What is a Fractal?
The mathematical definition of a fractal is a geometric pattern that is repeated at every level and cannot be represented by classical geometry.
Wikipedia’s definition is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity.
They are irregular at all scales and the more it is magnified, the more details you see.
Fractals in Nature
Fractals exist in nature: mountains, coastlines, trees, ferns, lightning, clouds, snowflakes, crystals, the nautilus seashell, sea urchins, and foods such as cauliflower and broccoli are just a few examples.
Fractal Generators or Programs
There are many fractal generators on the web; many are free. A web search for fractal generators or programs will give you a list of choices to try. I downloaded one called ChaosPro just to give it a shot and see what digital art I could create.
Some of my Fractal Creations.
I started with a pre-set fractal and made alterations to the colors, the lighting, the angles, the sharpness, etc. I still have a lot to learn about the program and all the different parameters that can be manipulated.
Look Into My Eye
This was my first attempt. I was very pleased with it and it was so much fun, I was immediately hooked.
I created it using the settings: Distribution.Par/Fantasia.
I used Ifs.Par/Eagle to create this one.
Meet in the Middle
This one was created using the settings: ChaosPro.Par/Myst – I shut off all of the layers except for Volcan.
This was created with the same settings as Meet in the Middle. You can use the same settings but use different areas of the fractal and change other factors and come up with something completely different.
Created with ChaosPro.Par/Sunflares – shutting off the sun layer.
This one is not really a spiral but it creates the illusion of one and draws your eye down to the center.
Created with Distribution.Par/GoldenBuddha.
Under the Sea
I created this one with Distribution.Par/Spinnennetz.
This one is also created with Distribution.Par/Spinnennetz using a different area of the fractal and a different color scheme.
Bluebirds of Happiness
I created the original fractal with the settings: Attractor.Par/Peacock.
I took it into Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 and duplicated it, rotated the images, added borders and come up with a symmetrical design that to me, looks like pairs of bluebirds.
The original fractal was created in Attractor.Par/Wrestlers.
I took it into Paint Shop and created this heart image using mirror images, added a border and some text. The fractal components look like trees to me, hence the name.
Have Some Fun
Download one of the free programs and try it for yourself. If you export your fractals as jpeg files, you can open them in a photo manipulation program and create beautiful designs. The possibilities are endless!