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Posts Tagged Apophysis

Pretty!

This is now my favourite image. It’s been a while since I made something new, but I really liked this one. It’s so pretty that I decided to post it by itself. It’s kind of a cheat, though as I’ve used an Apophysis script to create it with just a few tweaks. It looks wonderful and with a lot of details with its original 4000 pixels size. Might be included in my Zazzle prints sometime.

Empty head fractal

Empty head

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This is why I should keep going

Many thanks to the guys at Orbit Trap to have quoted my opinions, to slightly discuss them and more, to understood them perfectly. I’m more than anything learning to be honest with my own feelings (artistically and in everything else) so whatever I’ve said here about my disappointments with fractal stuff in general that was repercuted by Orbit Trap is absolutely true. Whenever I say I am hating Apophysis for example, I really do. But I’m hating the Deviant kind of Apophysis – the mass-produced, randomized thing.

I don’t have any personal or commercial links to any of these people (from the evil or the good side of the force) so I just said what happened to me and my creative process during all these years and how to following the self-similarity flock was making me a worse artist and making extremely bored. And I think I could only understand what was going on when I read these posts at Orbit trap pointing me to some obvious things that most people (comfortably) refuse to see, better still have your comment box filled with friends pats on the back than making something you’re enjoying.

I’m touching some sensitive fields now I guess trying the Mandelbulb images (and I’m starting to like them despite hating it at first), as they seem to be the latest hit of the moment, but as there isn’t much of a community or group dedicated to that (not that I have seen) except the few posts at the Fractal Forums neither too many tutorials in the common corporate fractal galleries, which I try as much as possible not to read unless i’m looking for a fix for a problem, I am a bit “isolated” from whatever kind of “style trend” in Mandelbulbs that might be en vogue (sorry for the french) so far and I’m very pleased with the images I’m making even though I can make only an image a week or something. I see a lot of posts mentioning “whipped cream”, “cathedrals” etc. etc. but I have no idea how to do that neither I want to do that kind of thing. I’m using Mandelbulb 3D just like when I first started Fractint: using my instinct. I liked what I did? OK, I’ll save and post. I didn’t like? Let’s start again.

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Mandelbulb compositions?

From my few experiences with the Mandelbulb, most of the images I could make so far that didn’t look like something that has been done by other fractal artists or that don’t look too much like other fractals remind me of coral reefs. A lot of them, actually. Or it’s a coral reef or it’s a futuristic building. Not bad, because I am not really stuck or am being forced into a certain picture style neither I have the need to make just common 3D fractal images by the dozens (that many other people are doing anyway), but it would be very interesting if there was a way to import some other 3D objects (non-fractal stuff) into that, like for example… fish.

This could lead though to a lot of cheesy mixed images like some we see at these online communities, with odd Poser nude girls mixed with colourful fake landscapes done in Bryce and some Apophysis things scattered here and there for a final touch, but if used right and done right, it would make things very interesting in this new 3D realm.

Also in images like these futuristic cities some other details could be added – spaceships, “cars”, fractal trees, people, ETs… again, without making it look too much like some of these furry porn characters, that look more like a bad acid trip than something really creative and ingenious.

There is a way to import background pictures in Mandelbulb 3D, but these are useful only to create sky textures I suppose, with a few planets and clouds. If there was a way to add actual 3D objects, things would get a bit more interesting sometimes, if one wants to move a bit away from the chaos and fractals and the random abstract things. In these reef images for example, 3D fish or other critters could really make the images very interesting. But again, purists would cry their hearts out saying it’s not a fractal (it isn’t… nobody said it was in the first place!).

I’ll start posting some of these images as soon as I have about half a dozen of them, maybe they will have their own galleries as they are of a different kind of fractals. I need to get better with the software first, I’m having some difficulties to understand its rendering parameters and I’m getting some images with artifacts and grains and other unwanted things that are ruining some possibly interesting images. As there still aren’t good tutorials on Mandelbulbs, I’m still lost and going on my own.

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The Fractal Factory, once more

I was bored and started to look for fractal tutorials. And of course, I ended up at Deviant. Then I found this (sorry) hilarious tutorial for Apophysis.

Hopefully this person could have changed his/her mind about the process of creating a good fractal as it seems that this tutorial was written in 2005, but from what you can get from this tutorial, it’s all “random, random, random + luck” the ingredients you need to make a decent Apophysis image.  Ah, and patience as well. Forget about understanding how to use the several edit features, just wait and maybe one of your 1000 randomly-generated images will be worth the posting at one of these sites.

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Why I don’t use Photoshop or Gimp?

There’s a big discussion involving fractal images and Photoshop, with several different points of view, but the main one usually is that if a fractal image is manipulated in Photoshop (or Gimp, or any other software like that) “it’s not a true fractal image anymore”.

I’m not interested in this technical discussion – each side of it has its own correct assumptions, but I’ve decided not to use Photoshop or any other image manipulation softwares because to me I feel that with them it’s much simpler to create something interesting with virtually no effort, I guess this is the same way I don’t like how Apophysis is misused by most of its users nowadays – the random, automated way to create an image or a batch of images. With Photoshop/Gimp etc. sometimes I feel the same happens.

Yesterday I gave Gimp another try (I really can’t get used to that interface!) but mostly to try something like the Droste effect which is quite interesting. I found that there is a plug-in for Gimp that does that effect (and many others) called MathMap, and it can give some interesting fractal-like results in regular pictures. I couldn’t make it work (I need an older version of Gimp it seems, and I’m using Windows), but I found some other quite interesting plug-ins that can make very nice effects and changes to your fractal images in a very easy way. I might even post some of these attempts here just for fun, the map to sphere stuff for example is really interesting mostly because I need some fractal that can look like a planet/world for a logo/icon to be used here, and an animated ” fractal planet” spinning using one of my own images will definitely look nice. But the easiness to make a fractal look “better” with a few default settings of a plug-in is what makes me go away from these image editors and not even try to use them. Not even for a simple sharpening, which gives a nice effect with images that have lots of details.

Other day I found one of these links named “amazing fractal images” (or some variation of that) and there was a bunch of images of “fractal animals” – lions, birds, dogs, whatever. All had a fractal texture applied to the original images of the animals and one that doesn’t know fractals might think that the fractal software generated a true fractal image that was shaped like a dog – it didn’t, it was just a simple dog image with some Apophysis image “pasted” on top of it working as a texture, blended with the original image. You can actually see some of these here. Is this person a good fractal artist? No, he’s just someone that knows how to work with layers in Photoshop, and this is much easier to find than someone that can really make a (traditional) fractal from scratch. I remember when I found these images. In the first image I was like “wow, that’s nice” and while looking at about the 3rd or 4th I was like… “boring!…”. It won’t take you more than a few minutes to replicate that kind of effect, much different than waiting 50 hours for a real fractal image to be rendered.

Edit: with a few more clicks, I found the culprit: a plug-in named Fractalius. Annoying, really annoying. I didn’t know it was that easy.

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