Showing posts from February, 2006

Fractal Falls

Twister Weed + Sine Trap 4 = Seriously twisted fractals.

Download parameter file shaver46d.loo

Like an explorer sighting land in uncharted waters, there's a real thrill in discovering new fractal territory.

That is, new fractal territory that looks appealing. There's plenty of formulas and rendering methods, but only a few pay off.

In Sterlingware, I've found good imagery only in these: the first two orbit counting renders, fractal dimension, sine trap 1 and 2, x/y y/x stalks.

Download parameter file shaver54a.loo

That's enough to keep one busy for a long time, but I'm always wondering what other island are waiting out there in the fractal sea.

I've come to realize that if you want to see something new and different in a fractal program, you've got to do something new and different.

It's hard thinking outside the box because sometimes we are the box.

Download parameter file shaver52.loo

Finally, I suceeded in producing something interesting with the fourth sine …

Excuse me,

but I'd like to do something Modern for a moment

Download parameter file label03.loo

Ironically, the answer to the question, "What are fractals?" has a fractal quality itself.

Fractals are many things, and as such the answer to the question is really determined by how closely you want to look.

Download parameter file label01.loo

For some people fractals are a source of imagery, just as natural scenery is a source of imagery for photographers.

The math from which fractal imagery is constructed is not terribly important to some people, just as the geographical processes which produce landscapes may not be of much concern to photographers.

Download parameter file label02.loo

In fact, the mathematical principles behind fractals could even be irrelevant to answering our question because our interest in fractals may be just with the images they produce (their graphical rendering) and what looks good could have no correlation with any particular mathematical feature.

Which brings me to …


The sacred images of Fuludu! ("foo-loo-doo")

Download parameter file fuludu01.loo

Prepare! For the inconsequences of Fuludu!

Action! Toward the inescapable conclusions of Fuludu!

Cling to power! Rage against the enemies of Fuludu!

Subvert! The evil schemes against Fuludu!

Run and tumble! Before the crashing rage of Fuludu!

Our weapons are useless! Against the power of Fuludu!

Shock, terror! Behold the registered trademarks of Fuludu!

Download parameter file revere01.loo

Don't forget to pick up milk! Breakfast cereals are the allies of Fuludu!

Put your head in a box! Contemplate the corrugated-ness of Fuludu!

Bounce your head off the wall! Fuludu is not found in empty gestures!

Substantiate text and mechanism! Fuludu pre-eminates with precision and responsibility!


Where cartoons are made.

Download parameter file egypt02.loo

Have you heard about the recent discovery of a tomb in the Valley of the Kings?

Even my 7 year old son was excited. Does he understand what three and a half thousand years is?

I really don't think so, but even still he's intensely curious about it.

I read several articles on Google News hoping that one of them would have something the others had left out.

When the story actually dropped off the main news page I searched for it, hoping there might be something, new about it.

Then, I found photos. I mean a photo. They cut a hole about 1 square foot through the doorway and took a photo. My son ran to the computer when I told him.

It's funny that something so incredibly old should be "news." Of course the news story is partly the discovery itself, which is a new thing.

Download parameter file blast02a.loo

Haven't we seen enough of these dried up things from Egypt?

Sure, and there may not even be anything uniq…

The big picture

Every now and then I accidently zoom-out.

Download parameter file zoom.loo

When I was little, I remember contemplating the fact that the moon, which I knew was very large, could be blotted out entirely by my hand.

Later on, probably the teen-aged years, I realized that small things look big when you're right up close to them. Similarly, other people's lives look small or irrelevant because we see them from a distance.

I think any study of history should eventually lead one to conclude that the larger part of human experience dissipates into nothing after a few years and that beyond the influence we have on the tiny group of people around us like family and friends, our existence is imperceptible.

Forgot where I was going...

The big picture. Zooming out. Okay, that's my point, we're not in the big picture. Actually, no one is.

And yet, we appear so large and dominating in our own eyes. Yes, because we are so close to we. I mean, you are so close to you.

But zoom out... A…

Fractal Guthrie

Ever thought of running wild with the buffalo?

Download parameter file notation01.loo

Come on, sing with me...

This land is your land
This land is my land,
Get off my land
Get back on your land,
From California
To the New York islands,
This land was made for only me

Woody Guthrie never sang it like that, but he sure had a sense of humour.

Maybe he did sing something like that once. He was quite the creative guy and didn't just sing "folksy" stuff.

Or maybe, back in the thirties, folk music, or whatever he wrote, wasn't just about squirrels and cutting trees.

If you had to sum up the last several decades and gather together what's been worthwhile, wouldn't it be just a handful of songs?

We sit in our cars, we stand in the checkout lines. We wait in front of the microwave.

Off to work, back home, back to work. Monday slides into Friday and the weekend is a just a long evening.

For most of us, life is something that happens waiting for the traffic light to change or when we&…

The private club of winter

Most people think it's just not their place.

