Fractal Architect icon

Welcome Screen

Applies to:
Fractal Architect

Welcome Screen panels

  1. Recently Opened panel
  2. Gallery panel
  3. Make New Panel

Tutorial: Creating Random Fractals Tutorial

What you can do with any of the thumbnail images


First click on the thumbnail image to select it.
Press spacebar to open the quicklook view window. Press spacebar again to close it.
Or, right click on the thumbnail and select the view in Quicklook window.

Open the file in the Preview window

First click on the thumbnail image to select it.
Press Return key to open the file in the Preview window.
Or, double click on the thumbnail to open the fine in the Preview window.
Or, right click on the thumbnail and select the view in Preview window.
Preview window is the gateway to editing the fractal definition.

Drag & Drop

Dragging fractal to a Finder window (QuickSave): Click hold the mouse on the window's image until a small thumbnail appears.
Drag this onto a finder window or Desktop to copy the flame fractal document to that location.
The random fractals' files will all be conveniently named randomFlame_nnnn where nnnn is a unique number for that file's folder.

Dragging a flame file on top of any thumbnail will cause the file to be opened in another Preview window.

Saving the fractal definition to a file

Click on the thumbnail image to select it. Next right click on the thumbnail and select the "Save Selected Frame's Fractal" menu item.

Gallery Panel

Gallery panel

Shows an included handful of better than average fractal images that are good starting points for making your own flame fractals. These are all editable.

These fractals are stored in the directory: ~/Library/Application Support/FractalArchitect/Gallery. Feel free to put your own excellent fractal creations there and remove the standard ones.


Change Gallery
Opens Finder window showing Gallery folder contents. Use Finder to change Gallery contents.
Reload the Gallery thumbnails from the Gallery folder.

Recently Opened Panel

Color stops panel

Shows the most recent opened flame files.

Make New Panel

Modify gradient by panel

This panel allows you to see a fresh batch of random flame fractals and create other batches.

You can select one of the thumbnails and press the spacebar to see it expand into a Quicklook window.
You can select one of the thumbnails and press the Return key to open it in a Preview window ready for further editing.


New Blank Fractal
Create a starting point for creating a new fractal the hard way.
Random Generation Preferences
Open the Preferences window to the Random Flame generation parameters section.
Roll Dice
Create a new set of random fractals. Note: the last batch is not saved anywhere and is discarded.

Random Fractal Generator Options

Modify gradient by panel

This panel allows you set the random fractal generator options for the next random batch. The options are ordered below by how often you might want to tweak

Frequently Used Options

Occasional Options

Rarely Used Options

Random Variation Pool

Select the variations that can be used in the next random batch by clicking on the checkboxes. Selected variations are always put on the top of the variations list, so it is easier to find the selected variants.
Note the Random Variations per Transform option may prevent a variant from actually being chosen by a new random fractal

Predefined Variation Blends

There are two Blend Sets: For Beauty and For Textures. The first tends to create fractals that are unsuitable for texture use in other artistic creations. The Texture blends tend to create usable textures. Each blend set has 10 variant blends to choose from.

Choosing a Predefined Variant Blend

  1. Pick either of the Blend sets.
  2. Use the slider to pick one of the variant blends in the set.
  3. Click the Select which selects the variants in the Random Variations pool.


Pick a symmetry. Legal values are positive/negative integers. Values of 0 or 1 means no symmetry is applied.
The integer value represents the degree of symmetry.
Positive values are rotational symmetries. Negative values are rotational and reflective symmetries.

Randomly Select Variation Pool

The Default button clears the selected variations and then selects the default Julia variation.

You can have the app randomly select the variations to use in the next random batch.
In practice, the random blends often dont create usable random fractals, but then again, you might end up with a very usable variation blend. The potential to get a garbage variant blend is high.

The Random Variation Pool Size determines the number random variants to select. The Roll Dice button does the random selection.

Aspect Ratio
Aspect ratio for the next batch of thumbnails.
Background color for the next batch.
Number of Random Transforms
Min/max values for the random # of transforms in the fractal.
Random Variations per Transform
Min/max values for the random # of variations per transform in the fractal.
Random Batch Size
How many fractals are in each random batch.