Fractals and Plant Studio

Posted by Lily on 16 August 2015 | 0 Comments


3 fractal heart created with plant studio for online workshop Fractal FragmentsI doubt if anyone really knows how many types of fractals there are. Some of the most impressive fractal images are actually graphs of all the possible answers to complicated mathematic formulas involving complex and imaginary numbers. Imaginary numbers? Really? Really! And if you change the coloring formulas you can totally change the image! Fortunately for me, one doesn't have to be a mathematician to play with the many fractal programs that create them.

3 grass created with plant studio for online workshop Fractal Fragments

Then there's the world we live in. This type of fractal had been called the geometry of the natural world. These are the natural objects from coastlines to diatoms and galaxies that don't fit neatly into the geometrical world of squares, circles and triangles. And the term includes things like weather, music and economic trends that are also fractal.

 grass created with plant studio for online workshop Fractal Fragments


Our special video this session will introduce you to an older program called Plant Studio. If you are still using an XP computer (or even older!) you can use this program. I had no idea until a few days ago that it would still work on my Windows 8, but it does. It uses triangles to recreate more than 400 parameters (details) used to describe how ordinary grasses and flowering plants grow and reproduce. If you want nice smooth curves for the plants you design, you will have to trace them and smooth the corners as you draw.

The images in this article are fractals I produced using Plant Studio just to give you an idea and I've included a video below to give you a quick example of how I created them.

plant  created with plant studio for online workshop Fractal Fragments3 spiral  created with plant studio for online workshop Fractal Fragments


If you get a chance to play with this different type of fractal program, I hope you will have as much fun with it as I've had over the years. This is one of the many programs available and I'll be showing you a whole lot more in my online workshop Fractal Fragments. 

Lily Kerns

About Fractal Fragments: Do you know about fractals? You might think they are a computer age phenomenon, but they are as old as creation itself, and as ordinary as clouds, a flower or the circulation of your blood. Fractals are a special kind of pattern and a vast and mostly untouched resource for quilt design. In this class, Lily will give you an overview of typical fractal elements and then show you how to apply them to familiar quilting techniques. Working with just a fragment of the fractal is one of the secrets of translating a complex fractal image into fabric. Skill level: This class is about design and the only skill required is a willingness to experiment. Read more....

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting

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