Intricate Digital “Fabergé Fractals” By Tom Beddard Look So Real You Can Almost Grab Them

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Fractals are a geometric concept and mathematical set that represent repeating patterns, also known as self-similarity. Scotland-based physicist and artist Tom Beddard, aka subBlue, who we have previously featured for his generative graphic work, has recently been creating 3D geometric fractal designs that he refers to as “Fabergé Fractals” because of the detailed and ornate patterns that are rendered by the artist’s formulaic methods. At first glance, Beddard’s designs appear to be fully realized, physical forms due to the intricacies of the patterns and the technical skill that is applied to each generation.

Beddard explains, “The 3D fractals are generated by iterative formulas whereby the output of one iteration forms the input for the next. The formulas effectively fold, scale, rotate or flip space. They are truly fractal in the fact that more and more detail can be revealed the closer to the surface you travel.

“The fascinating aspect is where combinations of parameters can combine to create structural ‘resonances’ of extraordinary detail and beauty—sometimes naturally organic and other times perfectly geometric. But then like a chaotic system it can completely disappear with the smallest perturbation.” (via my modern met)

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Mathematical and Generative Graphics by Tom Beddard

3D Mandelbulb Ray Tracer by Tom Beddard

Tom Beddard plays around with home-brew programmes that can generate interesting pictures and are interactive nature. He also does what any good open-source artist does: offer the source-code for download. This particular project (result of “true fractal structure in three dimensions”, which renders out to look like a couple thousand year’s worth of exquisite pottery study) is called the 3D Mandelbulb Ray Tracer. So if you’re feeling a bit like foraying into “graphical-geekery”, go check out Tom’s site and code!

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