Thursday, July 21, 2011

Interview with Mandelwerk!

Temple of Chaotic Borderlines (Won the Mandelbrot Tribute Contestat dA)

The only reason I started this blog 2 months ago, the only reason that I became so suddenly fascinated with fractals, was because I found the 3D fractal art of Mandelwerk on DeviantArt. After going through almost his entire gallery, I got really into everything, discovered the maths behind 2D fractals, and eventually downloaded Mandelbulb 3D to try some 3D fractal art of my own :) ... (Go to Mandelwerk's Deviant Art Page to see more images like the above)

Then I decided to ask him 8 simple questions, with the intention of blogging them, and he graciously answered them for me:

What first got you into Fractals?

Already in the mid 1980's I had my friend do a program to render the mandelbrot set (in black and white) on a ABC 80 computer. I had been fascinated ever since I saw the first deep zoom on television. After a long break I found Daniel White's site with the 3D Mandelbulb, and then I was really lost. :)

In your opinion, which programs for both 2D and 3D fractals are absolute must-have's for any
aspiring fractalnaut?

I am rather new to rendering this time, and only do 3D nowadays. The obvious choices are of course Mandelbulber and Mandelbulb 3D. (Both available on my Downloads page)

Any other programs worth mentioning?

Subblues pixelbender script is the one I started with, it is super fast, rendering via the GPU, not as easy to do hybrids with, but Bermarte on Deviantart has made some tweaks to do some hybrids. And  I always use Photoshop if I do any postwork, but sometimes I don't do any postwork at all.

How did you learn how to create such beautiful 3D fractal art?

I guess my background as a surreal painter (oil on canvas) has a lot to do with my "style" and way of thinking. I learned Mandelbulb 3D by trying, trying, testing testing...

What do you know of the maths behind fractals? (Or are you only into the art side of it?)

I understand the basics behind the mandelbrot set  and mandelbulb / mandelbox and KIFS.
I am not so good at the maths at this level as I would like though... (Here I'd like to point out that, although the maths behind fractals is very interesting to most, it is not necessary to know any of it in order to create 2D/3D fractal art).

What goes through your mind now as you begin a new piece? Describe the creative process...

Big question. I have some "bigger" projects with a start idea...; most of the images I post on DA are really places I find while looking for the parts for these projects. So in those cases (most DA pieces) I get the Idea from the fractal when I find it.

Do you earn any sort of income from your fractal art?

I have sold a couple of pieces on DA, earning a couple of dollars. I will try to put together a "real" exhibition, not to make money, more to find another audience who hopefully will like what they see and get as fascinated by math-art as we are.

Any inspiring words of wisdom you could give to all fractal newbies out there (myself included)? :)

Test, test test, try try try, if you find some interesting shapes, try adding one more formula, do a big render of a interesting looking area, check for new shapes, zoom in, render, check for shapes… That is my way of working in most cases.

If you are a total beginner, use someones shared parameters, but try to tweak them with added / changed formulas... There are too much to find to just do a rerender of someones parameters.

I would like to make it even clearer how much I feel that others should try to find their own "worlds" in these fractals. I love to see new findings from other fellow fractalists.

What I like so much about 3D fractals is that everyone has a possibility to fine their own style, and I am convinced this will be the road to a completely new kind of art.

Thank you for your interest Jody

Thank you, Johan, for your time and effort answering my questions. Your work is a constant inspiration to me, and hopefully we can spread the word and indeed be contributors to a new kind of art. I've been successful with a few pieces but I'm waiting until I have a small collection so that I can post a small Gallery of sorts here on my site. 

One thing I'd like to add, aimed at beginners: Have some patience in the beginning! Get to know the program first before expecting to create amazing pieces of art such as this one, Johan's latest piece posted in DeviantArt:

Molecular Bouquet - Click to enlarge.


  1. Congratulations for the job to do this blog and thanks for appointing and invite me to participate.
    I want to contribute with a mention to one of the softwares essentials to me and , in my case, the first fractal programs I´d use. This is Apophysis, with 2d and 3d options and thousands of resources, scripts, examples and much more than it cant foun on DA and others pages.
    See u and I hope can help to do this blog bigger

  2. Thanks Miguel, and my pleasure :) Why don't you copy and paste the questions, answer them, and then message me your answers. I'd love to do another interview blogpost like this. In fact, with as many experts as possible :)

  3. Mandelwerk/Kraftwerk is definitely one of the Masters in this new Genre of 3D Fractals, good choice for an interviwee. Would have been nice to have a place like this when I first picked up MB3D way back when but the adventure so far has been most satisfying regardless.

  4. Thanks for dropping by Lenord :) Do you have a Deviant Art page as well?