Update, January 18th, 2011:
I finally finished this ginormous render @ 3200x3200 pixels. If you like huge images, please feel free to click the download link to behold it's awesome detail. Prints will be available shortly.
"Magnum Opus" is Latin for "Great Work" - I named it that for the amount of effort involved in zooming into this deep formation and rendering it.[link]
It's finally here! It's been my goal for a long time to produce a fractal render consisting of a large X made up of smaller Xs which are made up of tiny X formations. That's an X made up of Xs made up of Xs. See my Reactor Core post for a better explaination of the "X made up of Xs" concept and what inspired me to start searching these formations:[link]
The large X object consists of an X shape in the center consisting of 128 tiny X chromosomes (32 on each arm). Each arm of the large X also contains three smaller X formations, and a bent fragment at the tip, the fragment being too small to really see at this resolution. Each of these 12 smaller Xs contains 64 tiny X chromosomes, 16 on each arm. The four bent fragments on the tips of the Monster-sized X formation each contain a single row of 32 X-chromosomes.
Now to add everything up:
(128 x 1) + (64 x 12) + (32 x 4)
= 1024 tiny little X chromosomes!!!
Because the Mandelbrot fractal is binary, the number of features will always add up to a binary power, 1024 being 2^10. Because each chromosome actually has four arms, the actual number of arms at the lowest level is 4096, or 2^ 12.
So it required a total of 12 periodic doublings to produce the required 4096 arms. Most of those required me to leave the centroid of the fractal, which increases the zoom depth by about 50% deeper and doubles the iteration count. Considering it takes the CPU four times as long to calculate iterations at double the zoom depth, that's quite an expensive undertaiking.
Post-processing: I have developed a technique for achieving an Anti-aliased look in postwork, by rotating the image around the center pixel and blending them together. For a deep-zoom render with four-fold symmetry, that produces a noticeable improvement in image quality. I'll probably do a post about my technique in fractalforums.com later.
Fractal Extreme 2.20 64-bit
3,200 x 3,200 = 10,240,000 total pixels, no anti-alias
(There is some minor Anti-Alias effects generated in postwork)
(7,360 guessed pixels < 0.1%)
Total Iterations: 3,860,507,257,168
Average Iterations/pixel: 377,002.6
Precision: 3264 bit integer calcs
Total render time: 28 days, 18 hours*
* 55% of the job was done on an AMD Phenom II 955 @3.2Ghz (4 cores - stock speed) w/ Vista x64
* The remaining 45% was done on an AMD FX-8150, O.C. @4.2Ghz (8 cores - turbo mode) w/ Windows7 Pro x64
Zoom level = 2^-3132.6 (approximately 1e-943)
It took a lot of work to achieve this. See also a tutorial on how I created it:[link]
See also "Magnum Opus Ex Lite", essentially the same formation at a much lower zoom level:[link]
Comments, favs, Llamas appreciated!