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Fraqtive is a fast fractal art generator

08 May 2017, Mike Williams

FraqtiveFraqtive is an open-source generator of gorgeous Mandelbrot and Julia fractals. It’s a crowded area and there are a lot of similar programs around, but Fraqtive has enough interesting extras to justify the download.

Speed is a plus. Launch the program, a familiar Mandelbrot view appears, and you can quickly zoom in and out by moving your mouse cursor to an interesting area and spinning the mouse wheel.

As you move the cursor around any areas of detail, you’ll also see a small display of the Julia fractal view, a different way of visualising the same coordinates. If you see something that looks good, double-click to switch to that view.

Click “3D View”, click and drag and you’re able to rotate the image of the current plane in 3D space. Fraqtive uses OpenGL to render images at maximum speed.

As usual with fractal programs, it’s easy to lose track of your position. Fraqtive doesn’t just have “restore” and “default” buttons to restore your starting point; there are also Back and Forward buttons to navigate through your view history, and a bookmark system to save key positions.


Fractal planes can be rotated in 3D space

Fraqtive exposes all kinds of calculation and rendering settings, including colour mapping, gradients, detail levels, anti-aliasing modes and more. We had no idea what most of these would do, but for the most part you just drag sliders or click buttons and the image updates immediately.

The current image can be copied to the clipboard or saved as a file, but again, Fraqtive goes further. The program can also generate images with custom resolutions of up to 8000×8000, handy if you’re printing the results or otherwise need maximum detail.

Overall, Fraqtive’s interface isn’t as polished as it could be, and restricting users to Mandelbrot and Julia fractal types only is an issue. The program scores well for performance and configurability, though, and it’ll keep fractal fans entertained for a while.

Fraqtive is available for Windows 7 and later.

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