This example is for Processing 3+. If you have a previous version, use the examples included with your software. If you see any errors or have suggestions, please let us know.

The Mandelbrot Set by Daniel Shiffman.

Simple rendering of the Mandelbrot set.


size(640, 360);
noLoop();
background(255);

// Establish a range of values on the complex plane
// A different range will allow us to "zoom" in or out on the fractal

// It all starts with the width, try higher or lower values
float w = 4;
float h = (w * height) / width;

// Start at negative half the width and height
float xmin = -w/2;
float ymin = -h/2;

// Make sure we can write to the pixels[] array.
// Only need to do this once since we don't do any other drawing.
loadPixels();

// Maximum number of iterations for each point on the complex plane
int maxiterations = 100;

// x goes from xmin to xmax
float xmax = xmin + w;
// y goes from ymin to ymax
float ymax = ymin + h;

// Calculate amount we increment x,y for each pixel
float dx = (xmax - xmin) / (width);
float dy = (ymax - ymin) / (height);

// Start y
float y = ymin;
for (int j = 0; j < height; j++) {
  // Start x
  float x = xmin;
  for (int i = 0; i < width; i++) {

    // Now we test, as we iterate z = z^2 + cm does z tend towards infinity?
    float a = x;
    float b = y;
    int n = 0;
    while (n < maxiterations) {
      float aa = a * a;
      float bb = b * b;
      float twoab = 2.0 * a * b;
      a = aa - bb + x;
      b = twoab + y;
      // Infinty in our finite world is simple, let's just consider it 16
      if (dist(aa, bb, 0, 0) > 4.0) {
        break;  // Bail
      }
      n++;
    }

    // We color each pixel based on how long it takes to get to infinity
    // If we never got there, let's pick the color black
    if (n == maxiterations) {
      pixels[i+j*width] = color(0);
    } else {
      // Gosh, we could make fancy colors here if we wanted
      float norm = map(n, 0, maxiterations, 0, 1);
      pixels[i+j*width] = color(map(sqrt(norm), 0, 1, 0, 255));
    }
    x += dx;
  }
  y += dy;
}
updatePixels();