Preview Window

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Preview Window Overview

The Fractal Science Kit fractal generator Preview Window is used to preview fractals. There is a single Preview Window for the entire application. There are 2 ways to display the Preview Window.

The first way is to check the Preview Julia item on the Tools menu of the Fractal Window (or press the Preview Julia toolbar button) and then click on the fractal image to set the Julia Constant and generate a Julia fractal preview. The preview is based on the properties that were in effect when the Mandelbrot fractal was generated. That is, any changes to the properties pages since the Mandelbrot fractal was generated have no affect on the resulting Julia fractal. As long as the Preview Julia item is checked, additional clicks on the fractal image will update the Preview Window with the Julia fractal based on the new Julia Constant. The Preview Julia menu item and toolbar button are disabled on Julia fractals, Orbital fractals, and L-System fractals.

The second way to display the Preview Window is to click the Preview Fractal toolbar button on the Fractal Window or the Properties Window to preview the fractal resulting from changes you have made on the Properties Pages. If the Zoom In or Zoom Out state is active on the associated Fractal Window, the zoom is applied to the preview as well.

Fractal Science Kit - Preview Window

The Preview Window is a small version of the target fractal and is usually faster to generate than a full-sized version. The Mandelbrot fractal iteration is greatly affected by the size of the image so the Preview Window is much faster to generate. However, the fractal iteration for Orbital fractals is unaffected by the size of the image so the Orbital fractal iteration does not benefit from the smaller size. Still, all of the post-sample generation steps including Data Normalization, the data to color mapping handled by the Color Controllers, and image processing (smoothing, sharpening, embossing, anti-aliasing), are tied to the image size, so even Orbital fractals benefit to some degree from the smaller size.

If you click on the image in the Preview Window, a new Fractal Window will open with a full-sized version of the preview.

Toolbar Buttons

Fractal Science Kit - Preview Window Toolbar Buttons

There are several toolbar buttons on the Preview Window that can be used to adjust the preview:

  • Save is used to quickly save the current working properties file and the associated preview image. This can be handy when you find something interesting but you don't want to interrupt your current focus. The properties file is given a temporary name and is saved in the folder set on the Preview tab of the Options Dialog. The format of the preview image file is set on the Preview tab of the Options Dialog as well.

  • Zoom In magnifies the fractal image. Zoom In is disabled on L-System fractals.

  • Zoom Out decreases magnification to expand the view to see parts of the fractal outside the current view. Zoom Out is disabled on L-System fractals.

  • Reset restores the default magnification. Reset is disabled on L-System fractals.

  • Increase Window Size increases the size of the Preview Window. Clearly, the larger the Preview Window is, the longer it will take to generate the preview image.

  • Decrease Window Size decreases the size of the Preview Window. You can reduce the size of the preview to reduce the time it will take to generate the preview image. Decrease Window Size is disabled when you reach the minimum size of the Preview Window.

  • Stop cancels the display of the current preview. Stop is enabled only while the preview is being generated. Stop can be used to break out of infinite loops in your program, to stop a preview request that is taking too long, or to terminate a preview request if you decide you need to make additional changes to the properties first.

  • Open Documentation opens this documentation in your browser to this page.


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