Artizen Magazine


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Page 9 of 47

I'm a stunning landscape devotee. When fractals first made an appearance, likely in my beloved high school read, Omni Magazine, I was sure I'd found the key to the universe, at least for my particular mind meld of math and art. THIS was how we would finally bring warmth and realism into computerized games and movies. Well, it's taken a lot longer than I imagined. But we're getting there. The first cinema to feature some eery, mathematically generated, but awe-inspiring and abundant green would be the "Genesis Effect" from Star Trek II in 1982. I think the voice- over says a lot about how we secretly wish this game to all play out, and perhaps not only on our screens. "It is a process whereby molecular structure is reorganized at the subatomic level into life-generating matter of equal mass...It is our intention to introduce the Genesis Device into a preselected area of a lifeless space body - a moon or other dead form. The device is delivered, instantaneously causing what we call the Genesis effect. Matter is reorganized with life-generating results. Instead of a dead moon, a living breathing planet capable of sustaining whatever life-forms we see fit to deposit on it...The reformed moon simulated here represents the merest fraction of the Genesis potential should the Federation wish to fund these experiments to their logical conclusion." There's an excellent list - Special Effects Milestones in Film HERE - but to continue with the leafy options, I suspect Jumanji of using some fractals in their jungles, there's the final beach in Contact, and the astounding painted world of What Dreams May Come. There's beautiful Pandora in Avatar. Then we started to get a bit darker with the dreamscapes in Inception. Our latest generated realities are tainted with concerns about just where we ourselves might stand, once we can create anything we want. Right after I discovered Ellen Jewett's animals (see page 24), I saw 10

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