Mandelbulb 3D, my process.

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EricTonArts's avatar
By EricTonArts

  Over the last few months I have gotten a lot of questions on the process I use to create my images. It has only been about the last year that I feel I am really understanding Mandelbulb and creating more with purpose and not chance. However chance and luck does still come into the creation process. I view what we do as Mandelbulb artists a bit like exploring.  I am an artist who has been making art for well over 40 years. All my years of painting and photography does play a roll in how I use Mandelbulb.  This is not a tutorial but a look at how I create an image for those that are new to Mandelbulb 3D.

There are to many artists who inspire me and have shown support here at DeviantArt I could not name them all. Here are a few that I have learned a lot from by looking at their work, studying their tutorials, and analyzing their parameters:

:icondainbramage1: :iconmandelwerk: :iconhaltenny: :icondsynegrafix: :iconbatjorge: :iconvidom: :icongrahamsym: :iconmarkjaybee:

Here is an image that I created this morning as I was having my coffee. I create a lot in the morning before I go to work or late night before I go to bed. My livelihood is art, I am an Associate Professor of Art at a college in NC.

Fungi Ipsum by EricTonArts

I was looking at some works by dainbramage1 when I saw this one.

Home of the Ancients by dainbramage1

  He had his parameter posted so I loaded it up. I make it a point not to use others parameters, however I will look at them to see the Formulas they use. By not directly using another parameter I feel it makes for a unique image and forces me to explore the formulas, calculations, lighting, and colors from my own perspective. It forced me to really learn Mandelbulb 3D. The formulas I used for this image are:  ATetraVS/koch_cube/_Fold45double At this point it is a numbers game. I spend a lot of time tweaking the numbers and exploring the scene in the 3d navi window. This is where the exploration takes place. I feel like I am in the fractal hiking the vast terrain or exploring a microscopic world.

  What I have learned is that the postprocess and lighting are the most important features to understand when taking your image to an artistic level. For this image I created a color map from a photo of rusty metal. I have made dozens of unique color maps to use with Mandelbulb. I recommend creating your own color maps, I do this in photoshop. Coloring with color maps alone is not enough you must also work with the lighting and the colors of the light effects to get your color just right. Understanding a bit of color theory is helpful. I love to do macro insect photography and this interest has effected how I work in Mandelbulb. I have come to realize that using depth of field effects in Mandelbulb is very important to creating scale in your images. So with time spent tweaking my image I get to a spot I like and it is time to render.

  Your calculation input numbers are very important to the quality of your image. This also can dramatically effect your render time but I find that the wait is worth it. Most of my images width and height are at least 7000 or greater with low raystep multiplier numbers to get a smooth look. I try to keep my render time between an hour to 3 hours. Here is where it takes place.

:thumb432631363:

  After the image is rendered I import it into Photoshop and tweak the colors, exposure, and cropping. I approach the post processing in much the same way I do a photograph. Photoshop is a big part on my fractals, whether it is a small tweak or a total manipulation, every image goes through Photoshop. So what started by being inspired by dainbramage1's image ended up to be "Fungi Ipsum" the journey was fun. Those new to Mandelbulb be patient there is a lot to learn but the rewards are wonderful. Just look at the work of some of the artists mentioned above and you will see for yourself.


Parameter used for "Fungi Ipsum" I would love to see tweaks of this parameter. If you decided to play with it link the results here.

