Creating Simple Fractals
       by Martin aka mDJ | 13 December 2005

I recently posted a few pictures of some fractals I created in Photoshop on the forum. Well, I guess a lot of people liked it so I thought I would write this tutorial. The following is an example of something you will create before the end of this tutorial:

 

What is a Fractal?
The definition is: A mathematically generated pattern that is reproducible at any magnification or reduction.

However, in Photoshop, we do not need to use such complicated math functions to make a fractal, but just the Pen tool and Actions window. 

Preparation:
So, let’s get started!

  1. First, open up Photoshop (6/7/CS2/etc).
  2. Now, create a new document with a white background and make the resolution something fairly large. For this tutorial I made mine 1600x1200.
  3. Now, that we have our new document lets make a new layer. We shall call this layer “Fractal”. Select this layer and then read on to the procedure.

Procedure:

  1. Select the paint brush tool and make sure that you have the size of the brush at 1px.

  1. Now select the pen tool and make sure that you click the paths button where it displays the options for the pen tool.
  2. This part gets tricky, so read carefully. Take the pen tool and draw any sort of path in the middle of the document (Fig 1):



Try not to make it too complex, but not too simple. Here is what mine looks like. Once you have finished with the path, hold ctrl + shift on your keyboard and select all the anchor points in the path you have just created. It should look something like this (Fig 2):

 

  1. Once you have done this, select your paint brush and then we can start using the actions palette to record our actions!
  2. Find the Actions window or go to Windows>Actions. Now, click the ‘create new action’ button.

  1. Once you have done this, name this action “Fractal 1”. Click record:

 

Alright, we are about half-way through now. In the next page, you will really see your random lines turn into something resembling a great fractal design!

Onwards to the next page!


 

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