Flam3 is the standard rendering library for fractal flames. It is used in various fractal flame editing programs, the most famous being Apophysis which has been in use since the early 2000s. Other popular programs with their own implementations are Chaotica and JWildfire.
While flam3 served a purpose at a time, the code had become dated and was in need of re-architecting. Further, GPU computing had evolved to the point where the computationally intensive parts of the algorithm could be run much faster on a video card than on a CPU.
This effort is a combination of several sub-efforts:
- Re-write the entire flam3 library and its associated command line tools in C++
- Implement the algorithm using the GPU through OpenCL
- Create a new GUI editor that uses the new libraries
- Set the stage for real-time fractal flame animation when GPUs become powerful enough
- Use rendering times as standard benchmarks for hardware tests