Gradients can completely alter the way an image looks, and the facilities inside of JWildfire to create them and use them are amazing. That said, there’s other ways of finding lots more and there are other packages that can help with gradients.
I’m putting this mini tip/tutorial together to help with those gradient addicts like myself. I’m only going to mention two other software packages, but I know there are plenty more. If you want to share yours, leave a comment after this post.
Visions of Chaos
Ok, the package I love for playing around with gradients is Visions of Chaos. Aside from being a mind blowingly excellent collection of fractal and other generators, its gradient creation is fantastic. Here’s just three of the settings screens for Gradient creation.
As you can see plenty of options to play with the settings to create your own, or modify existing ones. The gradients are saved and loaded in .map format which JWildfire can read, but it’s often best to combine several .map files into a single .ugr file (more on this in a bit).
Even kinder, they’ve generously supplied about 2,500 gradients for you to use, which can be downloaded at the bottom of their article, or via this link.
When you run Visions Of Chaos you need to click the Color menu, then Color Palette editor as shown here.
Map Converter by Datagram
As said earlier, having hundreds of map files is ok, but you might want to group them together into a single file. To do this you’ll need a .map to .ugr conversion program. As far as I know there is (was) only one that did this, and I’m attaching it here with full credit to datagram. It will only work on Windows and on newer versions of Windows it will put up an error about a missing file. Comtcldx or some such. Make a note of the file, search and download it from the internet and add it to your Windows system folder and all will be fine.
Using it is easy, you just highlight all the map files you want to convert, click convert and it will ask you where you want to save your .ugr file. Save it where you have your JWildfire gradients, keep it in a separate folder.
You can of course just put tons of .map files in separate folders and JWildfire will read these and you won’t need to bother with this converter, but the option is here.