FRACTAL FROLICS
by The Fractal Farm
Possibly the most devastating response to my recent fractal request
came from the appropriately-named Fractal Farm, an outfit consisting
of Thomas Rushton who handles algorithms and Jonathan Scott who does
the coding. They sent in a C90 packed with stuff, a selection of which
is printed below. The first three are pretty short, but the fourth
will take a little effort. And look - no hex!
Chaos
This produces randomly generated fractal patterns, the shapes of which
depend on three numbers which are entered when the program is run.
These should be between -2 and +2. The guys at the Farm recommend
trying phone numbers. For example, 0.01, 0.631 and 0.1433. As with all
fractal programs, it takes ages to run but pretty patterns start
appearing almost straight away.
Crystals
This program demonstrates the growth of a crystal using a highly
scientific technique which I won't go into now, and it shows (it sez
ere) how small imperfections can go on to trigger larger ones. Knock
it in and see what happens.
Fern
A classic example of a naturally occurring fractal is a fern. Each leaf
is a replica of the main plant, and branching off from the stem of the
leaf are lots of even smaller copies. This means that realistic ferns
can be easily drawn on the Speccy, and here's a program to do it.
All you have to do is type in a couple of branch angles (0-90 degrees
would be sensible) and then wait.
Landscapes
This is the longest program, probably because it gives the most
elaborate results. It draws 3D wire-frame landscapes which can be
shaped by altering a range of probabilities.
On running the program, a short menu pops up. Pressing 1 or 2 draws a
landscape (mini or full) and 3 lets you alter the probabilities.
What's happening here is that each x and y value on the grid on which
the landscapes are drawn is assigned a probability - the higher the
value, the more likely a piece of land will appear on it. There are
two screens, one for x values and one for y, which can be swopped
between by pressing X and Y. The cursor keys are used to increase or
decrease the values at each position up to a maximum limit. The amount
of unused probability, as it were, is shown on the right of the screen
- it must all be used up before this section can be left.
Sounds a bit fiddly, I know, but the results are excellent.
The Fractal Farm boys have announced the impending arrival of a second
tape-full, so watch this space. All right, you can stop now.