A Beginner’s Guide to JWildfire

JWildfire is a FREE and open source multi-platform fractal flame editor that allows you to create, manage and share your amazing graphic creations.

About This Software

Andreas Maschke created this software, originally for the Amiga computers back in the day, but wanted to expand it and bring it to a wider audience. He used Java as a platform, which allows the open source software to run on Windows, Mac, Linux platforms. In addition there’s a smaller version available on the Mac app store and Android Play store. More recently, JWildfire has been added to the app store on steam platform. This is a full version, which requires a small payment, but has the advantage of running directly, rather than relying on the user to install Java. More recently still, the author has begun development of JWildfire Swan which is going to be a browser based addition to the family.

Fractal Software

Although there are is a wide range of fractal software to choose from, none will give the power and the versatility of JWildfire. It’s algorithmic art abilities to produce abstract expressionism is unrivalled.

Key Features

The software is extremely versatile, and can be adjusted almost everywhere with the mouse, rather than keying in numbers. It’s highly intuitive too, double clicking a parameter will reset it to its default value. Mouse scrolling will increase or decrease values (dragging has the same effect). It utilises GPU power as well making rendering even faster. Some key features are as follows.

  • Undo/Redo
  • Mutagen (mutates original through random settings)
  • Flame Browser (to visually browse created fractals)
  • Enormous list of variations to create fractals (over 800)
  • Animation (create videos of animated fractals a la Electric Sheep)
  • Built in user manual
  • Scripting interface (allows to create JWildfire scripts)
  • Always new updates, been in development for 10 years plus.

Fractal Art

JWildfire is an amazing tool to create fractal art, and has inspired many fractal artists globally, with some astonishingly beatiful images. You can explore the best JWildfire art, at the Sanctuary Gallery or via the facebook groups JWildfire Sanctuary or JWildfire Open Group

JWildfire Downloads

Download free version of JWildfire via Andreas Maschke downloads page.

For the steam version (self contained) head to JWildfire on steam

JWildfire on the Mac App Store

What are fractal flames?

There’s a complex mathematical explanation of what a fractal flame is, but you don’t need to understand that to use the software. 

Is Chaotica any better than JWildfire?

There have been many thoughts on this, and an article written about it, but JWildfire cannot be matched for it’s range of features, it’s total control over almost all aspects, and of course it’s free!

JWildfire vs Apophysis

Again, many opinions on this, and some views on this page, but overall, JWildfire is much easier to use, has a lot more variations and is in constant development.

Rendering Quality in JWildFire

With the new quilt rendering, fractals can be generated at enormous sizes. Quality is exceptional and under total user control. Dimensions and quality can all be added and stored as presets, allowing quick changes to be made when rendering. In addition, JWildfire now has a built in denoiser option to clean up any noisy images. There’s a guide also on how to get a better quality render

How to use JWildfire

If you’re going for the free version, download to your machine, and extract the files. It is not installed, it runs via Java so follow these instructions to get up and running. Once you have JWildfire running, you can easily paste flame file code into it to get you familiar with examples, then you can start tweaking the results to get a better idea of variations and parameters.

JWildfire Tutorials

There are a huge amount of tutorials here, both written and in video format. You should also check the how to section for step by step guides on a wide range of activities.

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