Note: Evolver was designed as a research tool, and I wrote all of the code from scratch in under a month. Although it has an attractive user interface and will run on many platforms, it is not a commercial product. Installation requires some familiarity with Java, and it is not unusual for the program to crash or perform poorly under stressful circumstances.
You can download Java 1.3 from Sun's site. They support Solaris, Linux, and Windows. If you are running Mac OS X, you already have Java 1.3 installed.
java -Xincgc -Xmx100M Evolver. This command line runs Evolver with a large heap size and incremental garbage collection, both of which improve performance.
Evolver takes a while to load because it opens many windows and
generates a series of images. If you want to play an animation, you
can launch the animation player separately using
-Xmx100M AnimationPlayer animationname.anm. To just run
the Behavior Viewer, use
java -Xincgc -Xmx100M BehaviorViewer.
When you have a set of images you like, press the organge "evolve" button in the lower right corner. Evolver will process for a while, then show you a new set of sixteen images that are combinations of the originals. Select the ones you like and evolve again.
At any point, you can press the red "reset" button to get a completely random generation. In addition to dragging images from the Evolver window, you can drag them onto the window. Almost any image in Evolver can be dragged to replace any other image. The large picture in the center of the Morph window is one exception. Don't drag it or you will crash the program.
You can make a screenshot using your operating system's built in mechanism. On Windows, press the Print Screen button, then open a graphics program like Paint Brush or PhotoShop and paste. You may want to use the resolution drop down box to render a large version of the image before taking a screen shot.
To save an expression for later rendering or further evolving, copy the text out of the green box in the Behavior Viewer and save it using a text editor. To load a saved expression, double click on the green window, then paste your saved expression in and press the check button.
Optikal.anm is a sample animation. You can play it by typing
animation Optikal.anm. It is designed to be synchronized
with optikal.s3m, a ScreamTracker III file you can play in WinAMP.
You can launch the Behavior Viewer by itself by running "editor.bat". This saves you the time of waiting for Evolver to load. Note that you need to resize the Behavior Viewer to see the filter diagram on the right side.