Looping Fractal Zooms

This concept came from seeing a perfectly looping animated GIF of a zoom into 2D fractal. While the animation really looped every few seconds, the self similarity of the fractal and the lack of an noticeable cuts produced the illusion that the zoom was going on forever.

This made me think about how I could use this technique with 3D ray marched fractals, and also the potential for generating other looping animations as well using ray marching (more to come!).

(GIF version: kifs_zoom.gif)

To achieve this effect I set up several different scaled copies of the same fractal positioned on top far corner of each other so that an animated camera zoom onto a particular spot of one would end with an identical image to the initial video frame. Then I just needed to make the animation loop for the infinite zoom effect.

What is kind of intriguing is that although the video is only 3 seconds long, if you follow a particular feature from when it appears it stays on screen about twice that long, since there’s really several copies of the same feature visible at once.

Here’s another variation of the same idea.

(GIF version: kifs_zoom2.gif)

You can view see the original two shaders in my Gallery on ShaderToy.