Combining fractals with images

Tip: This example assumes that you are familiar with formulas that use plug-ins, as explained in the Plug-ins chapter.

As explained in Using images, you can do more with image import in Ultra Fractal than just adding images as a separate layer. Let’s try a different way of importing images.

Ultra Fractal arrow Combining fractals with images  

Again, use the browser to open the Default parameter set in Examples.upr.

Ultra Fractal browse Combining fractals with images  

This time, we’re going to use a Julia fractal. Click the Browse button in the Formula tab of the Layer Properties tool window to select Julia in Standard.ufm.

Ultra Fractal arrow Combining fractals with images  

To make the fractal more interesting, locate the Julia seed parameter and enter -0.6 for the (Re) part, and 0.7 for the (Im) part. (Tip: Normally you would use Switch mode to find values such as these.)

Ultra Fractal reset Combining fractals with images   On the Location tab of the Layer Properties tool window, click the Reset Location button to reset the location to the default for the currently loaded Julia formula.
Ultra Fractal browse Combining fractals with images   Go to the Outside tab in the Layer Properties tool window, and click the Browse button here to select Plug-In Coloring (Direct) in Standard.ucl.

The Plug-In Coloring (Direct) coloring algorithm contains the Direct Orbit Traps plug-in by default, which is perfect for our purpose.

Ultra Fractal browse Combining fractals with images  

Locate the Color Trap plug-in parameter (currently set to Trap Shape Wrapper) and click the Browse button next to it. Navigate to the common.ulb file in the Public folder and select the Image Trap plug-in.

Ultra Fractal open Combining fractals with images  

Observe that the Image Trap plug-in contains an image parameter, which is currently empty. Click the Open button next to it, and select the Ultra Fractal.png image that comes with Ultra Fractal.

The fractal now fills itself with the Ultra Fractal text from this image, but the image is rotated and transformed according to the structure of the fractal! Try zooming in to see that the text is repeated infinitely. It’s a true fractal, but using texture from an image that you choose. This works very well if the image contains transparent areas, which is possible with the PNG image format.

This is just a simple example, but the parameters for the Direct Orbit Traps algorithm let you take this much further, so feel free to experiment. Also, in the public formula library, you will find more coloring algorithms that let you use images to color the fractal structure.


  • Ultra Fractal imports JPEG, PNG, and BMP images. Only 24-bit or 32-bit BMP images are supported. Interlaced PNG files are not supported. The alpha channel from PNG files or 32-bit BMP files will be treated as transparency information for the image.
  • When selecting an image, by default Ultra Fractal starts in the Images folder inside the main Ultra Fractal documents folder. It is recommended to keep the images that you use with your fractals here. You can change the location of the Images folder in the Folders tab of the Options dialog.
  • When saving fractals or parameter sets, Ultra Fractal stores only a reference to the image used. When you re-open the fractal or parameter set, the Images folder is automatically searched for the image that is needed. Only if the image cannot be found, Ultra Fractal will ask you to locate the image.
  • You can write your own formulas that use imported images. See Image parameters.

Next: Coloring settings

See Also
Coloring algorithms
Example 2 – Orbit trap plug-ins

Combining fractals with images