Creating animations

Creating an animation from a normal fractal is easy, but perhaps different than in other fractal programs. These steps show how to create a simple zoom movie.

Ultra Fractal new Creating animations   1.  

Click New on the File menu, and then click Fractal to open the formula browser. Select Mandelbrot in Standard.ufm, and then click Open. This creates a new default Mandelbrot fractal.

(Note: Skip this step if you already have a fractal window open that you would like to turn into an animation.)

    2.   Move the time slider at the bottom to the far right. This sets the current frame to 100. (If you cannot see the time slider, click Animation Bar on the Options menu to reveal it.)
Ultra Fractal animate Creating animations   3.  

Click the Animate button on the animation bar to turn Animate mode on. In Animate mode, changes you make to the fractal are applied to the current frame only. This is necessary because we want to keep frame 1 as it is, and change frame 100 to something else.

Note that the fractal window now shows red animation indicator marks in its corners, and “(Animating)” in the title bar. This shows that Animate mode is on.


Shift-click inside the fractal window, hold the mouse button down, and drag upwards to zoom in. Release the mouse button when you are satisfied with the result. (See Normal mode for more information about zooming.)


Congratulations! You have just made your first zoom movie. Drag the time slider to the left and right to see a real-time preview.

Note that above the time slider, two key icons have appeared, one at frame 1, and one at frame 100. This shows that keys have been recorded at those frames.

    6.   To make the movie more interesting, let us add a rotate effect. Move the time slider to frame 50, and ensure that Animate mode is still on.
    7.   Enter 90 in the Rotation Angle input box on the Location tab of the Layer Properties tool window. This will rotate the fractal 90° clockwise at frame 50.
Ultra Fractal animate Creating animations   8.   Click the Animate button again to turn off Animate mode, because we are done recording this animation for now. It is a good habit to leave Animate mode off normally to avoid unintended changes to your animations.
Ultra Fractal play Creating animations   9.  

Click the Play button on the Animation bar to start playing a preview of the animation, or drag the time slider back and forth.

Observe that the animation starts unrotated, rotates to 90° at frame 50, and then rotates back to normal at frame 100, while zooming in all the time. The frames where we did not explicitly set new values are interpolated to create a smooth animation.


  • In Ultra Fractal, there is no fundamental difference between animations and still (normal) fractals. A still fractal is simply a fractal without any animation keys. If you only want to create still fractals, just hide the animation bar and ignore the Animation menu.
  • As you can see, the fractal does not interpolate from one set of parameters to another, like in some other fractal programs. Instead, every parameter and setting has its own set of keys and interpolates between them independently. This makes creating and editing animations much easier and enables you to create more complex animations.
  • To create a movie clip of your animation, render it to disk.

Next: Animation keys

See Also
Tutorial: Working with animations

Creating animations