Fraqtive – Great Fractal Generator.. and how to build it from source on Mac OS X

Ok, time for something different now, I want to mention this great Fractal Generator Software I’ve been playing around with for a while now, called Fraqtive. This is the best Open Source fractal generator that I’ve used, and the great thing is that there is native versions for Mac Os X, Linux and Windows, so it works full speed on all three major platforms.

It uses the QT toolkit for cross platform support. Too bad the listed version on the Fraqtive download page for Mac Os X is version 0.4.3 as I type this, and the newest release is 0.4.5 which adds support for exporting high resolution images, which is the feature I really wanted. So I had to compile a new version myself. Luckily, it was all pretty easy once I figured it out, for Mac OS X you just need to have the development tools installed (Xcode) and then download and install the QT SDK. I’m writing this on Snow Leopard, and have no idea if this works on any other release, but it should.

After this, you can open the QT project file in QT Creator, select the Build type from Debug to Release from the bottom left build selector, run Build All and wait for it to compile. Now you can find the finished build in /private/tmp/fraqtive-build-desktop/release/ Just copy this directory to /Applications and it should work.

This build is now dynamically linked, so if you want to copy it to another machine, you have to install the corresponding QT libraries also. I tried to look at how to build a static version of the QT libraries, but this seemed like a task too complicated for now, and anyway, I need the QT SDK so might as well go with the dynamically linked, as it works faster and takes much less space (~700k vs ~5 mb).

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of the program:

Fraqtive on Mac Os X

Fraqtive on Mac Os X

I really like the custom palette generator that allows easy palette manipulations to create some nice effects on the fractals:

Fraqtive Palette Editor

Fraqtive Palette Editor

One nice feature is also the option to save the position and palette independently, so you can apply different palettes to the same image to create different results:

Warm Palette

Warm Palette

Cool & Dark Palette

Cool & Dark Palette

Just wanted to share this great program with you. Also, I made some cool high resolution widescreen fractal wallpapers, check them out :)



2 thoughts on “Fraqtive – Great Fractal Generator.. and how to build it from source on Mac OS X

  1. Hello inDigiNeous, Thanks for posting this article, back in 2011. I am happy to have found this open-source fractal generator via your post. I wanted to ask if you have compiled Fraqtive 0.4.8 into a Mac binary? I was about to figure out how to do it myself, but I suspect it’s going to take a lot of things (like a massive Xcode download, and a QT kit, etc.). If you’ve already done it, would you mind posting it?

    • Hello Jonathan!
      It’s been such a long time since I did it. The latest version I ever compiled was 0.4.5 IIRC. There seems to be some nice new features for the 0.4.8 release, so I might be tempted to give it a try now also.

      As I remember I had problem building a static binary from the build, so distributing a compiled version was not possible. I looked into this a bit, in order to provide the original author a Mac Binary, but I had to give up back then after couple of days. Not sure if it would work now. But the compile was pretty easy I remember, you just need the Xcode + QT SDK installed and then open the project in QT and build.

      So no binaries, just download the Xcode, command line tools (probably needed for the QT) and the QT SDK and give it a try. I would suspect the program requires QT 4.x and not the latest 5.x, but might be wrong. Let me know if you get it working ! :)

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