Surface Detail: three hypnotic minutes of fractal flowering

In "Surface Detail," an unflowering fractal surface dances and writhes hypnotically for 3:10, each moment more hypnotic than the last. The artist is called subBlue.

Surface detail (via Interconnected)


  1. i wonder if that can be replicated using sub polygon displacement. maybe not exactly but pretty close.

    1. “i wonder if that can be replicated using sub polygon displacement. maybe not exactly but pretty close.”

      In essence that is what he is doing. This is all taking place on the video card in real time (or pretty close) so you need a fairly good one. The program creates GLSL polys and recursively breaks them up and displaces them according to whatever algorithm is being used.

      He also wrote the soundtrack.

  2. This may be what Lovecraft referred to when he described the geometry of R’lyeh as “abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours.”

    1. This is what makes Lovecraft such a great writer. It’s the little things, stated so elegantly, that we can all relate to. I really hate it when I wake up and stumble out of my bedroom and my living room is just redolent with spheres, like someone left of whole pile of them there or something. When that happens I know my whole day is gonna suck. Or when you’re talking to someone and they suddenly draw a whole bunch of spheres on a piece of paper and slide it over to you, and you’re all like “GODDAMNIT”. I bet someone did that to Lovecraft more than once.

  3. Go to subblue and checkout his past projects. Especially his 3d Mandelbulb ray tracer plugin for Adobe’s Pixelblender for Photoshop.

    And if you like generative art also checkout Syntopia, Mikael Hvidtfeldt Christensen’s blog where he is developing Fragmentarium, an alternative to PixelBlender. Mikael also created Structure Synth which is a 3d version of Context Free.

  4. Reminiscent of the 3rd-last scene in 2001, when Dave is going through the Stargate, before landing in that strange apartment.

  5. Wonder how many gazillion cycles it took to compute and render this. I’m guessing it’s not done in real time.

    1. You guess wrong anon.

      “Each frame takes about half a second to render at HD 720 resolution with 4x antialiasing. Without the AA it is quick enough for interactive tweaking of the parameters.”

      It’s interactive, though the frame rate is 2sec so you can’t really call it real time, but it’s close. He is working on a WebGL version that will be real time.

  6. Oh that freaking mandelbulb!! It follows me! I can see it out of the corner of my eye, everywhere I go!

    Now the Mandelbox, that’s a gentleman of a 3d fractal that gives me a lot less heebie jeebies!

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