Adding gradient animation

Like any parameter in Ultra Fractal, you can also animate the gradient. Let’s add some gradient animation to let the fractal fade in from a dark grayscale gradient to its current bright colors. First, we create the desired new gradient.
Ultra Fractal gradient Adding gradient animation  

Click Gradient on the Fractal menu to open the gradient editor.

The gradient editor works together with the Animate mode toggle like all other tools in Ultra Fractal.

Ultra Fractal transparent Adding gradient animation
Ultra Fractal learnmore Adding gradient animation
Animating gradients
Ultra Fractal animate Adding gradient animation  

Set Animate mode to on, and move the time slider to frame 20.

Ultra Fractal adjust Adding gradient animation  

Click Adjust Colors on the Gradient menu.

  • On the HSL tab, set Saturation to -100, which removes all color from the gradient. Set Luminance to -40 to make the gradient darker. Click OK.

Drag the time slider back and forth to preview the result and observe that we have achieved just the opposite what we wanted. Let’s fix that.

  • Move the time slider to frame 1. Make sure the gradient editor is active and Animate mode is still on.
Ultra Fractal copy Adding gradient animation  

Click Copy on the Edit menu to copy the gradient to the Clipboard, as it is at the current frame. It is important that Animate mode is on while you copy the gradient, otherwise you would have copied all animation keys as well. We just want the gradient as it is at frame 1.

Ultra Fractal paste Adding gradient animation  

Move the time slider to frame 140, and click Paste on the Edit menu. Again, Animate mode must be on, because we want the paste operation to affect the current frame only. Otherwise, the gradient for the entire animation would have been replaced by the pasted gradient.

Turn off Animate mode and drag the time slider back and forth again to view the effect. This is almost what we want, except that the dark gradient should be at the start of the animation. We can fix that with the Timeline tool window.

Ultra Fractal timeline Adding gradient animation  

Click Timeline on the animation bar to open the Timeline tool window. Scroll down and expand the Gradient category, its Color category, and all its four control points.

  • Click on the leftmost animation key of the Color parameter of Control Point 1 to select it. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the leftmost keys of Control Point 2 to 4 as well to add them to the selection. The timeline should look like the left picture below.

Ultra Fractal gradient Adding gradient animation

Ultra Fractal deletekey Adding gradient animation  

Click the Delete Selection button to delete these four animation keys. The timeline should now look like the right picture above.

  • Finally, click on the range bar for the Gradient category to select it, and then drag its left edge to frame 1. The Gradient bar should now range from frame 1 to frame 140.

Drag the time slider back and forth to view the effect in the fractal window. This is what we wanted, but it turns out that frame 140 is too late — almost the entire animation is now quite dark and gray. Let’s fix this as well.

  • In the Timeline tool window, drag the right edge of the range bar for the Gradient category to frame 60.

Again, examine the effect with the time slider and experiment until you are satisfied.

Next: Adding a new layer

Adding gradient animation