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  1. I often start with a plain Mandelbrot fractal, but I haven't messed with Nova+fBm in a while; it's the formula at the heart of April Pond, Waves at Night, and Day Two, so it might have some good images. Let's give it a go and see if I can find something worthwhile.   2. Hmmm, yes it has the layered-wave look that I remember so well. Nova+fBm uses a default bailout of 1e-5, which usually produces small circles of "inside" areas once you start zooming. I don't like this, so I'll just crank it to 1e-15 and never have to worry about that setting again.   3. The noise is very bumpy and it's taking a long time to render; I'll bump the Noise Octaves down from 7 to 3, which will smooth out the noise (by removing a lot of the small detail) and speed things up quite a bit (by eliminating more than half the calculations).   4. 2.0 is the default exponent for fBm. It works, but it produces the same noise pattern as everyone else uses. To make sure I'm getting truly unique stuff, I'll add some "random" digits to the end of the exponent, to mix up the randomizer. (The exponent is used in the pseudo-random number generator inside the fBm code, and changing the exponent is a great way of getting a different, but similar pattern. Exponents near 2.0 work best.)  

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