I'm currently evaluating Ultra Fractal on a 30-day trial basis on my Macbook Pro laptop and have two questions before I purchase this software:

  1. Once I've purchased the license for this software, are subsequent new versions of the software free or will I have to pay each time a new version comes out? If I have to pay each time the next version comes out, does anyone know how much that costs?

  2. The evaluation/trial copy of the software only has the Julia sets. If I purchase the software (I'm considering going for the top level that includes the ability to do animation), are other Mandelbulb sets included in the package? If so, which sets are included?

Thanks.

I'm currently evaluating Ultra Fractal on a 30-day trial basis on my Macbook Pro laptop and have two questions before I purchase this software: 1. Once I've purchased the license for this software, are subsequent new versions of the software free or will I have to pay each time a new version comes out? If I have to pay each time the next version comes out, does anyone know how much that costs? 2. The evaluation/trial copy of the software only has the Julia sets. If I purchase the software (I'm considering going for the top level that includes the ability to do animation), are other Mandelbulb sets included in the package? If so, which sets are included? Thanks.
 
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Hi Ruth, welcome to the world of Ultra Fractal!

As with most software programs it is only when a major new version comes out that a renewal cost is incurred. Minor revisions of UF tend to be free of charge - these are generally bug fixes and minor updates.

We are currently on version 6.05. My guess is that this is likely to run for some time yet as UF is now quite a mature program and in my experience big changes don't happen too often. If ever we do get a (major) version 7 in the future the cost to upgrade is quite likely to be discounted for existing users. I don't have the figures to hand but my upgrades have been around 2/3rds of the full price - more than worth it for the fantastic features gained.
NB. If this guesstimate is wildly incorrect I'm sure the developer, Frederik, will be along in a while to correct me!

To give you an idea of timescale this is my experience:
In 2006 I first came across UF and bought version 4.
In 2008 there was a big change in program development; version 5
In 2017 (nine years later!) version 6 came out. Again, quite a significant update.

In other words this is not software that you are expected to pay for every year so you can rest easy on that count! In the 17 years I've been playing with this program I have only upgraded twice! In fact you don't have to upgrade at all if you don't feel it's worth it - I know people who are still using version 5.

As for your question on formulas that really is not a problem. There is a huge public database of formulas you can download and use for free. There are many thousands of formulas, colourings and transformations available and we have a small number of active and talented users and formula writers who generously continue to add to that database almost every week. You will not be short of material to use!

Sorry for the long winded reply but I hope it helps.

Chris

Hi Ruth, welcome to the world of Ultra Fractal! As with most software programs it is only when a **major** new version comes out that a renewal cost is incurred. Minor revisions of UF tend to be free of charge - these are generally bug fixes and minor updates. We are currently on version 6.05. My guess is that this is likely to run for some time yet as UF is now quite a mature program and in my experience big changes don't happen too often. If ever we do get a (major) version 7 in the future the cost to upgrade is quite likely to be discounted for existing users. I don't have the figures to hand but my upgrades have been around 2/3rds of the full price - more than worth it for the fantastic features gained. _NB. If this guesstimate is wildly incorrect I'm sure the developer, Frederik, will be along in a while to correct me!_ To give you an idea of timescale this is my experience: In 2006 I first came across UF and bought version 4. In 2008 there was a big change in program development; version 5 In 2017 (nine years later!) version 6 came out. Again, quite a significant update. In other words this is not software that you are expected to pay for every year so you can rest easy on that count! In the 17 years I've been playing with this program I have only upgraded twice! In fact you don't have to upgrade at all if you don't feel it's worth it - I know people who are still using version 5. As for your question on formulas that really is not a problem. There is a huge public database of formulas you can download and use for free. There are many thousands of formulas, colourings and transformations available and we have a small number of active and talented users and formula writers who generously continue to add to that database almost every week. You will not be short of material to use! Sorry for the long winded reply but I hope it helps. Chris

Chris Martin
Gallery: Velvet--Glove.deviantart.com

Currently using UF6.05 on Windows 11 Professional 64-bit

 
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Hi Chris,
Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate the thoroughness of it. It's good to know that I'd only have to pay for a major new version and not minor updates and bug fixes-- and that the major updates don't happen that frequently. And, while it's good to know that I could stay on an older version, as I increase my skills I think that as major versions come out it would be worth it to move to the newer versions and leverage the new features. And, nice to know that major upgrades come at discounted prices for current users.

