Eyecandy: Turn your computer into an expensive lava lamp.

Plasma Collection

Initial Release Date
December 13, 1997 (v1.1)
Color Palette
Max Resolution
License Status
Freeware (Source available) © Salvador Eduardo Tropea
Salvador Eduardo Tropea (aka SET)


Plasma Collection replicates various plasma effects, including those seen elsewhere here, including: JCL Plasma, Plasma, and Tom's Plasma, rendering both standard Trigonometric functions plasmas as well as the plasma fractal. Beyond replicating those various plasma effects, it also supports them in SVGA resolutions up to 1600x1200.

Salvador makes mention of "huge amounts of memory" requirements in a few spots, but the program seems to run without issue in it's full resolution with only 2MB.

Each plasma works somewhat differently:

Plasma 1

This is a real time plasma, that means is calculated each frame . For this reason the ecuations used are relative simple, based in sine and cosine. I can it interference because it more or less the interference between sinusoidal waveforms. If you don't understand it don't worry is my crazy-engineer brain ;-). I taked the basis ide from a plasma by Richard A. Butman, a.k.a. Nutty.

This plasma will render immediately, unlike the others that render a simple plasma animation at 320x200 while the patterns generate. It provides only one option "Show Lens" which will render a small lens effect on top of the plasma. The lens doesn't change size with resolution changes, so it's huge at 320x200 but tiny at 1280x1024.

The plasma will iterate between a few different plasma settings / palettes:

Plasma 1 has bugs when run in 1600x1200 resolution, where the leftmost 161 columns are improperly rendered.

Plasma 2

This is a plasma that mixes four surfaces to create the effect. As it uses four surfaces the surfaces don't have to be very different. In fact here three of them are the same. This plasma needs a lot of CPU to mix the four surfaces. If you choose fast equations the program uses an approximation for the formulas, the result is inferior but the 'dead-time' needed for the calculus if reduced a lot. I taked the basic idea from a plasm by Jan Muller and Erik Hansen.

As described in the quote above the "Fast Equations" option uses approximates that can be generated more quickly, on current PCs there is likely no need to use such.

Revisions to the "Constant" value will alter the pattern generated per the list below:

I'm unclear of what the "Ever use generic routine" option does.

Two palettes rotation mechanisms are iterated between, one where Red, Green, Blue bars animate separately, and the other that renders a simpler Blue>Aqua>Red>Purple rotation.

Plasma 3

This is a plasma that mixes two surfaces to create the effect. As it uses only two surfaces the surfaces must be very complex and hence the calculus of the 1024x768 version could take some time even in a good Pentium. I taked the basic idea from a plasma by JCL-software (Jezza).

A similar palette as JCL Plasma is used, though the juncture at the edge of the rotation has been corrected. No options are provided.

Plasma 4

This is a plasma that mixes two surfaces to create the effect as plasma 3. This plasma is the same as plasma 4, the main difference is how it generates the surface. This plasma uses a random algorithm, is very interesting. The constant controls the 'rugosity' of the surface. Three is very rough. I taked the basic idea from a plasma by Tom Dribble.

This plasma is based on Tom's Plasma, and similarly generates patterns based on the plasma fractal. Unlike Tom's Plasma it's able to render the effect at full resolution. Only one option is provided that controls the roughness of the rendered pattern (1 for smooth, 3 for rough).

Two palettes are used: the first is similar to that of JCL Plasma, the second Blue>Aqua>Red>Purple. The first is used as the plasma begins, the later after hitting 'esc'.





External References


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