Release Notes for Fractal Architect 2.0

Changes for Version 2.0 

New and Improved Features  ================

1. New Big Feature: Cross-Breeder editor allows you to breed two fractals and create video animations of the cross breeding.

2. New Big Feature: New OpenCL based renderer. Intel CPU based rendering supported on all Intel Macs.

On Lion, GPU accelerated rendering is available for Macs with recent Nvidia & ATI GPUs. (Older GPUs [2008 and earlier] may not be capable of OpenCL acceleration, see

3.  New Big Feature: Basic animation & animation video creation. You can animate and create videos by:

  • Rotating a specific triangle
  • Rotating multiple triangles (those that whose Rotates setting is checked in the Transform list) (Flam3-like animation of multiple triangles.)
  • Enlarging/Shrinking a specific triangle
  • Moving a specific triangle up, down, left, or right.
  • Cross breeding two fractals.
  • Changing flame parameters: transform weight, color index, color speed, opacity,  hue, viewport x&y, viewport scale, zoom, & rotation
  • Changing Variation weights & variation parameter values

You can animate by dragging a slider, showing 2 – 30 thumbnails, show a little video using those thumbnails, OR create a high quality video of the animation (to be saved to a file).

4. Improved workflow: Button bar allowing easy access to fractal editing features. Easy switching between the various editor windows.

5. Fractal Architect is Flam3-free. Flam3 is no longer bundled . Snow Leopard users can install their own copy of the Flam3 render and have FA use it. Lion users can right now install Flam3, but the upcoming Sandbox requirement for Lion Mac App Store apps, may remove that capability. (When FA is sandboxed in the near future, we will know the answer then.)

Continue reading Release Notes for Fractal Architect 2.0

Version 1.3 released with new Lion features

Available on the Mac App Store.

New and Improved Features for Mac OS X Lion ================

1. Lion Full Screen mode support.
2. Lion Autosaving, File Versioning, Version Browser
3. Lion Autosaving preferences: Autosaving delay & Autosaving Enable/Disable (Enabled is the default).

New and Improved Features  ================

1. New Big Feature: Flame Variants window allowing you to see how random changes affects your fractal.
Variants affect one or more of: colors, Transform weights, pre/post matrix tweaking, and mix-in other transforms.
You select the types of changes to be applied. Fractal Architect will create the variants for you.

Keep rolling the dice and play with Variations of Variations …

2. Improved Color Gradient Editor. It features a detachable fractal Preview pane. Its detached location is sticky.
You can stash good gradients in the Gradient Stash and switch between them with ease.
3. Editor windows have been resized to fit on better on 11 inch MacBook Air.

Bug Fixes =========

1. Fixed fatal crash that occasionally happened at the very end of rendering to an image file.
2. Fixed fatal crash when an thumbnail is dragged from OR dropped on the Welcome Screen -> Make New thumbnails.
3. Fixed fatal crash when a fractal preview window is closed, while the render for its fractal image has not yet finished.
4. Fixed QuickLook showing the wrong fractal during the opening animation.

Continue reading Version 1.3 released with new Lion features

Fractal Architect & Lion – Interim Report

Fractal Architect using the default flam3 renderer seems to run just fine under Lion. (If you find issues, please add a comment to the blog or send an email to

CUDA on Lion ==========

This section only applies to those with Macs having an NVidia GPU and those who have installed the NVidia CUDA drivers so they can use Fractal Architect’s flam4 GPU accelerated renderer.

Apparently the CUDA version 3.2.17 that works best with Fractal Architect does not work under Lion.  NVidia has posted a new driver update 4.0.21 that seems to work fine with Fractal Architect for Lion users .

The 4.0 CUDA driver series removed a very important capability that impacts users with MacBook Pros (2008/early 2009 model). The 3.2 CUDA drivers could use both the 9400 and 9600M GPU chips at the same time. Nvidia removed this dual GPU capability in CUDA 4 and introduced a serious driver bug where they incorrectly report the GPUs available to client programs like Fractal Architect.

To keep this simple, with Fractal Architect and Macbook Pro’s having both 9400M/9600M GPUs in them (2008/early 2009 model), you may only use the flam4 CUDA renderer with the slower 9400M GPU. (You choose this by setting the Apple System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Graphics: Better battery life). The “Higher Performance” setting will cause Fractal Architect to crash.

