Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fractal Hand

In early 2005 I was visiting family in Milwaukee and saw a handbill taped to a light pole on North Ave advertising a psychedelic band that was going to be playing at one of the local bars.  The handbill was a bad photocopy with a hand drawn in ink that had hands at each of its fingertips.  I really liked that image.

Months later, I was trying to learn to use Adobe Photoshop and remembered that handbill and decided to try to make a photographic version of the image.  I put my hand on a scanner, saved the image, then went to work on it.  I don't remember the whole process, but it involved making the background black, scaling and rotating multiple copies of  the image on multiple layers, and using the rubberstamp tool to obliterate the seams where the wrists joined the fingers, and finally flattening the whole thing to one layer.  IRIC, I spent about 2 hours working on it, mostly because I didn't know what I was doing and had to look up each step as I performed it.

This is the result:

Fractal Hand, an L-system fractal

Blogger shrank the image.  The original, is much bigger and more detailed.

Over the years I've had several requests to use the image in books, etc., and I've had a few tee-shirts made that look really great.  I wear some of them myself and have given a very few as gifts to special people.  I get many complements on the shirt whenever I wear one of them.

Someday I'll create a 3D printable version of this thing.  It will probably have to be printed on an SLA or SLS machine to capture the tiniest fingers.

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