Version 2.0

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Quick Start

Intro, Shape of the tree and branches, Adding flowers etc, Example flowers, Colours, Output, More options, Picture Quality, Commercial Use, Images

To get started making virtual flowers quickly, try the various wizards. Or follow through this short introduction which introduces some of the main features of the program.

To find the example virtual flowers that come with the program go to File | Open, or easier, File | Virtual Flower Files and you will find a drop list of them all there. You can use these to make your own virtual flowers. See Commercial Use.

Most of the help is within the program itself in the form of tool tips and extra help for the tools. To see a tool tip, hover the mouse over any tool - any drop list, text field, up or down arrow, button, radio button etc.

Many of the tips end with a three dot ellipsis like this this:

Choose pattern of trees to make...

This hows you that it is one of the ones with extra help. Use F1 to show the help window - then hover the mouse over the tool again to see its help.

In the case of pictures (tree, leaf etc), hover the mouse over the picture to see its tool tip.

Nearly all the windows are resizable - even when they have text fields, drop lists and buttons etc - hover mouse over lower right corner until it turns to a double headed arrow. Then keeping it as a double arrow, press the left button down and with it held down, drag to resize.

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Shape of the tree and branches

You can change the overall shape of the tree by dragging on the image. Click on the relevant option at top left of the picture. This lets you change the branches, which changes the overall shape, the stalks, which change the way the leaves and flowers are arranged at the tips of the branches, then you can move the tree around, or you can hide the navigation text - when it is hidden, click at top left of the picture to show it again.

With these options, the effect you get depends on whether you click with the left button, right, or both together, and whether you drag horizontally or vertically. Experiment and see what these all do, or see its F1 help for the details.

To make the branches and trunk wide or narrow use Shape | Branches and adjust the radius. You can change the number of sides too - more sides make them more circular in cross section. You can also make them look rounder in the VRML output if you set the crease angle accordingly in Out | Output Options | Crease angle. If you set this greater than ninety degrees, even square trunks will get shaded in such a fashion as to seem fairly rounded when you use your model in a VRML scene.

To change the overall structure of the tree, see Shape | Tree. Increase the number of Layers to make a tree with more levels of branching and smaller twigs. You can also choose which type of leaf to use for your tree here, and then click and drag to change its shape - or do the same using Flowers Etc. | Leaves . The F1 help for the leaf picture gives more information about how to use it..

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Adding flowers etc

Then, to add various things to the tree, depending on what you want, select sheet flowers, 3D flowers, or leaves, from the Flowers Etc. menu. You also need to select Tree has leaves and Flowers, and use the Add To window to choose which shape to add to which stalks.

If you want to make a geometrical shape with Virtual Flower, rather than a tree, go to Flowers | Objects, choose the geometrical shape from the menu and click the Single Object tree button. Or easier probably, use the new Objects wizard.

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Example flowers

You can also open any of the example virtual flowers and edit them to make new ones of your own. Go to File | Virtual Flowers Files and select one of the examples from the drop list. These also are the ones that get shown in the Screen Saver.

To turn your virtual flower around and see it from other angles while you are working on it, go to Picture | Picture. Here you can use click and drag to turn your virtual flower (two ways), right click and drag to move it about in the window, and hold down both together while you drag with the mouse to zoom in / out, and turn it in another way.

To set the tree spinning, drag on it and let go while the mouse is still moving. To stop it rotating again, click on it and release the mouse button while keeping it stationery - or use Options | Reset Zoom etc to get back to the original position.

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Colours

You can change the colours from Colours | Colours. Click on one of the colour bars, and then in the Colour Wheel that pops up, click to change the hue, saturation and brightness. Tip: you can also click on the Result patch and use the Insert and Delete keys in combination with Ctrl, Shift, or both, or on their own to vary the hue, saturation and brightness.

To have leaves, flowers, branches or stalks in several colours, click on the relevant colour bar. Then in the colour wheel choose Duplicate Colour, and change the second colour as you desire it.

By default each colour is used in turn, so if you have two leaves at the end of each twig, then one is in the first colour and the other is in the next colour. If you had a clump of six leaves at the end of each twig, and three colours, the colours would be used as: first, second, third, first, second, third. If you want to use the colours in some other order than this, unselect Colours | Colours | cycle branch colours (or cycle stalk colours), and then set the order for the colours you want to use in the Numbers | Numbers A window..

