Learning about transformations

Note: You need Ultra Fractal Creative Edition or Extended Edition to use transformations.

This tutorial assumes that you have completed the Quick Start, Basic Skills, and Layers tutorials. This includes: opening a new fractal, selecting fractal formulas and coloring algorithms, opening and working with the gradient editor, adding layers and changing merge modes.

In this tutorial we are going to use the Newton 1 image we created in the Quick Start tutorial.

  • Locate and open its parameter set. (Hint: You will want to Browse the tutorials.upr file.)

We are going to make a square image this time, so click on the Image tab of the Fractal Properties tool window.

  • Uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio box and change the Width setting to match the Height setting.

In Ultra Fractal, transformations are formulas that apply special effects to the fractal. They are selected and applied to a layer on the Mapping tab of the Layer Properties tool window.


To add a transformation, switch to the Mapping tab and click the Add button.

  • Select the Lake transformation in the Standard.uxf file of the "Select Transformation" browser. This applies a rippled water effect to this layer of your fractal.

The Lake transformation

You will notice that the first two parameters for this transformation are Water level (Re): and Water level (Im):. This means that the coordinates that provide the location of the water level are a complex number. The default setting is 0, 0 and on our fractal, this places the water level at the middle of the fractal.


To change this, right-click in one of the Water level parameter fields and select Eyedropper from the menu that appears.

Now move your mouse cursor over the fractal image. You will notice that the cursor has become an eyedropper with crosshairs at the tip. The Fractal Mode tool window shows what the fractal would look like with the value currently under the mouse cursor.

  • Choose a new placement for the water level with the crosshairs and click the left mouse button.

The fractal immediately redraws, placing the water level at these new coordinates. Try different locations.

  • When you are finished playing with this nifty tool, Check the Use screen center option on the Mapping tab.

This will override any Water level settings and return the level to the center of your fractal so that your image looks like this:

Next: Using the Kaleidoscope transformation