Fractal Fr0st 1.3 released

December 22, 2010

I’m happy to announce that the latest version of Fractal Fr0st is ready for download!

Get Fractal Fr0st 1.3

New in this version:

GUI:
-Added gradient browser, which is able to load .ugr, .map, .xml and .flame files.
-Preview renders are now cached, so the same images aren’t rendered over and over again.
-Added anim tab, where flame time and related attributes can be set. Also added a script to create interpolated animation sequences using those attributes.
-Increased size of small preview to better fill the available space.

Bugfixes:
-Fixed a bug that made it impossible to change some of the configuration settings.
-Added space requirement of output image to memory calculation in render dialog.
-Installer now displays the correct version.
-Various small fixes.

As usual, I appreciate all feedback, bug reports, constructive criticism, and link love.

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Xaos is like inverted sculpting

June 19, 2009

You start with a base fractal that is a messy sea of intricate details. You start stripping away elements to create a bit of breathing room. Gradually, you refine the composition and reduce it to its core elements. By the end of this process, you will have revealed the beauty that was there from the beginning.

grj

I started off with just a few transforms, like 3 or 4, and went through all xaos links to see which ones needed to be removed. Then I added an extra transform to create more detail where it was lacking, went over the additional xaos links created, and repeated the process as many times as was needed.

The final image consists of 6 transforms, for a total of 6*6 = 36 xaos links, of which only one is set between 0.0 and 1.0, one is above 1.0, and no less than 13 are set to 0. At least half of the time it took me to make the image was spent tweaking these links and other minor details such as variation weights.

In the end, this kind of effort is totally worth it. A good flame can take less than 10 minutes to make, but a truly great one (which I don’t claim this one to be!) will inevitably take hours of work, spread out over several sessions. That’s how it works for me at least – you’ll have to judge the result for yourself.

grj no xaos

This is how the fractal would look like if xaos was disabled. Of course, it never actually looked like this at any point during its making, as the transforms were built up gradually. I’m including it here just to show the huge difference xaos makes in the whole process of creating fractal flames.


The Power of Simplicity

December 21, 2008

It’s way too easy to lose oneself in complexity, and forget that even the most simple things can be full of beauty, specially if we’re talking about fractals.
These fractal images have only 2 transforms, each with a single variation set at 1. And yet, despite being concentrated and distilled down to a mere 9 dimensions out of the hundreds available in fractal space, they still carry a huge amount of expressive power, displaying intricate patterns emerging from the simplest forms.

crossroads

void

rose

movement

julia

heart

glass

If you thought that was the absolute lower limit at which an aesthetically pleasing image can be achieved, think again. Single transform flames, unable to ever escape monochromatic space, are still able to produce some pretty impressive effects, although they’re dangerously close to the absolute lower limit.

one
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course, but for me at least, the technical challenge of these constraints alone has made the achievement worthwhile 😉