One of the reasons to render fractals to disk is to be able to use anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing improves the quality of rendered images by sharpening and smoothening them, removing jagged edges.

Ultra Fractal antialiasing off Anti aliasing Ultra Fractal antialiasing normal Anti aliasing
No anti-aliasing
Normal anti-aliasing

Anti-aliasing increases the time it takes to render the image. The effect of anti-aliasing and the extra time required depends on the anti-aliasing settings you use when starting a render job (see Rendering images and Rendering parameter files).

The following settings are available:

Anti-aliasing Selects common anti-aliasing settings.
  • Off turns anti-aliasing off completely.
  • Quick selects minimal anti-aliasing settings that calculate relatively quickly.
  • Normal selects normal anti-aliasing settings that provide good quality and reasonable calculation times.
  • Non-adaptive turns off adaptive anti-aliasing. This gives better results for some images, but it requires (much) longer to calculate.
  • Custom allows you to specify your own anti-aliasing settings.
Threshold Specifies the threshold to use for adaptive anti-aliasing. Ultra Fractal anti-aliases a pixel only when the difference between the pixel and its neighbors (red + green + blue) is larger than or equal to the threshold.

Use 0 to turn adaptive anti-aliasing off. This slows the calculation down, but is required if adaptive anti-aliasing does not work well (for example when the fractal contains many thin lines, such as with the Embossed fractal formulas).

Depth Specifies the anti-aliasing depth (1 or greater). Greater depths give better quality at the expense of calculation time. Increasing the depth by one can easily double or triple the calculation time. The default value of 1 is usually sufficient.
Subdivisions Selects how pixels are subdivided for anti-aliasing. The default value 9 (3×3) gives better quality and is recommended. Use 4 (2×2) only for quick renders, or when the depth is greater than 1.

The Normal setting is recommended, and will usually give the best results. If you are preparing images for printing, it may not be necessary to use anti-aliasing. This is because on prints, individual pixels are rarely visible due to the much higher resolution.

Next: File formats

See Also
Exporting and rendering