When you use the sheet flowers - flat polygonal or snowflake like symmetrical shapes, you can have several of the shapes in use at once, and they are linked with the colours, so the first sheet flower is used wherever the first colour is used, the second for the second and so on.

With the petals, the colours are used for each petal cluster in the flower in turn - e.g. you could make the inner cluster one colour and the outer cluster in another. If you want alternating colours in the same cluster, then do two at the same angle from the centre of the flower, with one of them rotated, and with half the number of petals for each. The example flowers may make it clearer how this works. With daisy like flowers, the sheet flowers colour is used for the flower heart.

With the geometrical shapes, from Flowers etc | Objects, by default each colour is used for one of the objects, selecting from the petal colours. However, you can also select the option to colour polygons by number of sides - then the first petal colour is used for the polygon with least sides (e.g. maybe triangles), the next for the next number of sides (maybe squares) and so on.

To add textures to your flower or tree, see Colours | Colours | Textures.

There's lots more to discover - look out for more details in the F1 help for all the buttons and other controls.

support@virtualflower.net

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Output

When ready, you save it as VRML from Output | Output.

This window has a drop list of scenes to place the tree in, and a drop list of viewpoint files to select to add viewpoints to your scenes.

You can also use the Viewpoints window to add one more viewpoint to your scene, or to build up a viewpoints file one viewpoint at a time using Viewpoints | Add to viewpoints.

If you really get into VRML then you may well use other programs to build your scenes - the scenes in the drop list are just by way of a few examples to get one off to a quick start. You'll find many scene building programs at the VRML depository.

You need to install a plug in to see the scenes. The best one is probably the Cortona VRML client. Just visit their site and follow the instructions.

Try stepping through the view points in the view menu of Cortona to see the tree, flower, forest or avenue from various angles.

The examples are all saved with an animated tour as the first viewpoint, which keys in three seconds after you load or refresh the scene in your browser. To step off the animated tour, simply click on the scene. The tour stops at the point you have reached, and you can proceed to explore the scene on your own. Alternatively, move to the next viewpoint in the scene by selecting it from the drop list, or by using Page down in Cortona.

You can choose whether to add an animated tour of all the viewpoints to the virtual flower scene when you save the file - from Output | Viewpoints | Animated tour.

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More options

You can animate the trees so that they sway, rustle or grow using Output | Animations. You can randomise the forests or avenues from Output | Randomise.

There are many other options. Here are a few highlights: Anaglyphs and stereoscopic pairs, Higher dim., Musical Geometries, How to make the musical geometries.

Tip: Each menu also has a multi-tab dialog with all, or the most frequently needed windows. You can change which windows you show in these, and change the order in which they are shown. Show the Organise window (also in Help | Organise Tabs), select which of the tabbed dialogs you want to edit from the drop list, click with the right mouse button to select / unselect until it shows all the ones you want to show in red, or drag to change the order, then click Apply Now.

Tip: you can use fractions for input, such as 1/3. More generally, you can use formulae too - see the help for Flowers Etc. | Petal Curve | Formula.

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Picture quality

Virtual Flower doesn't yet use your graphics card acceleration to show the trees and flowers, and so isn't nearly as fast at refreshing the picture as Cortona. I plan to add OpenGL rendering, which will be much faster. You will notice this if you show a tree with many layers or with many flowers each with a large number of petals, or other complex shapes.

Meanwhile, you may well want to set it to show a line or wireframe picture while editing the tree in Virtual Flower, to speed things up, especially when you do this interactively with click and drag. So, this is the preset when dragging. When you release, it changes back to a shaded tree / flower.

To choose change these settings go to to Picture | Options and vary the Speed / Quality.Varies from -1 to 5.

There are two settings in this window - one sets how the picture is shown while moving - either animated or because you are changing the shape or moving it (preset to wireframe), and the other sets how it is shown when you stop moving it (preset to solid and shaded).

Quality level 4 is suitable for many of the trees and flowers - this paints the shapes from the back of the scene forwards so that nearer shapes get overlaid on the more distant ones, which is often just what one wants.. However, if you use this method with polygons that intersect with each other, one of them has to go in front of the other, and whichever is the nearer of the two goes in front which isn't what you want.

