Monday, April 23, 2012

Fractals and Clip Art

I have long collected sample clip art from Dover Publications (, always intending to make use of these images at some time. With the advent of Ultra Fractal 5 (, in 2008, using some of these samples in fractal art became not only possible, but quite easy.

One of the first Dover samples I used was a blue butterfly in a simple fractal image.


I was quite excited by all the possibilities.

Ultra Fractal 5 proved to be something of a challenge because it offered several new and complex capabilities that required study and practice.

A couple of days ago, I downloaded an image from Dover, which can be found in their publication WHAT TO DOODLE? MANGA! (


The blank slate kimono seemed like the perfect place for a fractal design, but in order to do this, it was necessary to create two images with transparent backgrounds. Normally I would use Paint Shop Pro X4, but I am finding what used to be the easiest of graphics programs to use, to be less and less useful. I am of the opinion that Corel bought PSP from JASC to eliminate competition with their own graphics packages, and, although, they continue to come out with new versions, PSP gets buggier with each new iteration.

I used Adobe's Photoshop Elements 10 to eliminate the text and white background surrounding the Manga girl, and saved it, with transparency, as a PNG file.


In order to add design only to the kimono, it was necessary to create a second image, minus head, hands, feet, and that bit of hair over the collar of the kimono. Get out the eraser tool.


This second image, also saved as a transparent PNG file, is used as a mask with the fractal design layer.

Once I had my Manga girl completed, I added background and framing, to have a finished looking image.



I also added a color adjustment layer to make the face, hands, and feet look a bit less stark.

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