Posts Tagged computers

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.

Related Images:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you Google! (Not really…)

Yesterday I had another peak of visitors, around 40. Not bad. But when I went to check my stats tracking software for the reasons why I had these visitors… there it was, all about Mandelbulbs again.

What I don’t understand is that there is much more content about the other kinds of fractals here than about Mandelbulbs, but still it is what is listed the most and the best in Google – I redid most of the searches used by the visitors, and my site appears in the first page of results in most of these. I have some plans related to redoing and changing some of the tags of the images and the posts that seem that don’t work like I expected, but as there are about 500 fractal images here it’s not easy to do it at once. Sometimes posting one image at a time with some description even if it’s short seems to have more impact and better results for it to be found in search engines than the tags in the whole gallery post where the image is.

I’m starting to wonder what will happen if I start writing “Mandelboob” instead of Mandelbulb. Is porn still attracting visitors? There is as much porn in here as Mandelbulb images, I suppose.

Edit: I told you this would work. Some people already visited the site looking for boobs.

Related Images:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Visions of Chaos

I’ve discovered this new (not so new it seems as it’s already in version 40 or something) fractal software a couple days ago called Visions of Chaos, and was having some good fun with it mostly with its simulations and the “genetic” mutations. Until I installed another trial copy in a PC with Windows 7 which is kind of my “main fractal workstation”. And it’s crashing like crazy, without any possible fix so far. Even setting it to work in compatibility mode doesn’t work. I guess it’s something about the 64-bit stuff, not sure yet. But it’s a pity, a very interesting software with such annoying bug(s). I was even considering registering it in the future although it’s a bit expensive mostly in the updates, 25% of the price of a new version just for a single update… and considering it’s in version 40 do the math and see how many upgrades existed so far. No thanks.

Edit: I’ve made it work with Windows 7. I had to uninstall the previous installation, then reinstall it in a different folder other than the (default) Program Files\Visions of Chaos folder. When the software asks you in what folder it should be installed, just remove the “Program Files” or the “Program Files (x386)” part of the install path and let it be installed at C:\Visions of Chaos instead (or any other custom folder you wish), this should work. It now doesn’t crash immediately after starting, but it still crashes quite often mostly while using the Genetics options. Annoying, but at least it’s working in Windows 7 pretty much the same way as it works in the Vista. If it wasn’t for all these crashes, it could be a very nice fractal software. Considering it’s in version 40, there shouldn’t be that many crashes like that. I guess.

Related Images:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

To be or not to be…

… in the latest fractal trend?

It seems that the new thing is the Mandelbulb. There are some nice images, I might try it sometime (and I already have some ideas on where to go if I ever try it), if it’s nothing too complex and for mathematicians only (a.k.a. boring). Some of these fractal softwares are too time consuming before you can do anything useful – artistically – with them and I’m not willing to spend a lot of time (re)learning how to use it neither I want to use it just doing random renders like most Apophysis users/”artists” do.

I was never much a fan of these quaternion images, but now the details in this new kind of image are interesting.

Update: no, I’m not impressed. Maybe in the future. I’d never replace my Fractint for that.

Update 2: Well, Mandelbulb 3D seems better. Easier to use, slow as fuck but way more interesting.

Update 3: When I said “better” I mean that it’s better than the other Mandelbulb software I had tested, but it’s still nothing special and I’m not really interested. Unfortunately, a lot of visitors of this site are looking for Mandelbulbs. I won’t surrender.

Related Images:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

What happened to the plain old Mandelbrot?

Still somehow inspired by the previous post about the misunderstanding of what a fractal is and the wrong use of the word fractal and some stuff I read at Orbit Trap, I remembered another thing that bothers me (here comes another long rant).

Also while checking for Google links, I noticed that a lot of the current examples of fractals seem to be now related to Apophysis and its own kind of fractal, the “flame” fractals. OK, they are still fractals, but what happened to the “classic” images of Mandelbrots and Julias (or Newtons or IFs, and so many others)?

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Images:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,