The only setting that lets you see intersecting polygonal shapes is quality 5, which is also by far the slowest - but it lets you see any type of intersection - even very complex polygonal self-intersecting shapes (that's why it is so slow).

Finally, for a schematic layout, see Quality level -1- this shows all shapes as circles and branches and stalks as lines. So it lets you see how the leaves, flowers etc are connected to each other, and the number of layers in the tree. It's called the Connection graph in Shape | Tree. It can be handy to switch to this level when working with the more intricate shapes - such as a tree with many layers, or one with a large number of flowers each with many petals. The idea is that if you have a very complex shape you could switch to this level for a while so that you don't need to wait for the picture to refresh while you change the settings, then switch back to one of the others when you are ready to show the final version.

If you want to make the complete picture, and give it as much time as it takes to draw it, then use Picture | Show complete tree. Or if you want to wait as long as is needed to make the picture always in the normal course of events go to Picture | Drawing Options and set the time out high. When you have a high time out you may need to hold down the Control key to interrupt the drawing if it takes too long to do. The escape key has the same effect.

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Commercial Use

Since these are demo shapes particularly included to help users get started, then it is fine to use them commercially. You can copyright your own shapes made with Virtual Flower. You have my permission to use the ones that come with the program too.

The installer itself is freely distributable.You may include it on any program download site or CD compilation - for program details see the pad file: vf_pad_file.xml.You may not sell the evaluation copy. You may not charge for other users to use Virtual Flower. If you wish to use the program itself in a commercial fashion (rather than images or animations made with it), or use the program itself to promote other commercial products, please contact me first to discuss ideas or make arrangements.

I hope this is reasonably clear. If you have any questions or want anything particular clarified then let me know. Robert Walker support@robertinventor.com

(This is not to be considered as a legal document, it is just information to help Virtual Flower users understand how I see the situation).

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Images

You can save the images using Images | Image Size and Save Image As - you set the size of the image to save there and can choose from various file formats. The Bitmap (BMP) and PNG formats are lossless so are the best to use if you want to edit it in another program and resave it. Use jpg alternatively if this is your final copy and you want a small file size. Most of the images work well either as Pngs or as jpgs.

You can also save the animation as animation frames which you can convert into an animation in other programs - for instance you could use a gif animator to convert them into an animated gif.

Or you can make an animated jpeg in flash format directly from Virtual Flower. You can also save as an animated png - generally that is a good format with a high quality losssless save, but when used in flash movies using the method used here then the size of the pngs approximately double so you will probably find high quality animated jpegs are a bit better.

You do all that from Images | Animation Frames.

Finally, you can also copy the image to the clipboard - go to the main window so that it is your active window (e.g. click on its caption) and use Ctrl + C. Alternatively, use Ctrl + Shift + C at any time when working with any of the Lissajous windows.

You may be interested to know that my music composing program Fractal Tune Smithy can make e-cards. This only works wth programs that can read the raw "eml" format - Outlook Express can however I don't know of any other that can. You can use any image on your computer so could use it to send your Virtual Flower images as e-cards. They are musical e-cards so optionally you can also add music to the card - as an attachment, or indeed if your recipient also uses Outlook Express you may be able to include the music as background sound so that the recipient hears the tune playing as soon as they look at the card. Alternatively you can also use FTS to make an html page for the e-card which you can then send in another e-mail program.

There is no gif or animated gif save yet - the plan is to add this in summer 2004. The reason for this is that patent royalties are high (thousands of dollars) for any programmer who wants to include a save in the .gif format as part of a program. The patent is for the LZW compression method used to make the gifs small, so strictly speaking, it is acceptable to add a save in gif format without compression, but the images will be huge files without it so no-one usually bothers with that idea. The patent doesn't run out in Europe until summer 2004 though it has already run out in the US. Since the software author lives in the UK then the Europe patent law surely has to apply.

The File | Save As option saves your work in the Virtual Flower format (*.LJ) which is only understood by the program itself - has data about things like the number of waves in every direction that wouldn't mean anything to any other program. Save your work in this format too so that you can come back to it later and edit it in Virtual Flower.

