Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mandelbulb 3D Tutorial: The 'DE combinate' button

Right! Back again for another tutorial page. I'm much more experienced now with Mandelbulb 3D, and have thought that I should do a revision of much of what I've already posted, but as that's not terribly exciting, and  as I feel like doing something exciting, I'm going to try out the DE Combinate feature of the formula box.

I learnt about this from two of my favourite 3D fractal artists, Mandelwerk and Bib, through the following works of theirs (and more):

Claustrophobia by Infinite Rooms by Mandelwerk

Two Worlds by bib993

So when I saw these amazing images, of course the first thing I wondered was 'How did they do it?' ... And the answer is DE Combinate. As of right now though, I haven't tried using it yet. I like to keep my first time experiments for when I'm in blogging mode, so that you all learn with me as I go.

My intention is first to try and copy Mandelwerk's "Claustrophobia by Infinite Rooms" and Bib's "Two Worlds" and explain how I did it. Then I'll alter one of them, to test out DE Com features...

Let's go!

Alrighty... The first part was easy. Simply select the DE Combinate button in the formula window (default button is 'Alternate' (as seen above)), and then choose "MengerIFS" as your first formula, and "Integer Power" as your second formula. Click on Calculate 3D and this is what you get:

Next step, use the navigator to face the side of the cube:

Now it's just a question of colour, I think =) .. And, the sides are curved, and Mandelwerk's original has very straight lines... Will try figure it out now.


Ok, so after an annoying amount of time trying to get his exact colouring, I've given up =P ... But I figured out the curved edges. In the main window, there's a tab called 'Camera' ... I tried clicking the 'Rectilinear Lense' and that did the trick =) ... Then it's just a matter of fine tuning in the navigator and voila:

My attempt at duplicating Mandelwerk's version.

Next, Bib's very intimidating 'Two Worlds' as seen above.

Let me load the two formulae mentioned in the comments and see what I get...
Uhm... Ok so nevermind that... =P ... I even asked him for some hints, and he gave me the four formulae he used, but no matter how I tweak the parameters, I can't figure out how he did it =P ... I'm thinking some background in advanced maths may be necessary...

So now, on to some experimentation! I'll use my version of Mandelwerk's Claustrophobia. ... First things first, when you choose DE Combinate in the formulae box, at the bottom of the first formula, this appears:

Just to see what happens, I chose the next option 'Ma' and rendered. As Jesse's little description popup-box says ... "only overlapping parts" .. of the two formulae, that is =) ... After repositioning (zoomed out and rotated) and some minor colour changes, this is what it looks like:

Next, I tried the 'Av' option, and got this (Note, it took much longer to render with this option.) :

Here's a close-up, just to see:

The option 'S1' looks like this:

Then I changed the "Ds" value that appears if you choose 'S1' ... It is 0.5 by default. I tried 0.2 and got this:

Then I zoomed into the center there and did a few colour changes to get this:


And with Ds.= -0.5 :

The option S2 you can check out for yourself... Not much different to S1 but remember that with different formulae, or even just with simple parameter tweaks, results can change drastically.

That completes the DE Combinate tutorial ... Next, I'm hoping to cover that post-process tab ;)

If my tutorial is helping you, please consider supporting me over at my Patreon page.
I also have a deviantArt gallery.


  1. Replies
    1. And I appreciate you letting me know that it helped =) ... I hope to find some time to do another tutorial page soon.

  2. Thank You so much for great tutorial!


  3. I have learn so much from your tutorials thank you so much :D

  4. My pleasure, Mary! I know I haven't posted anything for some time and sorry for that! I'll make some time soon...

    Thanks for your comment =) And yours too Dominik!

  5. yup. Thanks alot, we need folks like you doin the good work for all us lazy bulbers. Can't wait to continue reading your progress. Cheers! -Vaughn Evans

    p.s. Nice middle name

  6. Haha... I've always liked my middle name =)
    My pleasure Vaughn! As I said, I'm hoping to make some time soon for fractals again. I'm just so lost in Minecraft right now...

  7. I 've just discovered Mandelbulber software so I will be reading your tutorials from the first one! :)

    1. Hi Ann .. I'm sorry for never replying! I'm getting back into the swing of things now. How did you manage? Are you creating wonderful 3D fractal art now? =)

  8. Which version of the Mandelbulb 3d are you using? I am going mad because v1.8.2 and the newest version do not even have the buttons or parameters shown in the tutorials.

    1. Ooh, thank you for pointing this out. I'm using the new Beta version (1.8.6) right now, but my tutorials were done in 1.7.6, and yes, things appear to be a bit different.

      With the above DE Combinate, the "Mi", "Ma", "Av", "S1" and "S2" radio button options are replaced with a drop-down menu with options that have different names but I assume do the same thing.

      What other pages have you found with discrepancies?
      Thank you again =)

  9. yes the names on the new version (I got v1.8.8 last week) are quite different but do the same things

    I prefer working in the min nlin or min lin with de combinates