3D Overlay Mode

While the [3] command (see "3D" Images) creates its image on a blank screen, the [#] (or [shift-3] on some keyboards) command draws a second image over an existing displayed image. This image can be any restored image from a [R] command or the result of a just executed [3] command. So you can do a landscape, then press [#] and choose spherical projection to re-plot that image or another as a moon in the sky above the landscape. [#] can be repeated as many times as you like.

It's worth noting that not all that many years ago, one of us watched Benoit Mandelbrot and fractal-graphics wizard Dick Voss creating just such a moon-over-landscape image at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, NY. The system was a large and impressive mainframe with floating-point facilities bigger than the average minicomputer, running LBLGRAPH -- what Mandelbrot calls "an independent-minded and often very ill-mannered heap of graphics programs that originated in work by Alex Hurwitz and Jack Wright of IBM Los Angeles."

We'd like to salute LBLGRAPH, its successors, and their creators, because it was their graphic output (like "Planetrise over Labelgraph Hill," plate C9 in Mandelbrot's "Fractal Geometry of Nature") that helped turn fractal geometry from a mathematical curiosity into a phenomenon. We'd also like to point out that it wasn't as fast, flexible or pretty as Fractint on a 386/16 PC with S-VGA graphics. Now, a lot of the difference has to do with the incredible progress of micro-processor power since then, so a lot of the credit should go to Intel rather than to our highly tuned code. OK, twist our arms -- it IS awfully good code.

Special Note for CGA or Hercules Users

If you are one of those unfortunates with a CGA or Hercules 2-color monochrome graphics, it is now possible for you to make 3D projection images.

Try the following unfortunately circuitous approach. Invoke Fractint, making sure you have set askvideo=yes. Use a disk-video mode to create a 256 color fractal. You might want to edit the fractint.cfg file to make a disk-video mode with the same pixel dimensions as your normal video. Using the "3" command, enter the file name of the saved 256 color file, then select your 2 or 4 color mode, and answer the other 3D prompts. You will then see a 3D projection of the fractal. Another example of Stone Soup responsiveness to our fan mail!

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This page maintained by

Noel Giffin,