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



Volume 1, Number 4

Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike fortunately did not do much damage to the HPDZ.NET global headquarters, which is located in southern Houston, but it did set back development and production of the latest two animations. In preparation for the storm, both the rendering system and the software development/web site editing system were dismantled and stowed in a safe place, well away from any possible water damage. It turned out there was no damage worth mentioning, although getting everything put back together has taken some time.

Out of respect for those who suffered far worse damage during this storm, as well as for those who sacrificed their time to help me deal with the few problems Ike created here, all creative activity at HPDZ.NET is suspended for the rest of September.

General Updates

Aside from the turmoil caused by Hurricane Ike, August and September have also been unusually busy in other aspects of life. I havenít had as much time to spend on the videos for the past 4-6 weeks as I would have liked, so Iím a little behind where I had hoped to be in getting things published.

New Metaphase Animation

The new Metaphase Variation1 video has finished rendering and I am finally finished colorizing it. This video is based on my previous animation, Metaphase, which is a zoom into a great location discovered by Paul Derbyshire in the 1990ís.

Colorizing this animation turned out to be a significant challenge and required a new, much more sophisticated adaptive coloring technique than what I used for Canyon1. I will write more on the details of how this works in the Technical section of the website next month. Final post-production on this video will resume in October, and once music is added it will be published, most likely on the weekend of October 4th/5th.

Upcoming Projects


Canyon2 (the companion of Canyon1 published in August) is in the works. A short draft (1200 frames at 320x240 resolution) has been created and it looks great. This draft also helped provide material to test the new coloring system that was used on Metaphase Variation 1. Rendering of the full-size, full-length version of Canyon2 will begin in early October and will take 22 days.

Canyon Deep

A deep-zoom really deep into the canyon area is still a high priority. I need to add one important algorithm to speed up drawing areas that consist mostly of interior set points, and then Iíll be ready to go. This may take several months, given the diminishing time I have available to work on coding for a while.

Tevaris Rework

I have also started work on re-rendering Tevaris. The original video took about 65 hours to render on the 3.2 GHz Pentium-IV system in Aug 07 using frame interpolation, a somewhat controversial method of speeding up rendering animations. The second rendering will not use frame interpolation, and it will drill down much deeper, all the way to the mini-brot at the center of the current video. That mini-brot is around a size of 5e-87. Preliminary analysis indicates it will take about 224 hours of rendering time to complete a 200-second animation to this endpoint on the quad-core system.

Higher-Quality Compressions

I would like to go back to all my older videos and recompress them to MP4 and WMV at higher bit rates. This will be project for the November/December time frame.

Other Fractals

I am thinking itís time for a third-order Mandelbrot deep zoom. Weíll see how this goes; maybe I can find something in October that looks like it will make a good zoom. I am still looking at the Henon equation (the mathematical formula underlying the Phoenix fractal), but that is not a high priority at the moment. Iíve got a third-order Newtonís method fractal working, although that doesnít seem like itís going to be much use for deep-zooms. Finally, some rational polynomials can make really cool fractal images (for example, the magnetic fractal). Iím going to be adding these in over the next few months.


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