(This time I've mainly updated the headings 2 and 7)
This is a Short Manual for Beginners who never have handled any Fractal Software before
Xaos is a free open source "easy to handle" fractal software for drawing mainly "Mandel and Julia" type of fractals. It is available for Windows, MacOS, and several LINUX distributions It can be downloaded from it's webpage,
The install file (Windows) has a size about 1.5 Mb.
1) Install (Windows): Just click the Install file and follow the instructions. It's very fast to install
2) Zooming: When you've started the software, you have a unmagnified version of the Mandelbrot set in your window. In order to zoom, just point with the mouse where you wanna zoom and press the left mouse button. In order to zoom out, press the right mouse button. In order reset the window, got to Reset to defaults under the Fractal menu. As an appetizer what can be find in the hidden depth of the Mandelbrot set, check out the zoom sequences from page 4 in the pdf's [link] and [link] (only pictures). The end motives are my deviations [link] and [link]
3) Iteration number: When you have zoomed in a bit on the fractal border of the Mandelbrot set (or any other related fractal set), the border between the black and the colored parts maybe has turned out to be a little bit smooth. Especially if you've zoomed into Valleys, where the awesome spirals dwell, this happens very fast, you obtain "black eyes in stars, etc. Those artifacts are present cause the software gives up to iterate too early. The default for Xaos is 170 iterations. Then go to Iterations under the Calculation menu and drastically increase the number of iteration from 170 to 1000, and see what happens. This is a subject in one of my journal About iterations and basic Color routines [link] Check out the linked illustrations:
fig 1 Max iterations = 50
fig 2 Max iterations = 100
fig 3 Max iterations = 250
fig 4 Max iterations = 500
fig 5 Max iterations = 1000
fig 6 Max iterations = 50000
fig 7 Max iterations = 50000 The level sets colored
The above images are rendered using Ultra Fractal, but that doesn't make any difference. Just check figures 1 - 7 in order, the one after, after each other, and you will clearly understand what I'm talking about. However sometimes you may want those artifacts. It's a little bit a matter taste The above is only an info in order to make you "Know what you are doing"
4) Playing with Julia sets:
1) Select fast Julia mode under the Calculation menu, and you get a circle in the upper left part of the image.
2) Press down the left mouse button and move around the cursor inside and outside the Mandelbrot set, and you will obtain different Julia sets in the upper left. When you have a nice Julia set, just release the mouse button. The nicest sets you obtain from the border region of the Mandelbrot set, especially from the Valley regions.
3) If you wanna explore any of these sets, disable Mandelbrot mode under the Fractal menu, click OK in the dialog box (Julia seed), and this set will com up in the window. A tricky thing is that if you obtain your Julia seed from a magnification of the Mandelbrot set, the resulting Julia set is in-zoomed at the same magnification, so you have to zoom out the resulting Julia motive in order to see the whole Julia set
4) The (two) numbers in the above dialog box (Julia seed) is where you can enter different numbers in order to generate different Julia sets. The default is 0 + 0i (giving rise to the black circle). When you have "Fast Julia mode" activated it's actually the coordinate you clicked in the Mandelbrot set.
5) You can center the fractal under Fractal menu - View Type in "0" were it's typed "-0.75".
5) Save your deeds: You can save your fractal deeds in two ways,
As a parameter file that can be reloaded into Xaos, your fractal will be recalculated and you can work further on your fractal. A parameter file is actually a text file that contains the instruction to Xaos to recalculate the fractal. It takes very little disc space (about 2 Kb). File - Save to save and File - Load in order to load back your parameter file. Note: At least in the Windows version, you must add the file ending ".xpf" or have ".xpf" marked. If you miss that, you can do it afterwards in the folder where you saved it.
As a png-file that can be loaded into graphical program as Photoshop or Gimp, where you can manipulate it, change file format, etc.. File - Save image in order to save as a png file. Note that you can't load back your png-liles to Xaos, so it's strongly recommended to save your deeds as parameter files also, so you can see "in this way I did it" Note: At least in the Windows version, you must add the file ending ".png" or have ".png" marked. If you miss that, you can do it afterwards in the folder where you saved it.
6) Anti-aliasing: If you draw anything for publishing, you shall draw the images with "Antialiasing" under the Filter menu enabled. Anti-aliasing is actually not a filter, but a way to eliminate graininess of the images. See [link] on Fractalus [link]
7) Bugs: I've so far found two bugs in Xaos:
- Xaos has reverted the imaginary (vertical) axis, so when you type a number under Julia seed where the imaginary part is not zero, for example -0.75 + 0.1i, Xaos read it as -0.75 - 0.1i. The resulting fractal will be the same despite for being rotated around the real (horizontal) axis. However when you use Fast julia mood, described under 4 above, the resulting Julia set will be completely correct (not rotated) if you do not change anything in the dialog box before you click OK.
- Fractal Formula Mandelbrot^6 in fact displays Mandelbrot^9.
There are much more in this software. Just mess around in the menus and use the Help Desk. I am not an expert using it, cause Ultra Fractal is my main fractal software. This is only a "Quick Start" with a free software. If you get lost in the fractal world, you may test Ultra Fractal [link] and/or fractal eXtreme [link] . The last mentioned software is the best software in the world for extreme deep zooms in the Mandelbrot set, and it is VERY easy to handle. It also have a nice tutorial in its Help Disk