I also appreciate the information on the formulas and knowing that there's a huge database of them. For the past 7 years, I had been using the Mandelbulb3D program with a Wineskin wrapper specifically for Mandelbulb to be used with Mac OS, since this program was originally created only for Windows. It worked great for a long time. But, when I tried to launch the wrapper a few weeks ago, it wouldn't launch. I believe that there may be an incompatibility between the wrapper and the current Mac OS my laptop is on (Ventura). I tried to download a new version of the wrapper and even a Mac version of the Mandelbulb3D program that is now available-- all to no avail. So, after having no success, I started to do some googling for other fractal programs and came across Ultra Fractal 6.05. The reviews looked promising. So, I decided to give this program a try. It very easily and seamlessly installed on my Macbook Pro. I've been trying it for the past 3 weeks and going through the tutorials and learning about not only the basics, but things like masking, layers, etc. So far, I'm impressed and will likely buy the full version (as I mentioned in my initial post, the version with animation). My biggest concern with the formulas as I'm in the midst of the trial is that the Julia formula was the only available. I suppose this is the only formula in a trial version just to give you an idea of what can be done with the software, in generl. Having used the Mandelbulb3D program, I was used to a wide variety of formulas and transformations. So, it's great to know that Ultra Fractal 6.05 also provides a very wide variety. And, I like the idea of the ability to write my own formulas, even though I've never done so before. Plus, going with the software that includes the ability to do animation will give me even more choices for creating fractals. Even though I've created fractals before, I'm pretty much a newbie to it, but want to take my skills up a notch I also like the idea of the forum, and have been reading peoples' comments and enjoying the various beautiful fractals created by others, in addition to the conversations on the forum.

Thanks again for your thorough reply.

Ruth

Hi Chris, Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate the thoroughness of it. It's good to know that I'd only have to pay for a major new version and not minor updates and bug fixes-- and that the major updates don't happen that frequently. And, while it's good to know that I could stay on an older version, as I increase my skills I think that as major versions come out it would be worth it to move to the newer versions and leverage the new features. And, nice to know that major upgrades come at discounted prices for current users. I also appreciate the information on the formulas and knowing that there's a huge database of them. For the past 7 years, I had been using the Mandelbulb3D program with a Wineskin wrapper specifically for Mandelbulb to be used with Mac OS, since this program was originally created only for Windows. It worked great for a long time. But, when I tried to launch the wrapper a few weeks ago, it wouldn't launch. I believe that there may be an incompatibility between the wrapper and the current Mac OS my laptop is on (Ventura). I tried to download a new version of the wrapper and even a Mac version of the Mandelbulb3D program that is now available-- all to no avail. So, after having no success, I started to do some googling for other fractal programs and came across Ultra Fractal 6.05. The reviews looked promising. So, I decided to give this program a try. It very easily and seamlessly installed on my Macbook Pro. I've been trying it for the past 3 weeks and going through the tutorials and learning about not only the basics, but things like masking, layers, etc. So far, I'm impressed and will likely buy the full version (as I mentioned in my initial post, the version with animation). My biggest concern with the formulas as I'm in the midst of the trial is that the Julia formula was the only available. I suppose this is the only formula in a trial version just to give you an idea of what can be done with the software, in generl. Having used the Mandelbulb3D program, I was used to a wide variety of formulas and transformations. So, it's great to know that Ultra Fractal 6.05 also provides a very wide variety. And, I like the idea of the ability to write my own formulas, even though I've never done so before. Plus, going with the software that includes the ability to do animation will give me even more choices for creating fractals. Even though I've created fractals before, I'm pretty much a newbie to it, but want to take my skills up a notch I also like the idea of the forum, and have been reading peoples' comments and enjoying the various beautiful fractals created by others, in addition to the conversations on the forum. Thanks again for your thorough reply. Ruth
 