The idea is that you save your work as Virtual Flower files when you are working on them in Virtual Flower - and then when you want an image or animation to use in a document, web page or other program, you save those in these image and animation formats understood by other programs.

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Intro to VRML

VRML is a kind of 3D version of HTML. You can have hyperlinks etc just as for HTML - instead of clicking on a link on a web page you click on a signpost or door or such like in a 3D world, which then takes you to another web page or 3D world. Just as with Html by clicking from one VRML world to another you could end up almost anywhere.

At least - that was the idea. But computers were too slow to be up to it and the format a bit too complicated for most users. Now VRML has moved on to become the basis for X3D, which has become a widely used 3D format for showing and sharing 3D models. VRML models can be converted easily into X3D, which uses the same basic format, but with HTML like tags instead of the original curly braces (technically, it is now a form of XML). I plan to add an X3D save option to Virtual Flower in the near future.

The HTML type idea hasn't really taken off yet - X3D and VRML is generally most used for stand alone models and scenes, and they don't often have links that take you to other completely different scenes elsewhere on the web, not yet anyway..

It is still possible that some time in the not so distant future something like this will be the next standard to replace HTML once computers are fast enough so that everything tends to be done in 3D rather than 2D. As it is right now you would have to keep jumping out of the 3D models to get anywhere, search for things, or navigate sites etc.

Meanwhile, VRML, and X3D, is mostly used for making 3D models and scenes which are embedded in web pages, or linked to from web pages. X3D is also often used for those 3D world type sites where you can visit and interact with others using an avatar.

You will find many scenes here:

Web3D applications gallery.

See also Mark Connell's The Most Complete List of VRML 2.0 urls

To view them (and your output from Virtual Flower) get the Cortona VRML client and follow the instructions.

You can embed a VRML model in a web page just as you do for any plug in:3D picture of sunflowers - needs a VRML plug in to view it

<EMBED SRC="sunflowers.wrl" HEIGHT="400" WIDTH = "600"> </EMBED>

<NOEMBED>3D picture of sunflowers - needs a VRML plug in to view it</NOEMBED>

or link to it directly as you would to an html page : Sunflowers

When making Virtual Flowers for web pages, you will want them to be as small as possible to reduce the download time.

To reduce the size of the file for publication, use File | Virtual Flower Files | Compress Source File or Compress All.

This uses gzip compression, which is the standard for VRML models.

Virtual Flower also removes all the comments and extra white space before compressing the file. It also removes the virtual flower info from the end of the file.

Leave these in if you want your web site visitors to be able to show your virtual flowers in VF (and edit them) as well as the VRML browsers - select / unselect the appropriate check boxes in this dialog accordingly.

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Find out more about VRML

The best on line site for applications, tips, FAQs etc. is the VRML depository.

The best book I know on VRML is Teach yourself VRML 2 in 21 days by Chris Marrin and Bruce Campbell, Sams.net, 1997. Chris Marrin is one of the authors of the VRML 2 spec.

The best program for editing the VRML source must surely be vrmlpad from Parallelographics - the same company who develop Cortona.

They also make a free VRML screen saver - using this, you can install any of your Virtual Flower scenes as a screen saver;

Another great site for VRML info is VRML Works. Also, Micro Goodies VRML Tutors..

Daly Realism - and see particularly the Working Examples

You can reduce download times for textures in your scenes using Universal Media, which also has a great library of textures to use.

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Screen Saver

You can use any of your VRML files with an excellent free screen saver from Parallelographics designed to show Virtual Reality Modelling Language files.

First install the Cortona screen saver. You can configure it as you do other screen savers using Right click on desktop | Properties | Screen Saver | Screen Saver | Cortonal Saver, and click Settings.

Then in the Playlist, click on the ... button after the scene and browse to the file random_virtual_flower.wrl in your Virtual Flower folder.

You only need to select this single scene, because this one shows all your other virtual flowers in turn automatically. Each gets shown for a short while, together with a randomly chosen audio clip.

The audio clips used here are any ones in your Virtual Flower folder, and Virtual Flower files that you mark as okay to add.

