The TeamWatch Frax in action
Frax was initially conceived and implemented by Ben Weiss, continuing his lifelong fascination with fractal geometry and mathematical art. The early prototype that Ben was able to show Benoit Mandelbrot himself at TED 2010 provided unique inspiration to turn the project into something truly special — a definitive merging of mathematics and art, interactive and accessible to the casual user, while simultaneously remaining endlessly deep and complex to the dedicated enthusiast.
Building on the mathematical core, Kai Krause made the app sing with his unique "TD" interface, content and design. Frax represents a rekindling of the collaboration between Ben and Kai, after the two worked together at MetaTools through much of the 90's. To round out the Frax triumvirate, new addition and fellow fractal connoisseur, Tom Beddard, has lent his substantial web wizardry and all-around glue to solidly bond the project together.
Frax has been a one-of-a-kind collaboration, involving three very different individuals in three time zones, over three years, a virtual global garage band of passion and dedication. With the team meeting only once in person for 48 hours, the app has progressed from concept through development to finished product. And now, after many iterations, the team is delighted to share their little thing of beauty with the world!
Creator, Concepts and Development
Ben is a veteran of the computer graphics industry, holder of numerous software patents and awards. His work has been presented at Siggraph, and licensed to major industry players over the years. From cutting his teeth at MetaTools in the 90's on the KPT plugins and software, he has gone on to consult for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and startups including Picasa and Seadragon.
Based in Southern California, Ben is also an accomplished freediver, with a seven-minute breath-hold, competing for Team USA on the international stage. An avid environmentalist, he drives a Tesla electric sedan powered exclusively by solar panels, and would always prefer that waste be kept to a minimum — particularly when CPU cycles are involved!
Concepts, Interface and Content
Kai was born in Europe, left at age 19 to spend the next 27 years in California, then returned to his roots and for the last decade has been working on long-term ideas, books and designs, in a tower built in the year 1044 overlooking the Rhein river, enjoying the most valuable resource of all: Time.
He would like to remain a bit quiet during all this…
Design, Website and Cloud Backend
Tom started his career as a physicist and has a PhD on ultrafast lasers (but with no frikin sharks)…
He left academia to join the booming dot com world and for over ten years designed and developed web and ecommerce systems at design agencies in Scotland. He then led the software team that built over 100 interactive installations for the Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow, which was recently named European Museum of the Year for 2013.
Tom also has a deep interest in fractals and interactive graphics. His blog, subblue, has been a popular resource for some time. Using his own software his images have appeared in Scientific American, Spektrum der Wissenschaft and a number of books - his animations online have accumulated over a million plays and have been shown in film festivals around the world, from Times Square to a dedicated show in Paris.
Based near Edinburgh, Tom, is a keen hill runner and cyclist with an obsession to detail and aesthetics as both an artist and coder.
Read his article on an introduction to fractals.