Fractal eXtremeFXMovie Player Plug-in Help

Fractal eXtreme Movie Player Plug-in Help

This document describes how to use the Fractal eXtreme Zoom Movie Player Plug-in (FXZMPP) to view fractal zoom movies embedded in web pages.

If you wish to view a web page containing Fractal eXtreme zoom movies you first need to install the plug-in. Then read the rest of this page if you need any help in using the plug-in.

We also have information for people interested in writing web pages that use the Fractal eXtreme Zoom Player plug-in.

The Zoom Movie plug-in allows fractal zoom movies to be efficiently played within a web page. To create your own fractal zoom movies suitable for publishing on the web, or playing on your desktop, you can download a free trial version of Fractal eXtreme, probably the fastest, funnest, and easiest to use fractal exploration program available for Windows. We hope you'll try it, like it, and buy it.

There are three types of controls for the zoom movie plug-in:

Popup menu commands

If you click the right mouse button on the zoom movie, a popup menu will appear, listing several important commands. The popup menu can also be invoked using the left button on the
control panel. The commands are:
  • Play Controls
    • Play - stops and starts the movie
    • Reverse - reverses the playback direction
    • Faster - speeds up the movie
    • Slower - slows down the movie
  • Colour Cycling Controls
    • Cycling On - stops and starts colour cycling
    • Reverse Cycling - reverses the colour cycling direction
    • Faster - speeds up colour cycling
    • Slower - slows down colour cycling
  • Display Mode
    • Normal - uses a fast pixel replication/dessication scaling routine
    • Bilinear - uses a potentially much higher quality scaling routine to minimize flickering and popping. This requires a 24-bit display and a fast CPU, as it is extremely compute intensive.
  • Frame Rate - the frame rate affects how smooth the animation appears. It does not affect the zoom speed, or how long the animation lasts. Higher zoom speeds look better, but they use more CPU time. If you choose too high a zoom speed for your computer, your browser may become unresponsive, and the frame rate will be sluggish and irregular.
    • Normal - a frame rate of 20 frames per second (fps) in the normal Display Mode and 6.66 fps in bilinear.
    • Faster - 25-30 fps in normal Display Mode and 10 fps in bilinear.
    • Fastest - 30-45 fps in normal Display Mode and 15 fps in bilinear.
  • Show Text - toggles the visibility of the overlay text, if the web page author has supplied some. This command is disabled if there is no text.
  • Show Numbers - toggles the visibility of the statistics showing the number of zooms and zoom speed. One zoom corresponds to a doubling of the magnification. Ten zooms corresponds to a thousand fold increase in magnification.
  • Show Controls - toggles the visibility.
  • Save As - allows you to save the zoom movie to your local machine, for playback later. This will be disabled if the movie has not finished loading, or if the web page author disables it. The movie will be saved in a special compressed form which is optimized for putting into web pages.
  • Explore From Here - this loads the current location into Fractal eXtreme, if you have it installed on your machine. This allows you to continue exploring the fractal at that point.
  • Zoom Movie Info - opens a window displaying the zoom movie name, total time to calculate, number of zooms, original size, and displayed size.
  • Fractal eXtreme on the Web - takes you to the Fractal eXtreme home page.
  • Help - takes you here!
  • About FX Movie Player - brings up the about box

Keyboard shortcuts

Many of the commands in the popup menu have keyboard shortcuts, which are listed in the popup menu. There are also some commands which are only available from the keyboard. If the movie player seems to be ignoring your keyboard commands, click on the movie to ensure that it is selected. For more information on these keyboard shortcuts, see the popup menu documentation.

The complete list of keyboard shortcuts is:

  • LEFT ARROW -- decreases the zoom level by 0.1. Same as O
  • RIGHT ARROW -- increases the zoom level by 0.1. Same as I
  • UP ARROW -- increases the zoom speed: Same as +
  • DOWN ARROW -- decrease the zoom speed: Same as -
  • HOME -- sets the zoom level to zero.
  • END -- sets the zoom level to the maximum.
  • PAGE UP -- decreases the zoom level by 1.0.
  • PAGE DOWN -- increases the zoom level by 1.0.
  • C -- toggles whether the control panel is visible
  • O -- decreases zoom level by 0.1
  • E -- explore from here
  • I -- increases zoom level by 0.1
  • N -- toggles whether numerical information is visible
  • P -- toggles whether the movie is playing
  • R -- reverses the playback direction
  • T -- toggles whether overlayed text, if any, is visible.
  • V -- reverses the colour cycling direction
  • Y -- stops and starts colour cycling
  • 1 -- speeds up colour cycling
  • 2 -- slows down colour cycling

Control panel

The control panel has three parts. From left to right they are:

Extra Information

You may notice that when the movies start playing there is some text in the lower left hand corner saying something like "5 of 10 loaded". This is telling you how many of the keyframes have been loaded in. The zoom movie begins playing as soon as the first two keyframes are loaded, however it plays much more smoothly once the loading process has finished.

If your browser seems to be having trouble loading a movie, or moving to another web page while a zoom movie is playing, it is probably because the playing of the zoom movie is taking up too much CPU time. We've tried to write the movie player to be as good a sharer as possible, but displaying zoom movies is CPU intensive work. If you have this problem, use the popup menu to pause movie playback so that your web browser gets enough CPU time to finish its work.

Zoom Movies saved from within the Zoom Movie plug-in use a special compressed format so that they can easily play over the internet. Older versions of the stand alone Fractal eXtreme Zoom Movie Player cannot play these movies. You may need to visit our downloads page to get the latest version if you want to play these movies with the stand alone movie player.

Did you know? Once you have installed the movie player plug-in you can use it and your web browser to look at zoom movies you have stored on your hard drive. You don't even need to create web pages for them! Just use the 'Open File' command (.fxz files should be one of the types in the filter list) and select one of your zoom movies!

To practise your newfound knowledge you can take a look at some of the demo pages using the movie player plug-in.

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