A Tour Through The Fractal Universe Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of my series exploring the universe of fractal landscapes created with the aid of the fabulous Mandelbulber fractal program.

(click on the images for a larger view)

Lost Valley

Lost Valley: A mysterious fog enshrouded valley. At night the landscape is lit by an eerie glow and hushed whispers are carried on the wind.

Desert Magic

Desert Magic: The wonder of an alien desert. Apart from its natural beauty there’s the decidedly Earth-like moon above the horizon and if you look closely, the gravity-defying stone hovering above a large boulder…

Sylvan Heights

Sylvan Heights: Imagine a world where forests of giant exotic plant life grow miles high. What would it be like to explore such a place?
Just make sure you don’t fall…

Organic Landscape

Organic Land-Shapes: Animal, mineral or vegetable? Your guess is as good as mine…

Dawn's Light

Dawn’s Light: A majestic view of a terrestrial planet rising over a bizarre twisted landscape. The beginning of a new day on an alien moon…

Thank you for joining me on my second trip to the fractal universe.  There are countless worlds to visit so I’ll be posting another tour very soon.

As Always, your comments and suggestions are encouraged and most welcome!!

Best Regards,


A Tour Through The Fractal Universe Part 1

It’s been a while since I posted to Eric’s Universe but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle.  I’ve been travelling; exploring the endless worlds of fractal landscapes with the aid of the fabulous Mandelbulber fractal program.

So put on your travelling shoes while I take you on a tour of some of the places I’ve been…

(click on the images for a larger view)


Sentinels: I came across these massive towers at the end of a frozen mountain pass. At first glance they appeared to be made of stone but closer examination revealed organic shapes that pulsated with life. When the cold wind howled, they moaned like hollow air raid sirens. A doleful call to a desolate land, answered only by echoes…

Desert Rocks

Desert Rocks: An arid wasteland where wind and sand have sculpted twisted rock formations. One formation in particular points like a stone compass needle toward an unknown destination.

Pyramid Hills

Pyramid Hills: A rolling landscape dotted with thousands of natural pyramid shaped hills. The natives of this place speak in whispers of a mighty battle between the gods that shook the very foundations of the land. Not a single combatant survived. After the battle the earth healed and beneath each of these hills lie the remains of a fallen warrior.


Borderland: What lies beyond the border where light meets darkness? Here we gaze into a cavern where glowing mist obscures huge symbols carved by unknown hands. The explorers who dared to enter this cavern have never returned. No others will take the chance. The mysteries of this borderland remain unsolved…

Highland Moon

Highland Moon: On our last stop we witness a glorious moonrise from a mountainside populated by glowing fungal growth. Special breathing masks are required to prevent infection from airborne spores.

I hope you enjoyed visiting these worlds from the fractal universe.  There are countless worlds to visit so I’ll be posting another tour very soon.

As Always, your comments and suggestions are encouraged and most welcome!!

Best Regards,



Grain of Sand

Grain of Sand by Eric A. Gehlin
(Click on the image for a larger view))

Grain of Sand is a labor of love for me.

In 1978, I decided I wanted to sell my art and stories as high quality prints. I produced a series of posters, had them printed and took them to a few comic book conventions.  Of course, I had delusions of grandeur (who doesn’t when they’re in their twenties) and thought everyone would flock to me and purchase my “masterpieces of creative genius”. I didn’t have the slightest idea of how to market my work and at the time my skills were definitely not professional quality.

I kept writing and drawing but didn’t try to self-publish again.

Over time, my skills improved. I began to sell my artwork and quit writing all together. This turned out to be a good thing because without the skill to create images, I would not have become interested in visual storytelling and wouldn’t have begun writing again

Over the years, I kept remembering the early days when I tried to sell my prints and one of them stood out; a science fiction piece titled Grain of Sand. Of all the pieces I tried to sell, that was my favorite. I was damn proud of it.

Finally, 36 years later I felt I was up to the task of giving Grain of Sand the treatment it deserved.

I’ve put everything into this version– rewritten and updated the text –images created with all the skill and tools at my disposal.

Like the first, I’m damn proud of this version…maybe even more so.

My only regret is that I lost the photo-stat of the original. I really wanted to show a before and after comparison.

Be sure to click on the image for a larger view.

As always, your comments and critiques are encouraged and most welcome.




Beautiful painting and observation on man’s place in the scheme of the cosmos.

S. Laura Artworks

20140315_204631 modified

Big Bang and here we are. We are part of the Universe.We are born in it, when we die we  metamorphozis into stars, we burst into galaxies and we are born again. It`s a kind of inception, it`s a kind of art, iIt`s pure craziness  but it all depends on our beliefes . The only question is: Do you want to believe that one day you`ll live forever among the stars?

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Creating On A Limited Budget Part 5 of 5

Welcome back to “Creating On A Limited Budget”; a guide to using low-cost and free software that can help you to create professional quality art without breaking the bank.

