Author Archives: Troythulu

Mandelbulber Tutorial: Basic Settings II


World Building

World Building

G’day. With this, the third in a series of entries dealing with generating your own fractal art using the Mandelbulber software, v.1.16, by Krzysztof Marczak. Here, I’ll discuss the settings for Mandelbulber’s Shaders 1 and Shaders 2 tabs. Here, and from this point on, I’ll be limiting these tutorials to sixteen or fewer settings. For earlier entries, see the first and second of this series here and here respectively.

Figure 9

Figure 1

Shaders 1 tab (figure 1):

Reflection: This determines the intensity of virtual light reflected from the fractal surface. This may be used by itself to illuminate an object even in the absence of ‘direct light’ or ‘ambient intensity,’ i.e, those settings each assigned a value of 0. My typical value set for this ranges from 0.1 to less than 1.0.

Reflections depth: This is quite cool, and may be used to adjust the reflective quality of a surface up or down as needed. I usually use a value of from 0-5 for most images.

Glow: This determines the intensity of the volumetric glow effect, a radiance that shines from the fractal surface itself. This is handy for spectral-looking images or as a sort of misty effect, a sort of luminescent ‘faux fog’ that gets denser the closer into the figure one zooms by moving the virtual camera.

In Mandelbulber version 1.16, entering a negative value in the box causes the Glow 1 setting on Shaders 2 to generate a diametrically opposite color on its color wheel and sometimes other effects depending on other parameters.

Figure 10

Figure 2

Shaders 2 tab (figure 2):

Glow 1: This allows selection of one glow color. This can be used to generate a shade diametrically opposite to what’s selected on the color wheel, by giving the Glow setting on Shaders 1 a negative value, and may produce interesting effects with some parameter sets. If the Glow value is negative, dark shades become brighter, and light shades darker.

Glow 2: This permits selection of another simultaneous glow color. Unlike Glow 1, this does not produce diametrically reversed shades or brightness no matter the sign of the Glow value.

Background 1: 2: 3: These settings enable selection of the ambient colors of the fractal surface’s environment, with each of 1, 2, or 3 being a separate color. In some presets, defaults, and most examples I’ve seen, the default colors are [1] sky blue, [2] white, [3] blackish green. The perceived colors depend on the angle of the virtual camera to the fractal surface.

Depth of field (DOF) – Clicking on this setting allows simulation of virtual camera focus effects, with nearby or distant objects selectable using the slider.

DOF focus distance = 1.47911e-14: I find this the most useful value for updating this setting and bringing out foreground objects.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Engine tab(figure 3):

Interior mode: this lets you render a figure as a thin shell, revealing its inner structure, and I’ve noticed that this works really well with the ‘limits’ setting. Limits allows chopping up a figure by selecting which parts to remove based on the entered coordinates. Using these two settings together can make for interesting images, but also drastically slows rendering, especially with hybrid formula images.

Limits- Again, works well with ‘interior,’ or may be used without, showing a sliced portion of a figure without revealing inner detail.

x min: Begins as a negative value approaching zero in the 3D complex space, from the edge of the figure, left to right, assuming a virtual camera angle at x, y, and z of 0 degrees. A value of zero splits the figure to its core, with or without interior detail.

x max: The highest positive value occupied by the figure in the complex space. Assuming x, y, and z camera angles of 0 degrees, from the figure’s furthest right lowering toward the origin of the figure.

y min: starting as a negative value approaching zero in the complex space occupied by the figure. As with ‘x min,’ the value increases toward zero, and assuming camera angle of x, y, and z of 0 degrees, slices the figure from top to bottom toward its origin.

y max: Starting as a positive value, the largest distance from the origin occupied by the figure, lowering toward the origin. slices figure from bottom to origin/core., with a virtual camera angle of 0/0/0 degrees.

z min: Starting with a negative value, approaching zero in the complex space the figure occupies, assuming a virtual camera angle for x, y, & z of 0/0/0 degrees, this slices a cross-section of the interior structure facing the camera, and approaching the origin.

z max: Initially with a positive value, approaching zero, with view coordinates x, y & z being set at 0, this slices the figure from opposite side of the surface to the figure’s origin.

