by Uberto Barbini
If you want to know more about the magical word of fractals, follow
- Expand the zip file into a new directory.
- Open Fractal Forge and maximize it for a better view.
- Press START. You will see MAND002
color STANDARD, which is the whole Mandelbrot Set.
- Observe the calculation status on the upper right corner and you will
know the executing time of your PC and the percentage of execution.
Once DONE appears, your image is finished.
- If you want to know more about the mathematical side of fractals,
you can find a lot of very good information on Internet. Also, there
are a lot of good books on the subject. For a brief introduction, see Reference Section.
The DATA tab on the PARAMETERS panel
shows the center's location with respect to the system of axes (see REAL
PART and IMAGINARY PART) and the precision degree
(see ITERATIONS). Now let's modify these parameters:
- Click on -0.75 REAL PART OF CENTER, write 0,
and press START. Notice the center's displacement.
- Click on 0 IMAGINARY PART OF CENTER, write 1,
and press START. Again, notice the center's displacement.
- Click on 100 ITERACTIONS, write 1000,
and press START. Notice the variation from the original.
More iterations means more precision, but also more time to finish an
Let's examine particular portions of the whole. To do so, you can use the buttons on the right side, right click on the image or use the menu: Fractal>Image.
- Press ZOOM IN, and move the lens over the fractal. You can select a square portion and enlarge it by dragging the lens and then releasing the mouse button. Re-iterate the enlargement successively and observe the results.
- Press ZOOM OUT and move the lens over the fractal.
Now, you can reduce the image by dragging the lens and then releasing the mouse button.
- · Press FREE ZOOM and move the lens over the fractal. You can select a rectangular area by dragging the lens and then releasing the mouse button. You can edit it directly by dragging the corners, dragging the borders (where the cursor becomes a cross) or cancel it selecting another zoom. To enlarge it, just click in the middle.
Using the lens tool you can explore your fractal, and obtain many evocative images. You can save your favorite ones pressing FILE>SAVE IMAGE. With this function, you will only save the image; the mathematical data will be lost so you will not be able to recalculate the same fractal later. However you can view the saved image with an image editor (Paint Shop Pro, for example).
FILE>SAVE FILE will save the data, allowing you to recalculate the same fractal later.
Fractal Forge is provided with some interesting images. Press FILE>OPEN FILE, look in the dialogue box and you will see a list of available fractals. For example: select BRAIN, press OPEN and watch the result.
Of course, by doing the above, it is possible to change IMAGE MAIN PARAMETERS and to ZOOM IN and ZOOM OUT. You can also resave the fractal.
Let's try again.
- Press FILE>OPEN FILE, and select FLAG. Choose FULL SCREEN MODE from the Option menu. To use the menu while on FULL SCREEN MODE move the mouse to the top of the screen; to see the parameters move it to the right.
- Set WIDTH and HEIGHT according to your screen resolution and then press START to render it.
- Now, zoom in and find another interesting portion of the fractal. Change the REAL PART and IMAGINARY PART values and save the image using FILE>SAVE FILE.
Now we're going to examine some more details about DATA PARAMETERS.
TITLE suggests a progressively numbered name for the
fractal. If you prefer, you can give it a new name up to 32 characters
long. The name will be saved together with other parameters. Let's try
- Open the file STARTING, increase ITERATIONS to 150 and press START to redraw. Now select the suggested title and substitute it with BOILED POTATO. This will be the new name of your fractal (choosing FILE>SAVE FILE).
MAGNIFICATION shows the fractal's degree of enlargement. It's calculated on the Y-axis, i.e. if Imaginary bounds are 0 and 0.5, the magnification will be equal to 2 regardless of Real bounds. (Try it by setting Imaginary part of center to 0.25 and Magnification to 2. Then move the cursor from the top of the image down to the bottom. You'll see the Imag valueat the bottom of the panelgo from 0.5 to 0). The starting value of Magnification is 0.4 but you can increase or decrease it at will.
- Click on DEFAULT in the HISTORY LIST tab to return to the default image. Now click the Data tab and select MAGNIFICATION 0.4 and change it to 0.1. Press START and look at the new image.
- Set COLOR BY to equal POTENTIAL and
START for a smooth image. Then go to IMAGE PARAMETERS
and choose image size and colors.
- Check on PREVIEW and change COLOR SEQUENCE
to your personal favorite color method. If you think you can do better,
press EDIT COLORS to create your own sequence.
Once you have created a new wonderful image you will surely want to print
it onto every wall of your room! ;-) No problem. Just click on TOOLS>POSTER COMPOSITOR and Fractal Forge will enlarge and divide it automatically
into several smaller images (you can choose how many you want). Print
them all using a color printer, and with a scissors and glue you can create
a wall-size fractal.
Now, you can go on exploring by yourself.