Mandelbulber



What is Mandelbulber?

Mandelbulber is an experimental application that helps to make rendering 3D Mandelbrot fractals much more accessible. A few of the supported 3D fractals: Mandelbulb, Mandelbox, BulbBox, JuliaBulb, Menger Sponge, Quaternion, Trigonometric, Hypercomplex, and Iterated Function Systems (IFS). All of these can be combined into infinite variations with the ability to hybridize different formulas together.


Architecture

  • Completely free, open source, GNU GPL license
  • 32-bit and 64-bit for Windows, Linux, and Mac (Intel & PPC)
  • GUI created in the GTK+ environment
  • Multi-core rendering


Features

  • 3D Navigator with tools to see how close the camera is to the fractal surface.
  • Complex 3D shading: hard shadows, 3 modes of ambient occlusion, depth of field, reflections, fog, glow, primitive objects, and water.
  • Lights can be manually or randomly placed. Volumetric lighting available.
  • Camera animation: Keyframe and mouse controlled flight.
  • Keyframe animation of all parameters.
  • Camera lenses: three-point projection, fisheye, and equirectangular projection.
  • Distance estimation algorithm to reduce render times and artifacts of ray marching.
  • Low memory mode to render images larger than 16,000 x 16,000 pixels.
  • OpenCL support in progress


Ray Marching

  • Mandelbulber utilizes ray marching to render 3D fractals. But what exactly is ray marching?
  • Instead of ray tracing the whole distance between the camera and the nearest surface, the ray "marches" the distance in small steps. At each step a scattering is simulated. The final result is a synthesis of the various scatterings along the length of the ray.