Fractal Flame Project

Python Fractal Flame from James Littlejohn on Vimeo.

Sytem Created in Houdini using a Python sop. based off fractal flame algorithm

This Project was actually completed half a year ago but I never got around to putting it up on the web.

Vex Woes

So I’ve been trying to create a vex version of the Fractal Flame system I implemented in python. Unfortunately the pcwrite command does not seem to work in the sop context of vex so I can iterate over my points multiple times but their is no way to output or plot each of those iterations. I hacked something together using a ForEach node but it was slower than the equivalent operation written in python. This is very frustrating because I’ve tested vex and when it is just crunching the numbers it is orders of magnitude faster than python.

Fractal Flames Project

I’m currently working on a project for my MEL scripting class to create 3d fractal flames in Houdini using a python SOP. I know it is strange that my MEL scripting project involves no actual MEL scripting but I got the okay from my teacher. Since I already have a fair amount of MEL scripting knowledge and I’m more interested in Houdini than Maya I thought it would be better for me to do a project in Houdini. If your not familiar with fractal flames they are a system to create fractal images based on mathematical functions. Fractal Flames were designed as a 2D system so it has taken me a bit of thinking to convert it to something that is 3D. However after working at it I now have a working prototype of the system. My biggest problem right now is speed. Python isn’t the fastest language and I haven’t figured out how to multi thread it or if that is even possible in Houdini. I’ve been thinking about rewriting the main engine in vex but I would need to figure out how to get vex to output points to a point cloud. But I’m hopeful that I have enough time to make this a really smooth system by the end of the quarter.

Here is a Image produced by the current version of my Fractal Flame system.