Fractal Software Programs & Generators

Amazing Seattle Fractals

Experience The Art Of Infinity

Fractal Software Programs & Generators

Fractal Image There are many fractal generators, or software programs, to choose from if you are interested in creating your own fractal art. Listed below you will find an extensive list of both Windows & MAC fractal programs. Each of these fractal programs are unique, with advantages and disadvantages, and often offer features which are unique to that individual program. Some of these fractal generators are free, others are shareware/trialware, where you can use them for a limited time, or with limited features available. I have given brief descriptions for these fractal programs, and also my "take" for the ones that I have used.

On this page you can download, or find links to download, most of the major fractal software programs available for both Windows & MAC operating systems. You will also find online fractal generators where you can explore fractals online and in real time.

I often get asked questions about software programs indirectly related to fractals. These questions are often directed at post processing images, converting image formats, how to unzip the downloaded programs etc., so I have also included several other software programs that you may find helpful at the bottom of this page. If you have questions about the fractal creation process, which programs I recommend etc. be sure to check out my Fractal FAQ's page, which should help answer many of your questions!

NOTE: Because I use Windows programs I am unable to answer most MAC based questions. Offsite links listed in the descriptions below will open in new browser tab, or window.

Windows Fractal Software Programs

Tiera-zon

Tiera-zon is my favorite fractal program & the one that I have used for years to create the majority of the fractals on this website. I have written several tutorials for using this program and and I love the type of fractals that this program produces. Special thanks to Stephen Ferguson for this great program! Stephen has many other fractal programs besides Tiera-zon that you may wish to try out, and which I highly recommend. These programs used to be offered free, but he now charges a very reasonable fee ($35.00 U.S.) to download all of his programs, over 30 different fractal programs, well worth the price!

Ultrafractal

Ultra Fractal is undoubtably the most feature rich fractal program available. A feature that set this program apart early on was the ability to produce layers within an image, which previously was only a graphics program feature. This program now features the ability to create animations, an advanced coloring system, excellent help files and a widely used support database. Because of the layering capability, virtually all fractals that you see from this program are not a "pure" fractal image, but a mosaic, or composite of many images. However, from an artitstic standpoint, this is a great feature, and opens new avenues for creativity. An excellent program. Cost: $29.00-$99.00 depending on version ordered.

Xenodream

XenoDream. This amazing program is unique in that it allows you to create 3D IFS fractals. You do not use formulas as in most fractal programs, instead you work with visual building blocks called Holons, and conventional operations such as scale, rotation and position, creating what I call, "Fractal Scupltures". This program has an abundance of additional features including lighting effects, layers, metamorphs, filters, animations, and many other advanced graphics type program features. There is now a trial version of this software. A very fun and adictive program! You can see some of the fractals that I have created with this program from the Fractal Galleries page. I have also written a basic tutorial using this program, check out the tutorials page. Cost: $119.00

Fractal Explorer

Fractal Explorer is an excellent and popular freeware program that generates fractal images and animations. With FE you can generate polynomial/iteration sets (Mandelbrot/Julia/Newton-like), orbital fractals, Iterated Function System (IFS), fractal landscapes and three-dimensional "strange" attractors. This program is one of the most feature rich freeware program currently available.

Xaos

XaoS is a real-time interactive fractal zoomer, and allows you to zoom easily and smoothly into the fractal. It displays many different fractal types, including Mandelbrot, Barnsley, Newton, Phoenix, and many more. This program produces excellent "classic" looking fractals. A fun program.

Apophysis

Apophysis is a free Windows program for creating the unusal Fractal Flames and IFS fractals. It can be used in conjunction with the Ultra Fractal program. At last check there were irtually no help files currently available within the program, but some tutorials are available elsewhere. See my Resource page for tutorial & forum links for this program.

Fractal Science Kit

Fractal Science Kit is a fractal generator that generates a fractal image from a set of properties that you can set to control the fractal generation process. Example properties include the type of fractal, the size of the image, and parameters to control orbit generation, data normalization, oversampling, embossing, smoothing, gamma correction, etc. I have not yet tried this program, but looks like it offers an extensive list of options.

ChaosPro

ChaosPro is a real time freeware fractal generator with support for many different fractal types (2D and 3D), true color support, animation support. Due to its integrated compiler it is quite fast even if you write your own formulas within ChaosPro. Excellent free program.

