Fractal Software & Tools

Freeware Fractal Generator Software

There are many free fractal generators out there and we will be showcasing the top rated programs available. The free fractal generators we have found range from DOS based applications to Unix based programs. Many free fractal software programs are usually good for one aspect or another of generating fractals and some can be used in conjunction with others. Fractint for example can generate fractals and formulas that can then be used in other fractal applications. Make sure to check out all of the great free fractal software we have found around the internet. You can easily search for them on Google and find the download.

Software Title OS Compatiblity Description
Fractint Windows & Linux FractInt is the most popular and probably most respected out of all of the IBM Compatible based fractal generators and fractal software programs available. It is also used in many high schools, colleges, and universities to teach the fundamentals of fractals. It is speculated that FractInt is one of the oldest active and supported software projects to date.
Gnofract 4D Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OSX Gnofract 4D is a newer breed of free fractal generator software, as it has a nice polished UI, is very fast using multithreading technology, and is open source. Windows users, don’t fret, you can still use Gnofract 4D if you setup a virtual OS using Virtual Box or another virtualization program.
Fractal Explorer Windows Fractal Explorer is one of the few freeware programs that allows AVI fractal zoom movies to be created. It also has many formulas and variations of the most well known fractal sets. As a bonus, it includes variations of Iterated Function Systems (IFS) and 3D Strange Attractors.
Chaoscope Windows & Linux A 3D strange attractors program capable of rendering FractInt MAP files. Chaoscope now has 11 different attractors along with 5 different rendering methods available.
Fractalus Windows Fractalus also allows for fractal zoom movie creation and also has a slideshow feature. It is another one of the high resolution fractal generators available.
Tiera-Zon Windows Another one of the more popular fractal software generators available, Tiera-Zon was created to bring fractals to life in 24-bit true color. This software was written by Stephen C. Ferguson in C++ and is therefore only available for the Windows OS.
ChaosPro Windows ChaosPro is another 24-bit masterpiece. This program allows you to create 3D renderings of fractals and allows files from both FractInt and Ultrafractal. It is a great tool to have when you combine them all together.
GIMP Windows, MacOS, Linux The GNU Image Manipulation Program not only is a great image editing tool, but it doubles as a fractal generator with certain plugins that are available. You can create many of the most popular sets along with some strange attractors.
Apophysis Windows Apophysis is a windows application made in delphi for creating, editing and rendering fractal flames. Fractal flame is an extension on the IFS fractal.
Kalles Fraktaler 2 Windows Kalles Fraktaler 2 makes it’s mark on the fractal software scene with faster zoom rendering capabilities at deeper zoom levels. The Kallas Fraktaler website says up to 100 times faster, which is impressive.
XaoS Windows, MacOS, Linux XaoS is an interactive fractal zoomer that allows continuous zooming in or out of fractals in a fluid, continuous motion. XaoS is a power fractal explorer with several fractal types included, as well as various rendering tools to generate fractals. There is also some great animated tutorials to get you started.
FRAX Lite iOS A free version of FRAX to try that has limited features.
JWildfire Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android JWildfire is a java-based, free, and user-friendly image-processing software, mostly known for its sophisticated flame-fractal-generator.
Mandelbulber Windows, MacOS, Linux Maldelbulber is a three-dimensional fractal generator that generates fractals that with a bulb shape, hence the name Mandelbulber.
Mandelbulb 3D Windows & MacOS Mandelbulb 3D is a free software application created for 3D fractal imaging. It is similar to the Mandelbulber program as it allows you to generate and explore Mandelbulb fractals.
Electric Sheep Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS Electric Sheep is not a fractal generator, but it belongs on this list as it uses fractals to generate art. Electric Sheep is a collaborative artwork founded by Scott Draves, where computers use distributed computing to generate variations of artwork known as sheep that morph into different artistic visuals on the screen as a screensaver.

Commercial Fractal Generator Software

There are also several great fractal generator applications that cost money. Usually these programs allow much more functionality and may include updated formulas and features. Many of the commercial fractal generators have cool features like the ability to create zoom movies or add effects and filters to your fractal design. Others allow you to export PSD files for use in Photoshop and other image editing programs like GIMP. This opens up the design for more customization but diverts from the beauty of the original fractal usually. By far the most impressive feature of the commercial generators is the ability to create zoom movies. These movies are an intense look into the heart of a fractal by zooming in and capturing the frames as you go. Fair warning that these files can become very large as you zoom further. I saw a zoom movie once that was over 1 hour long which must have taken up a considerable amount of hard drive space at the time it was produced. Check out some of the great commercial fractal software that is available today.

Software Title OS Compatiblity Description
Ultra Fractal Windows & MacOS Currently the top commercial fractal generator, Ultra Fractal is in it’s 6th version, and has lots of cool features and templates to get you started on making some awesome fractals.
Chaotica Windows, MacOS, Linux Chaotica is a next-generation fractal art application, designed for both novices and professional artists. Chaotica provides a wide range of tools to allow for generating fractals for HD wallpapers, high quality animations, and even large images for large prints and posters. Chaotica also has a free version, but generated fractals and animations are limited in size and quality. The Chaotica Studio version has no limitations.
FRAX iOS FRAX is an app for the iOS that can be used on iPhones and iPads to full explore fractals in a new and exciting way using the gestures and gyros on the iPhone and iPad to control the exploration. It’s truly a unique experience that no other tool provides today. FRAX is available on the App Store and also has a free version to try that I have added to the Freeware list above.
XenoDream Windows Xenodream is a unique 3D graphics program that caters for everything from casual play to serious creativity. XenoDream uses simple UI controls instead of equations and formula editing for ease of use.
Jux Jux is a fractal explorer for 2D Julia and Mandelbrot sets. It includes a variety of formulas and lighting effects. It also uses only UI controls instead of equations and forumlas.