Cat Thursday: The Faceplant


cat thursday 2

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It’s all for the love of cats! Enjoy!

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Fractals of the Week: A Method to Halley’s Madness


This time, I bring you some images made using the math of Edmund Halley…yes, the comet-guy, who as I understand knew Sir Isaac Newton, whose work led to the maths for last week’s images. Halley’s is a neat little method for generating fractals in Julia set mode, though it’s very challenging and difficult to get a really good image, but fun. So, here they are.

Next week, I’ll feature a mix of images from all 5 apps. See you then!

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All JPEG, PNG & GIF images in this post are original works by the author, created via Mandelbulber, Fractal Domains, Ultra Fractal , Frax, and Mandelbulb 3D and unless otherwise stated are copyright 2014 by Troy Loy.

Eldritch Nine 0.5: The Rani of Stars


[This article has been updated, revised, and rewritten from the original ~ Troythulu]

“Rani, Rani, how thy visage of stars doth shine most brightly…” ~ verse fragment from an ancient tomb on the abandoned planet Malagol, believed to refer to an avatar of the King of Shards.

What is the Rani of Stars? What are her goals?

She is an avatar of the King of Shards, crafted for the purpose of safely interacting with humans. The pandimensional nature of the King of Shards produces a profound sense of fear and wrongness which is deeply disturbing to the human psyche.

Because dealing with humans and not having them go mad is not possible in the King’s true form, It created an extension of Itself in a more human-looking and feminine form just for this purpose.

The Rani of Stars, also known as Epu’Lar’A’Toq, manifests as a slim, unnaturally tall woman of regal bearing wearing resplendent garb sometimes reminiscent of the classical dress of ancient Terran royalty. Instead of a human face, however, hers is a field of stars against the background of deep space, with at least two stars of roughly equal relative luminosity shining where the eyes should be located.

The appearance of her starfield, as well as her hair style and mode of dress vary with each of her separate manifestations. She may even appear different in each location when interacting simultaneously in multiple places with different groups, her garb often reflecting a slightly alien-looking variation of  the traditional royal costumery of her audience’s national, species, ethnic, or historical ancestry.

The Rani of Stars is fairly benevolent toward humanity, though sometimes her attitude could be characterized as one of benign disinterest, and she is not interested in worship nor in engaging in direct intervention of the divine sort.

But as an avatar of the King of Shards, she is a being of awesome power, and not to be trifled with. She is even more dangerous than the King, as she has a temperamental streak, an imprint from the first human the King used for her personality template.

Do not annoy her by gazing too intently or too long at her visage of stars, as she may randomly transport offenders to other times, other places, and other worlds to protect her modesty, pulling them screaming and shrinking into her starfield to an unpleasant fate.

The fortunate ones will die instantly, randomly popping up inside a planet or star, or transported to a universe of broken symmetry whose physical laws and constants cannot even allow life as we know it. For these lucky ones, the end comes quickly.

Most aren’t so lucky, and wind up in the vacuum of space to die of exposure and suffocation.

Most unlucky of all are those who live to suffer their fate on some barely habitable forsaken planet at the appendages of unfriendly natives, who may be…creatively hostile to strangers.

A being of considerable ability, the Rani has a great capacity to protect or to harm, but her role is usually that of an advisor to humans, not to act on their behalf personally. If attacked personally, she is known to effectively and ruthlessly destroy the offenders with bolts of twisted spacetime, vortices of ripping force against which there is no known defense. All physical defenses are ignored on any targets existing within the same universe as the Rani, and destruction is on the subatomic level as the very nucleons and their quarks are shredded.

The Rani of Stars has overall goals coinciding with those of her pure form, the King of Shards, though how she enacts her plans has a human unpredictability that seems like rash impulsiveness. She has yet to encounter any of the Four Gods; the Fractus, the Magna, the Mirus, or the Tempest, but I’ve plans for giving her a lot of story space and a crucial role in my fiction, including works to be published.

TAM 2014 – Eugenie Scott – Playing with Deception


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