QuickMAN v0.9 released: Realtime zooming, user palettes

If you've been looking for an excuse to get a faster computer, this may be it. The QuickMAN fast Mandelbrot image generator now includes realtime zooming, a brutally CPU-intensive operation that can always benefit from more speed.

You control the zooming by pointing to an interesting area with the new "Z pointer" cursor and holding down the left or right mouse button to zoom in or out. While zooming, you can move the mouse around to change the zoom point, hold down the spacebar temporarily to drag the image to a new position, and change the maximum iterations with the mousewheel to make speed/quality tradeoffs on the fly.

(The old Magnifier zoom mode is still available- just hit the Z key to switch between realtime zoom and magnifier modes).

The newly implemented Zoom button does a zoom-in starting from the home image, and ending at the current image on the screen. This is great for seeing where an image "came from", or just for entertainment value.

v0.9 also adds support for user-defined color palettes. Now you can disregard the authors' aesthetic choices and color the Mandelbrot set however you want. It's simple- you create a human-readable text file containing a list of colors, and it automatically shows up in QuickMAN's palette dropdown menu, ready to be used. You can also edit it on the fly and see the results immediately.

Two example files are included. The simplest, a two line black and white palette, is surprisingly nice- many images take on the look of snowflakes. The other one was designed as an example of the file format rather than to look good.

We need more palettes- please send in any good ones you create. If there's enough interest I'll look into making a separate release package just for palettes (and logfiles).

There are a lot of new features in this release so try to read the manual on the Docs page. If you don't want to read the whole thing, at least check out the Quickstart section.

Posted by Paul Gentieu 2006-07-19

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