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Freeware Fractal Programs
Fractal Art is Fun!
I have been creating fractal art for quite a while now and have used a variety of programs, some free, some I paid for. I want to focus on the free ones. Fractal art is colorful, fun, creates unique images, and you can learn a lot from them, too.
Fractals may be visual math problems, but there are a ton of fun to create and you don't have to know much about them to make them in these freeware programs I am going to describe below. This is by no means an exhaustive list of freeware fractal programs, but rather ones that I myself have used.
Give it a try! Download one of the free Windows programs I am going to be describing here and take a look at the examples of the fractal art I have created with that particular program. My hope is that perhaps one will spark your interest and you will give a shot.
All images are created by me!
Fractal Explorer 2.02
Fractal Explorer is the first fractal program that I ever tried out and is still one of the programs I go to first if I want to create fractal art. It's like playing the guitar: easy to play, hard to master. I do not claim to be a master, but I have learned a trick or two in the program. It creates a different variety of fractal images, runs fairly quick on a PC, depending on the size of the image, and gives great results.
Unfortunately, the program is no longer updated, but there is still a huge community of users out there on different art sites. Many of these places offer great tutorials and gradients that you can use to create your own fractals.
Download Fractal Explorer
- Fractal Explorer - Home
Fractal Explorer is a project which guides you through the world of fractals. Not only can you use the software to plot fractals but there is also mathematical background information about fractals on the website.
Fractal Explorer ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Despite being a new player on the block in the terms of fractal programs, this program is based on an older program called Sterling. This one is a little harder to use the Fractal Explorer, but it still is fun to do and yields wonderful results. There are some tutorial out there for the program, and I recommend using them if you plan on using the program.
I will say that this is not an easy program to use, so start slow and work from there. Definitely read the tutorials. You will learn a lot from them and they will unlock the mysteries of the program.
Sterling2 ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
WinFRACT is based on the granddaddy of all fractal programs, and that FractINT. This is not an easy program to use because it has aged. Still, with a little patience and experimentation, you can get some great images out of it.
- BR's Fractal Worlds
This site has some great examples of WinFRACT fractals and tutorial on using the program. Scroll down down to the bottom of the page to get details on where to download the program.
Chaoscope is a strange attractor program, which includes fractals, but also includes formulas that aren't quite fractals, but close. Still, this program is a loads of fun to play with, especially if you use the Animate setting. It's easy to download and the web page included tutorials.
Don't be daunted if your images don't have a type of pizazz that you would like them to have. Keep on trying by playing with colors and gradients. There are a ton of of free gradients out there on different art web sites where fractal art is popular.
- Chaoscope > Home
Home of Chaoscope, a 3D strange attractors rendering software
Chaoscope ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Apophysis explores a range of a realm of fractals called flame fractals. I have been using this program for a long time and it is still one of the most popular fractal art programs with fractal artists out there. It is pretty easy to get a cool image just playing around, but with a few tutorials and learning a few tricks, you can create amazing images. Plus, being and open source program, people have created tons of plug-in add-on for the program.
This web site includes where to download and where to get tutorials. Give it a shot!
Apophysis ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Incendia is the new kid on the block, and this kid is cool. This program allows you to render fractal in 3D. Again, not the easiest program to use, but with anything, a few tutorials and playing around will give you some awesome results. The more powerful your PC, the better your results will be, as a note. It is written for a multiprocessor PC, but there are versions out there for single processor machines.
I have actually beta tested this program and have seen it since the beginning. It's come a long way and well worth it.
- Incendia - 3D Multiprocessor Fractal Engine
Download the program here, check out the wiki, and get tutorials.
Incendia ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Going to give it a shot?
Are you going to give fractal art a try?
ChaosPro has a special place in my heart because it is where I first got to create layered fractals. Not as powerful as Ultra Fractal, which you must purchase, this program can yield some beautiful images is you want to look into creating fractals that have layers upon layers of images. It sort of work like Photoshop, in the sense that you can layer images in that program. It's worth a look, but it is a computer memory hog.
- ChaosPro - Freeware fractal generator - Welcome
Windows 95/98/NT fractal generation and exploration program with 3D, network, animation, 24 bit support, compatible to FractInt, compatible to UltraFractal.
ChaosPro ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Web Sites with Great Fractal Art Communities
Connecting with people who have the same interests and could offer help is a great asset to someone who is learning a new art form. Don't get discouraged! Visit these web sites and look for communities within them that use the program you are using. You may be surprised at what you may find!
Many of these places will also allow you to display and even sell your fractal art. They are worth looking at.
- deviantART: where ART meets application!
Art - community of artists and those devoted to art. Digital art, skin art, themes, wallpaper art, traditional art, photography, poetry / prose. Art prints.
Similar to deviantART, this site will allow you to upload and sell your work.
This is another place to display and sell your art. A great plus here is all the framing options.
Online art community featuring wall art, design, photography and t-shirts by artists worldwide. Buy cool art & t-shirts or sell your art!