The fractal is back and is as enigmatic as ever! From exciting mathematic visual to spiritual vehicle, fractals have long captured the imagination of especially the nerdy inclined humans. Nowadays they’re used in everything, from game design to weather predictions, and from retro 1990’s party flyers to music videos.
This recent Chrome experiment gives us a glimpse – albeit a tiny one – into the direction that Fractal design and programming is going. Yes, interactive, real-time, animated fractal worlds are upon us, peeps! Spawned from the undoubtedly criminally intelligent mind of Mr. Felix Woitzel, whose Processing portfolio features a host of similar interactive tests. Visit his website and treat your inner nerd to some “exponential zoom warp grids,” or “basic fluid similators.” Our unitiated bones are baffled (and our brains fried).
Musicians With Guns – Astroblast
The sheer amount of new edge we found made us almost give up on this Fractal top 5 altogether. But then we found Musician with Guns. As if cyborgs spent billions of years building a hybrid beehive structure of ‘Atlantis city’ type proportions, and we’re being given the grand tour around the mammoth metropolis on a hovercraft. Ricardo Montalban’s neo-fractal music video is a dizzying 3-D exploration of fractals that would make Doctor Who himself giddy with schoolboy-like excitement.
Exploring the vast universe of contemporary fractal creation online, you’re bound to be overwhelmed at one point or another by a complete and utter sense of alienation. As if you’re alowed a peek into some sort of secret society that’ is sharing sacred knowledge in encrypted form. Has something to do esotheric musings that sometimes come with fractals. Now, “the holy grail of 3D mandelbrots” sounds just as King Arthur as “Sierpingham Cathedral in Anglend,” but, this particular holy grail exists. It’s the 3-D equivalent to the familiar 2-D Mandelbrot set. It’s called the Mandelbulb and was uncovered in 2009. Mandelwerk rendered an image of it in the astronomical size of 400 square meters. It’s the Holy Grail, after all.
Abandoned sky circus
Don Whitaker created this interstellar piece with Mandelbulb 3D. It cost about an acre of rainforest –metaphorically speaking– to create this thing. 730 Hours of render time went into it. Can you tell? Startling images that are downright freaky when matched with the accompanying new age atmospheric synth. Weaving through highly textured neon asteroids and planets makes for a strange little surf when you’re pretty sure you’re not under the influence of hallucinogenic narcotics.
subBlue is Tom Beddard. Mr Beddard loves the aesthetics of “simple mathematical or algorithmic processes,” such as fractals. And Mr. Beddard loves to code. His biggest project to date is Fractal Lab – an amazing 3-D fractal generating software kit who’s prototype beta release caused quite a fuss among other fractal-initiated humans. This uncannyness of the evolving surfaces structures in this video is just… uncanny!
Much more amazing fractal goodness on Subblue.com
Remco is the editor of Submarine Channel, and he occasionally produces animation and game projects, such as the interactive graphic novels The Art of Pho and Ascent from Akeron. He initiated and ran the popular website about film title design, 'Watch the Titles' for many years. And he recently launched Screendiver.com – an online directory where readers can discover the best interactive comics.