Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where's my order?
A: Information to download programs is sent via email, usually within 24 hours of receipt of an order. Please make sure that your email address is current with PayPal if ordering through PayPal. You cannot be reached with the download info if you have changed email addresses without updating your PayPal account. On rare occasions a domain or email address is unreachable from Att.net or Yahoo, in which case the download info is left with PayPal (along with a small refund.) Sometimes, spam blockers will discard the email containing download info, so it is important to keep the spam-blocker settings low enough to prevent this happening or turn off said blockers when ordering online.
Note: the programs are downloaded from Mystic Fractal, not shipped through regular mail. This allows bug fixes and minor updates to the programs to be posted and received on a timely basis.
Q: Can I sell my art work that I design using this software?
A: Yes, you can sell anything you create using the software, with a few exceptions. There are no copyright restrictions for random fractals generated automatically by the programs and fractals you make by inserting parameters into the formula and parameter windows, etc. The only fractals that are copyrighted (and thus restricted) are those that are supplied as samples in the programs, such as the opening "title" fractal and anything included as an "example" (as in the prerecorded construction sequences *CS* of RSK.). The samples are provided to showcase what the programs do, as well as illustrate certain formulas and techniques. In addition, you should avoid using without the author's permission any image parameter files (.par) that may have been previously developed by users of Fractint or Ultra Fractal. Most of these have copyright notices embedded in the files. The lsystem files (.ls) are all public domain, and may be used without restriction.
Q: What is the difference between Fractal Zplot and Fractal Imaginator?
A: Fractal Imaginator offers a quite innovative way of exploring Julia sets. On one screen you can see 441 Julia sets derived from the same Mandelbrot set. While Fractal Zplot can technically do as much or more than Fractal Imaginator, unless you have a clue to what is contained in a fractal formula, you need to do a lot more experimenting to explore it fully. There is also an extensive supporting website for Imaginator provided by co-creator Julius Ruis at http://www.fractal.org/ . Jules has kindly provided a wide variety of data sets (with thumbnail images) at his site that can be executed by Imaginator just by downloading the files. If you have Imaginator installed, the data files are immediately accessible to Imaginator from the Internet. Also, in the Growth menu, there are many algorithms that scan certain basic fractal formulas that mirror organic processes. Just click on one and enjoy the show!
Q: Can Fractal Zplot's images be converted to JPEG, TIFF, GIF files to be printed from Photoshop?
Q: When I downloaded 2 of your Mac OS X trial reviews, both opened up to The iTunes Store Page. I could not find a link from there to QuaSZ or any thing else showing your Fractals.
Q: When I downloaded iViZionaire, Excel couldn't recognize the file and refused to open it.
A: You need to use Stuffit Expander to unpack the .sitx archive. It is not an Excel file, though your system apparently has its defaults set up to recognize .sitx files as Excel files. Either right-click on the file and tell your system to use Stuffit Expander to open the file, or open Stuffit Expander first, and drop the file into the expander bucket. This should create the executable folder for iViZionaire.
Q: I purchased [program name]. How do I get the program updates you announce periodically?
A: When you purchase a program you receive an access id and password to download the program(s) via the Download button at www.mysticfractal.com. The id and password are valid any time after your purchase. So to obtain the updates, just login to Mystic Fractal via the Download button. That is where all the updates are located.
Q: Is it alright to install a new version of the program(s) without uninstalling the old one(s)?
A: Yes. In fact this is the preferred way to go, since uninstalling the program removes all the Registry keys and files that "remember" how the program was last used. Sometimes it might be necessary to uninstall the program to reset the Registry keys, in the rare event that one of the keys should become corrupted, or you can use regedit to repair the key. The keys are all stored in /Software/Mystic_Fractal/"Program" for easy access.
Q: Are there any files that need to be in the startup directory for normal program operation?
A: Besides the program executable, only the opening data file (title.zp, title.qsz, title.fsz, etc.) for each program, plus title.bmp, the startup image file are needed. The palette file used to be necessary, but now all palette information is saved in the data file for each image. External rendering (plug-in) files, texture files, (optional) palette files, and lsystem files [ls] are now stored in separate "common" directories, accessible by all the programs that use them.
Q: Do other programs besides QuaSZ have 3D export capabilities?
A: Most of the programs (except Fractal ViZion) that support 3D quaternion images have export options for converting quaternions into obj, wrl, lwm or pov files. In addition, Fractal Zplot, FraSZle and MiSZle also have options for converting lsystems, height fields and orbital fractals to 3D object format.
Q: Do the object files have color and textures or just meshes?
A: Except for the dfx format available in some of the programs, object files are exported as simple meshes [obj], or triangle objects [ pov]. Quetzal also saves the object files with surface normals, which helps to import these files into Amorphium 1.0. Bryce doesn't seem to care if normals are not included in the obj file. So when working with Amorphium you can import an object, done with QuaSZ for example, into Quetzal. Then give it a spin in Quetzal, which saves the model with normals, for use with Amorphium.
Q: What is the function of the .zp files (Fractal Zplot) and .qsz files (QuaSZ)?
A: These hold all the parameters used to generate a fractal image. In most cases, just saving the parameter file will enable you to recreate an image in a later session just as it appeared originally (by using the File/Load Parameters command.) So if you're trying to save disk space, the bmp file is only necessary for quick review of a parameter file, and can be as small as you like for archival purposes. After you save an image you should keep the data file and bitmap file [bmp, png or jpg] together so the image can be reloaded later with the File/Open commands.
Q: Are QuaSZ and Fractal Zplot the most advanced of your fractal generators, or are there other programs that can do other things QuaSZ and FZ can't?
A: All of the programs share some common features, like their MDI (multiple-document) interface, but every program has some unique features that it alone is capable of and thus give it value as a separate program. In most cases it would be difficult or impossible to include in one program all the features of the separate programs, and for efficiency of operation and maintenance, we no longer attempt to do this. The "spinoffs" as some would call them actually perform different tasks that are optimized in those programs. We only add common features (like registry support) to all the programs when it makes them easier to operate and learn.
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