Remake this file whenever you want to add new scenes or new audio clips to your screen saver scene, using Files | Virtual Flower Files | Remake random_virtual_flower.wrl

The example audio clips (in MIDI format) were made using Fractal Tune Smithy - which makes music like this from a short musical seed. So if you like them - give it a go and you can make many more such. You don't need to be able to read music or anything like that to use it - just select seeds from a drop list and play around with the various parameters to transform them into your own tunes.

You can also use any audio clips you may already have in any of the audio formats recognised by Cortona. It recognises mp3s for instance. To add them to the screen saver, just copy your audio clips into your Virtual Flower folder so that Virtual Flower can find them, then remake random_virtual_flower.wrl

To add / remove virtual flowers from the screen saver scene random_virtual_flower.wrl, go to Files | Virtual Flower Files, select the files in turn from the drop list, and select Ok for random virtual flower, for all the ones you want to include.

Ones that get left out will be shown with an *Excl* in the drop list.

Any virtual flowers that you have made with audio clips already are shown wtih *Aud* in the drop list. These get shown as usual in the screen saver, but are always accompanied with their own audio file instead of a randomly chosen one.

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Virtual flowers as VRML

You'll find that the flowers and trees you make with Virtual Flower turn much more readily than other VRML models of similar complexity. Also, you'll find that the files are small - often only five or six KB or less after compression - so they are really fast to download as well.

Why is this? It's because the trees and flowers are made fractal fashion. To explain about fractals - let's take a tree as an example. It may divide into two branches,and each of those into two, and so on. It may continue in this fashion for maybe seven or more layers down to individual twigs. Real trees don't divide in quite such a regular fashion. but close enough to it so that this pattern is seen as "tree like".

The twigs and branches of a tree have the same kind of structure as the tree itself - a branch can look much like an entire tree. A shape that has the same or a similar structure at many different scalings is called a fractal. Strictly speaking a mathematical fractal looks the same or similar at infinitely many scalings. In some cases you can't tell the scale of the picture at all when you look at it - and others look very much the same at any of the scalings.

If you did all the branches and twigs of a tree as separate objects, the model would be several megabytes in VRML - an extremely long wait for a download!. It would also be very slow to turn and view from various angles. Because of this, most VRML scenes with trees in them do them as a texture, up until now anyway :-). This means that the tree is a flat object meant only to be seen at a distance. If you try to walk round the tree, it will probably rotate to face you, so that you always see it from the same side. If you are able to look at it really closely, you may also see the individual pixels of the texture.

However, it just so happens the VRML language lends itself very well to a fractal definition of an object, - some kinds of fractal anyway, and the trees get tiny in size. In fact, that's the origin of this program - my nephew had converted a 3D tree he made from another format into VRML, but found that it came to several megabytes in size. I figured out a way to make a tree (not the same one, but a tree) in a few Kb instead. This program was the result.

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Links to other fractal trees

Leemon Baird's site: VRML Fractals - The First VRML Fractal Site on the Web - he made them some years before I did - though I didn't know that at the time. You can make them interactively on his page using an applet.

Fractal Garden includes some examples of another way to make a VRML tree, which is to have a script within the scene that makes it for you. This makes small VRML files too, though they are slower to rotate than these ones. The shapes of the script based trees can have random elements to them, while the Virtual Flowers ones can't if you want the branches to connect with each other smoothly.

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Applets

This is a way to embed your VRML files into web pages in a format suitable for visitors who don't yet have a VRML plug in.

They follow the X3D standard - which is a subset of the VRML spec. designed to make small java applets practical.

You need to use a suitable java applet such as Anfy 3D (from Anfy), Blaxxun 3D Viewer,

The pages on the web site use Blaxxun 3D Viewer. Virtual flower is configured to use that one, so if you have it, this is how to use it:

You can use these instructions with the free version of Blaxxun, however, nowadays when placed on a web site on-line, it displays a logo in front of the models when used for free.

See Configuring for other applets to use it with one of the others.

Configuring for Blaxxun

Deploying the applets and converting the VRML files

To add the applet to your folders, you need to download the Blaxxum SDK of course, and then look for the wizard bxWizard in the wizard sub-folder.