Visions Of Chaos

Visions Of Chaos is a professional high end software application for Windows. It is simple enough for people who do not understand the mathematics behind it, but advanced enough for fractal enthusiasts to tweak and customise to their needs. I have not tried this program but it looks very interesting. It can create animations, 3D modeling etc. Cost: $45.00

Mind Boggling Fractals LE.

This is the free "Lite" version of the Mind Boggling Fractals program written by Paul Carlson. Paul is no longer selling the full version, but you can download the light version zip file from this link: MBF Lite

Chaoscope

Chaoscope is a 3D strange attractors rendering software. This program creates 3D fractal forms.

Mandelbulber

Mandelbulber is a fractal program designed to help you render 3D Mandelbrot fractals such as the Mandelbulb and other kinds of 3D fractals like the Mandelbox, BulbBox, JuliaBulb, Menger Sponge, and Iterated Function Systems (IFS). Features include: Complex 3D shading, hard shadows, ambient occlusion, environment mapping, fog, Depth of Field, Key-frame animations. I have not yet tried this program, but looks very cool and similar to Incendia & XenoDream.

Mandelbulb 3D

Mandelbulb 3D is a free software application created for 3D fractal imaging. MB3D formulates dozens of nonlinear equations into an amazing range of fractal objects. The 3D rendering environment includes lighting, color, specularity, depth-of-field, shadow- and glow- effects; allowing the user fine control over the imaging effects.

Incendia

Incendia is a 3D Multiprocessor Fractal Engine that allows you to explore the realm of the 3D fractals. Although I have not yet used this program it appears to be similar to XenoDream. The author of the program is offering the current version free, but asks for a donation to continue to help develop the program.

Fractint

Fractint was one of the first and most widely used fractal programs. It used a DOS format, but could generate some beautiful images, and the first fractals I saw were generated with this program. Winfract is the updated Windows version of the program, which runs with an emulator. Free.

Sterling2

Sterling2 is based on Stephen Ferguson's Sterling fractal program. Tad Boniecki took the core program and replaced the old formulas with new ones, which allows for new, interesting explorations of fractals

Fractice

Fractice is a free, open-source fractal explorer/renderer for XP/Vista/Win7. It supports navigation, history thumbnails, previews, antialiasing, deep zoom, printing, posters, palettes, multicore and distributed processing, movie recording, undo/redo, color cycling, and job control. It also has VJ features, such as mixing, mirroring, origin motion, palette tweening, dual-monitor, and MIDI.

Fractal Forge

Fractal Forge, Uberto Barbini's freeware fractal program offering a number of nice features and also has a tutorial on site for it's use. Free.

Mandala Explorer.

Russell Cottrell has written a small program, only 563 KB download size, that enables you to draw various fractal image types as well as produce animations. Free.

Mandelbrot Explorer

Mandelbrot Explorer is free software, allowing the exploration of the Mandelbrot Set and the Julia Sets. With it, you can magnify selected areas of any of these fractal images - up to a massive magnification of 10 13 (that's 10,000,000,000,000)!

Kaos Rhei

is a program for rendering fractal images which can be used in as stand-alone images, textures or bump maps for 3D rendering. It currently supports more than a dozen different fractal types. 256 color mode. Link is to a software site that offers this program, the old site is no longer available.

Fractal Extreme

Fractal eXtreme is a fractal exploration program that draws pictures of the Mandelbrot set and other fractals on your Windows PC (Windows XP, 32-bit Vista™, 64-bit Vista™, and other variants) and allows you to explore these fractals by zooming and panning towards interesting areas with your mouse or keyboard. Shareware.

Gimp

Gimp is a graphics program and not a true fractal generator, but it does have a flame plugin which enables you to make "very cool" flame fractals. Free.

Terry Gintz

Terry Gintz has written a number of fractal 3D modeling programs. He offers several "packages" that combine different sets of his programs, or they can be ordered individually. Cost: Programs range in price from around $45.00 to well over a hundred.

Mark Eggleston

Mark Eggleston has written two fractal programs, Saturn and Titan, used in conjunction with each other. Saturn is used for fractal exploration, the saved Saturn images can then be opened by Titan which is used to produce much higher resolution images up to around 700 Megapixels. I have not yet tried these programs, but looks promising. Mark has additional fractal information on his blog.( Available for both Windows & Linux operating systems ) Free.

