What is a Fractal?

While wandering the web, you may have come across a video or GIF that loops endlessly into itself. Images like the one below are simple examples of two-dimensional fractals that loop endlessly into themselves.

Rooted heavily in mathematics, fractals result from complex equations and algorithms that create endlessly progressing patterns. Today, with the assistance of computer programs, the creation of fractals is widely available to the public. Communities dedicated to fractal art spawned from this accessibility and continue to innovate with advances in technology. YouTube, one example of these communities, hosts thousands of fractal videos created by users who wish to share their art. Sifting through these videos, viewers can easily see the enormous variability in fractals and their aesthetics.

I personally love fractals because they serve as visual representations of incredibly complicated mathematics that I could never care to understand. Furthermore, the general randomness of fractals makes for interesting, unpredictable content that can be generated with ease.

Breaking into the third dimension, fractals can also be rendered in 3D. The programs that can do this often require significantly better hardware to efficiently render these vast, abstract creations. Users can select their own path through the fractal by manipulating and guiding the camera.



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