Eye Candy Fractal Post

alien honeycomb
“Alien Honeycomb”

Henry’s recent post about music had the quite unexpected (I expect) result of spurring me to think again about a couple of old hobbies I’ve neglected for a while. One, the creation of super-excellent* electronic music, is something I’ve largely left behind since the arrival of a couple of Junior Ricardipi, lo these nearly 11 years since. Although I hung on for a while, the gear eventually was mothballed some time in late 2008. Henry’s post (and comment by Benoit) resulted in me thinking about doing some more, mainly as useful soundtrack material for movies created by one of the aforementioned Junior Ricardipi, and also in me posting some of it to SoundCloud for your listening pleasure.** I even hacked together a new piece, using only archived sound clips and a tiny little bit of newly-recorded sound, provided by a digital piano more frequently used by the other Junior Ricardipus.

But this post isn’t really about that – it’s about another old hobby that I serendipitously started thinking about again – the creation of digital artwork using fractals, occasionally beaten and battered after the fact with good old Photoshop. I haven’t done much of that recently, either, as I’ve been concentrating instead on photographing large quantities of high-speed automobiles, a pursuit you can read about in a bunch of blogposts at my other haunt, including this one, for example.

One nice thing about fractals is that they’re tantalizingly abstract, and you can pretend they’re all kinds of things – plants, lighting, clouds, whatever tickles your fancy. This one, for example, looks like neurons to me:

synaptic transmission
“Synaptic Transmission”

This one, on the other hand, makes me think of fish scales:


Whereas this, after some pummeling with Photoshop and a few associated plugins, could be just about anything you want it to be:

arthropod parts
“Arthropod Parts”

Yes, I know this is basically just eye candy (or maybe you can come up with a less flattering description, if you try), but it was fun to do, and some of the resulting images may actually end up as backgrounds in a PowerPoint presentation or two that I need to do for work. That’s a pretty flimsy justification for spending (my own) time on this, but hey, it’s a hobby. Or it was, but now that Henry’s indirectly reminded me of it, maybe, just maybe, it will be again.

Many more, if you can bear it, in this Flickr set.


*with very small values for “super” and “excellent”

** with correspondingly small values for “pleasure”

About Richard Wintle

I am Canadian by heritage, and a molecular biologist and human geneticist by training. My day job is Assistant Director of a large genome centre, where I do various things along the lines of "keeping the wheels on". In my spare time, I tend to run around with a camera, often chasing horses, race cars, musicians, and occasionally, wildlife.
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4 Responses to Eye Candy Fractal Post

  1. cromercrox says:

    Love the fractals – if I had time, which I don’t, I’d have a look at that fractal drawing program and play with it. Maybe I’ll make a note of it for when I need a cover for my mothballed Sci-Fi epic. And as for your electronic music gear – don’t sell it. My First Rule of Equipment is that if you possibly can, keep hold of it. This self-generated edict has not of course stopped me from selling copious amounts of equipment over the years … none of which I’ve actually missed. Much.

    And as for the topic of spending time I haven’t got, I’m just about to audition for a local, and rather busy, classic rock covers band. Honestly, what am I like?.

  2. rpg says:

    Lovely stuff. How are you generating them in the first place?

  3. ricardipus says:

    Henry – thanks for that vote of encouragement… honestly I don’t think I *could* sell the stuff anyway – it’s old enough to be old and outmoded, but not enough to be “vintage”, and was never sophisticated or desirable enough to be “classic”.

    Good luck with the audition. 🙂


    top two – ChaosPro
    third one – Tierazon (no longer seems to have a sensible website)
    fourth one – Sterling2

    First and fourth have a lot of Photoshop mashing on top of the basic fractal.

    Of those, ChaosPro is by far the best, as long as you’re willing to accept that you’ll never understand what any of the parameters do (fiddle and play is my approach). You will need to run it on Windows though. 😉

    Other popular ones I’ve heard of are Apophysis and Fractal Explorer. Some stunning Apophysis stuff on Flickr.

    For Mac… dunno, but I bet there are many equivalants. There are oodles of *nix ones too I think.

  4. Milley says:

    these pictures are awesome!Great work ricardipus 🙂

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