Download parameter file “sudz01.zar”

Think of it as fractal froth. Something skimmed off and tossed. adj. 1. of no direct relevance; a by-product of mathematical calculation; a far-out domain, eg.(OE) “let’s go to sudzy-ville”.

In Xaos, the Barnsley formulas when done in Mandelbrot mode using squares in-coloring and the edge detection filter, would produce this shattered, fish-net sky that when zoomed into had all sorts of interesting currents and eddies of what is really not part of the fractal formula at all but is just something produced by the rendering method of the program, artificial and un-fractual and should have been rendered as empty space.

Download parameter file “sudz02.zar”

I’m not really interested in fractals, I’m just looking around for interesting things.

What is a fractal? To me it’s the seeds that grow into wild digital domains. Jack’s digital beanstalk -and you get to keep the cow.

We came up here to ponder mathematics? I came up here to plunder mathematics.

Download parameter file “sudz03.zar”

I started to read about fractals and chaos in a book by James Gleick. Very interesting, although somewhat challenging intellectually. However, not really important for the making of fractal art.

Fractals are unique in digital art because they have such freaky, theoretical foundations. Fractal programs do more than make pretty pictures. Mathematical theory made flesh. Not too long ago this was the exclusive domain of dreams and visions.

Download parameter file “sudz04.zar”

Infinity in a grain of sand, or something like that. Only the mathematicians see that. We just see a pretty picture, overflowing here and there, with sudz.

April 19, 2006

When hills are dreaming

April 17, 2006


Download parameter file “zero01.zar”

Between zero and infinity
is the zone
of tentacles

Download parameter file “zero02.zar”

With every iteration
fresh zeroes arrive
they climb the mountain
to the place of 1.000
then downward
and outward
to infinity
the other zero

Download parameter file “zero04.zar”

Iterate and bifurcate
the stalks and bubbles proliferate
on their way to zero

So far they come
such distance they go
arriving, departing
the place of 1.000

Download parameter file “zero03.zar”

Their life is a line
and each becomes a hero
on the mountain of 1.000
between zero and zero

April 14, 2006

Tierazon Radio

Why do so many fractal programs have hyphens and funky capitalization in their titles?

Download parameter file “radio01.zar”

Well, not in my blog they don’t, not in Fractal Bean-StaLK. It means I have to look for the hyphen key when I’m typing and double-check the capitals. I’d like to overhaul spelling in the whole English language too.

Anyhow, I just love the waffle coloring setting (#2) in Tierazon 1.7. It’s such a versatile pattern. It’s not unlike the system of dots used to produce B&W newspaper photos and has similarly interesting effects when scaled.

I upped the Bay Factor settings in the fractal parameters from the default of 1 to 3. But really, isn’t this radio thing here pretty freaky? Sometimes I think fractal formulas could be used to produce designs for real things.

The big change is from increasing the Stalks and Bubbles from 0.08 to 0.8. This is what made for the big round, expanded mesh thing at the back of the radio.

The filter is #40, x-ray Bubbles and the formula is a Polynomial, #95, z*z*z*z/t1+c.

The formula is important because Tierazon allows you to make up your own formulas. I did the one just below from this humble formula: z*z*z/2+c.

Download parameter file “radio02.zar”

Mayan television. I wish I could stick a flag in it and claim it for my kingdom in perpetuity, but I’m sure it’s already been discovered. I can’t imagine venturing into uncharted waters on my first day in the fractal formula sailboat.

How about this Fractal Wurlitzer? Tierazon is really fantastic, turning mouse-clicks into gold.

Download parameter file “pillar01.zar”

There’s a whole island of fractal appliances out there for the taking. But watch out for Long John Silver. And for me too…

April 12, 2006

Fractal Crash Scene

There’s something intoxicating, I mean fascinating, about overwhelming force.

Download parameter file “crash01.zar”

I’ve always been curious about burning, blasting or crushing. I remember blowing up spray cans and burning up toys just for fun.

Or rolling loose boulders off a cliff or hitting some small object thing with a sledge hammer.

