Ppmforge User Manual(0)                                Ppmforge User Manual(0)


       ppmforge - fractal forgeries of clouds, planets, and starry skies



       [-clouds]  [-night] [-dimension dimen] [-hour hour] [-inclination|-tilt
       angle] [-mesh size] [-power  factor]  [-glaciers  level]  [-ice  level]
       [-saturation  sat]  [-seed  seed]  [-stars  fraction]  [{-xsize|-width}
       width] [{-ysize|-height} height]

       You can abbreviate any options to its shortest unique prefix.


       This program is part of Netpbm(1).

       ppmforge generates three kinds of  ‘‘random  fractal  forgeries,’’  the
       term  coined  by  Richard  F. Voss of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research
       Center for seemingly realistic pictures of natural objects generated by
       simple  algorithms  embodying  randomness  and fractal self-similarity.
       The techniques used by ppmforge are essentially those given by Voss[1],
       particularly  the  technique  of  spectral  synthesis explained in more
       detail by Dietmar Saupe[2].

       The program generates two varieties of pictures:  planets  and  clouds,
       which  are  just different renderings of data generated in an identical
       manner, illustrating the unity of the fractal structure of  these  very
       different  objects.   A third type of picture, a starry sky, is synthe-
       sised directly from pseudorandom numbers.

       The generation of planets or clouds begins with the preparation  of  an
       array  of random data in the frequency domain.  The size of this array,
       the ‘‘mesh size,’’ can be set with the -mesh  option;  the  larger  the
       mesh  the more realistic the pictures but the calculation time and mem-
       ory requirement increases as the square of the mesh size.  The  fractal
       dimension, which you can specify with the -dimension option, determines
       the roughness of the terrain on the planet or the scale  of  detail  in
       the clouds.  As the fractal dimension is increased, more high frequency
       components are added into the random mesh.

       Once the mesh is generated, an inverse two dimensional  Fourier  trans-
       form is performed upon it.  This converts the original random frequency
       domain data into spatial amplitudes.  We scale the real components that
       result  from  the Fourier transform into numbers from 0 to 1 associated
       with each point on the mesh.  You can further  modify  this  number  by
       applying  a  ‘‘power  law  scale’’ to it with the -power option.  Unity
       scale leaves the numbers unmodified; a power scale  of  0.5  takes  the
       square  root  of  the  numbers  in  the  mesh, while a power scale of 3
       replaces the numbers in the mesh with their cubes.  Power  law  scaling
       is  best  envisioned by thinking of the data as representing the eleva-
       tion of terrain; powers less than  1  yield  landscapes  with  vertical
       scarps that look like glacially-carved valleys; powers greater than one
       make fairy-castle spires (which require large mesh sizes and high reso-
       lution for best results).

       After  these  calculations,  we have a array of the specified size con-
       taining numbers that range from 0 to 1.  The pixmaps are  generated  as

       Clouds A  color  map  is created that ranges from pure blue to white by
              increasing admixture (desaturation) of blue with white.  Numbers
              less  than 0.5 are colored blue, numbers between 0.5 and 1.0 are
              colored with corresponding levels of white, with 1.0 being  pure

       Planet The  mesh  is projected onto a sphere.  Values less than 0.5 are
              treated as water and values between 0.5 and 1.0  as  land.   The
              water  areas  are  colored  based upon the water depth, and land
              based on its elevation.  The random depth data are used to  cre-
              ate  clouds  over  the oceans.  An atmosphere approximately like
              the Earth’s is simulated; its light absorption is calculated  to
              create  a  blue  cast around the limb of the planet.  A function
              that rises from 0 to 1 based on latitude  is  modulated  by  the
              local  elevation  to generate polar ice caps--high altitude ter-
              rain carries glaciers farther from the pole.  Based on the posi-
              tion  of  the  star  with  respect to the observer, the apparent
              color of each pixel of the planet is calculated  by  ray-tracing
              from  the  star  to  the  planet  to the observer and applying a
              lighting model that sums ambient light  and  diffuse  reflection
              (for  most  planets ambient light is zero, as their primary star
              is the only source of illumination).  Additional random data are
              used to generate stars around the planet.

       Night  A  sequence  of  pseudorandom  numbers is used to generate stars
              with a user specified density.