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Happy to help, Ruth. After some further thought I have a couple of supplementary things for you to look at with regard to your two questions:

If you have a look around the Shop area of the UF website you will find prices for both new users and, on another page, the upgrade prices for existing users. This will give you an idea of relative costs as they stand at present. You'll see that for the Extended edition (most expensive version) the upgrade cost is half that of the new user cost. Savings for other versions are not quite as generous as that but still good value in my opinion. And yes, I certainly agree with you that major versions so far have been full of wonderful new features and absolutely worth the cost of upgrading!

It's a shame you don't have many formulas to work with at present but you will be able to access many more with the full version. I had a quick look in the current database and UF listed about 11,500 of them as well as some 1400 colouring formulas! Do note that these do not include Mandelbulb formulas, UF is not equipped to produce 3D style factals, but it has other strengths that many other programs lack. You'll find the original Mandelbrot formula in the database as well as others such as Newton, Nova, Magnet, Phoenix, dozens of Julia variations and many other amazing types of formula to explore.

It probably won't mean much to you at present but if you have a look at the formula database recent changes page LINK you can get a sense of updates that are being made to the public formula library and the frequency with which the authors are adding new ones or updating old ones. Some of the formulas names, though written in a slightly cryptic form that UF can identify internally, also give a sense of what types of formulas are being worked on.

Chris

Happy to help, Ruth. After some further thought I have a couple of supplementary things for you to look at with regard to your two questions: If you have a look around the **Shop** area of the UF website you will find prices for both new users and, on another page, the upgrade prices for existing users. This will give you an idea of relative costs as they stand at present. You'll see that for the Extended edition (most expensive version) the upgrade cost is **half** that of the new user cost. Savings for other versions are not quite as generous as that but still good value in my opinion. And yes, I certainly agree with you that major versions so far have been full of wonderful new features and absolutely worth the cost of upgrading! It's a shame you don't have many formulas to work with at present but you will be able to access many more with the full version. I had a quick look in the current database and UF listed about 11,500 of them as well as some 1400 colouring formulas! Do note that these do not include Mandelbulb formulas, UF is not equipped to produce 3D style factals, but it has other strengths that many other programs lack. You'll find the original Mandel**brot** formula in the database as well as others such as Newton, Nova, Magnet, Phoenix, dozens of Julia variations and many other amazing types of formula to explore. It probably won't mean much to you at present but if you have a look at the formula database recent changes page [LINK](http://formulas.ultrafractal.com/cgi/formuladb?changes) you can get a sense of updates that are being made to the public formula library and the frequency with which the authors are adding new ones or updating old ones. Some of the formulas names, though written in a slightly cryptic form that UF can identify internally, also give a sense of what types of formulas are being worked on. Chris

Chris Martin
Gallery: Velvet--Glove.deviantart.com

Currently using UF6.05 on Windows 11 Professional 64-bit

 
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Good to know that UF 6.05 works well on Windows 11, too. It's nice when a software developer creates programs that work on multiple operating systems and work equally well across those platforms.

Good to know that UF 6.05 works well on Windows 11, too. It's nice when a software developer creates programs that work on multiple operating systems and work equally well across those platforms.
 
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Chris,
Thanks for the additional information. When I was initially looking at the prices on the UF website, I did see the upgrade prices for existing users. However, by my calculations, the difference between buying the Extended edition (the one I'm planning to buy) as a new user vs starting with the Creative edition and then later upgrading to the Extended edition is only a dollar-- ie, the Extended edition for new users is $99 US vs $49 for the Creative edition and then another $49 to upgrade to extended (ie, a total of $98 after the upgrade). So, I would just buy the Extended edition right out of the gate.

