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Ultra Fractal Tutorial: Create a New Gradient File

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This is quickie tutorial for beginners (and maybe for those old timers who've been using Ultra Fractal so long they've forgotten how!) on How to Create a New Gradient File in Ultra Fractal.

At the end of the tutorial you will have a nice set of colourful gradients to choose from for when you're stuck for ideas, and be able to apply them to the Fractal files you are working on.

As your experience with using Ultra Fractal grows you will find that more and more you will create and edit the gradients you are working with "on the hoof", but to start with it's a good idea to have a range of gradients to choose from as you're learning.

It's also useful to know how to save Gradients you've made while working on an image for repeat use at a later time.

Remember the Help file in UF is also very extensive, and will assist you further in creating and editing your Gradients manually.




One word of advice is that you will find using the Hue-Saturation-Luminance (HSL) variable much easier to work with than the Red-Green-Blue (RGB) variables.

  • In the Gradient Window select the little arrow / fuzzy area to the left of Hue/Saturation/Luminance:





The screenshots in this tutorial are all from Ultra Fractal 5.04 (the latest version).

The principals are the same for UF 3 and 4, although the Browser in the earlier versions is not as sophisticated, and doesn't offer thumbnail views of your Gradient files.

So here goes!


STEP 1:


  • Open Ultra Fractal
  • Make sure you have the Toolbar visible, by clicking on the little arrow / fuzzy area just under the word File:




STEP 2:

  • Open the Ultra Fractal Browser: File > Browse


The Toolbar will expand to include some extra commands specific to the Browser, by default it will probably look something like this:




STEP 3:

In order to Browse and view your Gradient files, do the following:

  • Change the selection in the Drop Down menu on the right of the Toolbar from Fractal Formulas to All Files
  • (You can also Right-Click in the white space on the right pane of the browser and choose File Types > All Files to do this)
  • Click on the Gradients folder in the folder tree on the left pane of the browser - by default there will be one file called Standard.ugr
  • Click on the small + sign to the left of the Folder icon to see the list of Gradient Files





  • Right-click in the white space on the right pane of the Browser and choose View > Thumbnails




  • NOTE: in Ultra Fractal 3 and 4 the thumbnail option is not available - so select one of the other options instead. You will have to click on the filename in the browser pane to view the Gradient preview:






You are now ready to create a New Gradient file:

STEP 4:


  • In the white space of the right pane of the Browser, Right-Click and select New > Gradient File:





Your New Gradient File will appear as a thumbnail next to your existing Gradient File(s) in the right browser pane:



Rename your New Gradient File:

  • Right-Click on the file name and select Rename and name your file Random Misty.ugr:







That's it - you have created your New Gradient File called Random Misty.ugr!

At the moment though it is simply an empty text file containing no Gradients.


STEP 5:



So, the next step is to create some colourful New Gradients to add to the file.

  • To do this select File > New > Gradient:




This action will open a New Gradient, using your default settings:




STEP 6:



For this Gradient File you are going to use the "Random Misty" function to create a selection of randomised gradients with several nodes of varying soft hues, saturations and luminance.

  • Select Gradient > Random Misty of just click the F7 key:




This will generate a new "Random Misty" Gradient:



Now, you need to save this New Gradient in your Random Misty.ugr Gradient File.

  • Select File > Save As :




This will open a "Save Gradient" window.
  • Click on Random Misty.ugr in the top left box, then type the name you want to give your New Gradient in the Title field eg 001, then click the Save button:




Your New Gradient is now called 001, and is contained within the Random Misty.ugr.

A thumbnail of your new gradient should now appear in the white space of the right pane of the Browser.




Optional:
  • If you wish you can add your own Comment by clicking on the small arrow / fuzzy area at the bottom right of the Gradient window, and entering some text in the Comment field.
  • After adding your own Comment this, select File > Save.





STEP 7



To create more New Random Misty Gradients, repeat STEP 6 as above, until you have as many new gradients as you want.

Make sure you give each new Gradient a different name, for example 001, 002, 003 004 etc:








The Random Misty.ugr now has 12 gradients contained within it:




STEP 8 - Using your new gradients

In order to use your new Gradients, you will need to Copy / Paste them into the existing Gradient for the layer you are working on in an Open Fractal.

  • Select one of your new random misty gradients by double-clicking on the thumbnail for it:



  • Now create a New Fractal by selecting File > New Fractal or Ctrl+N:



  • With the Background Layer of your new Fractal selected, click the Gradient button in the Toolbar to open the gradient:




  • Now select your Random Misty Gradient window by clicking on the Title bar.
  • Select Edit > Copy or Ctrl+C to copy the Gradient to you clipboard.




  • Now select the Gradient Window for the background layer by clicking on its Title bar
  • Then paste your '009' random misty Gradient by selecting Edit > Paste or Ctrl+V:



The background layer of your fractal is now using your random misty Gradient. You can close the 009 Gradient and continue working with your fractal.


ADDITIONAL NOTES / SUGGESTIONS:



Use the above steps to create additional New Gradient Files for other types of Gradients, for example:

Created by Me
Created by Others
Random (F5)
Random Bright (F6)
Random Misty (F7)
Random Custom (F8)
Smooth Gradients - (created using Apophysis - there is a tutorial on DA for this, I will find the link)
Favourites
Greyscale
etc etc


Randomise Custom



The Randomise Custom function is useful if you like working with a certain type of Gradient but find you constantly use the same or very similar ones and need to freshen up your fractals.

Access this function as follows:

  • Have an Gradient window open in Ultra Fractal.
  • Select Gradient > Randomise Custom or click F8
  • A New Gradient will automatically be generated - you can save this in an existing Gradient File as outlined above.
  • Customise the various fields in the Randomize Window as you wish, then click the Generate button to create some new Gradients, saving each one as you go along.







