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.

Ė Mike Condron


JULY 2008

Volume 1, Number 2

Busy Month

June was a very busy month for HPDZ.NET. Both technological and esthetic challenges arose, and two new animations were completed.

Technologically, I suffered the first hardware failure of my quad-core animation computer system. The power supply literally exploded! Fortunately, the motherboard and hard drive were not damaged, although it took a while to get a replacement, which set back the completion of all my projects.

Esthetically, I underwent a major crisis as I realized that I am missing out on a whole spectrum of amazing animation potential because my software is limited to the Mandelbrot set and some very closely-related sets. Without getting too much into the technical details, the problem was that I just could not render certain types of really gorgeous fractals at all because they require changing things other than position and size throughout the animation, and my software was only set up to change position and size. A massive code rewrite was required, which is now nearly complete. So a whole new world of animation possibilities is open to me now. Itís very exciting, but it took a serious lot of work.

From the Research department, a lot of work was done on investigating better methods of anti-aliasing and moirť removal. Some of this will get published next month as time permits. The main focus will be on incorporating what Iíve learned into new animations.

New Animations

The New Deepest Zoom Ever -- Ununennius

Ununennius is a deep zoom to a final size of 9e-120. This is a massively deep zoom, many orders of magnitude larger than the size of the universe compared to the size of a proton. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and I am glad itís done. Iíll be the first to admit itís not the most interesting thing to look at, but it is a significant technical achievement. If nothing else, it wins the award for the fractal animation with the most difficult name to pronounce.

Although there have been animations zooming to e-100, or e-300, or even e-1000, they have all used some form of key-frame-with-interpolation, rather than calculating each frame individually as I have done here. As far as I am aware, this is the deepest zoom with full 640x480 resolution, at 30 frames/sec, with no frame interpolation.

DEHP re-rendering

DEHP-III is complete. This is an update to one of my favorite animations, DEHP (for ďdistance estimator high precisionĒ). I have re-rendered it in 640x480 resolution, slowed it down a bit, and changed to new awesome music by Technetium in the second part. I also adjusted the colors slightly. This is quite a spectacular animation and really deserves a look. And at a final size of 1e-78, it is remains one of the deepest zooms ever created.


In the Pipeline

High-Definition Animation

After much experimenting, I have decided to publish my first attempt at a high-definition animation in regular 640x480 format. I could not find a way to compress it that gave the right combination of:

    Reasonable download file size

    Bit rate that can actually play on my computer

    Video quality worth showing in high-definition

What happens is if the file size and bit rate are reasonable, then the quality of the video deteriorates so much itís not worth having it in high-definition. You might as well just play the video in 640x480 and have the player scale it up to fill the screen. To get good high-definition video, the playback rate needs to be around 8 Mbps, which creates huge files that are unacceptable for download. But even putting aside the file size issue, my computer just canít play back 8 Mbps video Ė it canít keep up with the video data rate Ė and so probably most other computers canít play it either. One thing that likely would work is to make a high-quality MP4 file and burn it to a high-definition video disc (Blu-Ray), then play it back on a Blu-Ray player to a high-definition television, but Iím not set up right now to do that.

This project will be published in a week or two after Iíve settled on a nice coloring scheme for it. Visit the site again in mid-July and it should be done by then. I havenít decided on a name for it yet.

Phoenix fractal animations

Iíve created a few very simple test animations to give a rough idea what this fractal looks like. I will publish that next week, and I will be exploring this fractal further in the coming months.

New metaphase variation

I have found a really cool variation on the Metaphase animation end-point that I think is going to make a spectacular video. Iím drilling down on it now to see if there is anything interesting at deeper zooms. I will need to make some test runs to get a rough estimate of the rendering time involved, but this will likely be at least a month-long rendering. Hopefully something will be ready before September.

I hope you enjoy receiving this. If youíd like me to stop sending it to you, or if you have a new e-mail address, just let me know. Comments are also welcome.

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