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Beginner’s Guide to Ultra Fractal 6 – Lesson 6 of 6 – Mapping – the Lake effect

By Lake effect, I mean that you can create the illusion of a lake surface. The still visible part of the fractal is reflected in a rippling lake. Figure 6.1 shows a simple example of this.

[figure 6.1]

Figure 6 1

To achieve a Lake effect, go to the Mapping tab in the right upper hand corner of your screen.

I used the same image as a basis as for the Kaleidoscope effect (see figure 6.2).

[figure 6.2]

Figure 6 2

The Mapping tab

[figure 6.3]

Figure 6 3

If you haven’t applied mapping yet, the window on the Mapping tab (figure 6.3) will be empty.

[figure 6.4]

Figure 6 4

If you click on the add icon Icon 61, a popup window with various options appears (figure 6.4).

As we are looking at the water effect in this lesson, we select the option Lake.

Various parameters now appear (figure 6.5). Also, you see the Lake effect appear in the fractal. You can adjust the water effect with the parameters in the Mapping tab.

[figure 6.5]

Figure 6 5

You can’t see the Lake effect?

It can happen that you don’t see a Lake effect in your fractal immediately. One reason might be that the water level value is set to 0. If that point happens to be offscreen, you won’t see what you actually wanted to see. That happened to my fractal, too, as figure 6.6 shows.

[figure 6.6]

Figure 6 6

It’s easy to rectify this by checking Use Screen Center.

The rippling water will then start from the middle of your screen (see figure 6.7).

[figure 6.7]

Figure 6 7

Specifying the water level manually

It’s possible to select the water level manually. Click on the box “Water level (Re)” and then right-click to bring up a dropdown menu. In the list you now see, click Icon 62 and then select the level at which the water level should begin by clicking on a point inside the fractal. You can repeat this as often as you like until you’re satisfied with the result.

Caution! If you have checked “Use Screen Center,” you can no longer click on the box “Water level.” In that case, uncheck “Use Screen Center” and then use the eyedropper to select the water level.
Adjusting the ripples

There are two ways to adjust the ripples.

The amplitude: If you increase this value, you see more refractions in the water. This gives the impression that the ripples are higher. But just like in real life, there are far fewer high waves that low waves or ripples. You can adjust the number of ripples by increasing or decreasing “Frequency.”
The frequency: This indicated how many ripples should be generated. The lower the number, the fewer ripples.

By using these two parameters, you can create an effect from a lake with a strong breeze to a (nearly) windstill lake.

The water level is vertical

It can happen that the the water level on your fractal is vertical rather than horizontal. To make the water level vertical, check “Use Location tab angle.” This ensures that the water level will be horizontal.

Such a phenomenon can occur when you have rotated your fractal by 90 degrees once.

Of course, you may want to have just this vertical effect, or want the water level to be at a certain angle. In that case, enter the rotation angle you want in the “Rotation angle” box. If you insert a negative value, you will see the Lake effect on the left side; for positive values, it will be on the right side.


Adding the Lake effect will apply only to the layer to which you apply it. Thus, when you start merging layers, the Lake effect will not show in the merged layer. To achieve a Lake effect in that layer, you have to apply the Lake effect to it.

Using different effects at the same time

It’s possible to use several effects at the same time. Figure 6.8 shows an example.

[figure 6.8]

Figure 6 8

In lesson 5, you read how to apply the Kaleidoscope effect. You can easily add the Lake effect over the Kaleidoscope effect. In the Mapping window, all the effects you have applied are neatly listed.

Caution: To apply the Lake effect over the Kaleidoscope effect, the layer with the Lake effect must be above the layer with the Kaleidoscope effect (figure 6.9).

[figure 6.9]

Figure 6 9