gf4GF4 ~ v2.0 RC1
OS: Win
author: Peter Pawlowski
url: http://perkele.cc
GF4 is a small, and splendid fractal generator that takes advantage of MMX and 3DNow! technologies to generate fractal images faster than most generators. In such a small size (251 Kb), it packs several useful tools, including the most easy to use and efficient color map editor around (my favorite). Image dimensions are also automatically determined by the user (simply drag a rectangle over an existing image to open a new one with the selected dimensions), and parameters are easily accessible by right clicking anywhere over the image. Parameter files can be saved, and images exported to BMP, PNG or JPG format. This version can also create fractal animations, and includes a real-time fractal renderer (FractSaver2) and a Winamp plug-in (VisFract2) to animate your tunes (not sure if those work anymore, especially since Winamp ceased to exist in 2013). Although its author stopped working on this project several years ago, the software was available here for direct download until 2007 (with the authors permission). It still runs on Windows 10 pretty well (see the new screenshot above as evidence), but since I haven’t used it extensively as to be 100% sure it doesn’t cause any trouble, I won’t be offering direct download for the time being.
Last revision: 4 February 2001.


GIMP's Fractal ExplorerGIMP ~ v2.8.20
OS: Win/Linux/Mac
author: The GIMP Team
url: http://www.gimp.org
The GIMP isn’t exactly a fractal generator, but since it’s free and can render fractal images, I’ve included it in this list. As a graphics editor, GIMP is an excellent tool that everyone should have (it cost nothing, so it doesn’t hurt to have a copy). It’s also available for many platforms, including Windows, Macintosh and Linux. This editor comes with several plug-ins and filters that can produce beautiful fractals, among them: Fractal Explorer, to create fractals using several well-known formulas (Mandelbrot, Julia, Barnsley, Lambda, etc.); Cloud, for several types of cloud-like patterns; Flame, for fractal flames, and IFS Fractals, this one starts with the Sierpinski triangle. Look for all of them in the Filters > Render menu. The screenshot above shows the Fractal Explorer window.
Last revision: 2 February 2017.


GrafZViZionGrafZViZion ~ v4.2
OS: Win
author: Stephen C. Ferguson
url: http://tierazon.com
GrafZViZion can save images in various formats (including jpg, tif, PNG and BMP), and has some special post-processing tools. Includes point-and-click zooming. Can be slow. Source code available. An old version (GrafZViZion 4.0) is freely available at Ferguson’s website.
Last revision: 3 February 1999.


ifractalesiFractales ~ v1.2
OS: MacOS X
author: Software-DS
url: http://www.software-ds.com
iFractales is a simple program to draw Von Koch snowflake, Von Koch flowsnake, Sierpinski carpet, Sierpinski gasket, Fractal tree, Hilbert, Peano, Cantor’s castle, Sierpinski pentagon. The user can choose the color (for a simple program like this one, it has a wonderful set of color controls), the drawing mode (fill or stroke), and the fractal’s depth. You can save the picture as TIFF files. Available in French and English.
Last revision: 2006.


Inkblot KaosInkBlot Kaos ~ v2.9
OS: Win
author: Stephen C. Ferguson
url: http://tierazon.com
InkBlot Kaos is one of the fastest generators in doing calculations. Notwithstanding its size (less than 200K), it is capable of generating stunning and beautiful images. One of my favorites. Source code available.
Last revision: 26 January 1999.


iterationsIterations ~ v29
OS: Win
author: Stephen C. Ferguson
url: http://tierazon.com
Besides creating a myriad of fractal pictures, Iterations is also capable of generating fractal movies by zooming and panning in and around the image. The movies can be saved as .avi files. Source code available.
Last revision: 25 May 1998.


JWILDFIREJWildfire ~ v3.01
OS: Win/macOS/Linux/ + Java
author: Andreas Maschke
url: http://www.andreas-maschke.com
JWildfire is an interesting flame fractal explorer that’s packed with lots of options to play with. It’s similar to the well known Apophysis, but faster and easier to use. You can start from zero using the flame editor or use the random batch function to automatically generate a series of images that you can then tweak at will, or even pick some initial parameters and then proceed to generate a more specific batch. If you identify a nice image from that first iterated group (as is to be expected, most random images aren’t that pleasant), you can select it and mutate it to produce a new series of pictures based on the original one. JWildfire then lets you work with the flame parameters (you can input the numbers or move around some triangles à la Apophysis to alter the image) and adjust several image-processing options, such as depth of field, brightness, contrast, antialiasing level, etc., to finish your composition. Both images and parameters can be saved: the former as PNG files by default (user can specify dimensions), and the latter as .flame or .xml for later reproduction or export to compatible programs. To run it, the program needs the Java Runtime machine previously installed on your computer. The software is open source.
Last revision: 7 January 2017.


julia

Julia ~ v4.42
OS: Win
author: J.M.B. v.d. Ven
url: https://sites.google.com
Julia is the latest incarnation of an earlier program by M. Hendrix that goes back to 1994. This current version is an extension that can draw Julia and Mandelbrot Set fractals. It can generate random images as well. Some parameters can be modified. It’s more a fractal explorer than a tool to create stylish fractal images.
Last revision: 9 May 2014.