Graphics Programs Reference
Defining Fractal Fills
The term fractal was coined in 1975 by Benoît Mandelbrot from
the Latin meaning “broken” or “fractured” to describe geometry
not easily performed with Euclidean math, which involves
straight-line functions. Fractal patterns characteristically
reveal two common elements: they show self-similarity —one
branch of a fractal pattern looks a lot like another branch, and
they recursively subdivide —in English, as they move across a
distance, they branch into smaller, very similar structures as the
root of the geometry.
Xara Xtreme offers two fractal types for filling shapes:
Fractal Clouds and Fractal Plasma. One creative use for fractal
fills is using fractal geometry to simulate natural textures:
trees, lightning, clouds, and wood bark all display the visual
phenomenon of branching self-similarity in their organization.
Your options when you choose Fractal Clouds or Fractal
Plasma from the Fill Type drop-down list can be seen by
working through the options as steps:
Create a shape, choose the Fill Tool, and then choose
Fractal Clouds from the Fill Type drop-down list on the
Click the control point on one of the direction arrows:
this is the local end color for the fractal pattern. Click
a color swatch on the Color Line to define a different
color—try a deep blue because the Fractal Clouds fill
type resembles clouds, so the sky “behind” the clouds
should be an appropriate color.
Click the start color control point, the point that doesn't
have an arrowhead. Click a pale blue on the Color Line
or define a very pale blue by using the Color Editor.
Drag an end-color control handle left or right to rotate
the pattern; then drag either end-color control handle
away and then toward the center (start-color) control
handle—this is a quick way to scale the pattern.
Click the Fill Tiling drop-down list and then choose
Repeating Tile. You'll see a difference in how the fractal
pattern appears in the shape. The default option, Repeat
Inverted, mirrors the fractal pattern both horizontally
and vertically. You'll see a creative use for Repeat
Inverted shortly in this chapter, beyond its use to create
a different overall fill pattern in an object.