July 29, 2008 3:56 PM   Subscribe

How deep does the rabbit hole go? The Ultimate Fractal Video Project features animated zooms into the famous Mandelbrot Set. Some zoom in so far that, by the end of the dive, the first frame you had viewed would be as large as (or larger than) the known universe. | The animations are offered as .zip'd WMV files; lower-quality versions are viewable on FractAlkemist's YouTube page.

The author explains: "The 'Universe' viddies are so named because at a zoom depth of E+26, the original Mandelbrot is expanded to approximately the size of the known observable universe, 10-20 billion lightyears. And E+61 is the ratio of the entire visible universe to the smallest sub-atomic quantum effects. So where does E+89 take you? To the Mother of All Mandelbrot ZooM animations!

"This one took 8 months to render on 3 systems, all running 24/7. This is the Deepest Mandelbrot ZooM Animation ever made, and ever likely to be made (without frame interpolation, shortcuts, tricks or cheating). It goes all the way to a final zoom depth of E+89, and uses maximum iterations (2,100,000,000) all the way for maximum detail."

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Recommended uses: download a few, put them in a queue on your media player, and let them play on repeat at your next box social.

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This FPP by loquacious points to another cool fractal animation site.

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Bonus: two more cool fractal animations: one with Jonathan Coulton's song "Mandelbrot Set" as the soundtrack, the other with a more baroque flavor.

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There are many more examples of fractal animation out there; please add your favorite links in the comments section.
posted by not_on_display (13 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

While I like this post, I would like to zoom in so that the "-----"s are no longer visible.
posted by GuyZero at 4:05 PM on July 29, 2008

Hey! Nobody told me that there would be MATH on this test!
posted by TDavis at 4:05 PM on July 29, 2008

Seriously, can they do this with regular 80-bit extended doubles or did they have to write custom number-handling routines? Because that is a pretty huge zoom.
posted by GuyZero at 4:09 PM on July 29, 2008

GuyZero: They were made using Fractint, which has support for software arbitrary mantissa sizes. Given Fractint's heritage, and the requirements of all these fractals, I bet it's fixed point instead of floating point.
posted by aubilenon at 4:21 PM on July 29, 2008

That's a nice universe you guys have there. Lots of attention to detail.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 4:25 PM on July 29, 2008

Download Xaos and do your own zooming. Try it with the UI-->Zooming Speed set to about 3 instead of 1. As you increase the Calculations-->Iterations setting, you can zoom farther in.

Just hold down the left mouse button to zoom in, and steer by moving the mouse.
posted by jjj606 at 4:52 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the amazing thing about fractals is that the Xaos program, which can generate these of zooms, downloads much quicker than the footage of the zooms themselvs.
posted by bendybendy at 6:23 PM on July 29, 2008

I have a nifty little Mandelbrot generator on my iPhone, but sadly the zoom level is relatively shallow. Screenshots from it make excellent wallpaper however.

And while the code to generate fractals may be lightweight, the actual calculations are going to take you some time. In the first link, they mention an 8 month render time on 3 machines (of unknown horsepower, granted) for the biggest Mandelbrot zoom.
posted by inparticularity at 9:10 PM on July 29, 2008

Bah. Mandlebrot Set. All looks the same, after a while...
posted by Jimbob at 10:28 PM on July 29, 2008

I'm waiting for it to reach a level where I can see my house, must be in there somewhere.
posted by leibniz at 3:57 AM on July 30, 2008

posted by fuq at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2008

I'm not watching those videos unless someone can guarantee there are no basilisks!
posted by straight at 10:06 AM on July 30, 2008

See also: Jim Muth's Fractal of the Day (1997-2006) | A list of Fractal Software (links not tested)
posted by not_on_display at 10:13 AM on July 30, 2008

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