Friday, February 27, 2009

Two orange ones

Not my usual colors, really, but I can never resist an excuse to play with color. Fractals and printmaking have this in common: any image can be any color, and you could theoretically spend an entire career remaking a single plate or parameter set over and over and over, with infinite variations. Yesterday I started a few tentative experiments inking the fractal halftone plates in various colors, but I haven't gotten far enough to decide which color works best with any particular plate. Digital files are certainly faster.

untitled [orange star/rose]

untitled [red curtain]

The jpg compression has made the reds and oranges somewhat more murky than they ought to be. Saturated warm colors are particularly problematic in jpgs. There, I think, ink on paper probably wins out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Enough already

Arrgh, brain, will you stop generating this kind of stuff already. What's up with that?

untitled [emotional roller coaster]

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More science fiction

I've been watching too much Star Trek again. You can tell, can't you?

untitled [borg bubbles]

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oh maybe just one more

Too late now for Valentine's Day, but I have this one last silly heart image I wanted to upload. I spent an awful lot of time trying to get a better heart-shape using the various new knob-twiddles available in orbit traps coloring. There have been a couple of heart-shaped traps in the standard formula library for ages, but I always think they look a little clunky. So now I've proved to myself that I can get the kind of reflexive curve I'd rather have, if I'm willing to waste an hour or so on it.

untitled [cardioneon]

Friday, February 13, 2009

Image à trois

Whee, it's Friday the 13th! Pretty soon I'll be able to give this Valentine theme a rest. This one is only very loosely connected to it anyway.

Bizarre Love Triangle

It's a single-layer mandelbrot cubed. It turns out to be a lot harder to make bilaterally-symmetrical things (like hearts) when the geometry is pulling in three directions at once, so the little blobs aren't very heart-like. I liked the colors, though, and the way the three pairs spin out from the chaotic center.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now in full lurid color

I've added the color back to the black-and-white-ized version of this one. I think it ended up with only one layer ultimately being the same as the fractal I'd started with. I still can't decide whether it's any good or not, but it will have to do for now.

Clockwork Heart (in color!)

I still might turn the greyscale version into a printing plate. So much to do this week!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Reversion to type

It's another heart. But to prove I'm still me, it has gears in.

Clockwork Heart

The basic form was from a fairly old parameter set, which was in color, but which had never quite worked. I tried making it greyscale and tweaking it a bunch, adjusting contrast and adding the gears, and now I think maybe it does work after all. And because I'm still in photo-etching mode, I'm wondering if maybe I should try this one as a plate. There's too much detail for it to be as small a plate as my previous ones, so I may have to be brave and sacrifice a big chunk of copper on the experiment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rainbows are also easy, unicorns less so

On the same general principles as my recent valentine-ish thing, another single-layer Mandelbrot zoom.

untitled [hearts mandala]

This one may get photo-etched and added to the series, or it may not. I haven't decided whether or not I want to explicitly include any imagery of the hearts-and-flowers variety. Is that what makes fractals so difficult to take seriously? That they're really good at making groovy flowers and rainbows and such? That once you dig deeply enough into the giant pile of numbers, you start finding cute?

And indeed, they are remarkably bad at conveying the kinds of social issues that are currently considered important. I would no doubt find it quite difficult to construct a fractal that would clearly convey the idea of "contested election" or "housing market crash" or even "walk/don't walk." Probably it could be done, but it would take some serious mangling, and maybe even something really unnatural like imported images. It would lack the simplicity of pattern that these one-layer zooms have.

Bah, I suppose there's more to it than that.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lo-res revisited

I've been trying a new photo-etching process at school, and it's working better than I ever expected. With the preliminary experiments looking good, I'm starting on a series of quite small prints, to be dispensed from a flat-vending machine of the sort normally used for stickers or temporary tattoos. These two images are photo-etched copper plates, printed relief. The image size is 2" x 2", and the paper is 3" x 4".


Inflatable Cartoon Universe
Inflatable Cartoon Universe

If you click on them, and view the largest size, you can see the halftoning. It's a nice effect.