Mandelbulb3Dv18{
g....Up4..EMD...w....2U...EOMdbUJc.2.7E/V5MbwM5EcAvmlEOtWzHK8PKmEvyjzWgSbs1k1//E
................................dkfAblgHE/2........Y./.................UF/2...wD
...Uz6/....p2.../gk5/...........n/...2E4.....IFO/RfGPChD/gEdftEE..gK3pAnAr1....1
03EnAnID12../2UaNaNaNatyz...........I.....Uadl9...........W0.....y1...sD...../..
.z1...kDgZQEj2SsFvPVlKxbd/9/zGY7tXh5tGijDJS3a1/v/wvqXCVzTR.ky0kGSWBQrRjDSoUUGtu5
rvvZ1LxQBMXtyQ5wdUvej2kjU.....Y6v...w3/..2....sD.6....sD/.G.....................
.............oAnAt1...sD....zw1...................................kxpNTEB....k1.
.....Ksulz1.........Jwzzz1ka.A9......Y2....A....U/od363..cUD....z....cIB...UJnjW
...U.W1KEyzlciszsU3YzTAe90..3Aqzvnhf..EbG7eFT5uj6EBqwnQahz1.............NwTOuZ2.
.AqyTr69/.A.hE2Jv5G0.1.U........U2U0.gsSd/..2RiGMQZhzAmYEkti4xyj............26nz
2LeV..UPAI91pRzjU/...................2U.8.kzzzD............8....................
JI01xH9OG/..05b792Uvz0EdHng129vj.wDGa9yBPz9...8cU0.E./2Ezz/cU08../2E.tzDU08c..2E
./IzT/8cU0.E./2EQs5cU08../2E./bTU08c..2E./2ly/8cU0.E./2EMw5cU08../2E.lqTU08c..2E
./2kz/8cU0.E./2E...cU08czz/cU08cyz1cU08cxz3cU08c.AqQfZLAic4Qb/..................
E....AU2V2U/....I....Y....EEIJ4Rm3aJH/..rJaQ..........................k/..U/4MU.
0.........U..........vAnAnAnAnxDkAnAnAnAfz1.............................y.2.....
..cJ./..................kz1.....................................................
.....................2.....3....7....gqPXVqLXJbMZ/.PpB5.........................
........4MU/..................zD........kz1........wz2.......6/kzzzzzzzzzzPxzzzz
zzzrz0............................cF./..................Uz1........../..........
................................/....E/...U/....TNoPgF4BpEqPp74PZ/..............
............06U.0.U/4MU/................kz1.....................................
................................................................................
............................................}
{Titel: pufbl2}




Published:
© 2014 - 2021 EricTonArts
Comments19
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Thank you for this tutorial, very inspirational. 
WildWanderinGirl's avatar
I just discovered this journal entry and it is exciting to learn a little bit more in my own ongoing exploratory journey! I am still barely on the fringes of Intermediate status and the more I learn the more I realize there is to be learned about this amazing program...
trveviking's avatar
EricTonArts's avatar
GraphicLia's avatar

I'm a plain vanilla type of person but agree with you that color/lighting and all the other effects make a good set of shapes & composition take off into WOWland. How lucky we are to have so many distinctive persons to inspire us reach for the uncomfortable realm of greatness! ;)

 

You have that distinctiveness too with your crazy colors and "bawdy" humor in your other fine works!

EricTonArts's avatar
Thank you very much.
fractal2cry's avatar
so nice of u to share and explain!
HalTenny's avatar
Appreciate the mention here as well. :) Some people know how much I hate playing with colors. It's true that I spend less time with that than any other portion of my images. While I do try to make good use of lighting and a sense of distance or depth, I admit that most of my time is spent on trying to find unique shapes, forms and structures. That's my eye candy. Not saying color isn't important, I'm just not patient enough to spend the time I maybe should on that part. To me there is nothing more fulfilling than to discover a new, unique style. It doesn't happen often.
EricTonArts's avatar
Regardless you have developed a unique color to your works. You have a singular style and color when I see one of your images I know it is a Tenny. :)
MarkJayBee's avatar
Well said Eric, and thanks for the mention! :thumbsup: I totally agree with your point that
a 3D fractal image can only really become an 'artwork' when time is taken to achieve ones
own personal vision of the final outcome. As you say, this should involve spending as much time
on lighting and colour, as on setting up the formulae and PoV - if not more in fact! :nod:
Like yourself, I also see my wanderings in the fractal world as 'explorations', with the Nav as
my incredibly flexible camera, and the lighting and colour controls as my palette! :D
EricTonArts's avatar
Thanks, as for the mention you are one of the best, I mean that! You have taken the tools of Mandelbulb and created some wonderful works of art that are singularly yours. When I see one of your works I know it is yours. I am still working to develop my own style and studying artist like you has made me want to work harder to exploit the possibilities of Mandelbulb. I get lost in my fractal images. I love to explore nature so exploring fractals does not seem that alien to me.  
batjorge's avatar
Many thanks for your mention! Agree with DsyneGrafix to be included with all this great artists. As well you make a good description of how creating a fractal world should be created. Its really a hike into this world :)
EricTonArts's avatar
You are welcome you have some wonderful images that make me want to get better with my fractal art.
DsyneGrafix's avatar
Thank You So Much for the mention! I feel Honored to have my name mentioned with all these great artist!!
EricTonArts's avatar
You are welcome and thank you for your support and inspiration I love what you create.
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