To create a fractal image one could understand the relevant math (i.e., Fractal Geometry) and the functionality of the software that generates the image. The relevant math is beyond the grasp of most artists and the functionality of complex software such as Ultra Fractal is, at least initially, also beyond the grasp of most artists.
As an alternative, one could ignore the math and identify the bare bones elements of the software that can be tweaked to create a fractal image that can be exported.
In Ultra Fractal (v. 6.02), rightly or wrongly, I have tentatively identified the following elements: (a) the Fractal Formula, which generate a set of numbers, (b) the Inside/Outside Coloring Algorithms, which assign a value to the numbers, which I believe is called the Index Value, and (c) the Gradient, which assign a color to the values.
Therefore, the elements that can be tweaked are (a1) selecting the Fractal Formula and (a2) changing the parameters of the formula, (b1) selecting the Inside/Outside Coloring Algorithms and (b2) changing the parameters of the algorithms, and (c) changing the parameters of the Gradient.
Two other elements, Transformations and Plugins, are still not clear. Are Transformations like “independent” add-ons that change the image? If so, here’s how I view Ultra Fractal:
Fractal Formula and parameters
Inside Coloring Algorithm and parameters
Outside Coloring Algorithm and parameters
Transformations and parameters
About Plugins, can someone explain, in layman language, how Plugins fit in my simplistic view of Ultra Fractal?