Working with Ultra Fractal Overview:

    The learning curve for fractal exploration, in general, and Ultra Fractal, in particular, is quite steep. What seems chaotic, unpredictable, and impossible to understand in the beginning is usually due to the user's lack of knowledge about and familiarity with the nature of fractals and how to work with the various formulas. While there is a precise mathematical explanation for every characteristics and effect, it is quite possible to become proficient in using Ultra Fractal and creating fractals without having to learn or relearn the complex math. The intent of this course then, is to both inform the student about many of the basics of the nature of fractals and to provide a structured, systematic way to explore both the intricate fractal structure itself and the many parameters of several important coloring formulas. This systematic approach can then be applied to working with any new or unfamiliar formula.

Ultra Fractal Masking Overview:

    The ability to create and use masks is one of the most exciting features of Ultra Fractal. Masking gives the artist even greater control over the work and subtle uses can create extraordinary effects.

Ultra Fractal Artistry Overview:

    A continuation of the exploration of fractal images and techniques begun in the first two courses, this course will explore basic fine art principles as they apply specifically to fractal art, and fractal-specific principles and techniques that transform interesting graphics into works of art.

Pre-requisites and Skill Level:

    Students must have Ultra Fractal 3, 4, or 5 installed on their computer and should have worked through the tutorials in the Help file. Although this course will explore many basic concepts in depth, a familiarity with the UF workspace and user interface is presumed. Please be familiar with how to:

  • load fractal formulas (on the Formula tab)
  • load coloring formulas (on the Inside and Outside tabs)
  • open the Gradient Editor
  • add, delete, and move layers
  • save and open parameter sets
  • save images as .ufr files

Mac users:

    The text for these courses is written for the Windows version of Ultra Fractal. Mac users may need to refer to the program's Help file for the applicable keyboard shortcuts and other changes in the user interface.

About the Author:

    Janet Parke has been playing around with fractals since 1996 -- and using Ultra Fractal exclusively since 1998. As a beta-tester for Ultra Fractal 2, she began helping other users learn the software and those early writings became a series of tutorials that were subsequently translated into six other languages. She was then asked by Frederik Slijkerman, the program's author, to write the official tutorials included in Ultra Fractal 3's Help files. In 2005, Janet was invited to write and teach a three-part series of online courses about Ultra Fractal for the Visual Arts Academy. After teaching nearly 400 students online, she has now converted the courses into this series of e-books.

    As a fractal artist, Janet's images have won top honors in online Fractal contests, the 2000 Toray Digital Creation Awards, and are part of "The Frontier Between Art and Science" exhibition which has toured throughout Europe and South America. She currently exhibits and sells her work in art festivals and galleries throughout the United States. When she's not creating fractal art, Janet teaches classical ballet and has choreographed over 75 works for student and professional dancers.

Copyright © 2005-2011 Janet Parke