of the location and magnification of the images, as well as the parameters of the mathematical function that generate the fractal, have to be carefully scripted in a series of key frames. The key frames are images and parameter values that define what points the video will pass through as it progresses. The software interpolates all the parameters between each of the key frames to generate the animation.
Most of my previous animations have been just deep-zooms, which don't have much complicated motion. Typically they just move over to the zoom point and then start zooming. So I have not had much incentive to develop a more sophisticated motion control system. SA2 changed this.
The simplest way of interpolating between the key frame values results in an animation that is a series of independent segments strung together, with abrupt starts and stops at the juntions. It works, but visually sort of lurches from one set of parameters to another. Most software that produces fractal animations, including mine, has the ability to smoothly transition the position, magnification, etc., from one segment to the next, which looks a lot better. But the transitions at the key frames are often still evident as moments in the video where everything seems to stand still, then start up again. I have wanted for a long time to be able to easily get more fluid transitions between key frame segments.
I've reworked the way transitions across key frames are done, and now I can make it so you really can't tell where the key frames are anymore.
For an example of the jerky sort of motion I've finally been able to eliminate, watch the last few seconds of SA2. The final zoom segment has no smooth transition. I did this deliberately, for artistic effect. Most of the rest of it is very fluid -- you would not know this by looking at it, but there are 19 separate key frames defining distinct starting and stopping values for all the parameters in SA2. I've overlaid them so almost nothing is ever static and it all flows together very nicely.
Adaptive Animation Coloring
Not much has been done with this component this month. This remains a priority, but it got pre-empted by my desire to get some of the secant fractals done and to upgrade the motion path stuff. Secant Animation 1 will probably require this technique. We'll see.