Ultra Fractal versus Fraxplorer

Fraxplorer works in more or less the same way as Ultra Fractal, but it's much more simple. In Fraxplorer, you are limited to three different fractal formulas and three modifications of these formulas. There are only about 10 colouring methods, with minimal ability to adjust them. This is in comparison to Ultra Fractal which gives you access to about a hundred different formulas by default, and you can download more from the Internet or write your own. Same with colouring methods; there are a similar number of colouring methods installed by default, and you can add to these in the same way as with formulas. This isn't to say that Fraxplorer isn't a good program, it's simply more limiting than Ultra Fractal and generally creates a different style of images.

You can use Ultra Fractal to create images similar to that of Fraxplorer by using only its basic features, but Ultra Fractal is much more powerful than that. Besides the ability to use many different formulas and colouring modes and arbitrarily alter the default values of the formulas, Ultra Fractal also allows for transformations (distortions) of images, but most importantly, it allows you to combine multiple layers together into a single image. Each layer can use a different fractal formula and a different colouring method, although I find I get the best results if I keep most of the options relatively similar. Think of it like drawing slightly different pictures on thin tracing paper, and then putting multiple pieces of paper on top of each other to make a final image. It's more complicated than this, but that is the general idea. Some people make images with fifty or more layers, but my record so far is twelve layers, with the average being around 6-9 layers.

Here is an example of a multi-layer image created in Ultra Fractal, and then the breakdown of the image into individual layers.

This is the final image:


And these are the 5 layers that together make up the final image (shown at maximum size). Notice that only layer 2 has any green in it. The overall green colour of the image is a product of how the layers combine together within Ultra Fractal. This is one of the things that makes Ultra Fractal such a challenging program to work with. Achieving the exact colours you want without changing the image can often be a big struggle.

Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3

Layer 4

Layer 5

Without each and every one of these layers, the image does not look like it should.

Check here to see more Ultra Fractal images broken down into individual layers.

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