For all other Nvidia GPU powered Macs that are CUDA capable, there is a new Fractal Architect bug, where Fractal Architect shows a warning in the Rendering Options pane of the Fractal Architect Preferences. It is right beside the radio buttons for selecting either Flam3 external or Flam4 Internal renderer. (These are not visible unless you have a CUDA capable Nvidia GPU on your Mac AND have installed a CUDA driver.) Just click on the Flam4 option and the warning disappears and to enable the Flam4 renderer. Click on the Flam3 options to use the non GPU accelerated renderer.


Release Notes for Version 1.2.2

New and Improved Features ================

1. Fractals rendered to JPEG, TIFF, JPEG-2000 and BMP formats are now shown at the end of rendering. Previously only PNG images were shown.

Bug Fixes =========

1. Fixed bug where flames rendered to JPEG format were always rendered to lowest quality!

2. Fixed bug where variation parameters whose value were  = 0 were not saved to the flame file. Those fractals did not render properly in the main product. They did render correctly however using the Finder plugin.

3. Fixed bug where printing progress was not shown when printing a fractal.

4. Fixed bug where a fractal created outside of Fractal Architect that specified a standard Flam3 palette could not have its colors changed in Fractal Architect.

5. Fixed bug where adjusted quality multiplier for zoomed out fractals was less than one, resulting in a lower quality setting during the render.

6. Fixed bug where drag & drop from the Preview window did not work properly.

7. Fixed bug where values entered into the fields for Final Transform’s color index, color speed, and opacity had no effect. (Only Final transforms were affected by this bug.)

8. Fixed bug where the title of rendered image’s window did not show its file’s name.

Known Issues =========

1. CUDA  driver versions 3.2.17 and 4 are supported for CUDA GPU acceleration. Macbook Pros (2008) with both 9400M and 9600M GPU’s must use CUDA 3.2.17.

Release Notes for Update 1.2.1

Available Now as a Mac App Store update for Fractal Architect!

Changes for Version 1.2.1

New and Improved Features ================

  1. Gallery contents can now be changed. Put your own favorites there.
  2. Added Export for Apophysis 7x (File -> Export for Apophysis 7x). Creates a flame file that Apophysis can read.
  3. Added + Linked button to Transforms table, which adds a new Transform that is linked to the currently selected transform by chaos. (The chaos weight from selected transform to new transform is 100% and 0% to all others.)
  4. Improved parsing of  flame files created by Apophysis.
  5. Added chaos and linked transform tutorial to help manual.
  6. Rendered PNG files are no longer added to the File -> Open Recent list.

Bug Fixes =========

  1. Fixed the Flame “temporal_filter_type” XML attribute value to be “box” and not “ga” when defaulted.
  2. Fixed File -> Render Image to File using Flam4 GPU accelerated renderer with very high quality settings > 9,000.
  3. Fixed error logging from background thread.
  4. Fixed drag & drop from Preview window with new unsaved random flame, so that it drops a “randomFlame_nnn.flame” into Finder (was leaving Picture Clipping before).
  5. Fixed crash from spacebar press on Interpolated view (when no frame has been selected).
  6. Fixed interpolation/slider manipulation of these text fields on Triangle Editor.
    Flame Params Tab: hue, highlight power, brightness, gamma,&  vibrancy,
    Dimension Tab: x, y, scale, zoom, rotation

Version 1.2.0 Update now available


  • Completely support all features of the flam3 renderer.
  • Functional completeness for static fractal image creation.
  • Prepare for fractal animation.
  • Support for Fractal transform “chaos” (sometimes called “Xaos”) for default renderer.
  • Support for all of the many flam3 render engine parameters.
  • Drag and drop entire color maps from the Color editor. Color values now show the HTML color code. (You can edit those directly too).

Continue reading Version 1.2.0 Update now available

Hiding all windows

Question: How can I hide all of Fractal Architect’s windows?

Answer: Fractal Architect menuThis is easy, just use the Hide Fractal Architect menu item.

The keyboard shortcut is: ⌘H

To un-minimize Fractal Architect windows, use ⌘-Tab to cycle back to the Fractal Architect app.


Fractaling Across the Universe