You then need to go through all those .wrl files one at a time and load them using the wizard to convert them to valid X3D recognised by the wizard. Then use the wizard to deploy them as X3D models. Make sure you don't overwrite the old version if you deploy it as a .wrl file. You can deploy it as a file with extension .wrl or .x3d.

You'll probably want to select all the options in the wizard | scene | scene exporting section.

If using the old version of Blaxxun, from when it used to have separate Walk and Study modes, for at least one of them choose Walk, and then Study in the wizard | extensions, so that the walk.class and examine.class applets also get copied into the install folder (or just copy those files there yourself).

Making the gallery

In Virtual Flower - if using the old version of Blaxxun, from when it used to have separate Walk and Study modes, then select File | Gallery with Applets | Old Blaxxun....

Then in Virtual Flower, use File | Gallery with Applets | Make gallery for folder.... to make all the virtual flowers in your java applets folder, and the html files to navigate them with Blaxxum.

If you want to make any changes to your models at this point to make it suitable for Blaxxun, one way to do it is to browse to the .wrl file in the java applets folder in Virtual Flower, edit it in VF, and resave - that way you can maintain special versions of all your.wrl files for Blaxxun in the java applets folder

Tip: with the Blaxxun wizard, often you want to convert a large number of models one after another, and most don't need to be changed. An easy way to do that is to deploy each in turn as say, a.html, then show that in your browser. So when you go to the next scene, just click Load Scene, then Deploy in Blaxxum, over-writing the old version, and then Refresh in your browser to see what it is like. Many will be fine as they were so you can go through those quickly, and then pause at the ones that need more work.

Changes to the VRML to make them suitable for the java applets

Some changes need to be made, particularly, java applets generally don't support protos, so you need to unselect Output | Options | Make from Protos. Virtual Flower automatically saves them like that when you use the Save .wrl and applet web page for current file button.

This can change the shape of a few of the virtual flowers, for instance, with bell flower you will find the flowers and stalks get out of sync.. That's because in order to use the alternative method without protos, it has to get resaved with Shape | Angles | Sync. order to apply A, R, & T with stalks if necessary selected.

Also Blaxxun only implements a single sky colour - so you need to make changes to the scenes that use gradations of colour for the sky and separate sky and ground colours. The "java_applets" sub folder already has suitable versions of the scenes that come with Virtual Flower already made. When you save a virtual flower from VF, it uses the scene in the folder it gets saved into in preference to the one in the install folder, if you provide one. This means your java flowers will automatically use these new versions of the scenes.

If one of the virtual flowers doesn't work and you decide to just leave it out you can do that in VF - unselect File | Gallery with Applets | Set Ok for Java Applets|. and resave. You could then delete its html file - or indeed, delete all the html files in the java applets forlder for all other models as well - as the File | Gallery with Applets | Make gallery for folder... button will remake them anew anyway.

With the old version of Blaxxun, you may decide that some of the virtual flowers may be suitable for viewing in study mode - such as the geometrical ones and the ones with no land or sea. For those, select Java Study.Then when you are ready, click on the Prepare for Java Applets | All button to remake all the html files. With the new version, they all have to be in study mode as there is no Walk mode any more.

When you upload the files to a web site, you only need ot upload the BX3D, class, jar, and htm files.

Configuring for other applets

You can configure for other applets by editing templates\java_applet.htm in your Virtual Flower folder (in Program Files). Make sure you have "Old blaxxun" unselected.

Here, **SCENE** gets replaced with the file name without the .wrl extension,**TITLE** gets replaced by the file name converted into a title by replacing underlines with spaces, and capitalising the first word, **NEXT** gets replaced by the url for the next web page, and **PREV** by the url for the previous web page.

Also **STUDY** gets replaced by a link to the study html file - you can just leave that out if you the applet doesn't use separate pages for Study and Walk mode.

The template file used to be called java_applets\java_applet_template.htm - if you have made this file already and want to use it, move it to the new file name and location.

Then to make the gallery, as for blaxxun, use File | Gallery with Applets | Make gallery for folder...

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Ray tracing

At present, VRLM worlds have no shadows, because ray tracing is still far too slow for interactive models. If interested in making ray traced scenes, I suggest you explore Povray, which is also free.

