Friday, August 8, 2014

The Graphics of Fractal Art

I love experimenting with color and form, which is probably why UF is one of my all time favorite applications. I subscribe to several of Dover Publications mailing lists for free images. Many of these images are coloring book pages.

475492-031   475492-031_SBP01_A

The image above, on the left, is from Dover’s Geometric Stained Glass Coloring Book ( I used Paint Shop Pro and the Super BladePro plugin, from Flaming Pear ( both of which I have used for years, to color the graphic. The Super BladePro plugin allows you to create your own presets, an option I used extensively in the past. All the ‘coloring’ I did in the image uses presets of my own creation. As you can see, I also changed the aspect of the original coloring book page to make it square.

I’ve done a lot of experimentation with Ron Barnett’s coloring Image Traps, and some of these experiments are contrary to his intent. The results are usually flowers. After all, flowers are my thing. Today I felt like branching out and came up with this:


I used the Newton formula from Standard.ufm, and Image traps on the background layer. Then I added a Carlson Orbit Traps layer to add a bit of texture and interest. That’s it! Two layers with lots of color.

With the advent of Ultra Fractal 5 back in 2008 that added the import image feature, I found that much of the graphic work I had done before could become an enhancement to my fractal creations. Graphics and fractals have been a long, and sometimes arduous, journey for me. I’m pretty much self taught, and I rely on what I think of as my ‘eye for what looks good’ to get me over the learning curve. Mostly that ‘eye’ has seen the wow moments and told me to save whatever caused the ‘oh wow’ moment.

I relied heavily on the Ultra Fractal Mailing List to get me to the point where I could envision what I wanted to do and get at least somewhat close to that image. I make no bones about not knowing (or even caring about) the math behind the fractals. There are enough excellent formula writers out there to keep me busy for many, many years. To them I am eternally grateful. I would mention names, but I might miss one or two and feel terrible about such an oversight. The formula writers not only provide the backbone for my artistic endeavors, they are willing to provide answers and incite when I have questions or need some advice on how to proceed to achieve what I might have in mind. My most heartfelt thanks to all of them!

I’ve uploaded a render of this one, titled “Primary Colors,” to my gallery on Renderosity… you can check it out at graphicMADness.

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