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Machina Fractals: Essence creates 3D fractals in UE5

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Originally posted on 5 June 2022. Scroll down for news of the latest update to the software.

Machina Infinitum has released Machina Fractals: Essence, an Unreal Engine add-on that enables users to generate and render animatable 3D fractals inside Unreal Engine 5.

The add-on provides nine individual fractal material ‘formulas’ of varying computational complexity, for uses ranging from abstract animations and live visual performances to games and VR environments.

Generate and render animatable 3D fractals in real time inside Unreal Engine 5
Founded by VFX artist Jesper Nybroe and computer scientist and VJ Matteo Scappin, Machina Infinitum creates tools for generating 3D fractals for use in motion graphics and visual effects.

Having initially focused on offline rendering – the firm’s other products are for Cinema 4D and OctaneRender – it has now moved into real-time workflows with Machina Fractals: Essence.

The add-on enables users to generate and render 3D fractals in real time inside Unreal Engine, using a set of nine customisable fractal materials.

The material formulas trade customisability against interactive performance, with six ‘Lite’ formulas optimised for real-time rendering, and three ‘Uber’ formulas aimed at offline rendering.

Each can be customised by adjusting parameters governing colour and form, or applying readymade colour palettes, triplanar textures or emission textures, and can be animated using Unreal Engine’s Sequencer.

The fractals can be rendered using Unreal Engine’s hybrid ray tracer, but currently, not the path tracer.

Suitable for use in motion graphics, live visuals and even as 3D environments
Potential use cases range from abstract animations, motion graphics and live visuals to game environments – although, obviously, the resulting forms are pretty stylised, and don’t currently support collisions.

Some formulas are even fast enough to be used in VR environments: Machina Infinitum says that the Bulb Lite fractal runs in real time in VR on a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, and others will work in VR “with some lag”.


Updated 1 August 2022: Machina Infinum has released Update 2 to Machina Fractals: Essence, adding support for generating actual meshes from the fractals it generates.

That makes it possible to use the fractals as collision objects inside Unreal Engine, as shown in this video.

Pricing and system requirements
Machina Fractals: Essence is compatible with Unreal Engine 5.0. Machina Infinitum recommends a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU or better and at least 8GB VRAM.

Since the original release, the price of the add-on has risen from $89.99 to $129.99.

Read more about Machina Fractals: Essence on Machina Infinitum’s website

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