Re: not having many formulas to work with in the trial version: I think they limit them to just the Julia ones to give people an idea of what they can do with that limited set. It sounds like the database certainly has a wide variety of formulas. And thanks also for pointing out that UF isn't equipped to handle 3D style fractals. With the other formulas you listed, I think I can still create some interesting fractals, even if they're not 3D. I do have the Mandelbulber2 software/program installed on my laptop, and that allows me to create some 3D fractals, although not to the large extent that I was able to do with the Mandelbulb3D program. I've been playing with the Mandelbulber2 program, but find that it doesn't have the wide variety of 3D formulas that the Mandelbulb3D one has. Thanks for providing the link to the formula database. I'll take a closer look at that.

Again, thanks for all of the info, Chris. I really appreciate it.

Chris, Thanks for the additional information. When I was initially looking at the prices on the UF website, I did see the upgrade prices for existing users. However, by my calculations, the difference between buying the Extended edition (the one I'm planning to buy) as a new user vs starting with the Creative edition and then later upgrading to the Extended edition is only a dollar-- ie, the Extended edition for new users is $99 US vs $49 for the Creative edition and then another $49 to upgrade to extended (ie, a total of $98 after the upgrade). So, I would just buy the Extended edition right out of the gate. Re: not having many formulas to work with in the trial version: I think they limit them to just the Julia ones to give people an idea of what they can do with that limited set. It sounds like the database certainly has a wide variety of formulas. And thanks also for pointing out that UF isn't equipped to handle 3D style fractals. With the other formulas you listed, I think I can still create some interesting fractals, even if they're not 3D. I do have the Mandelbulber2 software/program installed on my laptop, and that allows me to create some 3D fractals, although not to the large extent that I was able to do with the Mandelbulb3D program. I've been playing with the Mandelbulber2 program, but find that it doesn't have the wide variety of 3D formulas that the Mandelbulb3D one has. Thanks for providing the link to the formula database. I'll take a closer look at that. Again, thanks for all of the info, Chris. I really appreciate it.
 
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Hi Ruth,
Welcome, i don't understand if you don't have formulas, have you try File->Update Public Formula->Full Formula Collection? instead from View->Preferences you have all option, i think the trial version is the same of the full version the only limited is that you can't render to disk a jpeg without the sentence "EVALUATION COPY" but the trial version have all the functionalities of the full version.

Mandelbulb 3D is good, i use it, but UF is another approach, i use UF from 2002.
Really welcome
Good week end
Andrea

https://fractalcosmo.com/mandelbulb-3d/

Hi Ruth, Welcome, i don't understand if you don't have formulas, have you try File->Update Public Formula->Full Formula Collection? instead from View->Preferences you have all option, i think the trial version is the same of the full version the only limited is that you can't render to disk a jpeg without the sentence "EVALUATION COPY" but the trial version have all the functionalities of the full version. Mandelbulb 3D is good, i use it, but UF is another approach, i use UF from 2002. Really welcome Good week end Andrea https://fractalcosmo.com/mandelbulb-3d/

Andrea Spinozzi

https://fractalcosmo.com
 
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Hi Andrea,
Thanks for your reply and suggestion to go to Update Public formula --> Full Formula Collection. I tried that and noticed that "Full Formula Collection" was already selected. So, I wonder if that's the default even for the trial and I just missed it. I now see a file named "Public", but am wondering if it was there all along and I just missed it because I was busy following the help text and focused on the standard.ufm that the tutorial has you use. So now, I'll try creating some fractals from some of the other ufms in that public file. It's definitely a large list to choose from. Thanks so much for pointing this out to me.

