This is the monthly newsletter for my fractal animation site, HPDZ.NET. I am sending you this because I think you might be interested. I realize this almost qualifies as spam, so if you would like me to remove you from the distribution list for this newsletter, please send a reply to this e-mail. Please also let me know if you would like me to update your e-mail address if you get a new address.
– Mike Condron
Volume 1, Number 3
Another Busy Month
July was another busy month for HPDZ.NET.
The research department completed work a new adaptive optimizing coloring technique. This technique finds the best way to balance colors in the video taking into account the whole video’s sequence of frames from start to finish, rather than just looking at each frame by itself. Smooth color transitions are now possible over a huge range of zooming depths.
Manufacturing took this and ran with it and produced Canyon1. More on this below. The raw video took about four days to create, and final post-production activities (music, compression to MP4 and WMV, etc.) were completed this week and it is now live on the web site. It will be uploaded to YouTube soon.
Development has also added two new fractal types to the software – the Newton and Nova fractals. At this point, the Art department is not sure what to do with them, but sees some potential new applications to these well-known functions.
Marketing decided to create a Metacafe channel, after having great success with the YouTube channel started a few months ago. The first video posted there, DEHP-III, is a big hit, with over 3700 views so far! That is more than most other fractal animations on Metacafe or YouTube.
The high-definition animation HD1 went live on the web site in early July. I have mixed feelings about this video. I really like it, but trying to get it encoded into MP4 or WMV format at a reasonable file size while maintaining true high-definition quality was very frustrating. I ultimately decided it was not possible to do this and ended up publishing it in 640x480, standard-definition DVD-equivalent quality instead. I did make a 360 MB 1200x900 video file in true high-definition (15 Mbps) quality, basically about the same as 1080p HDTV quality, but I expect that very few people will be willing to download it. The bottom line is that genuine HD video is just not possible over the internet. That’s a controversial statement, but I can back it up. Visit the page for this video for an explanation.
Canyon1 zooms into the “canyon” region of the Mandelbrot set, which is the area where the main cardiod-shaped part just touches the smaller circle to the left. This is a great area to zoom into because there are lots of complex shapes and patterns. But these complex shapes create difficulties for coloring, which is why the new adaptive optimizing algorithm was so useful here. Some previous animations have zoomed in to this area on mini-brots, for example, Metaphase and HD1 (see above).
The canyon region is also referred to as the “seahorse valley” because some of the structures in this area resemble seahorses. Mostly these areas are on the eastern wall of the canyon, and this animation is on the western wall, so you won’t see much seahorse here.
The Phoenix fractal still images have a page now. I will be the first to admit these are OK but not great. More to come. The little test animation has not been posted to the web site because it needs new music. I was hoping to get permission from the publisher to use the music I wanted, but I’ve not been able to figure out how to contact them. We’ll see how this goes. It’s not really anything special anyway. Work on this fractal continues.
In the Pipeline
New metaphase variation
I have decided on an end-point for this project, and it will be at a zoom size of around 1E-81 (that’s 10 to the power -81, or 1 preceded by 80 zeros). The plan is to start this rendering next week. I have not decided yet exactly how many frames I will use, but it will be around 7200, for a 4 minute animation, or maybe a little longer. This will take about 9 days to render. Look for it in late August.
A journey into the eastern wall of the canyon, where the seahorse patterns are, is in the works. The end-point has been selected. After the metaphase variation video is done, production will start on this. It may not be ready until September.
A seriously deep-zoom into the canyon is hard due to a variety of technical obstacles. Most of these have been conquered, but engineering challenges remain. Once they are licked, there will be a very deep zoom into the canyon, approaching the point where the two sides appear to touch. This is a long-term plan, but if all goes well, production will start in September. If all goes really well, this project may override the “new metaphase“ project. We’ll see.
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