It’s difficult not to get captured by Julius’ unique fractal style bringing together his talents for filmmaking, computer graphics and virtual reality animation. Growing an early passion for video, Julio Horsthius started evolving his unique individuality as a virtual artist in the psychedelic genre and VR space.
Describing his art as something vast and immersive like a mathematical landscape as per his own creation, Julius compares his explorative style with that of a wildlife photographer. There’re a number of cinematographic techniques and effects, which we can see throughout the gallery of the superb visual artist from Holland, who is also known as a film director in the VFX and video development guild. Fractal environments are his specialty and his form of artistic expression, which gets featured and recognized regularly in galleries and film festivals internationally.
We were greatly impressed by the immersive psychedelic environment in Julius’ fractal art projects and VR short movie projects, which we wanted to hear more about in an open interview.
Tell us a bit about Julius Horsthuis as a visual artist.
Years ago I started out in the film industry and visual effects industry. I had always wanted to make a feature film and while I was doing research I came across this really cool effect which was called 3D fractals. So I started exploring with them and creating little animations using the skills I had learned from 3D animation and filmmaking. I published some online and the response was very positive, so I kept doing this and continued developing my own style.
What makes your style unique for you?
When it comes to fractals it's very easy to go all in, meaning that you can make it look and feel very 'out-there', or very psychedelic. You can use any color you like and there is no up or down, no horizon, no anchor points for your eyes;
It's just infinite fractals.
When I animate fractals, I always try to treat the environment as if it was a real scene. Using techniques that I learned from filmmaking, I have created my style through camera lenses, framing, dollies, editing, sound, music. I always treat my fractals very much as if it was a real scene. It’s nice to think that this gives my fractals a cinematic look; something that people recognize, yet are unfamiliar with.
Do you ever run out of creative ideas for new projects? What is your main source of inspiration?
I don't think I ever run out of ideas! Apart from films and music being a large creative driver, the fractals themselves are also an endless source of inspiration for new ideas. When navigating the fractal space, you always find new shapes and forms that you never saw before and this itself is a major creative motivation. You might find something that looks like an entry of a temple, and that in itself might spark this whole new idea of making a short film about fractal temples. As long as I can find new formulas and settings I think the fractal world is not going to let me down.
You experiment with Fractal environments. Can you tell us a bit more about the process behind your abstract cinematic projects?
I treat the process of creating fractal short films very much like I would treat the making of a documentary for a nature show. Imagine being a cameraman for National Geographic and going with a vague idea into the wilderness to film the beautiful mountain landscape. You're going to find objects that you didn't know were there, and those might look so beautiful to you that you would want to share them to the world. You might need to wait for the right lights, you might need to find the right angle to set up your camera, or you might need to change the script a little bit in order to accommodate this newfound subject. Creating fractals is very much like this, only that it is in a mathematical realm, instead of a natural one.
I don't create fractals in the sense that a sculptor creates their sculptures. My job is only to explore with them and to bring them out for others to experience.
What other interest do you have apart from computer graphics? How do you like to fill your spare time when you are not working on animation and video?
There are a lot of things so it's hard to point to a single one. I like travelling; I also enjoy reading books about human nature and our evolution. I love listening to music and watching good films. Nothing very exciting I'm afraid!
How is 2021 looking for you? Do you have many upcoming projects which you'd like to share with us?
The year started well for me. One of the projects I'm most excited about is called Geometric Properties, an immersive exhibition on display in ARTECHOUSE NYC, running through September. I'm also working on a fulldome feature film which can be enjoyed in planetariums and such while I’m thinking about creating a stereoscopic VR experience soon, too. I really hope to be doing festivals and other art galleries as well!
To find out more about Julius Horsthuis' fractal art projects, VJ exhibits and more: