The Great Fractal Sea  

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Uploaded: 06/23/03 4:59 PM GMT
The Great Fractal Sea
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This is sunset over my fractal sea. The sea surface is quite complex using layered fractal noise. The sky has five layers of clouds that I tweaked for hours. Last, the render time at 1600x1200 was about 16 hours.


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06/23/03 6:35 PM GMT
i love how the sun is reflecting on the water, that is incredible. i think this may be your best yet.

you know, the way that program renders the waves, you could probably tweak it to make sand dunes instead of an ocean.
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06/23/03 8:01 PM GMT
San Dunes are a definite possibility. I'll have to try them by substituing the water parameters into the terrain generator. Thax for the suggestion. I'm still learning this stuff. It can get fairly complex to where I have to "feel" may way through. So in that sense it may actually be real art.
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-DFX - "Come away with me to a fractal sea where the digital dophins flow.
06/24/03 6:01 AM GMT
This is so cool! I love the sea and the way the light reflects off the waves. I find myself staring not AT, but INTO, your fractal reality!
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06/24/03 10:46 AM GMT
I think the objective for many of these computer-generated landscapes is to trick the casual observer into thinking it is reality. You've gone far in achieving that goal. My suggestion for increasing it's artistry is to think of the rule of thirds when you place the sun.
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06/24/03 11:27 AM GMT
i love it, i sincerely hope you win! 5/5 (p.s. whats the rule of thirds?)
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- Jest Mi 2 Sense
06/24/03 2:31 PM GMT
The rule of thirds is certainly a great way to go, but with this image, I like the sky so much and the water was the main focus that split it nearly down the middle on purpose. I"m going to do a few more quick renders (low resolution) dividing it differently. Thanx.
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-DFX - "Come away with me to a fractal sea where the digital dophins flow.
06/24/03 3:49 PM GMT
I was thinking about the horizontal direction actually.
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06/24/03 4:07 PM GMT
now that Caedes mentions that I do sort of agree... I suppose the sky itself is nearly variegated enough to keep it all balance, but the water is so strong that, yeah, maybe moving the sun off of dead center would have been better. it's still awesome
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06/29/03 6:50 AM GMT
i like the sky... the clouds flow along together almost perfectly with the colours...but the water needs some eh, too much- you need to show depth but otherwise nice tweaking
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07/05/03 12:00 AM GMT
wow thas really amazin, without a doubt the best picture in this category, and probably the only picture tha uses fractals tha ive ever liked
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07/07/03 10:14 PM GMT
Not being a digital art designer, i guess you should take this with a grain of salt: 1. Oceans aren't flat usually. So get some rolling going. The wavelets are good, but get some large-order wave action. This might work i guess for a great lake. 2. The stars suck. They are very unrealistic. If you are going for realism, you might want to spend some time looking at a real sunset... stars are very diffuse and they are not even nearly in that large of a number. In your picture, they are distribute quite isotropically. Pick a few bright ones and stick to that... but diffuse bright ones. 3. The sun circle is really annoying. You will want to make it less hard-edged by adding some spectral variance not only in the surrounding sky, but inside the sun as well. Make it more continuous. Most importantly, make it match the reflections off the water. It seems the sun is WAY too large on the horizon for the corresponding reflection line. 4. Make the sunset sky reflections more horizontally distributed. It looks to me like it (the longer wavelength light) is surrounding the sun in a kind of halo.. the sunsets i've seen have it more bleeding into a horizontal fashion... there is a scientific reason for this as well. The closer you get to the horizon, the more atmosphere you look through, and the more the short wavelength (blues) light is filtered out. All that is left by the time you see the sunset are the long-wavelength reds and oranges. This is the reason for why the sky is blue and sunsets are red. It's called Rayleigh scattering: "" I hope i don't sound too annoying. I like it overall and have NO idea how you did what you did.
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07/07/03 10:17 PM GMT
i forgot to mention too that the resolution (at least on my computer) seems to detract from the ocean waves the further away you get (or closer to horizon). It looks fine on the thumbnail, but for a desktop, you want clear res for the whole thing.
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07/09/03 9:52 PM GMT
I appreciate all the helpful suggestions. I'm still learning. I did mean to turn off the stars, but the render took so long, I didn't have the heart to go back and re-do it. I guess I should have tried to remove them in Photoshop.

