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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 www.ultrafractal.com/features.…

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!

Spirals


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

Phoenix Lake by Shadoweddancer    Passion by Joe-Maccer

Abstracts


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

Magic Mountain by beautifulchaos1    15-2-24 by beautifulchaos1

Figurative


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



:icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider2plz:


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 www.infinite-art.com/index.abo… and you can purchase them as a package here www.infinite-art.com/index.sho… - 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!


:icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider1plz::icondivider2plz:

Resources Specific to UF


Ultra Fractal Mailing List

www.ultrafractal.com/mailingli…

Tutorials

ultra-fractal-redux.deviantart…
fractal-resources.deviantart.c…

Fractals with Parameters For Experimentation, Texture packs etc.

ultra-fractal-redux.deviantart…
fractal-resources.deviantart.c…
the-aposhack.deviantart.com/ga…

Active Ultra Fractal Groups

:iconultra-fractal-redux:
Monthly or bi-monthly challenges are held.
:iconuf-artists:
Weekly Awards given here.

Other Monthly Challenges

Ultra Fractal Monthly Challenges Redux held by
:iconheavenriver:

Semi-official Fractal Education Group

:iconcrfractals:

Current Fractal CV is

:iconc-91:

________________________

Journal prepared by AnnaKirsten


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Add a Comment:
 
:iconpoca2hontas:
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....
Reply
:iconannakirsten:
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:
Reply
:iconpoca2hontas:
poca2hontas Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
;) 
Reply
:iconannakirsten:
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:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconannakirsten:
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015   General Artist
Thank you so much for the requests! :hug:
Reply
:icondixbit:
Dixbit Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Hi! I created some geometric fractals with Processing (for example fav.me/d7libh4, fav.me/d8gb3d5 or fav.me/d8gba4j) and I wonder if I can post them here (and if so, in what folders) ?
Reply
:iconannakirsten:
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015   General Artist
Hi, yes you can submit those here under Other Fractal Software xtremefractals.deviantart.com/… :)
Reply
:icondixbit:
Dixbit Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Ok thanks, in this case I'll start posting my fractals there :)
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:iconpamonk:
PaMonk Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the Request.:D
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:iconannakirsten:
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015   General Artist
Sorry for the late reply, but it was a pleasure :)
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