JWildfire

JWildfire is an image and animation processor written in Java, creating 3D and Flame fractals. Freeware.

MAC Fractal Programs

Disclaimer: I do not own a MAC and have not used most of these programs. Some of the programs listed here are programs that have been around for a long time, and may,or may not work on newer versions of MAC. Some of the links are to direct file downloads, some are to the authors webpages, use at your own risk! I cannot offer any advice, or help with these programs, unless they are also Windows based, like Xaos, Mandelbulb 3D, etc. that offer programs in both MAC & Windows.

You may also be able to run the Windows fractal programs listed above on MAC computers using a program like Apple's Boot Camp.

Mandelbulb 3D

Mandelbulb 3D is a free software application created for 3D fractal imaging. MB3D formulates dozens of nonlinear equations into an amazing range of fractal objects. The 3D rendering environment includes lighting, color, specularity, depth-of-field, shadow- and glow- effects; allowing the user fine control over the imaging effects.

Mandelbulber

Mandelbulber is a fractal program designed to help you render 3D Mandelbrot fractals such as the Mandelbulb and some other kind of 3D fractals like the Mandelbox, BulbBox, JuliaBulb, Menger Sponge, and Iterated Function Systems (IFS). Features include: Complex 3D shading, hard shadows, ambient occlusion, environment mapping, fog, Depth of Field, Key-frame animations. I have not yet tried this program (It is also for Windows systems) but looks very cool and similar to XenoDream. Free.

Fractal Architect

Fractal Architect allows you to create awesome flame fractal images with little effort. You can use it to create your own Desktop background images. Flame fractal images are beautiful and can be easily modified to create an infinity of different images. Available on iTunes store.

Fractal Domains

Fractal Domains is a shareware program that generates fractal images. With Fractal Domains you can generate color images of the most popular fractal, the Mandelbrot set, and also generate images of the associated Julia sets. You can also generate an unlimited variety of fractal types based on rational functions, including fractals based on Newton’s method and Halley’s method.

FractalASM

A fast, generalized fractal exploration program that lets you explore any 2D dynamical system.

Oxidizer

Oxidizer is a free open source fractal flame editor for the Apple Macintosh, running OSX 10.4 or greater. Fractal flames take many shapes, here’s some crude examples made almost literally at random by Oxidizer. Only the colour scheme and the positioning have been altered.

Easy Fractal

Easy Fractal is an interactive picture generating program so easy to use that almost anybody can conjure richly colored and aesthetically pleasing motifs and structures onto their computer screen. The program works with different iteration formulas, which calculate the so-called Mandelbrot and Julia Sets.

Gnofract

Gnofract 4D is a free, open source program which allows anyone to create beautiful images called fractals. The images are automatically created by the computer based on mathematical principles. These include the Mandelbrot and Julia sets and many more.

Aros Fractals

With Aros Fractals you can explore some classical fractal images at extremely high resolutions in physical size and color depths.

Fractastic

Fractastic is a full screen fractal drawing program for the Macintosh that can draw the famous Mandelbrot, Julia and Newton equations among others. It allows you to zoom in real time, change the colors and save images.

FractalWorks

FractalWorks is a high performance fractal renderer. It creates stunning images of Mandelbrot and Julia sets. It will create 3D renderings of your fractal images, and can generate stereo images for viewing as parallel or cross-eye, or anaglyph images. Shareware.

Spangfract

Spangfract is freewware, but I'm not sure how active the author is with this program. Fractals I have seen generated with this program have been excellent. This link will take you to the user group on Yahoo where you can post questions, share info etc.

XaoS

XaoS, ported to MAC & Windows, is a real-time interactive fractal zoomer, and allows you to zoom easily and smoothly into the fractal. It displays many different fractal types, including Mandelbrot, Barnsley, Newton, Phoenix, and many more. This program produces excellent "classic" looking fractals. A fun program.

Jerry's Mandelbrot Set

Gerry's Mandelbrot Set features Julia Sets * Iterated Functions Systems * Fractal Trees * The Lorenz Attractor * The Feignbaum Bifurcation Diagram * The Newton's Method for finding the roots of a polynomial fractal (up to 16 roots) * Martin's Mapping (Hopalong) & creates Quicktime movies. OS X version too. Free.