Yes, Mandelbulb 3D is really good. Unfortunately, the Wineskin wrapper to use it with Mac OS stopped working, which as I told Chris I think is a result of one of the operating system updates I did either last year or the year before. And unfortunately, none of the other Mandelbulb 3D wrappers I've tried works. So, I ended up downloading Mandelbulber, which is a similar type of 3D fractal generator. But, I find it doesn't have as wide a variety as Mandelbulb 3D. It's still in its experimental phases. I've created some 3D fractals with it, but it'll be a little bit of a learning curve to see how it works, especially the zooming in and out part. I wish the Mandelbulb 3D developers would make a Mac OS version of their software that can be downloaded directly like the Windows version, rather than having to take a roundabout route with the wrapper, especially if there are incompatibilities with the newer Mac operating systems. While I wish I could still use Mandelbulb 3D, I'm with you on having another approach to fractals. Even though UF is a 2D generator, I've seen some very nice fractals generated with this software. So, I'm looking forward to buying this once I've finished the trial period and have confirmed that this is the software I want. UF has gotten very good reviews and it's listed as one of the best 2D fractal generators. Maybe one day the developer will even come up with a 3D version of this software.

I went to the Mandelbulb 3D link you provided. Beautiful set of fractals. I also went to the "Mandelbulb 3D link on the first page and realized that I had been there a few weeks ago when I was trying to deal with the broken Wineskin wrapper.

Thanks again for your suggestion.

Have a great weekend.

Ruth

Hi Andrea, Thanks for your reply and suggestion to go to Update Public formula --> Full Formula Collection. I tried that and noticed that "Full Formula Collection" was already selected. So, I wonder if that's the default even for the trial and I just missed it. I now see a file named "Public", but am wondering if it was there all along and I just missed it because I was busy following the help text and focused on the standard.ufm that the tutorial has you use. So now, I'll try creating some fractals from some of the other ufms in that public file. It's definitely a large list to choose from. Thanks so much for pointing this out to me. Yes, Mandelbulb 3D is really good. Unfortunately, the Wineskin wrapper to use it with Mac OS stopped working, which as I told Chris I think is a result of one of the operating system updates I did either last year or the year before. And unfortunately, none of the other Mandelbulb 3D wrappers I've tried works. So, I ended up downloading Mandelbulber, which is a similar type of 3D fractal generator. But, I find it doesn't have as wide a variety as Mandelbulb 3D. It's still in its experimental phases. I've created some 3D fractals with it, but it'll be a little bit of a learning curve to see how it works, especially the zooming in and out part. I wish the Mandelbulb 3D developers would make a Mac OS version of their software that can be downloaded directly like the Windows version, rather than having to take a roundabout route with the wrapper, especially if there are incompatibilities with the newer Mac operating systems. While I wish I could still use Mandelbulb 3D, I'm with you on having another approach to fractals. Even though UF is a 2D generator, I've seen some very nice fractals generated with this software. So, I'm looking forward to buying this once I've finished the trial period and have confirmed that this is the software I want. UF has gotten very good reviews and it's listed as one of the best 2D fractal generators. Maybe one day the developer will even come up with a 3D version of this software. I went to the Mandelbulb 3D link you provided. Beautiful set of fractals. I also went to the "Mandelbulb 3D link on the first page and realized that I had been there a few weeks ago when I was trying to deal with the broken Wineskin wrapper. Thanks again for your suggestion. Have a great weekend. Ruth
 
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Hi Ruth,

The Standard.ufm file should definitely have Mandelbrot formulas. See here for a full list of included formulas:
https://www.ultrafractal.com/help/formulas/standard.html

If you close UF and completely remove your Formulas folder (it's in Documents/Ultra Fractal 6/Formulas by default), it should offer to reinstall it when you open UF again.

Hi Ruth, The Standard.ufm file should definitely have Mandelbrot formulas. See here for a full list of included formulas: https://www.ultrafractal.com/help/formulas/standard.html If you close UF and completely remove your Formulas folder (it's in Documents/Ultra Fractal 6/Formulas by default), it should offer to reinstall it when you open UF again.

Ultra Fractal author

 
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Hi Frederik,
Thanks for the information.

Regards,
Ruth

Hi Frederik, Thanks for the information. Regards, Ruth
 
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