I am a 56 year old VT alumnus who has been toying with computers since the early 1970's. I'm VT's Access Control Manager and a Certified Protection Professional. I hail from the intelligence community (DIA) and served four years active duty during the Vietnam era. I have been here at VT since 1976 in some capacity, either student, townie, or employee.
I have been generating fractals and 3D AutoCad images for ~three years as a hobby to keep me from playing too many computerized games....
The fractal flame algorithm I use is a Apophysis random formula generator written and copyrighted by Mark Townsend.
The flames are members of the Iterated Function Systems (IFS) class of fractals. Unlike text books iterations, the flames I generate are colored structurally and the formulas can be mutated, rotated, and each portion of the formula can be manipulated via a graphical interface. Some of my early Chaos work uses traditional Julia or Mandelbrot formulas, but is not nearly as interesting as my later work on a black background. Most are simply imported as screen saver images....
Most of my work uses pallets converted from jpg's I've collected over the years. A few use the standard colors supplied with the software. Once I see an interesting form, I do spend considerable time tweaking each image always looking for
non-standard iterations that are visually pleasing. I do some post work with color saturation values and filters to detail or sharpen the image.
I now try to get at least 3 images from each formula. As I view them over time, one of the images will usually prove to be the most interesting and worth keeping or displaying.
Occasionally, the entire set will show the evolution of the formula and it's mutations well enough to be published as a set.