We are delighted with the response to our challenges so far and the growing number of members! We hope you are all busy working on your challenge entries for this month, and enjoying all the new ideas and parameters that have been submitted to our galleries - do keep them coming - and don't forget to make notes on anything interesting you may have learned or discovered! We hope everyone will share their insights in a special journal at the end of the month.
Our next idea for this new Ultra Fractal users group is for a mid-month " UF Agony Aunt"* feature that we hope you will all participate in. The idea is to take questions and problems regarding the use of the Ultra Fractal program from members, publish them in one or more journals (depending on how many and how complex the issues are) and invite everyone to submit their solutions and ideas in the comments section of the journal/s. By doing it this way we may discover different ways of solving particular problems or get a broader perspective on a particular issue.
As we, the admin staff of the group, do not actually know everything (*gasp!*) we think it would be a good idea to throw these problems into the public arena for all to try and answer, both the experienced and newer users alike.
*Note: An Agony Aunt, for those of you who do not know this term, is a newspaper or magazine columnist who answers questions and offers advice on personal problems to people who write in.
So... how will this work? Well, here are a few guidelines which we hope will suit everyone:
Questions should be specific and must relate to the use of Ultra Fractal. We don't have time or space to answer general questions like "Teach me how to do masking" or "How do you make your fractal landscapes/flowers/jewels?". So try to ask something simpler like "I have designed this flower shape, how can I make a mask so I can texture just the petals? or "I need a cloud effect, how do I make one?" or "How do I get rid of that ugly spot or line in my fractal?"
We reserve the right to choose the best, most interesting questions from those submitted each month, with a view to having variety and educational value.
Please understand that your question may not be chosen if we think it is too broad in scope or we have too many questions to choose from.
It is also possible that we may also delay the discussion of something for another month if we get too many questions.
Note: We are not promising an answer. We will do our best to cover most questions sent in but it may not be possible to answer all of them. Please do not get angry or upset if your question is not answered.
You MUST be a group member to submit a question, though anybody may answer when the questions are published.
Questions MUST be submitted by note to the group. We will NOT accept questions posted under this journal or sent privately to one of the admins.
Please include the wording "Agony Aunt" in the subject line so we can identify notes with questions and nobody gets overlooked.
You may ask up to two questions per month.
Note: One question per note would be appreciated.
If necessary, please include parameters for the layer/s or fractal you have a question about. In many cases it will be so much easier for solutions to be worked and explained/demonstrated using an actual image of some kind rather than offering a long winded written reply.
Note: Bear in mind that these params will be made public so do be sure not send in anything you do not wish to be published!!
If you do not wish to be named as the questioner then please make this clear in your note. We can then take steps to keep you anonymous and upload any params under our own name on your behalf (we will assume your consent for this to be done with your parameters if anonymity is required).
Note: If no such anonymity is requested then we will probably mention your username.
The first Agony Aunt journal will be published on or around February 15th, 2013 so please submit your questions within the next few days so that we have enough time to choose suitable material, to research or work on possible answers and to prepare the journal for publication.
Note: Make sure you have the notification of new journal entries from Ultra-Fractal-Redux activated so that you will be alerted when these journals are published!
Everyone will be invited to participate on the problem solving Journal when the time comes. We want to share knowledge, ideas and alternative ways of doing things as much as possible so YOUR participation will be most welcome!
If this idea takes off and gets a good response we will look into ways of collating and archiving the material in a format that can be referred to and used by everyone, both now and in the future.
So - that's the basic idea, folks! If there is something you would like to ask about using Ultra Fractal then don't be shy - send us your question! Nothing will be considered too simple or "stupid" or "lame" - we all had to start somewhere so let us help you learn (and perhaps help others who may be too shy to ask the same sort of question). What have you got to lose?
We hope lots of you will want to participate in these discussions and we look forward to hearing from you!