High-Precision Deep Zoom


Cubic Burning Ship 2

Second deep-zoom animation of the Cubic Burning Ship Fractal


This is the second animation on HPDZ of the Cubic Burning Ship fractal. Detailed information on this fractal are on the page for CubicBurningShip1, which was published in June 2011.

This fractal has a very different look from the traditional polynomial-based Mandelbrot sets, with lots of pointy angles and grid-like structures, and hardly any curly spirals at all. The "sails" of the ship give the impression of huge Gothic columns, and deeper inside are huge fields of grids and bars and angles. It has a stark, harsh, angular beauty. The progression of detail at higher magnifications develops differently as well, with little wedge-shaped structures appearing with varying levels of complex internal details.  The embedded mini-ships acquire new features and distortions, also unlike the polynomial-based M-sets, which generally have mini-sets that look exactly like the main set.

This group of fractals -- Burning Ships and Buffalo, which involve taking the absolute values of the components of the iterated complex number -- is rich and fascinating and will certainly be the subject of more projects in the future.

Download Options

In order to conserve limited server hosting space, the larger versions of this video are only available as MP4 files. A small WMV file is provided for IE users who would like an on-demand viewing experience, but the best way to view this animation is to download the big HD MP4 file or the INSANE quality 1.2 GB 50 Mbps file.

Trouble Downloading?
Video download options
MP4 Files (QuickTime player)
Extreme Quality Download1.2 GB1600x90050 Mbps CBR
HD Quality Download356 MB1600x90014 Mbps
DVD Quality53 MB800x4502 Mbps FASTSTART
Fast On-Demand Viewing11 MB400x226380 Kbps FastStart
WMV Files (Windows Media Player)
Fast On-Demand Viewing56 MB1600x9005.7 Mbps

Video Capture Images

Click on any image below for a high-quality full-size frame capture from the video.

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Production Details

Vital Statistics
Date Generated:3-10 October 2012
Initial Image Size:4
Final Image Size:2.8e-31
Frames:10,800 at 60 fps
Length:3:00 of fractal, 3:26 total
Rendering Time:147.3 hours
Rendering System:Core i7 980X 4.0GHz overclocked
Method:Cubic Burning Ship fractal, exponential smoothing
Noise Reduction:5x5 stochastic supersampling


The 10,800 frames of this animation were generated by interpolation from 176 primary images that were directly calculated from the fractal data. The primary images are mostly 2674x1508, with the first few and last few being slightly different because of the acceleration and tracking movement. The primary images were blended together with 10% overlap on the leading and trailing ends of each primary frame. As usual, weighted-average pixel interpolation was used to generate the video files from the primary images, and exponential smoothing was used to achieve smooth color gradients.

The primary images were generated with 25X (5x5 grid) stochastic supersampling to reduce sparkle noise in the denser areas of the fractal images.

This project was rendered at 60 video frames per second. I've done this a few other times to experiment with whether this reduces judder when viewed on 72 or 75 Hz refresh rate monitors compared to a 30 Hz frame rate, and also whether 60 fps gives a better viewing experience. The verdict is not in yet on either of those questions, but I am leaning toward concluding that 60 fps does not do much other than double the video stream bandwidth. The problem with evaluating this is that I'm never sure whether what looks like judder is actually an MPEG decoding lag. At any rate, the effect is subtle at its worst. With a 120 Hz refresh rate, the benefits of 60 fps may be more evident.

The INSANE quality 50 Mbps file was encoded at a constant bit rate, unlike the others, which are VBR. I could not get a 40-50 Mbps VBR encoding to play back without serious lag problems in the last few seconds, because for some reason, Vegas insists on encoding those last 10 seconds or so at over 100 Mbps, even if I set a max rate of only 50 Mbps. I do not have a hardware MP4 decoder, but I do have a seriously fast computer, and if I am getting this kind of problem on my system, it's almost certain that everyone else will also (everyone who does not have hardware MPG decoding, that is). So I made a 50 Mbps CBR encoding, and it works very well and looks very good.


SmartSound to the rescue again.

Color Palette

For the first time, I got a more-or-less rainbow-like ROYGBIV gradient working, so I incorporated it here.