Kon Hyong Kim

Environment

AlloSphere, 2nd floor

*Fractal 3.1* is a real-time simulated artwork of deterministic fractal systems shown in 3D. Users can interact with the system using various devices, which allows them to easily create and transform deterministic fractals that are rendered using ray-casting.

The artwork is based on the application of the same name, which was designed to allow artists to easily create deterministic fractals. Deterministic fractals, such as the Mandelbulb, Julia Sets and the Mandelbox, gained popularity in the late 2000’s due to their ability to generate amazingly detailed structures from just a series of simple transformation algorithms. Due to the chaotic nature of fractals, even the smallest change in a parameter can result in a drastically different fractal landscape.

However, in order to interact with these fractals, one needs deep knowledge of the specific math in order to manipulate the algorithm to produce a desired form, and advanced programming knowledge of graphics hardware to generate such fractals in a timely matter due to their high computation cost. The system created in this work, aids the user by providing a structure that handles the graphics hardware so the user can focus on the algorithms, which the user can intuitively learn by exploring the application’s interface. The backend system uses GLSL to achieve real-time ray-casting by allowing most of the required computation to run on the GPU, which takes advantage of the high parallelization inherent in the algorithm. By allowing the rendering to happen in real-time, the user can instantly see the new forms that arise from the parameter changes they make.