Rolando Burbon, a.k.a. Xzendor7, is a artist on DeviantArt who specializes in fractal manipulations – images composed of multiple fractals. His artwork is very unique and very attractive, sometimes requiring hundreds of fractal elements.
He is not liberal with sharing his art as some talented artists on DA, posting on every image that it may not be copied, etc. etc., and promoting sales of his works on his personal website ( xzendor7.com ) that are sold as prints or on things like watches and coffee mugs sold through zazzle.
For creating fractals, he uses Fractron 9000, a free software program found on sourceforge. The program utilizes the graphics card to speed up the image rendering. The program has not been updated since 2010 (so Windows 7 may not be supported), but the source code is available for anyone who wants to tinker with it. Aside from its utilization of the graphics card, it doesn’t really have much to offer over other programs since it still uses the fractal flame algorithm by Scott Draves.
Kindly done for the rest of us, Burbon has freely shared his simple but effective techniques for assembling his beautiful art.
Summary of the video plus my notes:
- Use small fractal elements. They’re only for texture and pieces – they aren’t to compose the whole by themselves.
- Create a big library of fractal elements. It gives you alot to choose from.
- Resize elements to match the resolution of everything else. This is necessary for ensuring consistency in the texture.
- Use a image program that allows for layers. It’s easier to control the elements that way.
- Remove the black background on the fractal images or use masking. Personally, I use JWildfire and Apophysis 7x both of which by default have the background as transparent.
Burbon’s works tend to be very symmetrical. He mentioned to me that he greatly likes symmetry but also that it’s easier. That’s not to say he hasn’t done a several beautiful asymmetric works, but a majority of his fractal manipulations are symmetric.
If you spend alot of time in his gallery, you’ll also notice that he reuses alot of fractal elements as well as a particular type of face (usually a teal one), whose colors fit well with those of the fractals.
Amusingly enough, he often describes his artwork as some structure of mythology or futuristic technology. Ironically, as much as he labels things like “Temple of the Gods” or “Seat of Heaven” or some such jazz, he does in fact believe in God, as attested to by a few of his works.
Burbon has mastered the technique of using fractals as elements for a greater whole. He’s made his work easy. As you might have seen in the video, it’s almost too easy, or so it seems. There are road bumps, but the talent required for this job is more having an eye for beauty and than a skill with a tool.
Notice that his works have a particular texture. This is the nature of the flames themselves, but it does limit what you can do with the art. For example, it would be difficult to make an image with a white or light background because most of the elements are concentrations of light points that make them look like fires and have garbage points hidden best hidden by dark backgrounds.
Furthermore, another limitation is the fact that it is difficult to combine with elements from programs such as Mandelbulb 3D. Not only would the shear image-dominance of the Mandelbulb 3D element need to be dealt with (since it creates a light background – a problem as already mentioned), but the matching the lighting could prove to be very difficult. That’s not to say it couldn’t be done – I already have ideas in mind. 😄 However, works of this type will definitely take longer to produce that simply using elements from Fractal 9000, Apophysis, or JWildfire and using a plain, black background.
In order to keep the consistency, Burbon uses only elements from the same program. Nevertheless, he is still able to make marvelous scenes, such as the one he considers his best: Exploration of Space.
I do not know exactly how long it took him to make each one of these images, though it depends entirely on how many elements he decided to use. Judging by the video, using only a few elements requires 10 to 20 minutes, not counting the time it takes to create the elements with the software program you decide to use.
One last note about the guy. He Writes With A Capital Letter To Begin Each Word. I have no idea why this is unless he thinks it’s easier to read (which it isn’t). Maybe it just looks grand, but regardless, he writes that way in the description of each of his images.
I’d commission the guy myself if I had the money. *sigh* The best I can do for now is just try out what he’s doing and see if I can make something just as nice.