There was always a moment of excitement when you ran over to look at the outcome of those powerful forces; the collision, the crash scene.

Download parameter file “crash02.zar”

I remember back in university, one of my Geography professors said that he thought primitive people often started large forest fires or grass fires just for entertainment. So I guess it’s a healthy, natural and expected thing –for a neanderthal.

I’m not talking about violent things that cause pain or suffering like earthquakes or bombings or tsunamis or car accidents. That’s sick.

Meteor Crater in Arizona or New Mexico or somewhere in the Southwest; A crash scene that piques our curiosity (nothing morbid about that).

Ground Zero near White Sands New Mexico, the site of the first atomic blast. People want to see that spot for themselves; to stand in the footprint of the monster.

Download parameter file “crash03.zar”

With fractals, the same thing. The power, the tumult, the sudden thud of the mathematical sledge hammer. C’mon, quick! let’s take a look inside that smoking crater of chaos we just made before the fire department gets here!

Fractals: go ahead, let ‘er rip, they’re perfectly safe, those warning labels are just there for the lawyers.

Maybe my blog should have a warning label…

April 10, 2006

Tiera-Zon 2.7

Not all fractal programs do the same thing.

I’m not sure why I wrote this program off back in the summer of 2002 when I discovered fractals. I downloaded almost every freeware fractal program I could find.

I think now the reason I couldn’t get interested in it was because it didn’t make photo-realistic fractals like Sterlingware does.

I see now it was a phase I was going through; I thought photo-realism and 3D stuff was the apex of digital art. Now I appreciate more the abstract qualities of Tiera-Zon: shape, forms, lines, cut-outs, carve-outs.

Strangely enough, that’s the sort of thing I’ve been pursuing with Sterlingware lately, and I’m surprised that the same author, Stephen Ferguson, made both programs because they seem so different.

Color seems more straightforward in Tiera-Zon. Tiera-Zon has a lot of formulas which combine with what seems like every rendering option possible.

I’ve only been using it for about three hours now; maybe I’ll discover a few more things. It took me about half an hour to get a grasp of how to work with it because there seem to be so many menu options and they have such a wide range of effects and I was getting dizzy and confused.

What can I say? There is no ultimate or singularly best fractal program, although Ultra Fractal certainly comes close to being the most widely used one. They all work differently and have a different profile of strengths and weaknesses.

Do all painters or sculptors use the same tools? We choose the tools which give us the best results. Have you “chosen” the program you work with or did you just go with what “everyone’s” using.

Get out of the wheel ruts. Hey, get rid of the wheels. Run wild and free! Find a new way to iterate.

So check out a new fractal program or two. We won’t be an orchestra if we all play the same instruments; just a bunch of worthless vagrants sitting in garbage and playing the same old song on a half-busted harmonica dripping something disgusting out the end while decent people walk past and wonder what happened to make us into such a pathetic pile of wretchedness.

Not a pretty picture is it?

April 7, 2006

How Green was my Wasteland

While checking out the L-systems on Fractal ViZion, I re-visited another cool thing this program does.

“Random Landscapes — 3D rendering using ray-traced mid-point displacement algorithm” That’s how the author, Terry Gintz describes it in the help manual. (You can get a trial version of the program here.)

I’d probably say, “Random Wastelands — Do the Sindbad thing and get dropped of by a Roc in the middle of nowhere.”

The images are quite stylish with a vintage touch. They remind me of the opening credits to Sergio Leone’s, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I love the wastelands.

Nicest place I’ve ever lived was Arizona. Six months on the edge of Phoenix.

Notice I said “edge;” downtown Phoenix is something else.

Just out of the city to the northeast there was a nice “park.” The closest thing to it back east would be a gravel pit overgrown with small trees.

Wasteland of wondrous waste and endless worthless wastes. Sun cracked golden ground. Silent sky, silent sun. Rich with emptyness. The Midas-touch of the Sun.

You can walk on the steams because they have no water in them.

Bright sunshine, the occasional breeze, no bugs, you don’t need a trail, just pick a direction and start walking.

You don’t need a map, you’re standing on the map.

