Julius Horsthuis

Julius Horsthuis has been exploring the mysterious world of Mandelbulb since 2013. The computer generated fractals can be viewed as three dimensional mathematical visualization in a virtual space. Just as our own 'mind' can dream and trip in fantastic ways, Julius' work often discovers 3D fractals that resembles our reality. Recently, in collaboration with Teun van der Zalm, Esteban Diacono and Beeple, his fulldome video project was shown at the Coachella Music Festival 2018. Check out the interview below as we dive deeper into his inspiration and creation process.

Julius Horsthuis Artist Page

Where in the world (city) do you live?

I live in, and was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

How long have you been producing Mandelbulb fractal visuals?

I’ve discovered Mandelbulb3D in 2013, and have been creating animations ever since.

What inspires you creatively?

Apart from many things in life that inspire me, such as certain movies, most inspiration comes from the fractals themselves. I explore the fractals, and the result is always a surprise. When I see something I’ve not seen before, this creates some kind of creative spark.

For those who are not so familiar with computer generated 3D fractals, please tell us what is your working process in creating your psychedelic visuals?

So Fractals are mathematical formulas that generate complex and infinitely detailed shapes, worlds. The power lies in combining various fractal formulas to create an infinite number of worlds. Finding something that is beautiful and enticing, is akin to exploring. Browsing the formulas, tweaking the sliders until you encounter a psychedelic world that you want to convey. The rest is pretty traditional; shading, lighting, rendering, and some post-production.

What tools (hardware/software) do you use to produce your content?

The software I use are mostly only Mandelbulb3D and After Effects. Sometimes I get a little help from 3Ds MAX though. Hardware-wise, I have a small render farm, which is basically three very CPU-heavy workhorses in a network.

What type of music/musician do you listen to while working?

Oh this actually varies wildly! Sometimes I listen to a soundtrack of a film that the fractal reminds me of. To get in the mood, and bring back memories and ideas of a certain cinematographic style. But it can also be more energetic, electronic music. Ambient, psytrance, techno, world music… many things really…

How long does it take you to create one visual (loop) on your computer, minus rendering time?

I might be able to create one loop in about half day, minus rendering but including post-production.

Do you also VJ for live shows and events, or you are primarily a content producer?

Actually I found it very nice to be doing live visual shows (VJ shows) with my work, because it’s very nice to be connecting with an audience. I used to VJ a long time ago, and I’ve recently picked it up again, but exclusively with my own work. So yes, indeed I do live shows/events.

If you have all the time in the world, what would you do?

I’d love to create something more long-form, with fractals, perhaps a story. Maybe a fulldome film.