Life is Strange

Here is my tribute to a fascinating new fractal I talked about in an earlier post, the Mandelbulb.


The music in the video is ‘Life is strange (trance remix)’ by darkangell.

I recorded the scenes using my work in progress Mandelbulb Viewer/Fly through builder application (which is on my github, if you’re curious). While working on this video, I added a few new effects like glow and fog, and also a periodic ‘beat’ to synchronize some effects to music.

As I mentioned before, the viewer is based on a fragment shader implementation of the Mandelbulb fractal by Tom Beddard. His blog has a lot of nice renderings also.

Ray-tracing is a tedious process, who knew? Normally capturing video in real or close to real time is something that I just take for granted. For this video, capturing a 20 second fly over (about enough for one shot in the final video) took around 30 minutes to render.

The rendering lag became slightly more manageable after implemented recording/config file support in the viewer, so I could go back and tweak the settings of a previous recordings that didn’t quite make the cut, and try again. I also got into the habit of testing the recording at low quality at 640×360 (1/4 720p, same aspect ratio), to get a feel for how it would look in motion at the right frame rate.


Update: I wasn’t very happy with the contrast levels of the original video, so I decided to re-upload it and ended up re-editing it. Feels a lot more coherent now.

Update II: ‘Life is Strange’ received second place is the Spring 2010 Competition. You can see the full set of video entries here.


  1. Posted April 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    WOW, that is great!

  2. Andrew Caudwell
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Hey thanks

  3. Posted September 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Just beautiful!

  4. truthadjustr
    Posted May 7, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    The source tree visualization reminds of the movie Avatar. Excellent visualization. Thank you so much!

  5. grok
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Your excellent work deserves more widespread exposure. Don’t ever stop.