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Patafractal's Guide to Fractal Software

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  • Patafractal's Guide to Fractal Software

    Because of the meditative, hypnotic, dreamy, trancey and surreal nature of fractal images and videos they go together extremely well with ambient music, be it as a still image for a cover on Soundcloud or as a video animation for Youtube.

    The following list of programs below have been divided into 2D, 3D and Flames. Unless you see a price tag, they are all free of charge. Please note that this list is not complete due to a lot of vaporware.

    The software has been chosen for intuitivness and quality of the outcome with varying degreess.

    Nota molto bene: Rendering an animation (and even still images) might take a considerable amount of CPU and/or GPU power. Consider your hardware specs if in doubt.

    General
    http://www.fractalforums.com/
    Is the go-to place for all the software below, a similar board like AO.

    2D

    Kalles Fraktaler
    Comes with heaps of formulas and 2 movie makers, extremely easy to use, but a CPU hog. This is likely the last version, but you never know....
    Platform: Win
    Link: http://www.chillheimer.de/kallesfraktaler/

    Fractal eXtreme
    Old school fractal soomer. Intuitive, very easy to use for beginners. UI needs an update. External formulars are available. CPU hog at times.
    Platform: Win
    Price: 10 USD
    Link: http://www.cygnus-software.com/index.html

    Ultra Fractal
    Probably the most advanced and versatile 2D (and even 3D) renderer around, works with a layering system. Ideal for still images, long animations are possible. Tons and tons of formulas are available. An update is scheduled for 2017. CPU hog (but this might change with the update)
    Platform: Win, Mac
    Price: 3 flavours, 29-99 USD
    Link: http://www.ultrafractal.com/

    3D

    Mandelbulb3D
    Plenty of 3D fractals, tons of options for lights, fog, shaters and a morphing function. A new version is supposed to come out in the future. CPU hog, but definetly worth it, even if the render times for an animation are sometimes insane.
    Platform: Win, Mac
    Link: http://www.fractalforums.com/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=64

    Mandelbulber
    As seen a major overhaul recently and is constantly updated, yet the documentation needs some work. Same as MB3D, but different. CPU hog, long render times for animations but definetly worth it.
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Link: http://www.mandelbulber.com/download.php

    Flame Fractals

    Apophysis
    Flame generator, might be a bit tricky for newbies. Has not seen an update in a while. Still usable with patience and the help of the manual.
    Platform: Win
    Link: http://www.apophysis.org/downloads.html

    Chaotica
    Next-gen Apophysis, development active. See also Chaotica thread on AO. The results are impressive, but it will take time, energy and RTFM.
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Price: Limited free version, full version 89 Euro
    Link: http://www.chaoticafractals.com/

    Electric Sheep
    A sort of screensaver app that will create fractal sheep over time. Wait a bit, let the sheep grow or roll your own. Could be used in a live setting or with a screen recorder
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Link: https://gold.electricsheep.org/

    Incendia
    Can render various fractal systems. Not very intuitive though (or I am just too stupid). Development active
    Platform: Win
    http://www.incendia.net/downloads.php

    JWildfire
    Flame generator with a few tricks up its sleeve. can now import meshes and obj files. Constant development
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Link: http://www.andreas-maschke.com/

    BONUS

    Aural
    Musical fractal generator, generate midi files based on fractal patterns that can be exported and then imported into any DAW.
    Platform: Win
    Link: http://www.auralfractals.net/demo-songs/

    Any other suggestions ? Any q’s, queries, remarks or other comments ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Patafractal View Post
    Because of the meditative, hypnotic, dreamy, trancey and surreal nature of fractal images and videos they go together extremely well with ambient music, be it as a still image for a cover on Soundcloud or as a video animation for Youtube.

    The following list of programs below have been divided into 2D, 3D and Flames. Unless you see a price tag, they are all free of charge. Please note that this list is not complete due to a lot of vaporware.

    The software has been chosen for intuitivness and quality of the outcome with varying degreess.

