Valleys of the Balls

The 1967 classic drama film “Valley of the Dolls” was all about the Dolophine (“Dolls”), which is a brand name for the opioid Methadone. Side effects of the drug include dizziness, sleepiness, vomiting, and sweating. While this video might give you some of those problems, trust me – it has nothing to do with drugs. Just good old-fashioned, clean, wholesome, self-similar three-dimensional fractal fun here folks.

As you might have noticed in the YouTube description, it literally took me a year to get around to completing this video. I’ve learned that sometimes you’ve gotta let the images age a bit to get the best flavor out of them.


Share Button

A Gyre of Stannic Eminences

This is a short, noisy fly-thru of some classic Mandelbox bulb shapes. As usual, all of the sound effects were created using sounds created in FL Studio and a multitude of recordings of my kitchen utensils doing weird things.

As projects go, this one didn’t take an extraordinary amount of time – just a little over three months from start to finish. The hardest part was coming up with the title. I won’t go into what it means, but suffice it to say that it’s a fairly literal description of the video.

I hope you enjoy it.

Share Button

Mandelbulb3D Animation: Sylph Symmography

Yes, this brief slice of Celtic rhythms and colors has a weird name.

As described by

A sylph is a lovely, slim young woman or girl. You could describe a row of graceful ballerinas as sylphs.

A sylph is always young, female, and slender, moving with an almost otherworldly lightness and grace. The original meaning of sylph was a mythical fairy-like creature, an air spirit that’s mentioned by the poet Alexander Pope and appears in several Shakespeare plays as well.

As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary:

Symmography is an art form using yarn, wood, and nails as the media

Or in other words, string-art.

I married these two phrases together because this video reminds me of a stringy, yet gracefully ethereal entity dancing on high (and as fractals are “self similar” by nature, the word-play was too serendipitous to avoid).


Share Button


A Downbeat of Concrete Coral

Reminiscent of a giant block of concrete spinning quietly in space, this morphing 3D Koch fractal is slow and meditative.

Sit back, relax, and veg-out.

Share Button

Vitric Visions Series

Vitric Visions is a three-part series of Mandelbulb 3D animations where I experimented with animating transparent fractals.

About the videos:

VV #1 was an initial test, and as such came out kinda bland (at least in my humble opinion). But it was an eye-opening proof of concept that said “hey, this can be done, and relatively quickly too.”

VV #2 added some depth-of-field blurring, giving the fractals a somewhat more realistic presence. I really like this one. The morphing shapes remind me of those heavy glass ashtrays that occupied every room of my childhood.

VV #3 brought it all home by mixing a “standard” escape-time dodecahedron 3D fractal with a dIFS “dodecatubeIFS” fractal. The initial spinning dodecahedron reminds of a Jack-in-the-Box, waiting to pop its weird little head out.

And some technical stuff:

For those of you who aren’t aware, rendering transparency can be extremely time consuming (uggh!!). To minimize the overall length of rendering time, I chose to limit transparency to only “dIFS” fractals. So what the heck are “dIFS”? Well, oddly, there’s no official definition of “dIFS” in the Mandelbulb 3D program documentation, nor have I been able to find a solid definition on Turning to Google however, I found two possible answers: “Discrete Iterated Function System” and “Deterministic Iterated Function System”. My money is on the latter. Here is an excellent Powerpoint presentation that describes this type of fractal: Basically, it’s a primitive shape that is repeated over and over again, with some type of consistant modification applied to each instance of the shape. In the context of these animations, dIFS fractals rendered extremely quickly due to the ability to reduce the maximum iterations of each formula to an extreme minimum. Trust me, this saves soooooooo much time!

These three projects were all rendered during roughly the same time period of just over a month, with a final total of 31345 source frames rendered at 1920×1080. The completed videos were then rendered at 60fps.

That’s all folks. Enjoy.

Share Button