Download parameter file petal.xpf

If you live down south or in the tropics, try to imagine a forest in a freezer.

Up here where the snow falls, I get the feeling that most people really don't like winter and consider it a worthless time of the year.

They are not members of winter's club.

Download parameter file lungs2.xpf

It's at times like this I think of the old, sage-like philosopher who from his wise and aloof perch over the busy anthill of our nation sums up our anxious struggles with some idle comment.

"Grasshopper, have you felt the joy of winter?"

For instance, the cold makes the house feel warmer and richer.

Also, look how the city hides indoors and leaves the sidewalks and parks empty for us, as if we were emperors and now the city is forbidden to them.

The cold has laid siege to them, but we stroll about like diplomats.

Download parameter file lungs.xpf

The most peaceful place in the world is not in a desert. It…

The plastic dream of outer space

Why does space no longer look inviting?

Download parameter file spacestation01.loo

Is it because we no longer believe in cosmic Treasure Islands?

Now we know that Jupiter is just big and full of nothing.

Pluto may even be down-graded from planet status. That makes it an asteroid. An asteroid is a fancy word for a rock.

Venus is worse than uninhabitable. Venus looks toxic. There's nothing romantic about acid rain.

Mars: what a disappointment. Think of all the books and movies the "red" planet has inspired. Worlds of charm and spectacle and mystery.

Truth is, it's just a hard to reach gravel pit.

But maybe there's water, and you know what that could mean? Yeah, give it up.

The moon still has something going for it. That "dark side" still captivates us.

Maybe that's it. The unknown, or what you can't see, is a lot more exciting than anything we can study.

We can think anything we want about the dark side of the moon and no one's going to pop ou…


What could be appealing about a simple sine curve?

Download parameter file trianglevine.loo

That's one of the mysteries of algorithmic imagery: just a few parameters can produce a world of possibilities.

When I first saw these sawtooth, bicycle chain, sailboat pennants, I thought they had a nice look but were too simple to have any artistic potential.

Once I got more comfortable adjusting the color settings I began to see real possibilities.

From glowing shells and metal teeth to blurry watercolors, the simple sine curves added a design feature to fractals in the same way that beads of water do to closeup photography.

Also, it was this render setting that taught me to use anti-aliasing. The numerous curves take on a polished shine when anti-aliased which makes it an essential part of the creative process.

The sine teeth respond strangely to color adjustments, which makes them even more intriguing.

They certainly are a unique part of Sterlingware.

I guess there's not much left to say e…

The many faces of Cuttlefish

Each theater has it's own style.

Download parameter file cuttlefish01.loo

Try an encyclopedia. You'll see a line drawing or maybe a color photo of some ray-like creature in a sea of words.

National Geographic magazine portrays them differently. They move gracefully and even shimmer in the underwater, full-page, flash photography.

Dried up like leather and crusted with salt is the way I usually see them, hanging from the wall in the chinese grocery.

I've never seen anyone buy one.

I think some fragrant metamorphosis occurs when they're taken home and cooked.

In the past, people would try to pass off all sorts of common sea food creatures as sea monsters. Cuttlefish were the most popular.

It wouldn't have fooled anyone in China. The hoax would have been eaten before it had a chance to draw even a small crowd.

They've been used in sci-fi movies too. Slightly enlarged but otherwise dressed in their everyday clothes. Lillies and Cuttlefish, there's no need to gild …

Jurassic Fractal

New fossil discoveries shed light on fractal origins.

Download parameter file skeleton01.loo

I think it's a backbone, but the curved, clawlike bones suggest something with more flexibility, like maybe a wing.

Maybe I need a vacation, or therapy, but I find these bone-like structures interesting, especially here where they have this structured arrangement.

This is the second sine-trap render method using color 15 or 24.

Once again, something new in Sterlingware. This program has so many dials to twist and buttons to push that you may be able to spend a lifetime experimenting with it.

Without anti-aliasing the tiny bones look like fuzzy hairs.

There's something intriguing about bones. Bones imply flesh and flesh implies form just like a footprint implies a foot and a foot implies a person.

What did the prehistoric creature actually look like, why was the person walking here?

I saw a dinosaur book that took the bold step of portraying dinosaurs with wild colorful stripes. It was outrag…

Ancient life of cities

Modern skins for old programs.

In electric caves and synthetic clothes, our hearts beat like Cain's.

Unfamiliar with the sun and the wind, blind without our glasses, we hunt as well as Esau.

Jacob lived in a tent and raised sheep, but he's still the kind of executive companies want.

Abel is here too. His goodness and his blood are in the streets.

And Noah, with his backyard boat and laughing neighbours.

We see the cloud by day and the fire by night, eat manna and wander the city.

Jonah sends email to Nineveh. The Babylonians wear watches.

Bandits on the expressways and samaritans in SUVs.

Another Ruth finds another Boaz. The gleaners go back to picking the garbage.