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Inside The Infinite 3D Beauty Of Sci-Fi Fractal Landscapes

Inside The Infinite 3D Beauty Of Sci-Fi Fractal Landscapes

"Internal Activity" by Mark J. Brady

Using software program Mandelbulb3D, the artist Mark J. Brady (aka MarkJayBee) makes fractal landscapes that look like computerized storyboards from Ridley Scott movies— but the difference is that these vast digital settings are comprised of infinitely repeating patterns, bringing viewers into an inter-dimensional space that goes way beyond the 2D fractals we're used to.

Brady describes his work as "techno-architecturally-mechanistic," a fitting tag, as his work doesn't even come close to appearing man-made. Industrial chambers, galactic dystopias, and mechanical columbariums abound, each made from cloned polygonal patterns generated by machines (and seemingly for machines, as his universes are distinctly void of organic life). 

"Ixian Manufactories II"

Not long after the discovery of the first 3D fractalBrady saw a 'Mandelbulb' for the first time in 2010. Thinking to himself, "These look like surreal, alien cityscapes which I could add my own science fiction interpretations to," Brady tells The Creators Project that his next immediate thought was, "Now I just have to learn how to do it..."

After a long, steep learning curve, through painstaking practice and the right tools, Brady now has a constantly expanding online gallery and a growing consumer base buying prints of his digital imaginings. Though there are many fractal-building tools and digital arts software programs, Brady almost exclusively works in Mandlebub3D, a program he says, "I honestly can't see how it could be significantly improved from its present form." 

The artist elaborated on why he uses Mandlebulb3D for his creations, and why it can help other artists: 

The program is best due to its ease of use, render speed and the vast amount of fine image control available. In the early days of the programs development, finding one's way around a fractal was a very hit or miss affair. However, the introduction of the 'Navigation Window' made the program much more intuitive, as you really get a sense of being able to wander around inside or outside a fractal; and precisely frame and take the 'shot' when you feel you’ve hit the ‘sweet spot.' As a long-time photographer, this has really made a huge difference to my ability to find and compose an image.

"Subsurface System"

"I’ve had a lifelong fascination with technology and an abiding love of science fiction," continues Brady. Inspired by author Ian M. Banks and illustrator Chris Foss, Brady admits that if you see Blade Runner-esque imagery in his fractal worlds, you're not far off; he hopes his work gives a sense of "complex—and I hope convincing—massive machinery," and that his digital dreamlands can transport viewers to totally foreign locales. 

Like the Mandelbulb fractals themselves, Brady's works are generative gems that keep on giving, immersing the viewer inside intricate new worlds of complex mathematics. 

See more of Brady's work below, and visit his website for more of his otherwordly fractals.

"Command System"

"C.A.T arriving at Vavatch Orbital"

"GSV Mainbay II"

"External Services"

Related:

Fabergé Fractals Are Intangible Geometric Wonders

Beautifully Simple Code Generates Realistic Terrain With Fractals

An Explosive Animation Inspired By Fractals And Chaos Theory