A Trip to the Museum

We caught the train into the city last week and had a look at the WA Museum and the State Library. The traditional picture in front of the butterflies included me for the first time. Fancy that.

I try and get the kids out there (and to the zoo, Scitech, Underwater world etc) at least once a year to stimulate their little minds and get a hands on feel for the world around them. It’s all well and good seeing things on TV, but being able to see, hear and feel things always brings up the most interesting questions. For example, the kids thought the killer whale skull was definately a lizard of some kind. Probably a dinosaur. But then why would the dinosaur have just one eye? And when they saw the Rosetta Stone, they asked how kids did homework and art when all they had were stones. Wouldn’t they be too heavy to carry around all the time?

The mathematical sun, and the disappointed Chinese guy.

Apophysis Midnight Sunstroke I call this one “Midnight Sunstroke”. Dunno why. It’s round and red, I suppose, so it looks like the Sun. And “Midnight” because that’s arty, man. This one took about 34 hours to render to a 1024 x 1024 .jpg file. I actually used to almost understand the mathematics behind this stuff (plotting the output of a spherical or sinusoidal or whatever chaotic system onto an image plane), but it has long since faded from my mind. If you’re after a good primer on Chaotic systems, have a read of Chaos by James Gleick. My copy is well loved being read once every couple years since 1989.

One cool thing that happened today was my first Chinese phonecall. I politely informed the caller I did not speak Mandarin, and asked him if he spoke English. I knew he could understand me because I could sense the disappointment in his voice. He thanked me, I thanked him and said goodbye. At least, that’s what I hope I  said. I could have been quoting dimensions on Playmate of the Month.

Digital art using Apophysis

So, I’ve had this Apophysis program sitting on my drive at work for about the last year. I downloaded it and played around with it for a few minutes one weekend while working, but  I must have got distracted by my job because I haven’t come back to it since. I vaguely remember seeing the name on one of the many forums I visit.

Apophysis is a fractal flame editor and renderer for Windows. Apophysis has many features for creating and editing fractal flames, including an editor which allows one to directly edit the transforms that comprise the fractal flame, a mutations window, which applies random edits to the triangles, an adjust window, which allows the adjustment of coloring and location of the image, and even a scripting language with direct access to most of the components of the fractal.

It’s easy to get some ok looking digital art happening. I’m quite happy with my first attempts below, but they are pretty lame compared to some of the art I’ve seen out there. The third one is a lossless .png file 1.3 MB is size so be patient. The first two are lossy .jpgs, under 250K. I hope you like them. I have another one on the boil which is going to take another 30 hours to render.
Apophysis Digital Art Apophysis Digital Art Apophysis Digital Art-74 1024 x 1024 png large!

Moon dual screen wallpapers

Another few moon themed dual screen wallpapers I found. I like the contrast of the colourful flag and lunar lander parts against the desolate grey of the moon and night sky. First one is Neil Armstrong from Apollo 11, second one is James Irwin from Apollo 15.

apollo 11 dual screen wallpaper 2560x1024

apollo 15 dual screen wallpaper

These are suitable for dual screen monitor wallpapers or screensavers.