Create Julia Set fractals with JuliaShapes

Create Julia Set fractals with this free tool.

Julia Sets are specific kinds of fractals that are of interest in some pretty complex mathematics. Named for their creator, French mathematician Gaston Julia, JuliaShapes is a free tool that generates Julia Sets using quaternion numbers, which can be represented as pairs of complex numbers and so are ideal for fractals. The math is complex but the tool is simple, with sliders for adjusting the fractal's parameters and high-quality rendering via anti-aliasing.

You can open multiple instances of JuliaShapes' simple, compact interface. Aside from sliders tweaking the View, Render, Julia settings, Light settings, and Generalised settings, the only buttons are Background Color, which opens a standard color picker, and Load Gradient, which lets you load a preconfigured color or image gradient or any image you feel like distorting into a fractal (we tried a black-and-white picture of a legendary Italian movie star whose initials are S.L. for a very interesting effect). Width and Height fields let us set the size of the full-scale image in pixels. The menu bar offers two choices: File, for loading and saving parameters, and Render, which offers one choice, High Quality. A preview pane displays the current settings. We simply had to move the sliders to change the fractal. When we were ready, we selected High Quality on the Render menu and then saved our fractal as a .tga file. When we saved the file, the full image opened in a separate window. The anti-aliasing took a few seconds to finish, but the result was a very high-quality rendering of a Julia Set. We closed the window and browsed to our saved fractals. Windows didn't recognize the file type at first, but we merely had to right-click one of them and associate the files with Julia Sets to get them to open in the usual way.

JuliaShapes isn't an interactive fractal generator like many Mandelbrot Set programs that zoom in and out of fractals. It's a simple tool for generating extremely specific mathematical representations. JuliaShapes uninstalled normally. Some users report issues uninstalling the program, but easy fixes are described online.

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