I don't agree agree about the waves. These are just about how I wanted them. I understand what you mean, but I wasn't going in that direction. It's more of an artistic decision. I feel digial landscapes are art and not need to look overly realistic, in fact, I sort of prefer the surealistic sometimes.
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-DFX - "Come away with me to a fractal sea where the digital dophins flow.
07/25/03 9:46 AM GMT
sureal image, very appealing. well done
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08/07/03 9:13 PM GMT
wow, you could have told me that this was a real picture and i would have believed you. The only thing is see is that you used too much noise on the water, as you can see closer to the horizon. This is extremely good!
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08/12/03 4:42 AM GMT
I love it the water reminds me of hot wax Keep up the good work :)
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A.K.A. "Champ"
10/13/03 2:33 AM GMT
Very nice. I love the colors and the whole thing!
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10/17/03 12:22 AM GMT
Amazing artistry, awe-inspiring! This is masterful. ^.^
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10/29/03 9:04 AM GMT
Absolutely gorgeous. This one is going on my desktop, after viewing several pics on this Web site.
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"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and all your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3
11/04/03 7:42 AM GMT
Peaceful and surreal - i want to go there and daydream
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11/10/03 6:47 PM GMT
it is very nice, it reminds me of a wallpaper i used to have with an orange ocean
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11/20/03 11:25 PM GMT
I really like this picture, I couldn't even tell it was done on a computer. From a distance it looks real.
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12/23/03 4:48 AM GMT
Unreal Picture - You say you used Layered Clouds? Did you Make this on Terragen?

If you did would you do me the biggest favor and tell me how you did it please?
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---- Just Because You're Not Paranoid, It doesn't Mean I'm Not out to Get you! ---
12/28/03 7:54 PM GMT
Oustanding render. I love the sea, sky, everything.
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01/01/04 10:37 PM GMT
wow, this one is really incredible. good work!

QUESTION TO ALL!:::: where do u guys find your avatars, and how do u get them to 5kb?
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01/02/04 4:31 AM GMT
Incredible depth! great picture!
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01/22/04 11:47 PM GMT
amazing how real it looks...EXCELLENT wallpaper....
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"What's the point of living if you can't feel alive?"
04/01/04 3:17 AM GMT
I love this, it's unique and I like it just the way it is.
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07/16/04 7:56 AM GMT
An awsome image very very impressive the time spent creating it was well spent especially like the reflection great job well done 10/10 favs
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- pixels are only the beginning unless you started at the end -
09/09/04 3:32 PM GMT
Wow, almost impossible to see that the image is digital. It's about the closest to real that i've seen, however... it still gives a sureal look. Amazing. 10/10
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10/12/04 12:10 AM GMT
Fabulous image....very pleasing to the eye, the waves are just great, love the reddish reflextion. The sky shows great depth and terrific coloring. I don't know about you but sometimes all those "rules" are made to be broken and this image proves it. I know what I like and I like what I see. Nice!

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Art washes away from the soul the dust of life....Picasso
11/03/04 12:19 AM GMT
I've just recently seen the movie 'Open Water' so this image gave me shivers! Well done.
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11/03/04 3:46 AM GMT
A superb job. Another one of my favorites that you have created. I love it. I have an idea, what would happen if you made the reflection of the sunset, with a broader spectrum? How would you llike that look? I think that it would look pretty cool. It may not work, but I just thought of the idea. Write me back and tell me if you like the idea. Or if you don't and tell why. :)

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11/12/04 5:49 PM GMT
Very pretty :)
(Hey... does anyone know how to make my icon not look so fuzzy?!)
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11/13/04 2:37 PM GMT
THis is beautiful. I don't know much about fractals, how is this sea a fractal sea? I think it would be awesome to create another version of this piece and put some sea stack islands in it or something like you'd sea in Japan- the tall steep islands.
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12/31/04 4:21 PM GMT
Nice sea, nice sky, great image. Thank-you for this excellent desktop.
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01/07/05 3:33 PM GMT
very beautiful. wonderful job you did. 10/10 great work

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06/09/05 2:30 AM GMT
To be honest i am not a fan of CG images but this is impressive! Well done!
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02/02/08 12:37 AM GMT
i love this image. i faved it right away.
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"more men fail for lack of purpose than lack of talent." billy sunday
02/10/08 6:17 PM GMT
Thanx everybody. That's the nice thing about having good software that can implement your vision. It often comes out looking even better than you visualized if you do it right.
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-DFX -
08/22/08 4:01 AM GMT
Overall it is a good image. I agree about the water, contrary to popular belife the ocean can be dead flat. Not a single wavelet. This is a sailors worst nightmare. What i do think is that the background ocean is to noisy. The stars of course and the sun is to hard edged and is not producing enough lite in the scene. Otherwise it looks great.

I agree though that it seems to be consensus that everyone aims CGI to look "life like" or like a photo. Sometimes you can/want to acgieve that but sometimes your looking more to portray an artistic and thoughtful image. I can spend days making high res textures, models, and lights to get that photo finish or days getting a scene to look great. I personaly like a balance inbetween. If you like an image don't let anyone tell you different, there are scenes ive made that ive been told look like crap but I still love em. Remember CGI is just as much an art form as photography. you need to think about colors, light, size, position, angle, etc. Don't think that cgi guys/girls thow these images together in a matter of minutes, I spend days or weeks on a single image and usually tweak it long after I post it here or anywhere. Also remember these images are all figments of an imagination, we need to draw the whole scene in our head before we can start.

So great image and I just wanted to remind all of you other artists out there that CGI is a very complex medium that takes a huge amount of time and thought to get a great image.
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Always be imaginative and creative, and don't ever stop anyone from doing the same. Most important; ever stop beliving in yourself.

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