This is the 5th (and final) installment of this series and I’ll explore three images created using the free 3D fractal generator Mandelbulber .

Mandelbulber’s unique objects combined with the plug-ins featured in part 4 of this series can produce unusual and spectacular results. You don’t have to be a math genius to use Mandelbulber. I know I’m not. I learned it by reading the online documentation, a bit of experimental tinkering and some practice.

The way I see it…if I can learn Mandelbulber, anyone can.

Click on the thumbnail images for a larger view of each step.


“Moonrise On Cygnus 4” was my first attempt to incorporate a Mandelbulber fractal into a space art themed image. One of the best features of this program is that it allows you to save a render along with an alpha mask of the object for use in an image editor like Corel PhotoPaint.  The base render for this image is shown below (figure 1).

Moonrise On Cygnus 4 01_base image

Figure 1: Moonrise On Cygnus 4
Mandelbulber Render

I imported the base render into PhotoPaint  and created a moon object layer with Lunar Cell. You’ll notice that I’ve kept the texturing of the moon’s surface to a minimum and set the layer property to “screen” mode to allow it to blend into the atmosphere (figure 2).

Moonrise On Cygnus 4 02_moon

Figure 2: Moonrise On Cygnus 4
Moon Layer

Creating a new layer (also set to “screen” mode) I used Glitterato to introduce a soft foggy haze (figure 3).


Figure 3: Moonrise On Cygnue 4
Haze Layer

I inserted the alpha channel of the fractal render to overlay the scene and the image was complete (figure 4).

Moonrise On Cygnus 4 04_overlay_final image

Figure 4: Moonrise On Cygnus 4
Overlay Layer
Final Image


Cygnus 4 so intrigued me that I had to do a second image.

I didn’t want to do another landscape so I decided on a view from orbit.

This image was tricky because I had to isolate a “floating” element of a Mandelbulber fractal with an unusual shape and texture making it truly alien in appearance. I managed to find an interesting element, rendered it with an alpha mask and imported it into PhotoPaint (figure 1).

The Cygnus 4 Anomaly 01_base image

Figur 1: The Cygnus 4 Anomaly
Mandelbulber Render

I added a star field layer using Universe Image Creator (figure 2).

The Cygnus 4 Anomaly 02_star field

Figure 2: The Cygnus 4 Anomaly
Star Field Layer

Though Cygnus 4 had a “fossilized” landscape in the first image, I imagined it would look like an Earth-like planet from orbit. A third layer was added using a Lunar Cell planet (figure 3).  A 4th layer added a Lunar Cell moon (figure 4). I also duplicated the base render and applied it in “screen” mode to the top of the image as an aid in proper placement of the planet and moon.

he Cygnus 4 Anomaly 03_planet

Figure 3: The Cygnus 4 Anomaly
Planet Layer

The Cygnus 4 Anomaly 04_moon

Figure 4: The Cygnus 4 Anomaly
Moon Layer

I removed the duplicate layer of the base render, added an alpha channel overlay of the fractal and the image was complete (figure 5).

The Cygnus 4 Anomaly 05_overlay_final image

Figure 5: The Cygnus 4 Anomaly
Overlay Layer
Final Image

What is this object ?

Why does it orbit Cygnus 4?

Who (or what) put it there?

Your guess is as good as mine…


And now for something completely alien…

The landscape of “By The Light Of A Distant Moon” is so completely unusual and exotic that only a picture can do it justice.

When I discovered this scene in a Mandelbulber fractal, I was amazed by the variety of shapes and textures. It was as if I was viewing a real alien world from my computer screen.

I rendered the fractal with an alpha channel and imported it into PhotoPaint (figure 1).

By The Light Of A Distant Moon 01_base image

Figure 1: By The Light Of A Distant Moon
Mandelbulber Render

I added a star field layer with Universe Image Creator(figure 2).

By The Light Of A Distant Moon 02_star field

Figure 2: By The Light Of A Distant Moon
Star Field Layer

Next I created a moon object in Bryce with a cracked. frozen surface and duplicated the direction of light to match the effects in the fractal image. I rendered the moon, created a mask of it and imported them both into the PhotoPaint image (figure 3).

By The Light Of A Distant Moon 03_moon

Figure 3: By The Light Of a Distant Moon
Moon Layer

Addition of the alpha channel overlay of the fractal completed the image (figure 4).

By The Light Of A Distant Moon 04_overlay_final image

Figure 4: By The Light Of A Distant Moon
Overlay Layer
Final Image

“By The Light Of A Distant Moon” is my favorite space art image using a Mandelbulber fractal.

It’s also an excellent example of how low-cost and free programs can be used to create visually striking images suitable for publication.

I certainly enjoyed sharing my creative process with you and I hope you found the information offered in this series useful.

As always, your comments and critiques are encouraged.