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\I[The Making of a Fractal Scenery|By The Hooligan/Freezers|Section: Coders Pool]

\F2\4\MThe Making of
\M a Fractal Scenery

Fractal theory has played a big role in computers, just as big as computers has played in developing the theory. The most known usage for fractal landscapes is in cartoons. Fractal geometry is an ideal solution if you want to build a scenery of a high, multitopped mountain. Earlier the artist had to draw the whole image with his bare hands, which of course is very difficult, as all images from nature. Not to mention the time spent on it. Using fractals the building of such scenery is easy and requires little work. This is because \1fractal geometry on computer screen is exactly what it is in nature: >>self copying>>\2. 

What this means is that one small part of the picture is similar to other, bigger parts of the same picture. The programmer can use this fact to let the computer create a scenery by just copying one small part of the picture - every time a bit smaller. Then the computer just adds some random details to avoid a too symmethrical scenery. A computer can create as realistic images as nature itself. For example, if you want the computer to create a dramatic mountain scenery, we will start with a plain surface which we fold in the middle. Now we have the 'mainmountain' in front of us. Then we just start to create smaller 'mountains' on both sides of the 'mainmountain', and we continue the process in different angles. Sooner or later we will have a mountain-like image, with no colours or details yet. They are easily created by comparing the distance between the 'small mountain', and the top of the mainmountain, and drawing the 'small mountain' in the right colour. By using fractal dimensions you can create the scenery you like by changing the sizes of the 'small mountains'. 

This rather new technique (10-15 years old) interests at least the film and advertisement industries that can use computers to create proper images. A lot easier than to go to the alps and take a photo...