       Cloud pictures always contain 256 or fewer colors and may be  displayed
       on  most  color mapped devices without further processing.  Planet pic-
       tures often contain tens of thousands of  colors  which  must  be  com-
       pressed  with  pnmquant  or ppmdither before encoding in a color mapped
       format.  If the display resolution is high enough, ppmdither  generally
       produces  better  looking  planets.   pnmquant tends to create discrete
       color bands, particularly in the oceans, which are unrealistic and dis-
       tracting.   The  number of colors in starry sky pictures generated with
       the -night option depends  on  the  value  specified  for  -saturation.
       Small  values limit the color temperature distribution of the stars and
       reduce the number of colors in the image.  If the -saturation is set to
       0, none of the stars will be colored and the resulting image will never
       contain more than 256 colors.  Night sky pictures with  many  different
       star  colors  often  look best when color compressed by pnmdepth rather
       than pnmquant or ppmdither.  Try newmaxval settings of 63,  31,  or  15
       with  pnmdepth  to reduce the number of colors in the picture to 256 or


              Generate clouds.  A  pixmap  of  fractal  clouds  is  generated.
              Selecting  clouds sets the default for fractal dimension to 2.15
              and power scale factor to 0.75.

       -dimension dimen
               Sets the fractal dimension to the specified dimen, which may be
              any floating point value between 0 and 3.  Higher fractal dimen-
              sions create more ‘‘chaotic’’ images, which require higher reso-
              lution  output  and  a larger FFT mesh size to look good.  If no
              dimension is specified, 2.4 is used when generating planets  and
              2.15 for clouds.

       -glaciers level
              The  floating  point  level setting controls the extent to which
              terrain elevation causes ice to appear at lower latitudes.   The
              default  value  of  0.75  makes the polar caps extend toward the
              equator across high terrain and forms glaciers  in  the  highest
              mountains,  as  on  Earth.   Higher  values make ice sheets that
              cover more and more of the land surface, simulating  planets  in
              the  midst  of  an  ice  age.   Lower  values tend to be boring,
              resulting in unrealistic geometrically-precise  ice  cap  bound-

       -hour hour
              When  generating a planet, ppmforge uses hour as the ’hour angle
              at the central meridian.’  If you specify -hour 12, for example,
              the planet will be fully illuminated, corresponding to high noon
              at the longitude at the center of the screen.  You  can  specify
              any  floating  point value between 0 and 24 for hour, but values
              which place most of the planet in darkness (0 to 4 and 20 to 24)
              result  in  crescents  which,  while pretty, don’t give you many
              illuminated pixels for the amount of computing that’s  required.
              If  no -hour option is specified, a random hour angle is chosen,
              biased so that only 25% of the images generated  will  be  cres-

       -ice level
              Sets  the  extent  of  the  polar ice caps to the given floating
              point level.  The default level of 0.4 produces ice caps similar
              to those of the Earth.  Smaller values reduce the amount of ice,
              while larger -ice settings create more prominent ice caps.  Suf-
              ficiently large values, such as 100 or more, in conjunction with
              small settings for -glaciers (try 0.1) create ’ice  balls’  like

       -inclination|-tilt angle
              The  inclination  angle of the planet with regard to its primary
              star is set to angle, which can be any floating point value from
              -90  to 90.  The inclination angle can be thought of as specify-
              ing, in degrees, the ‘‘season’’ the planet is presently  experi-
              encing  or, more precisely, the latitude at which the star tran-
              sits the zenith at local noon.  If 0, the planet is at  equinox;
              the  star  is directly overhead at the equator.  Positive values
              represent summer in the  northern  hemisphere,  negative  values
              summer  in  the  southern  hemisphere.   The Earth’s inclination
              angle, for example, is about 23.5 at the June solstice, 0 at the
              equinoxes in March and September, and -23.5 at the December sol-
              stice.  If no inclination angle is  specified,  a  random  value
              between -21.6 and 21.6 degrees is chosen.

       -mesh size
              A  mesh of size by size will be used for the fast Fourier trans-
              form (FFT).  Note that memory requirements and computation speed
              increase as the square of size; if you double the mesh size, the
              program will use four times the memory and  run  four  times  as
              long.   The  default  mesh is 256x256, which produces reasonably
              good looking pictures  while  using  half  a  megabyte  for  the
              256x256  array  of  single precision complex numbers required by
              the FFT.  On machines with limited memory capacity, you may have
              to reduce the mesh size to avoid running out of RAM.  Increasing
              the mesh size produces better looking pictures;  the  difference
              becomes  particularly noticeable when generating high resolution
              images with relatively high fractal dimensions (between 2.2  and

       -night A  starry  sky  is generated.  The stars are created by the same
              algorithm used for the stars that surround planet pictures,  but
              the output consists exclusively of stars.

       -power factor
              Sets  the  ’power  factor’  used to scale elevations synthesised
              from the FFT to factor, which can be any floating  point  number
              greater  than  zero.  If no factor is specified a default of 1.2
              is used if a planet is being generated, or 0.75  if  clouds  are
              selected  by  the  -clouds  option.  The result of the FFT image
              synthesis is an array of elevation values between 0  and  1.   A
              non-unity power factor exponentiates each of these elevations to
              the specified power.  For example, a power factor of  2  squares
              each  value,  while a power factor of 0.5 replaces each with its
              square root.  (Note that exponentiating values between 0  and  1
              yields  values  that  remain  within that range.)  Power factors
              less than 1  emphasise  large-scale  elevation  changes  at  the
              expense  of  small  variations.   Power  factors  greater than 1
              increase the roughness of the terrain  and,  like  high  fractal
              dimensions,  may  require  a  larger FFT mesh size and/or higher
              screen resolution to look good.