    Nota molto bene: Rendering an animation (and even still images) might take a considerable amount of CPU and/or GPU power. Consider your hardware specs if in doubt.

    General
    http://www.fractalforums.com/
    Is the go-to place for all the software below, a similar board like AO.

    2D

    Kalles Fraktaler
    Comes with heaps of formulas and 2 movie makers, extremely easy to use, but a CPU hog. This is likely the last version, but you never know....
    Platform: Win
    Link: http://www.chillheimer.de/kallesfraktaler/

    Fractal eXtreme
    Old school fractal soomer. Intuitive, very easy to use for beginners. UI needs an update. External formulars are available. CPU hog at times.
    Platform: Win
    Price: 10 USD
    Link: http://www.cygnus-software.com/index.html

    Ultra Fractal
    Probably the most advanced and versatile 2D (and even 3D) renderer around, works with a layering system. Ideal for still images, long animations are possible. Tons and tons of formulas are available. An update is scheduled for 2017. CPU hog (but this might change with the update)
    Platform: Win, Mac
    Price: 3 flavours, 29-99 USD
    Link: http://www.ultrafractal.com/

    3D

    Mandelbulb3D
    Plenty of 3D fractals, tons of options for lights, fog, shaters and a morphing function. A new version is supposed to come out in the future. CPU hog, but definetly worth it, even if the render times for an animation are sometimes insane.
    Platform: Win, Mac
    Link: http://www.fractalforums.com/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=64

    Mandelbulber
    As seen a major overhaul recently and is constantly updated, yet the documentation needs some work. Same as MB3D, but different. CPU hog, long render times for animations but definetly worth it.
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Link: http://www.mandelbulber.com/download.php

    Flame Fractals

    Apophysis
    Flame generator, might be a bit tricky for newbies. Has not seen an update in a while. Still usable with patience and the help of the manual.
    Platform: Win
    Link: http://www.apophysis.org/downloads.html

    Chaotica
    Next-gen Apophysis, development active. See also Chaotica thread on AO. The results are impressive, but it will take time, energy and RTFM.
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Price: Limited free version, full version 89 Euro
    Link: http://www.chaoticafractals.com/

    Electric Sheep
    A sort of screensaver app that will create fractal sheep over time. Wait a bit, let the sheep grow or roll your own. Could be used in a live setting or with a screen recorder
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Link: https://gold.electricsheep.org/

    Incendia
    Can render various fractal systems. Not very intuitive though (or I am just too stupid). Development active
    Platform: Win
    http://www.incendia.net/downloads.php

    JWildfire
    Flame generator with a few tricks up its sleeve. can now import meshes and obj files. Constant development
    Platform: Win, Mac, Linux
    Link: http://www.andreas-maschke.com/

    BONUS

    Aural
    Musical fractal generator, generate midi files based on fractal patterns that can be exported and then imported into any DAW.
    Platform: Win
    Link: http://www.auralfractals.net/demo-songs/

    Any other suggestions ? Any q’s, queries, remarks or other comments ?


    Visions of Chaos
    http://www.softology.com.au/voc.htm

    Fractal Tune Smithy
    http://www.robertinventor.com/software/tunesmithy/music.htm
    Jim Hurley
    https://soundcloud.com/jimhurley

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm partial to Ultra Fractal, myself, but have heard lots of good things about Mandelbulb.
      https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
      https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
      https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
      https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

      Comment


      • #4
        UltraFractal is excellent if you get your head around the user interface, working with layers etc and it is brilliant for still images.

        It has one massive drawback. The animation workflow needs some adjustments I reckon. It’s difficult to control the lenght and speed of an animation, there are no decent tutorials and you need a lot of time, patience and a powerful PC for animations…or a render farm….

        The same goes for the two Mandelbulbers.
        But the results are absolutely spectacular and regardless if you prefer Flames, 2D or 3D Fractals, I think they are very fitting for our kind of genre…

        Comment

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