What you’re watching isn’t organic, but a computer-generated visualization of complex mathematics. It’s a three-dimensional fractal.
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Julius Horsthuis spent weeks designing and animating his sci-fi short, Fraktaal, using 3D software. But as the artist reveals, “It so happens that I’m a lazy animator.” So he instead relied on complex mathematical fractal patterns to automatically generate the alien worlds and…
In Julius Horsthuis’ short film Recurrence, he takes the audience on a slow descent into a sprawling metropolis he’s created. But as you get closer and closer to the city, and try to make out details like houses and skyscrapers, you start to realize that those tiny details only reveal more of the same, and that your…
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have shown that it’s possible to detect neurodegenerative disorders in famous artists by analyzing subtle changes in their brush strokes over time. The technique could eventually be used to flag Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in artists before they’re diagnosed.
A new fractal analysis of London’s dense network of streets and intersections reveals that a green belt meant to encourage migration to the suburbs had the opposite effect. The city has just became denser. People really seem to love urban living, especially in a thriving city like London. The work could shed light on…
The complexity of a puzzle is usually dependent on how many tiny pieces are crammed inside its box. But by introducing mathematical fractals into the design, this plain nine-piece puzzle by Oscar van Deventer looks like a nightmare to solve.
There are multiple examples of fractal patterns in nature, from peacock feathers, snowflakes, and leaves, to cloud formations and coastlines. A group of graduate students have spotted similar fractal geometries in the ponds that form at low tide on a tidal flat in Maine.
Photographer Radu Zaciu hollowed out ordinary fruits and vegetables and replaced their insides with light bulbs. His photo series, "The Light Inside," captures what these everyday edibles look like with their new, luminous cores, revealing the structural subtleties in their pulp, their skin, their leaves, and…
Cantor's Dust is a famous fractal, a basic pattern that repeats itself over and over. It's a pretty pattern, but it didn't seem very useful at the time it was invented. Years later, it was invoked again at the dawn of chaos theory to explain an odd phenomenon in broadcasting.
A simple game with a die, a triangle, and a hell of a lot of patience, can help you to draw a famous fractal. Get out a pencil and clear your schedule. (Or get out a computer and clear less of your schedule.) We'll show you how to draw a fractal by accident.
The roots of CGI lie in the first mechanical aids to drawing and painting. The earliest of these were developed to help solve a problem every artist has found to be sticky: perspective.
Fractal geometry is a field of math born in the 1970s and mainly developed by Benoit Mandelbrot. If you've already heard of fractals, you've probably seen the picture above. It's called the Mandelbrot Set and is an example of a fractal shape.
Math is way more fun when it's lent some narrative, some purpose—and we've never seen a better example than this stunning noir cartoon which explains fractals. You have to watch it.
It's time for weekly space-links of astronomy and planetary science stories that we didn't cover on Space this week.
IBM's engineers must have been at a loose end, because they've just launched a new site called the IBMblr Fractalizer, which takes any Tumblr and spits it out as a series of fractals.
Back in 2010 — a mere 19 days before his death — Benoît Mandelbrot gave a candid and moving interview describing his life's work and how he came to devise fractal geometry, the notion that the much of the natural world is organized according to elegant and predictable mathematical principles.
In her two latest videos, maths-maven Vi Hart shows us how to draw fractals freehand, creating Koch curves, dragon curves, and eventually THREE DIMENSIONAL DUNGEONS – all with a little clever doodling.
Fractals aren't just something you learn about in math class. They are also a gorgeous part of the natural world. Here are some of the most stunning examples of these repeating patterns that look the same no matter how far you zoom in or out.