## Wednesday, June 8, 2011

### Fractal eXtreme: Creating different kinds of Mandelbrot Sets.

It's been a few days since my last post because honestly, after understanding the basics behind what generates a fractal, especially the Mandelbrot, the next inevitable step for me was to download as many different Fractal programs as I could and start experimenting :) ... It has been a virtual mushroom trip, to say the least.

For now though, let me stick to Fractal eXtreme. Such a nifty little program! So much more to it than one initially thinks... You've probably played around with it a bit yourself already but for the sake of being complete, I'll start at the beginning.

The first obvious thing is that you need to do is choose a Set when the program opens. It's default is the standard and much loved Mandelbrot set, but you can choose from many others.

Listed below the Mandelbrot are more Mandelbrots using different powers in their formulas. As it explains in the program, the higher the exponent, the more nodes the Mandelbrot has (always one less node than the power).

There's also an option called Mandelbrot Arbitrary Power, which is a lot of fun. You know that the normal Mandelbrot set has the function f(z)=z^2 + c behind it. Well, with the Arbitrary Set, you can set the exponent to any real number you want. The resulting fractals can be out of this world.

Then, just when you thought the Arbitrary Power was cool, along comes: The Mandelbrot Complex Power ... That's right: z^(some complex number) + c ... Instead of jading you to the adjectives 'incredible' and 'amazing', let me show you. Examples to follow of selected Mandelbrots of which I've spoken about so far.

Mandelbrot normal exponent changes :

 Standard Mandelbrot Set
 Mandelbrot^3 [ f(z)=z^3+c ]
 Mandelbrot^8 [ f(z)=z^8 + c ]

 Mandelbrot^3.5
 Mandelbrot^2.5
 Mandelbrot^1.7

Complex Power changes:

 Mandelbrot^(8,1.73i)
 Mandelbrot^(3.1,2.5i)
 Mandelbrot^(2.08,0.36i)

One thing you'll notice with making changes to the exponent in these ways is that, the higher the exponent, the longer it takes for the program to render a good-looking image, especially the more you zoom in. But you don't need to zoom in very far to discover really beautiful fractals. Go ahead and try some of the different Mandelbrots, experiment with colours, etc. To change the Arbitrary and Complex powers once you've loaded the default, you need to go to Options > Plug-in Setup.

And there you have it :) Hope you're having fun :) ... Fractal eXtreme has a few other very interesting options for creating new Fractals (Auto Quadratic, the "Hidden Mandelbrot", Barnsley 1, 2 and 3, Classic and Complex Newton, and Nova/NovaM), but those I'll show you in the next post.