Collective Dichotomy – A Fractal Animation

I haven’t made any fractal animations for a while now, but I came across this one on one of my older hard drives. I created the audio track in Apple Soundtrack Pro during my early uni days and then using Apophysis I generated a series of fractals to match it and animated it using Flam3.

I never shared it anywhere but I figure why not put it on YouTube and share it here, no one gets to enjoy it hidden away on a hard drive. I’ve been thinking about making some more if I ever can fit in the time. I used to really enjoy designing them. I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think in the comments.

Read moreCollective Dichotomy – A Fractal Animation

Apophysis/Flam3 Fractals on Mac OS X

It’s been a while since I’ve made some fractals. I’ve been wanting to spend some time being creative with them for a few weeks now. On Windows, I love Apophysis and the Flam3 system for generating video’s, so I’m really keen to find something similar on Mac. Running Apophysis and Flam3 through VMWare or Parallels doesn’t seem like the best use of system resources on something that can be very resource intensive. So I’ve been hunting around for native OS X fractal software. So far this is what I’ve found:


  • Mandelbulber – Seems like an interesting take on 3D fractals. I’m looking forward to having a play with this one.
  • GNU XaoS – Seems to support some interesting fractals and the ability to create animations.
  • Fracton – The gallery also has some interesting fractals.

None of the free ones seem to support the Apophyis/Flam3 type of fractals, though they do have some interesting results, I’m going to experiment with them some, I’m particularly interested in Mandelbulber.


  • Fractal Domains – $20.00 – Looks like the fractals are pretty decent and lots of variations available. It’s not the Flam3 style of fractals, but they do look decent. There is a trial download available so I might give it a go.
  • UltraFractal – $69.00 – The most expensive, it looks like it’s quite comprehensive with the ability to build some amazing fractals. Again though, it’s not the Flam3 style of fractals I’m really looking for.
  • FractalWorks – $9.99 – Only available through the App store that I can see, so I probably won’t try this one since there is no trial. The fractals really aren’t what I’m looking for either anyway judging from the galleries.
  • Fractal Architect – $23.99 – This one is also only available through the App store, and it does have a cut down version available for $5.99 that can be upgraded to the full version. This is also the only one I’ve found that generates Flam3 type fractals. It also indicates compatibility with Apophysis. So this one definitely looks like it could be the one! I’m reluctant to pay for it without being able to try it out first, but it does have very positive reviews.

Computational Art Assignment

Random SpiralsI had an assignment due on Monday for KKB210: Computational Arts 1, where I had to create 3 computational art works. This has kept me pretty busy over the past week or so, especially since I had another assignment due on Tuesday, just a 1500-1800 word essay fortunately, so it didn’t take up too much time.

For full details on everything I’ve done for this assignment, have a look at my computational arts blog. I’ve learned a lot about various programming environments and languages in relation to computational arts and live-coding. In particular, I’ve found the Processing Development Environment and Quartz Composer quite interesting and fun to work with. Of course, Quartz Composer isn’t a programming environment, but a patching tool.

I have always been particularly interested in fractals and other forms of digital art, so the computational arts subjects at uni were particularly appealing to me, and thus far have been exactly what I was looking for.

I have made a few fractal animations previously, including one for my NSW Higher School Certificate that I synced up with music. On my second fractal animation, I created the music for it myself instead of using an existing piece. Using Quartz Composer and Processing, I am able to make very similar effects, though not fractals, and have them render and animate in real-time. Two of my artworks for KKB210 are actually live rendered animations based on audio input. You can have a look at them here and here. They are both available under feel free to edit them, redistribute them etc, just take note that it is an attribution, non-commercial, share-a-like license (full details are available on, so you do have say where you got it from if you are re-distributing it.

Now, while I am a novice at the whole live-rendered animations to music and the like, I am happy to do some for events where it is appropriate. Let me know at matt at stillaslife dot com.

Art Express 2007

A year old now I know, but I just came across this article on the Northern Rivers Echo website from the end of 2006 when I found my best mate Rhi, another of my class mates, and myself, selected for the NSW state-wide Art Express Exhibitions for 2007.

As I said, it’s a year old, but hey, it was exciting for me to find my art being exhibited all over the state including places like Albury, Orange, Grafton, Newcastle, and Sydney.

I did a fractal animation to a song by a friend of the family, Dennis Nattrass (or Wah Wah Willie). Wah Wah Willie has done some really great music. It is guitar based ambient and shows off much of his skill on the guitar. I highly recommend his album entitled “Cinema“. It adds a very unique twist on more common ambient music and is very complimentary to fractals.

I created the fractals using Apophysis and rendered them in Flam3. It was really quite an interesting experience, as I had created many fractal’s in Apophysis and had a fairly good understanding of how the software functions, the effects of different triangles and so on, however I had not done any animations before, so it was all new.

The theory behind my animation was much deeper than what is outlined in the article in the Echo, as I explained in my film and write up, it was based on the chaos theory. My thinking behind it is as follows:

The Chaos Theory
The study of phenomena which appear random, but in fact have an element of regularity which can be described mathematically.

“Trust me…There is order here, very faint, very human.”
-Michael Ondaatje

“There can only be one right answer in mathematics. Fractals are an art form, based entirely on maths. Like anything though, when the human element is added to math, it becomes imprecise, there can be mistakes, errors, many right answers.

Variation becomes limitless, but order remains.

From the chaos theory, fractals are born.
Trust me, there is order here.”
-Matthew Brown

To my knowledge, neither of my video clips thus far are available anywhere on the internet.