Using the Ultra Fractal "Text" Editor



Gradient Files can also be opened in the Ultra Fractal editor, this can be useful if you wish to share a file on DA or other forums.

To do this, you need to have your UF Broswer open, browsing your Gradient folder.

  • Right-click on the Gradient Title in the folder list on the left hand side of the browser and select Open as Text:





The UF Editor will open:





  • With the Editor selected, select all the text using Ctrl+A.
  • Then copy the text using Right-click > Copy or Ctrl-C.
  • Then paste your Gradient into your post, using Ctrl+V - like this:

001 {
; Random Misty Gradient.
gradient:
  title="001" smooth=yes index=9 color=7411805 index=140
  color=13430008 index=191 color=3033640 index=342 color=14280392
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

002 {
; Random Misty Gradient.
gradient:
  title="002" smooth=yes index=24 color=1075510 index=142
  color=15651279 index=235 color=6048005 index=339 color=13754067
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

003 {
; Random Misty Gradient.
gradient:
  title="003" smooth=yes index=34 color=262988 index=92 color=16377844
  index=229 color=1458536
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

004 {
; Random Misty Gradient.
gradient:
  title="004" smooth=yes index=5 color=7956510 index=99 color=15325168
  index=207 color=7292678 index=350 color=14338028
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

005 {
; Random Misty
gradient:
  title="005" smooth=yes index=15 color=275283 index=55 color=13617632
  index=217 color=2436118
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

006 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="006" smooth=yes index=2 color=1657201 index=83 color=13886966
  index=149 color=7949382 index=336 color=14733559
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

007 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="007" smooth=yes index=32 color=6882685 index=153
  color=16569073 index=230 color=3218006 index=352 color=14273990
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

008 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="008" smooth=yes index=24 color=1711447 index=101
  color=14871525 index=237 color=5582685
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

009 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="009" smooth=yes index=23 color=7807603 index=69
  color=16243434 index=163 color=7420754 index=260 color=16771036
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

010 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="010" smooth=yes index=24 color=6037286 index=82
  color=14599671 index=232 color=6770515
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

011 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="011" smooth=yes index=6 color=8270690 index=145
  color=15921605 index=247 color=2956403
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}

012 {
; Random Misty Gradient
gradient:
  title="012" smooth=yes index=15 color=5245259 index=56
  color=16511716 index=97 color=5776251 index=182 color=15793375
  index=317 color=8328014
opacity:
  smooth=no index=0 opacity=255
}


You can do the reverse of these steps to copy the gradient above and paste it into a Gradient (*.ugr) File using the UF editor in the same way - try it now :D (Big Grin) .



That's all - sorry if the tutorial has ended up being a bit long-winded!! Sweating a little... 


I hope you find it useful! Please us the Comments area below to ask questions.







For use with Ultra Fractal

Ultra Fractal 5 Stamp by aartika-fractal-art 


Other UF Resources:


Gradients: Multi-Hue Ink Washes for Ultra Fractal
This is a set of multi-hue "Ink Wash" Gradients for use in Ultra Fractal.

They are adapted from this set of single hue gradients designed to mimic Alcohol Ink Washes.

You are welcome to download and use this, and to adapt the individual gradients for your own requirements :) (Smile)
Scroll down for a couple of Demo parameter sets.
No restrictions on use.
To Save the Gradient File:
Copy and paste all the text below, starting with 01 and ending with the final curly bracket, into a plain text file (eg Notepad) or the Ultra Fractal Editor, and save as Multi-Hue Ink Washes.ugr in your Gradients folder:
01 - Flame {
; Ink Wash Gradient - Multi Hue
gradient:
  title="01 - Flame" linked=yes smooth=yes rotation=9 index=31
  color=4274513 index=-369 color=3352901 index=50 color=3549294
 
   Gradients: Alcohol Ink Washes for Ultra Fractal
A set of single hue gradients for use in Ultra Fractal :

Designed to mimic the type of wash effect seen when using Alcohol Inks, such as those used by beautifulchaos1 , for example:
.  
You are welcome to download and use this, and to adapt the individual gradients for your own requirements :) (Smile)
Each gradient has a single hue - additional control points of varying hues can obviously be added if needed.
To Save the Gradient File:

Select all the text below, starting with 000 and ending with the final curly bracket, copy it and paste it into a plain text file (eg Notepad) or the Ultra Fractal Editor, then save it as a *.ugr (eg Alcohol_Ink_Wash.ugr) file in you
 



This tutorial was originally submitted this tutorial as a Journal entry: Ultra Fractal Tutorial: Create a New Gradient File

Ultra Fractal Tutorial: Create a New Gradient File
This is quickie tutorial for beginners (and maybe for those old timers who've been using Ultra Fractal so long they've forgotten how!) on How to Create a New Gradient File in Ultra Fractal.
At the end of the tutorial you will have a nice set of colourful gradients to choose from for when you're stuck for ideas, and be able to apply them to the Fractal files you are working on.
As your experience with using Ultra Fractal grows you will find that more and more you will create and edit the gradients you are working with "on the hoof", but to start with it's a good idea to have a range of gradients to choose from as you're learning.
It's also useful to know how to save Gradients you've made while working on an image for repeat use at a later time.
Remember the Help file in UF is also very extensive, and will assist you further in creating and editing your Gradients manually.

One word
© 2015 - 2022 aartika-fractal-art
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Lupsiberg's avatar
Thanks a lot for sharing this useful tutorial! :iconbluebplz:
Lady-Compassion's avatar
This may seem very long for someone to read...but it is worth the time with very valuable information...thanks for sharing this with us :icononionsmileplz: