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Highlighting Ultra Fractal

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 27, 2015, 1:54 PM

Fractal Art the Ultra Way!

This is Fractal Week and so I would like to bring a little highlight to my own favourite program, Ultra Fractal.

There was a time when this program was one of the most enjoyed fractal programs next to Apophysis, which was of course, free.  UF has always come at a price, allbeit a relatively low one for a program as comprehensive as this.  These days, people are flocking to the newer programs and I feel that UF is perhaps struggling to keep up with the times, although it does work perfectly well on Windows 8.1 as well as on Mac systems, last updated in October 2014.  It has three versions, Express Edition comprising single layer for new users, Creative Edition incorporating layers, layer groups, masks and transformations, and Extended Version which includes animation and network calculations.  It can be bought here…

Although this is no longer the latest in fractal programs, it has been pretty much impossible to get to know every part of its inner workings or to exhaust all its possibilities - hence the enormous diversity of artistic styles achievable.  It's one of the aspects about the program that constantly fascinates me.  Take a look at some examples!


Deep Zoom Lace. by CopperColour  Grace by CoffeeToffeeSquirrel  Over a Sea of Bliss by Golubaja

Phoenix Lake by Shadoweddancer    Passion by Joe-Maccer


Magic Colours by Jimpan1973   Ice Cube by GrannyOgg CutSoftrandomSquarrye1-001 by BlurWing

Magic Mountain by beautifulchaos1    15-2-24 by beautifulchaos1


A Winter's Tale by GrannyOgg      Jan15 Redux Winter 3 by Gerda1946  The Light Within by Velvet--Glove

FloatingBlossoms by coby01  Watching by infinite-art

Ultra Fractal Animations

How Does Your Garden Grow (Animated) by Velvet--Glove
The Blues of You (link to video) by infinite-art


Some Hints and Tricks To Think About.

From Velvet--Glove

I asked Chris if she had any tips to offer us about working with UF and she very kindly gave the following:

1. I would definitely recommend my beginners guide as this includes some of my best tips:
Learning Ultra Fractal by Velvet--Glove

2. BACKUPS! Back up everything like mad! I have heard too many tragic stories of people permanently losing their work. Crying
I have backup copies of my fractal parameters on both my computer and in cloud storage to guard against loss of data.
I also archive and store the formula database every few months to guard against formula authors changing or removing formulas that fractal parameters depend on. It does happen, I understand! Wow!

3. It might be worth mentioning about having favourite formulas, colourings and mappings on the right-click menu of the Browse buttons. Too many can slow the system down and be difficult to find on a long list so I limit my lists to no more than about 40 items, usually the ones I use most frequently. Very useful!

4. For years I have used a Logitech mouse with lots of buttons. These buttons can be programmed to perform specific functions in different programs (functions must be in the form of keyboard shortcuts). In UF I use a simple button click to do common things like Copy Complex Values (Shift-Ctrl-C), Paste Complex Values (Shift-Ctrl-V) and to switch focus between fractal image window and gradient window (thus bring one or the other out from behind something else sometimes). I love my mouse programming, I find it a great time saver!

5. Using the Explore tool is an important element of fractal creation.  Here is a video tutorial by FarDareisMai

6. Here's a biggie for me: my Library! I have an extensive Library of layers saved - mostly textures that I have grouped into types and styles that have meaning for me. I also have other resources saved: frame layers, special shapes that I've cooked up over the years and sometimes need to re-use, layers that change the lighting or mood of a fractal, grids/guidelines that help with positioning or finding a focal point. I'm always adding new stuff to my Library, it's very important to my work flow.

7. Blob Clipping (a clipping transform on Mapping tab) - so useful for eliminating unwanted specks, lines and blobs. A seemingly trivial little thing but it is great for cleaning up!

8. Gradient editor - years ago I used to work with RGB values to change colours but since taking Janet's class I am now a convert to HSL. So much easier to get the colour/saturation you want!

From CoffeeToffeeSquirrel

Theresa kindly offered a link to one of her journals containing her favourite tutorials, and suggests that learning from tuts is a vitally important way to get to grips with UF.

Ultra Fractal tutorialsSorry for being late with my weekly features! I looked through some of my faves and decided that I wanted to feature some Ultra Fractal tutorials. Some of them are for older versions, but you will still get an idea about how to do it. If you make some fractals based on these tutorials, please send me a link in the comments, so I can feature it later. :la:
A general overview: 
A good beginner tutorial: 
How the merge modes work:    
Layering, a walkthrough: 
Gradients and colouring: 
Masking in UF:   Advanced Masking - texturing. by Ultra-Fractal
How to use UF Explorer tool: Ultra Fractal: Using Explore by FarDareisMai
How to make your fractal POP by using Solid colour: Using Solid Colors by Ultra-Fractal Solid Colors UF fractals by Ultra-Fractal

From Me:

1. To me, artistry is of great importance and this can be enhanced by composition, colour, lighting and textures, as well as by the use of layer properties, masking and so on.  Many of our old-time best well known fractal artists learned how to use these techniques from Janet Parke's courses, of which there are three.  You can read about them here… and you can purchase them as a package here… - the cost is $50 but it is money well worth spending!  NOTE:  the downloads do not work on Windows 8, but let Janet know and give her a username and password so that she can allow you into the protected courses online.  These are readable on pc, tablets and phones too! (Can be useful if you want a page open next to you while you work!)

2. UF comes with its own comprehensive user manual which you can download, and which contains a whole lot of examples and tuts for beginners.  It also comes with a myriad of standard and public formulas, as well as example parameters to start out with.  I say, use them!

3. Update your public formula database regularly!

4. If you use private formulas, don't mix them up with your public or standard formulas!  Keep them separate!


Resources Specific to UF

Ultra Fractal Mailing List…



Fractals with Parameters For Experimentation, Texture packs etc.


Active Ultra Fractal Groups

Monthly or bi-monthly challenges are held.
Weekly Awards given here.

Other Monthly Challenges

Ultra Fractal Monthly Challenges Redux held by

Semi-official Fractal Education Group


Current Fractal CV is



Journal prepared by AnnaKirsten

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Recent Journal Entries

Newest Members

Poll History


Please visit these talented deviants!

They have really impressed us!

DailyD's from our Members

Iceland by pillemaster given 03/22/2015
Put Your Heart And Soul In It - iFlames version by Anyzamarah given 03/21/2015
Enertwine by Nevaslip given 03/19/2015
3D printed fractal jewels by bib993 given 03/08/2015
Shell wallpaper by manapi given 03/07/2015
The Explorer 2 by loboto given 03/06/2015
Magic Colours by Jimpan1973 given 03/04/2015
Hidden Spirit by mmastriani given 03/02/2015
Afternoon Crystals by b33rheart given 02/28/2015
Intersections by SymmetryBox given 02/25/2015
Starry night by jagerion given 02/12/2015
Through the clouds by Crist-JRoger given 02/05/2015
Bubbles...just Bubbles by viperv6 given 02/05/2015
Dreams by LMcentury21 given 01/29/2015
Infinite Waters Diving Deep by catelee2u given 01/15/2015
Tree of Strange Ideas by AnnaKirsten given 01/14/2015
Shipibo v12 by JanRobbe given 01/12/2015
Artificial Island - 1920 x 1080 Fractal by Ubermatik given 01/10/2015
Delusions of Gothic by GrahamSym given 01/09/2015
Illumination by bezo97 given 01/05/2015
Benesi Launcher by MatzeR given 01/03/2015

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Feb. 28 Fractal Prompt 

32 deviants said The View on an Alien Planet

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All Fractals, All The Time! If you make or like Fractals, here is your new home!
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Until Aug 5, 2015

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If you don't see a folder for your particular fractal software, submit to "Other Fractal Software". There are also some more folders inside there for less-used software. Yours might be one of them :)

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Add a Comment:
poca2hontas Featured By Owner Edited Mar 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, for some reason it won't let me submit to the 'other folder', ? Or the fractal manipulation folder? Are they maybe full although I'm not getting that message. There is no contribute to this folder button....
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015   General Artist
Thanks for letting us know Martina.  Will get it all sorted out as soon as possible :heart:
poca2hontas Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015   General Artist
I've altered the settings now, so you should be able to submit to them.  Sorry for the delay, but needed to check some things out first :hug:
(1 Reply)
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015   General Artist
Thank you so much for the requests! :hug:
Dixbit Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Hi! I created some geometric fractals with Processing (for example, or and I wonder if I can post them here (and if so, in what folders) ?
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015   General Artist
Hi, yes you can submit those here under Other Fractal Software… :)
Dixbit Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Ok thanks, in this case I'll start posting my fractals there :)
PaMonk Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the Request.:D
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015   General Artist
Sorry for the late reply, but it was a pleasure :)
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