Posts Tagged artists

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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Insanity laughs underpressure we’re cracking!

A nice quote from my favourite band to demonstrate h0w pressure and all the other annoyances in life can have a productive side. I remember back in 2002, taking many painkillers, without a solution in sight and making probably some of my best fractals. Seems that it’s happening again, for a different reason.

can I beat it?

The Menace

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A Mandelbulb for mr. Mandelbrot

Silly, ugly, whatever, It doesn’t even have a watermark.

For Benoit Mandelbrot

Benoit in the jungle

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My thoughts on a certain calendar

I hope this post doesn’t bring any negativity or haters. I’ve seen this happen when the subject was so delicate (to some people) like this. But here we go.

I had read in another blog – which I won’t mention here which one  it is just because of these fights and haters, but it has been mentioned here a couple times and I do share many of their thoughts about how and where the fractal art is going – about how the Fractal Calendar was becoming sort of a… how to put it lightly… commercial product supposedly open to the fractal artists community to participate, but a project where just a few people had the chance to participate. And it’s always been the same people over and over, year after year. This is what I had read, remember. As I’m not involved with these groups, I just know the names of some of these artists and saw that there was really some sort of repetitive list of fractal artists that seemed to appear quite often. Then, it was also commented that the images chosen to appear in such calendar were getting more and more boring and common and were not displaying the “good” fractal art (whatever that is), but just the eye-candy, with the same style that is typical of that specific group of “chosen ones”.

Today, when I was going to the Fractal Forums website to get the latest Mandelbulb version for my other computer, I typed a wrong address that took me apparently to the official site for the Fractal Calendar. And they had 3 galleries for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions with the images. And now I could see with my own eyes that this was very much true, the images are indeed boring and repetitive. They aren’t ugly, though. But 12 images of common spirals and Doodads? I can do that too. Sometimes better. Many others can do that as well.

I think that the last time I had checked for the images in that calendar was around 2003, when I even submitted some images (silly me…). The same group of people seemed to dominate the choices of approved images back then, but the images were much more better and diverse. Now, they’re just as I’ve said, common spirals and Doodads. Sad, really.

Not that these artists aren’t talented and can’t make good images, the problem I see – IMHO – is that the images are far from being fresh, creative and daunting or even “updated”, they are just something that seem to have been done to fit a certain commitment, “we must do the calendar, you are the chosen artists, just send me anything in time and that’s fine”.

With the huge ammount of fractal softwares – and fractal kinds  so to speak – now available, it’s sad to see that they have chosen just common spirals done in Ultra Fractal. No Apophysis, no old-school Fractint images, no new styles like the Mandelbulbs. And just spirals. While the time in the calendar goes on for all of us, the quality of its images seem to be going back in time. Or the clock seems to have stopped in 2002 for the people that are responsible to choose the images.

A small disclaimer: I don’t know any of the artists involved in the making of the images chosen for the calendar in any way other than occasionally viewing fractal galleries where their images are displayed, in their own websites or in other galleries in other websites. I don’t have any particular “hate” for any of these neither had any personal fights with any of these artists and this wasn’t a personal attack on anyone (before any of these haters that like to keep starting flame wars in the aforementioned blog find an excuse in this post to start some more of these wars), this was just my personal opinion on the Fractal Calendar (to which you are entitled to disagree) and my comments are mostly made about the way it’s made and conceived and how its images are chosen, not about the talent or the quality of any of these fractal artists involved.

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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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