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I have in the past linked to some wonderful videos taking you inside 3D fractal shapes (see “Cube of the Machine Elves” and “Navigating R’lyeh“). I’ve commented on the strange way these shapes seem to replicate certain psychedelic spaces, and also in the latter made a passing reference to Lovecraft’s “non-Euclidean” dream-places. But I hadn’t actually thought about the possible use of mandelbulbs/mandelboxes as the basis for composite images depicting science fiction scenes – never mind though, because others already have! Check out James Knowles’ wonderful image “The Guardians of Tanmaugh“, created with Mandelbulb3D and Photoshop (click image for larger, original version):

© GrungeTV (James Knowles), used with permission

A colossal battleship, ‘Tarasque’, is launched from a secret location on the island of Olestrii on the planet Tanmaugh. Five years under construction, it is now ready to leave the atmosphere and engage in part of a huge orbital defence system, comprised of a further six similar battleships.

Weighing in at just under 120,000 tonnes, it requires several ‘tugs’ to help raise the Tarasque through the atmosphere and into a safe orbital distance. The tugs create anti-grav fields and employ repel beams to assist in the launch which will take about seven hours to complete.

Several accompanying WaspWing fighter craft keep an eye out for any early signs of hostility.

Great to see such imaginative use of this ‘new’ artform – check out other superb images at James’s DeviantArt page, and while you’re there perhaps also check out DA’s Mandelbulb section.

Oh, and if you’re really keen on the vibe of these fractal objects, take a look also at Fractal Lab, an interactive WebGL fractal explorer that runs directly in your browser (though you’ll need either Chrome or Firefox 4). Just remember though, if you get lost in there, I’m not coming in after you!