You can convert some VRML files to Povray format using Paul Thiessen's vrml2pov. This is a beta that it seems hasn't yet made it to release. Works best for the save without protos and few layers, or the single object tree - try Flowers Etc | Objects | Single Object Tree in VF. It's a command line utility and if it works, finishes fairly quickly - if it hangs, it means it didn't work, just close the MSDOS window and try another file. One would expect the result to need some editing afterwards.

Some time in the the future I plan to add a save in Povray format to Virtual Flowers.

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Fractal Music

If you like Virtual Flower, you may be interested in my other fractal program Fractal Tune Smithy - many have commented that the fractal music and the fractal flowers go together. You can add a midi clip to your Virtual Flower using Output | Audio. Also use them in the Screen Saver.

You can also send musical e-cards of some of the virtual flowers on-line from my Music and Virtual Flowers page - this has a selection of virtual flowers, together with a selection of tunes from Fractal Tune Smithy for the background music.

You can also make cards off-line, with your own fractal music, and then send them directly via e-mail using Fractal Tune Smithy program. The music is sent as an attachment, and is also embedded in the e-mail as background sound. Most users of Outlook Express hear the tune start to play at once, when they look at the e-mail in their in box, though users of other e-mail clients will normally need to click on the attachment to hear it.

To make a Virtual Flower card in this way, first show your scene in the browser, use Alt + Print Screen to copy the image to the clipboard. edit in your graphics program, and save the graphic image with the same name as the .WRL file, though of course with the .jpg, .gif or .bmp extension.

Then copy the image into the e-cards folder for FTS, and you will find you can send it as a musical e-card in FTS by selecting the image in a drop list - see the help for the musical e-cards section of FTS for more details. Copy the .wrl file into this folder too, and you will be able to automatically send it along with the e-card, as another attachment.

Save several images and .wrl files into your FTS e-cards folder in this way, and you can send any of them whenever you like, or select one of them at random for each card. You can also customise the html templates for the e-cards.

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Purchase Now

Purchase on-line, Other order methods, Product Levels,

See also, Will my program be hardware locked when I purchase it?

Purchase on line

Click here.

Choose the order type, then click Order Now and Continue after that. The order gets processed when you fill in your details and click the Place your Order button on the third page.

Secure order - for details - see the Privacy Statement.

You are welcome to try the process out first, as far as the order page to see how it works. If you have any questions about the order process be sure to ask :-). support@virtualflower.net

Buy now - Secure order

You will receive an unlock key code instantly when you complete the order. It is valid for all future releases of Virtual Flower.

You use this key to unlock the program you already have - if you haven't downloaded it yet, see Download Now. This means you have the opportunity to evaluate it first and make sure it is suitable for your needs.

When you get the key, enter it into the Unlock window you see at the start of the session, or use Help | Unlock .

For an extra few dollars, you can buy Virtual Flower as well.

Buy Virtual Flower and Virtual Flower

(you will also find this as an option in the order form for Virtual Flower).

Other order methods:

You can also pay in your own currency, if you are in any of the supported countries. To do that, go to the order page (on-line), then in the next page, select either bank/wire transfer, invoice, or giro payment. Global Collect will then send you an invoice in your own currency, which you can pay by your chosen method, after which you will be sent the unlock code.

You can also pay by Telephone or Fax (on-line)

Alternatively, fill in one of these forms and send it to my agent Register Now!

Post, Purchase order

Or if you can pay in GB pounds you can send a cheque to me directly - fill in this form: Post UK (on-line).

If you aren't able to view the on-line forms, then use the off-line versions of these pages - but send me an e-mail or letter first to check the current prices.

Telephone or Fax, Post, Purchase order, Post UK

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Product levels:

Individual user and Home Use. Home users are free to use Virtual Flower on any of their machines - you don't need to buy a site license for home use.

Site license - You only need this if you are getting Virtual Flower for an organisation. . It allows use of Virtual Flower on any number of computers belonging to your organisation, and any number of users. In the case of educational institutions, the teachers may also use the program at home.

Also check the web site for any special offers - Robert Inventor's Programs

What you purchase is the unlock key. This is the help for the program, together with the tool tips and context sensitive help. If anything isn't covered yet, or indeed, if you want to know where to find out what you need to know, then for friendly help contact: support@virtualflower.net

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