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Archive for July, 2010

The chosen ones, part IV

From Fractal Gallery 10, “Inbetween days”:

Fractint and quite simple, using one of these odd colour maps (maybe it’s even its default map, not sure). But it ended up being extremely similar to the theme of the face painting used in the video for the song of the same name by The Cure. Again, seems like a tribute, but it was an accident, one of these that only happens with Fractint. Here’s some screen caps of the video:

A screen cap of the video by The Cure

Inbetween days - from Tim Pope's site

Inbetween Days

Inbetween Days video

It’s funny that some of these accidental images are related to The Cure (some of course were kind of inspired by or made while listening to their music as it’s one of my favourite bands), as it seems that Robert Smith himself was kind of the person that actually made me (or… forced me to!) put up a webpage to display my fractals.

When I started making my first images, it was about the same time that they were experimenting with a relatively new technology at the time (1997/98), video broadcastings and video chats. They set up a camera in the studio while recording their latest single at the time, Wrong Number (every other band does this nowadays… so it might not sound as exciting as it was back then), and we used to hang out there and chat with some of them almost every day, and even Robert Smith himself used to appear after the sessions were finished for a brief chat. It was a lot of fun, even with the poor connection I had these days (try a video chat using a 14.4 modem…), it was worth it every minute.

At this same time they had a fractal theme full of Mandelbrots in their official website (unfortunately the Web Archive doesn’t have it saved, it was very nice… maybe some fansite still have it), so I figured Robert was a bit interested in fractals… or at least knew what they were as there is even a song in the Wild Mood Swings album (their last one at that time) that is called “Strange attractions”, that says “strange attractions spread its wings/it varies but the smallest things/you’ll never know how anything will change”… makes all sense if you know fractals, doesn’t it?

So in one of these chats post-recording sessions when Robert popped in for a chat I was thinking about a way to ask him something that wasn’t too much fan-related, as he was just leaving work and probably didn’t want to talk about it… so I just said something like “Robert, you seem to enjoy fractals, I am making a fractal page”… and he promptly asked me “what’s the URL?”… and there wasn’t a page ready yet! It was being prepared and would go online sometime soon, but it wasn’t ready… no need to say that I immediately gave him an URL at Geocities or something that was saved for it and told him to visit it the next day or something because it was “under construction” and the images weren’t all uploaded yet… if it wasn’t for this push, I’d probably never really have started a website with my fractals… and here I am, almost 15 years later writing about it…

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Fractal Gallery 33

A lot of reworked images this time, and also a lot of spirals. It also features probably the longest render I ever did (the first image, took about 90 hours), considering the rendering time of images meant to be just displayed and not printed, these usually are much bigger and take some time but not that much I think. And it was not even worth it.

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The Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio

While doing some tweaks in old images I noticed that some images don’t really fit that well if just centered, mostly some spirals and images that have a certain detail that is the main “subject” of the image. If they are just moved a few bits to the side, they look more interesting. I’ve figured this by myself I guess since I never had any formal art training, and my older images seem to suffer more from this “problem”. It seems that I just did the fractal image and wherever it started, it stayed, I never tried to make it look better in terms of proportions or positioning. A small rotation the most, and that was it. But why this happens to the images? Why some appear to look better if their subjects are in certain places, mostly off-center? It can be sort of explained by the Rule of Thirds and also by the Golden Ratio.

The Rule of Thirds is well known in the photography world, and it’s not exactly a rule that you must follow all the time, it’s more like a guideline (same applies to the Golden Ratio). It says that your main subject(s) of your pictures/paintings etc. will look better if they are located 1/3 away from the image’s edges (I’d prefer to say though that the images might look better instead of will look better). It’s not a must follow rule, but it helps in some particular images.

And how do I know where is this specific location? Read the rest of this entry »

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About the images, pt. VII

With the new layout I’m trying also some new thumbnail settings for the galleries. Now the thumbnails are set to 90 x 90 pixels (maximum) and are not taking into consideration the original proportion of the image, so some of these might look a bit strange. The galleries can have a custom number of columns, so the size of the thumbnails isn’t exactly a problem but I still have to find what’s the best combination with the 4-columns gallery layout. Also available are some different templates for the galleries, and some really don’t fit well with any theme and others seem to not have any noticeable changes. Another change was the number of images related to the post that are displayed in the small “footer” of the posts, now there are 10 images displayed. Clicking these will open the image(s) individually, not its gallery.

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Almost there

I think I’ll stay with this layout (Arclite) for a while. Still needs some small fixes but this seems to be a good one for a while. Some galleries might look a little messed up because of the width of the main content, I’ll fix that later. It ended up still keeping some blue, after all. Other colours didn’t really mixed well with the fonts, blue seems a more “natural” colour for the web. Maybe just a few tweaks in the font sizes and that’s it. Also there are options for custom logos in the header, but it’s not in the plans as I’ve said in the previous post.

Edit: as Michael Jackson would say, this is it. It’s working, looks OK, all it needs now is maybe a very few adjustments. All settings were mostly kept, which is nice. And the 16 images format for the gallery works.

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