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I must say I'm fascinated by both, your awesome art, which I love to look at and explore and your personality,as you seem to answer every single comment on your art with great friendliness. :)
I've tried Mandelbulb3D a bit for myself now and for me it's really great fun to explore those fantastic landscapes , yet I have got some questions which i would like to ask a pro like you. :D
Is it normal that some shapes tend to fade away and disappear when I zoom in and out in 3d navi?
I'm trying to get architectural-looking fractals and I would love to make a long narrow passage, like your picture "Designing my own trial".
KangTengri Nov 12, 2013   Photographer
davvero belle creazioni :clap:
Vidom Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Grazie mille :-)
TheStareMaster Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
After looking at your artworks for about forty-five minutes, I still can't believe that anyone can create such rich worlds out of numbers and equations. How do you turn simple fractals into these beautiful pieces? How do you envision what the final product will look like? I can't help but be in awe at the spectacular, breathtaking colours and shapes and tones and textures you combine to create such surreal and yet visceral universes. Thank you, thank you for sharing all of this with the world. It would be such a shame to keep it to yourself when you've got such creativity, such imagination, and such talent.
Vidom Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As I said, what I do initially is more 'finding' places than designing them. Designing comes next, to adjust what I found.
After some years of experience I can now decide if I want to search for chaotic rocky places like caves or mountains, or instead if I prefer to search for geometrical structures like abstract alien places, buildings, cities, etc. This depends on the initial formulas I use. But the combinations I used in my 3 years of experience are a tiny percentage of what's available in the program, so I can try anything new any moment.
While I started making abstract drawings many years ago, Mandelbulb3d allows me to make structures that can be similar to landscapes and architectures so I always look for things resembling such places. I change parameters in many ways until what I see suddenly matches my fantasy: in that moment I know I found my place. Then I change other parameters to refine my view. This can be anything: I can decide to add curves to the straight lines of an architecture, I can decide to add randomness to a natural landscape, I can move outside a closed place to see if the overall shapes can be a nice cityscape, or I can enters structures in search for strange rooms and corridors. Whatever I do, I keep adjusting the shapes to match my feeling of the moment. My mood always influences this creative part, carving into the shapes. In this moment I decide if I'm watching a small room, or a huge endless corridor, or a giant palace, or a spaceship, or a space-base or whatever; I feel inside it and I watch around to decide what part I'd like to show on DA. It's like to be a photographer choosing one single pic of a place.  
If I found something nice but my mood isn't right to work on such image, I save it for later and I start a new one. I go back to old abandoned places in the following days, as soon as I feel OK working on them.
Not expecting anything from the start is my little trick to get a little variety in my works; it should be easy to tweak nice places forever, but the gallery would be a little boring.
When I have my nice shape and I decide to stop trying variations on it (this is hard to do, variations are endless), I try to pack my feelings into the image. If I feel very small in a giant place I tend to use a higher field of view, if I feel concentrated on details of a wall I zoom more on it, if I want to show the overall structure I mostly work on the composition, if feelings are more important than the shapes, I use lots of fog. More or less I move around with camera settings until I see a view where I would stare at in real life with a OH! on my mouth :D
Then there the more artistic part about choosing colors, textures, and especially lights. Lights are what really make a fractal architecture stand up in my opinion, and different kind of shadows are what really makes the lights stand out.
There are different settings to choose from, in lights and shadows, plus you can decide to add transparency effects and reflections. I often use fog and haze settings to give a little bit touch of realism, but sometimes fog is just part of the overall feeling I'm trying to communicate.
What's interesting is that Mandelbulb3d is a free program, you can download it and try it for fun or just to understand better what I'm saying. There are more ways to use it, some of them more about designing than finding, like IFS formulas (which I never used), but to me it's important having my feeling being part of the creation.
I keep adjusting the feeling of the image in the post-processing, where I reduce the size, apply the signature, adjust luminosity and contrast etc. Post processing ideas are included in the designing part; while I set the lights in the fractal I already see what kind of post processing I would add and I adjust the lights accordingly before rendering the final view. Once in post processing I can't change anymore the shapes or lights in the fractal, and it happened too many times I couldn't do what I wanted to do :D
Little example: while making a landscape I could decide to insert the image of the moon or the sun in post processing, so I set a strong distant light exactly where I will place the planet or star, so to have more realistic shadows.

I know it's a little chaotic, and incomplete; please feel free to ask if you're curious about any part of my explanation :-)
TheStareMaster Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! I'm thrilled to get such an extensive answer--I didn't expect something this thorough. =P (Razz)  Now you have me fascinated. Your method is certainly interesting. I would have expected you to approach each work knowing exactly what you wanted, but I guess that isn't the case. In a way, your method makes much more sense. If it's not all about the mathematics, then I can imagine just creating and changing and perfecting until you have something that you're satisfied with. You explained the process very well.

It's sort of like pottery, which I do. I start out with a cone of clay on the wheel and start throwing, sometimes with my eyes closed, until I have something that I like or think is interesting. Although I'm super busy, I think I'll download the program and give it a try. If I have any questions about how to make something cool, I'll let you know.

Thanks again, thank you thank you, for your note! So cool!
Vidom Oct 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome!
Pottery, like sculpture and in part traditional painting is something I really wish I could successfully try. It's enabling 2 more senses to the artistic experience. To me touching can be as important as smelling and digital art lacks of both :-)
Vidom Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot, what a beautiful comment! :meow:
Knowledge of math isn't really needed to use fractal software. Of course I know enough to comprehend what fractals are and what some formulas do, but when I'm in 'artistic' mode I even forget it.
It can sound strange, and I should be ashamed to say it, but I really do not envision anything when I open that software; my mind is open to whatever could  appear in the navigation window.

I here started to explain better, but I realized it's a very long explanation; so long that it doesn't fit with my big headache and my current local time (2.45am). So I deleted what I wrote and tomorrow I'll take my time to tell you what my creative process is. I just hope it won't be too boring :D

Please be patient, and thanks for the many favorites :-)

Mavrosh Oct 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
You create the worlds that I have in my head.... I would love to try to learn this software I think. Do you maybe have information about where to get this "Mandelhub" and how much does it cost? I am eager to learn. :)
Vidom Oct 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, your fantasy would work greatly with it!!!
Jesse, the creator of Mandelbulb3D, decided (god bless him forever) to make it free!

You can download it here:
The latest version is the v1.8.9

You can search for basic tutorials on DA or on youtube, just to see how to move in it. But you can start playing with it immediately, it's got a great intuitive interface.
I hope you have a PC; if you have a Mac, as I do, ask me for directions. You need a little trick to run it on a Mac.

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