Visualising volumetric fractals

P.D. Bourke
University of Western Australia

GSTF Journal on Computing (JOC) Vol. 5 No. 2 (January 2017)
DOI: 10.5176/2251-3043_5.2.370


Fractal images have for many years been a rich source of exploration by those in computer science who also have an interest in graphics. They often served as a way of testing the performance of new computing hardware and to explore the capabilities of emerging display technologies. While there have been forays by some into 3D geometric fractals, the 3D equivalents of the Mandelbrot set have been largely ignored. This is largely due to the lack of suitable tools for rendering these sets except perhaps as isosurfaces, a rather unsatisfactory and limited representation. The following will illustrate the application of GPU based raycasting, a now relatively standard approach to volume rendering, to the representation of volumetric fractals. Leveraging existing software that has been designed for general volume visualisation allows the interested 3D fractal explorer to focus on the mathematical generation of the volume data rather than reinventing the entire volume rendering pipeline.


Volumetric fractals, Chaotic attractors, Iterated Function Systems, L-Systems, Voxel, Visualisation, Raycasting, Multidimensions, Hypercomplex.

Paper: paper.pdf