       -saturation sat
              Controls the degree of color saturation of the stars  that  sur-
              round  planet  pictures  and  fill starry skies created with the
              -night option.  The default value of  125  creates  stars  which
              resemble  the sky as seen by the human eye from Earth’s surface.
              Stars are dim; only the brightest  activate  the  cones  in  the
              human  retina,  causing color to be perceived.  Higher values of
              sat approximate the appearance of stars from Earth orbit,  where
              better  dark  adaptation, absence of skyglow, and the concentra-
              tion of light from a given star  onto  a  smaller  area  of  the
              retina thanks to the lack of atmospheric turbulence enhances the
              perception of color.  Values greater than 250  create  ‘‘science
              fiction’’  skies  that,  while  pretty, don’t occur in this uni-

              Thanks to the inverse square law combined with Nature’s love  of
              mediocrity, there are many, many dim stars for every bright one.
              This population relationship  is  accurately  reflected  in  the
              skies created by ppmforge.  Dim, low mass stars live much longer
              than bright massive stars, consequently there are  many  reddish
              stars  for  every blue giant.  This relationship is preserved by
              ppmforge.  You can reverse the proportion, simulating the sky as
              seen  in a starburst galaxy, by specifying a negative sat value.

       -seed num
              Sets the seed for the random number  generator  to  the  integer
              num.  The seed used to create each picture is displayed on stan-
              dard output (unless suppressed with the  -quiet  option).   Pic-
              tures  generated  with  the  same seed will be identical.  If no
              -seed is specified, a random seed derived from the date and time
              will  be  chosen.  Specifying an explicit seed allows you to re-
              render a picture you particularly like at a higher resolution or
              with different viewing parameters.

       -stars fraction
              Specifies  the  percentage  of  pixels,  in tenths of a percent,
              which will appear as  stars,  either  surrounding  a  planet  or
              filling  the  entire  frame if -night is specified.  The default
              fraction is 100.

       -xsize|-width width
              Sets the width of the generated  image  to  width  pixels.   The
              default width is 256 pixels.  Images must be at least as wide as
              they are high; if a width less than the height is specified,  it
              will  be increased to equal the height.  If you must have a long
              skinny pixmap, make a square one with ppmforge, then use  pamcut
              to extract a portion of the shape and size you require.

       -ysize|-height height
              Sets  the  height  of the generated image to height pixels.  The
              default height is 256 pixels.  If the height  specified  exceeds
              the width, the width will be increased to equal the height.


       The  algorithms  require the output pixmap to be at least as wide as it
       is high, and the width to be an even  number  of  pixels.   These  con-
       straints are enforced by increasing the size of the requested pixmap if

       You may have to reduce the FFT mesh size on machines with 16 bit  inte-
       gers and segmented pointer architectures.


       pamcut(1), pnmdepth(1), ppmdither(1), pnmquant(1), ppm(1)

       [1]    Voss,  Richard F., ‘‘Random Fractal Forgeries,’’ in Earnshaw et.
              al.,  Fundamental  Algorithms  for  Computer  Graphics,  Berlin:
              Springer-Verlag, 1985.

       [2]    Peitgen,  H.-O.,  and  Saupe,  D.  eds.,  The Science Of Fractal
              Images, New York: Springer Verlag, 1988.


       John Walker
       Autodesk SA
       Avenue des Champs-Montants 14b
       CH-2074 MARIN
           Fax:038/33 88 15
           Voice:038/33 76 33

       Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software  and  its
       documentation  for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, with-
       out any conditions or restrictions.  This  software  is  provided  ‘‘as
       is’’ without express or implied warranty.

       If  you  like  this  kind of stuff, you may also enjoy ‘‘James Gleick’s
       Chaos--The Software’’ for MS-DOS, available for $59.95 from your  local
       software  store  or directly from Autodesk, Inc., Attn: Science Series,
       2320  Marinship  Way,  Sausalito,  CA  94965,  USA.   Telephone:  (800)
       688-2344  toll-free or, outside the U.S. (415) 332-2344 Ext 4886.  Fax:
       (415) 289-4718.  ‘‘Chaos--The Software’’ includes a more  comprehensive
       fractal forgery generator which creates three-dimensional landscapes as
       well as clouds and planets, plus five more modules which explore  other
       aspects  of  Chaos.   The user guide of more than 200 pages includes an
       introduction by James Gleick and detailed explanations by  Rudy  Rucker
       of the mathematics and algorithms used by each program.

netpbm documentation            25 October 1991        Ppmforge User Manual(0)

Man(1) output converted with man2html