DeepDrill is a Mandelbrot generator based on perturbation and series approximation. With these new techniques, it is possible to explore the Mandelbrot set at zoom levels that are out of reach of traditional algorithms due to their rapidly increasing computation time. Many images that used to keep computers busy for weeks and months can now be calculated in a matter of minutes.
My first contact with the Mandelbrot set was in the mid-eighties, when the first affordable computers made their way into children's rooms. Back then, fractal generators were popular programs to challenge the processing power and graphics capabilities of the machines we loved. I was quickly captivated by the colorful and intriguingly branching structures, although I was still too young to grasp the mathematical background to its full extend. Later, when school ended and my college years began, I moved on to other things and the world of fractals gradually disappeared from my daily life.
This changed all of a sudden when the YouTube algorithm suggested this Mandelbrot zoom video from Maths Town quite recently. At first, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. On the one hand, I was amazed by the beauty in which the Mandelbrot set can be visualized nowadays. On the other hand, and this is the more important point, I was perplexed by how deeply this video zoomed into the Mandelbrot set. My first thought was that the computation of this video must have taken months if not years, but a quick research revealed that I was wrong. Hidden from my attention for years, clever mathematicians had succeeded in massively speeding up the calculation of the Mandelbrot set with novel algorithms. Combined with the computing power of modern computers, it is now possible to represent the set in a beauty and level of detail that hardly anyone had considered possible back in the day.
After delving deeper into the new algorithms, I came up with the idea of combining my new insights with my lecturing work. The result is DeepDrill. This much in advance: I do not want to compete with the established fractal generators in any way. The established generators are so far developed that I am neither able to compete in functionality nor computing speed. With DeepDrill, I try to provide a lean and easy-to-comprehend code base that allows students to learn modern Mandelbrot algorithms from a concrete implementation. It is meant to serve as a base application that can be expanded by various student projects in the areas of numerics, computer graphics, and runtime optimization. If my idea falls on fertile ground, the functionality will gradually expand.
DeepDrill is open source software and released under the GNU General Public License v3.
24.8.2023 DeepDrill 3.3 released
DeepDrill 3.2 now supports the distance estimation technique, which is the preferred method to produce crisp black and white images of the Mandelbrot set.
8.7.2023 DeepDrill 3.1 released
DeepDrill 3.1 offers a revised graphics engine that is more flexible than its predecessor. For example, various parameters such as the zoom speed or the texture opacity can be varied throughout the video by assigning the parameter a spline curve instead of a fixed value. In addition, the zoom direction can be reversed now.
25.6.2023 DeepDrill 3.0 released
The new version offers improvements in three main areas. First, several speed improvements have been implemented. I.e., an area checker, a period checker, and an attractor checker have been added, which can classify certain pixels as belonging to the Mandelbrot set before the maximum iteration number is reached. Secondly, new graphic effects can be applied. With the new version, it is possible to overlay color values derived from the color palette with pixels from an overlay texture. The demo video below shows the effect in action. Third, the input and output formats have been revised. Location files, profiles and project files have been replaced by configuration files with the .ini extension.
14.6.2023 DeepDrill 2.0 released
DeepDrill 2.0 is a major update. The new version offers a reworked tool chain, improved GPU filters, and the capability of creating spatial images.
27.5.2023 DeepDrill 1.2 released
DeepDrill 1.2 offers improved shader support. The new version achieves much smoother scrolling by utilizing tricubic texel interpolation.
2.5.2023 DeepDrill 1.1 released
DeepDrill 1.1 offers simplified palette management and a cleaned up code base.
25.4.2023 DeepDrill 1.0 released
DeepDrill 1.0 supports both the creation of still images and zoom videos.