Why make FractalScapes?
The short answer? Because I could find nothing like it on the app store. I have always loved playing with geometric shapes to make drawings. I was the kind of kid who played with spirographs and geometry sets to create new universes. Lindenmayer system (L-system) fractals is like a super duper geometry set. With just a few rules, you can use a computer to generate bushes, trees, flowers and wild recursive geometric patterns (See the Fractal Images for examples). And you don’t have to be an artist to make plants that look really cool. Unfortunately, none of the L-system fractal generators I could find on the app store let you interactively create your own fractals.
There are many fractal apps on the app store but they all fall into two categories.
Mandelbrot and Julia set viewers. These are apps which colorize the Mandelbrot set and let you explore it just like flying a helicopter over an exotic landscape. Frax is probably the best known of this genre.
Lindenmayer system viewers. These are apps which have a number of preconfigured L-system fractals which you can then modify by changing colors and angles. However, none of the ones I could find let you create new L-system fractals. In addition, most of the L-system fractal renders, even on the desktop, use regular roman characters for the rules. You basically have to type the rules then see what happens. For example, the character “F” means draw a line. “f” means move a line distance. “+” means turn, etc. Not very intuitive or interactive.
FractalScapes is different.
FractalScapes replaces the standard roman character representations of the rules which are from the 1960’s with graphic tiles. The tile means draw a line. means move. This transforms the L-System rules from text based to more graphical.
FractalScapes replaces the standard typing of the rules with a touch interactive drag and drop of the graphical rule tiles. The fractal is redrawn live as you rearrange the tiles using your fingers. This makes it much easier to explore new l-system fractals. You just start dragging rules and see what happens.
If you like playing with geometry, you should love FractalScapes If like me, you like playing with geometric shapes or trying to create new organic looking plants, you will love FractalScapes. You do still need to learn the L-system rules but once you do, making new fractals is very addictive.
I hope you enjoy playing with FractalScapes.