Fractals are visual renderings of mathematical formulas that often create complex, self-similar and beautiful shapes. The most well known is the Mandelbrot set. These past few days I've been delving into this world to realize I'm not the only one who loves these visualizations. There are zooming videos, forums and all kinds of articles... here's are a few highlights I really enjoyed that I'd like to share with you.
Mandelbulber is an amazing free program to render your own 3D fractals like the one I made at the top of the post. You can choose different equations, create hybrids, choose colors before rendering beautiful large resolution images.
Electric Sheep is a screen saver for Windows but it's a really cool visualizer on it's own. The cool thing about this fractal generator is that your computer connects up to a network of computers that use spare capacity to calculated the visualizations. You can submit fractals that are hybridized and voted on by people in the network. So it's almost like these are the dreams of your computer. Personally I think the name is a reference to "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" the short story by Philip K Dick that was the basis for Blade Runner.