Retinamandelbrot for Windows Beta Version

2021-02-19: Version 1.0 (x86-64):

Installation and Settings

Installation. There does not exist an installer (yet). Just unpack the ZIP archive and run “mandelbrot.exe”. Preferably using “rmb.bat” which kills the explorer before launching the app.

Settings. The app should run completely stutter-free. However, it cannot always determine the best parameters (number of threads, max memory sizes, bandwidth, ...) automatically. It is absolutely recommended to adjust these parameters, especially if you have a 4K/8K equipment, want to do deep zooms, and/or store videos. See adjusting paramters.

Basic functions

Zooming. To zoom and rotate a fractal use two fingers. With one finger you can move (also while zooming is still going on). Alternatively (if you do not have a touch screen) use the mouse: Drag to move. Spin the mouse wheel (or double click) to zoom. Or use the numeric keypad (2,4,6,8 to move, 1, 3 to zoom, 7, 9 to rotate, 5 to stop). Touchpads are not supported yet (that is, only via the translation to mouse movement, which is not very convenient).

Autozoom. The program detects satellites (Minibrots) in the Mandelbrot fractal. As soon as they are close to the center of the screen take your hands off (while zooming) and the program will automatically navigate towards it.

Fly into. To automatically zoom in from factor 1 to the actual position choose “Lock and zoom in” from the menu. The app will then reset the zoom but lock the current position and automatically start zooming. The speed can be regulated with pinch and spread gestures (or the mouse wheel/keypad).

Saving fractals. You may save the actual position by chosing “Save fractal” from the menu. You can store the environment and cache data collected as well. This will allow you to later instantaneously reload the current position without having to wait for background calculations. Also you may generate a high resolution photo of the current position or create a video. Do not exit the app while storing is going on.

Julia morphing. To show the Julia window tap on the small button left to the menu button (or press F1). The reference position for the Julia may then be changed using “double tap and move” (or right click) outside of the window. You can zoom inside the Julia fractal as well in the window and - even more easily - after maximizing it.

Trace mode. By tapping on the “footprints” in the lower right corner (or T on the keyboard), the sequence of complex numbers underlying the Mandelbrot (resp. Julia) iteration is made visible. The starting point can be choosen using “double tap and move” or right click. This feature is only avaiable for small zoom factors (the iteration always goes all over the place).

High resolution. The current image has always more or less the resolution of the screen. However, to have an even sharper image choose “High res” from the menu. The image is then generated in double resolution (i.e. 4 values are calculated for each pixel) and later resized using anti-alias. (If this causes display problems, adjust the parameter “graphicsmemory”).

Deep zooms. The program allows you to zoom with factors up to 10^20000 and beyond. However with increasing zoom level and complexity you may have to wait some time for background calculations to finish. Wait frequently for the red percentage [...%] to reach 100 %. If you are sufficiently close to a satellite an orange percentage [...%] appears. You have to wait for that to finish too. Afterwards you may zoom fast towards the satellite (without waiting again). You can then also jump zoom levels by choosing “Halfway to satellite” or “To satellite” from the menu. Sometimes a green percentage [...%] appears. That means the app is filling its cache in the background for faster display. If the image doesn't appear immediately you may have to wait for this to finish as well. (The calculation of the environment and detection of satellites can be manually initiated at the actual position by choosing “Recalculate environment” from the menu.)

Retinamandelbrot links. By choosing “Copy link” you may copy a link to your actual position to the clipboard that opens the current fractal with the same settings. If Retinamandelbrot is installed and the “rmb URI scheme” registered you have just to click on the link in any browser. You can register the scheme with “register.bat”. Alternatively you can start retinamandelbrot from the command line with the link as parameter: Example:

mandelbrot.exe "rmb://?x=_-2&y=_0&zoom=_1e10"

Depiction settings. There are 5 basic built-in depiction modes. These have additional parameters that can be changed using the buttons in the lower right corner (or F3-F7 and the arrow keys). Just experiment with them. The “Iteration” depiction mode, for example, maps the iteration number to a simple palette in which colors appear and disappear in waves. Colors may be added, changed (double tap or right click on the slider), and frequencies of the corresponding wave changed. You may create your own depiction modes by choosing “Customize...” from the menu. The shader code may be modified arbitrarily.

Limitations. The developed Mandelbrot rendering engine is still experimental. This means that not every region of the Mandelbrot can be rendered flawlessly or some regions cannot be rendered at all. Sometimes the rendering is slow even if it could be fast in principle. We hope to improve on this in future versions but hope that you'll have a lot of fun already with the engine as it is. Sometimes drawing artefacts show up due to the dynamics of the app. This can sometimes be remedied by chosing “Redraw” or “Redraw and clear cache” from the menu.

Presentation mode. If you plan to exhibit the Retinamandelbrot: There exists a presentation mode which prevents the user from accessing the menu and closing the app, and does demo zooming when idle. Please contact the developer.