In this paper, we describe the development and use of PhotoFrac, an application that allows artists and designers to turn digital images into fractal patterns interactively. Fractal equations are a rich source of procedural texture and detail, but controlling the patterns and incorporating traditional media has been difficult. Additionally, the iterative nature of fractal calculations makes implementation of interactive techniques on mobile devices and web apps challenging. We overcome these problems by using an image coordinate based orbit trapping technique that permits a user-selected image to be embedded into the fractal. Performance challenges are addressed by exploiting the processing power of graphic processing unit (GPU) and precomputing some intermediate results for use on mobile devices. This paper presents results and qualitative analyses of the tool by four artists (the authors) who used the PhotoFrac application to create new artworks from original digital images. The final results demonstrate a fusion of traditional media with algorithmic art.


This is the publisher version of McGraw, T., Garcia, E., McGraw, J., Parker, L., Fractal Image Editing with PhotoFrac. Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts, 8(2), 7-17, 2016. The version of record is available at http://artes.ucp.pt/citarj/article/view/175.


fractals; photography; digital art

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