Put a Wildfire on Your Wall
Hello, my name is Bob Jansen. I am an ex-professor and experimental artist who uses chaos math to create amazing wall sized fractal abstract images—which I share with my backers.
You may have seen my earlier Kickstarter projects.(These projects are over, but you can still view them. I am offering downloads from these former projects as rewards on this current Wildfire project so you might want to check them out when you have finished this story. Links are at the bottom of this page.
I call my new project “Put a Wildfire on your Wall.”
The images in my folios were not digitally hand drawn, painted or air-brushed. They were constructed algorithmically, one randomly chosen pixel at a time, from a randomly chosen set of non-linear functions set to random values.
The shapes that slowly emerge out of this mostly chaotic process are called strange attractors. When you converge pixels on the attractor and count their hit densities to assign colors it’s called a flame fractal. The artist contributes to the process by first deciding which raw random image to render in more detail, usually from hundreds that are generated; then by adjusting the relationship of one or more variable’s image plane distortion to the others;
and finally, deciding which color palette to distribute within the image using pixel hit frequencies.
For additional mathematical descriptions of the flame fractal process, look up flame fractal, Iterative function system, chaos theory, or strange attractor, on Wikipedia.
Mysterious lifelike figures and fantastic landscapes sometimes appear where there should be nothing but scrambled colors.
Many attractors contain impossibly flimsy structures that could not exist in Earth’s gravity. Some attractors certainly look like organic life forms on Earth; and we might even see what extraterrestrial life forms look like before we actually encounter them.
When I started trying to render flame fractals large enough to do wall sized prints, I soon realized that the main reason they have not been printed so large is because of the geometric increases in computation required.Rendering 7200 by 10800 pixels in an iterative process (IFS) that involves placing hit counters on over 77 million pixels can create all sorts of memory problems, to say nothing of 96 hour rendering times. Each image, called a solution to the “chaos game”, is unique because of small amounts of random error in the IFS process due to rounding error and convergence in different sampling orders. Even compressed image files (PNG) often end up being over 150 mb in size. To print a 48 by 72 inch image at only 150 ppi, you need 37.5 times the pixels of a 1080 HD TV. In other words, you would need a 6 x 6 wall of HD screens, rather like you see on the evening news, to display one complete image without downsampling.
Wildfire Project costs will still involve printing large copies for gallery display. But my new Wildfire project expands the internet role in printing my flame abstracts. My previous three kickstarter projects have placed my digital images in hundreds of homes all over the world where backers can print them whenever they want for many years to come, rather like they play mp3’s whenever they want. I believe this decentralized approach will ultimately result in the maximum number of large format printed images as larger format home printers become better and less expensive. For example, this photo shows one of my images printed large by a Kickstarter backer in Malaysia.
The Wildfire project goal amount is $600. As before, amounts in excess of that will be used to continue the process of creating ultra high resolution flame fractals and printing them. Wildfire campaign duration will be 45 days. When finished, the ultra high resolution image files will be uploaded to SkyDrive, where backers can download them as rewards.
I am also offering reward prints in three sizes, 18 X 27 inch, 36 X 54 inch and 48 X 72 inch, non-solvent ink on adhesive backed matte (non glare) vinyl (MPI 3320), shipped rolled in a tough tube. See the rewards section for pledge levels and details.
Highly reduced versions (about 1% of the detail of the full image) of the new Wildfire folio appear here http://sdrv.ms/11z81LW on public SkyDrive so you can slideshow them. Image names are listed on the side should you want to refer to a specific image. I have included “close-ups” of many of them, so that you can get some idea of the detail in the full image. Of course, when you download the high resolution version you will be able to simply zoom into the image to view these details.
There is also a Wildfire folio video on Youtube : http://youtu.be/S0HM3hR03f8
And a YouTube for Warbird:http://youtu.be/jmEkDseMoc0
Links for my previous kickstarter project images:
Risks and challenges
Rendering very large fractal art involves many difficulties, some artistic, but most computational and technical in nature. Many problems arise from the fact that software is open source and full of bugs (errors). Anything that can go wrong, must: so crashes ensue on a regular basis. And just as many problems arise from the gargantuan size of the image files, with which many programs, including the one rendering the image, are sometimes unable to deal.
Re: delivering rewards, no problem with Skydrive links, but Skydrive itself has a few bugs in it. e.g. to download a zipped file, or more than one image, or anything larger than 100 mb, Microsoft requires you to "register" with them, that is, to set up a Windows live account. This is not hard to do and is free, but it is typical Microsoft to require it. Skydrive cannot display thumbnails of images larger than 100 mb, and they appear as a plain while box. Not to worry though, they download just fine.
Re reward prints: complicated machinery breaks down occasionally, needs to be replaced, etc. I will let backers know if printing is delayed for any reason.
Re shipping damage: I ship large prints in the toughest mailing tubes made, but if your print arrives damaged, just photograph it and the damaged package: they are insured.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)