There’s no water. Finding water is like finding money. 2 liters of water and a hat is all you need.

Movies about Mars have been filmed out here; this place is more martain than Mars.

Wear a hat and you’re always in the shade.

Why do people retire out here? Because this is the place we’d live if we didn’t have to work.

Ian Tyson, a folksy country singer, left the big eastern city and a steady income to live out west where work was uncertain. Looking out at the mountains one morning, he said he’d rather starve out here than live back east.

There’s going to be a place in Heaven just like Arizona; a land of sunshine to explore forever.

April 5, 2006

Fractal ViZion L-systems

“Random Lsystems — 3D turtle graphics with ray-traced highlights.”

That’s a serious techno-label from the help manual for the spectacular turbo-turtle dance frenzy that ends with a pile of freaked-out, electrified foliage.

Here’s what they start out like.

Half the fun is just watching the program draw the freaky blueprints for the L-system mutants.

I’ve altered the colors in my graphics program (just the first 5 images except for the two preliminary line drawings), although Fractal ViZion does some pretty spectacular color on it’s own, once you push the button to get it into a random orbit.

Fractal ViZion does a lot more than just L-system extra-terrestrial fauna but that’s my favorite. Actually, Fractal ViZion does everything even some weird 3D rock things, fractal landscapes and some Strange Attractors. Fractal Explorer doesn’t even do all this.

The rest of the images from here on down are all unprocessed, original color just as Fractal ViZion made them. Another thing, the program was made by Terry W. Gintz and a trial version that only produces images 320×240 can be downloaded here.

Yes, it’s old. But if you shouldn’t look a gift-horse in the mouth to find out its age, the same should go for fractal programs. Sterlingware is getting on in age too, and look how it great it is.

If you push some of the buttons in Fractal ViZion’s L-system FV remote thing you get random mutations. That means new stuff that may not look anything like the original. That’s exciting, algorithmic creativity.

Of course you can write your own L-system creatures but I prefer to let the program make them up for me.

L-systems are quite an interesting attempt to model plant growth and aren’t just a method for making neat digital stuff. I make a point of trying not to duplicate what others have already published on the internet; you can find all kinds of links on Google to information about L-systems. My unique contribution is a few pictures and some crazy-talk.

April 3, 2006

The Fractals of Madness

Download parameter file “hills01.loo”

Once upon a time hardworking artists were congratulated and rewarded for producing freaky images like this.

I used to have several books by AE Van Vogt and the pictures on the covers would today look like crude imitations of fractal art.

Long ago it was possible to stimulate people’s imagination with far-out space art. There were undoubtably books that were not as good as their covers.

Download parameter file “roots12.loo”

Today Futurism and things futuristic have an antique quality to them like the illustrations to novels by Jules Verne. We are dated by our pictures of the future.

Amazing still has a frontier; a place of new growth and excitement. I can’t think of a name for that town or territory, but Surreal would cover it adequately.

The only futuristic pictures that haven’t yet faded are the dream/nightmare visions of surrealist painters.

That surrealism is still fresh and energetic suggests something to me. What interests us most about the future is not technology but rather thoughts and feelings.

Download parameter file “pluto01.loo”

What strange new worlds of ideas and emotion await the shining citizenry of tommorrow? Outer Space has been moved to the history department; from now on the USS Enterprise will boldly go where only the psychotic have gone before.

And this time I’ve got the fractal art for the book covers! Although, I guess they won’t be in great demand since anyone can make this stuff. It’s the writing that’s hard.

March 31, 2006


Download parameter file “sled01.loo”

The sea is a stream
of slow motion
of sliding slowy
through a building
through a city
through a room

Download parameter file “sled02.loo”

Waves crawl
the tide trickles in
hours crest and crash
our day is over
the ocean begins

Download parameter file “sled03.loo”

A day feeds a year
like a film feeds a reel
the frames stand up frozen
melting with motion
glowing and growing
and gone

Download parameter file “sled04.loo”

Moments meander to minutes
hours cascade into night
drawing our lives in water
swimming liquid light


March 29, 2006