Photography (Slightly Beyond) Basics – My Most Used Photoshop Plugins – Fractalius

Mickey Rountree

In this article, I’ll show you a couple of quirky filters, that create some unique effects. Fractalius, Fractalius 2, Fractalius G4 are available from Redfield at the link below. All of these filters are for the Windows platform exclusively, with no plans for Mac versions. Fractalius 1 and 2 only work on 8 bit images, and Fractalius G4 will run on a 16 bit image, but it creates artifacts, so do all of your major editing in 16 bits, and save a 16 bit version, then convert to 8 bit before running one of these plugins. As always, I recommend running these on a copy layer so you can vary opacity and add masking to refine the effects.

When these articles are converted to PDF and sized for the newsletter, the resolution and quality of the images is seriously degraded. If you would like to read the article and see the images as I did, you can see this article on my website at this link.

Fractalius has an intimidating control panel, but there are several presets available. My advice is to cycle through the presets until you find something close to what you like, and fine tune from there. When you have a setting you like, you can save it with your own name. Also there is a dice icon that creates random settings with each click. It’s truly a gamble; sometimes you get a winner, often you get a loser. Also this is a SLOW filter. I have a pretty high end Windows 10 system with lots of RAM and a good graphics card, but this filter takes about 3 minutes to run. Click start and go grab a drink, or maybe dinner and a movie if you have an older system.

My favorite use is a sort of sketch effect I came up with and saved. It works well for portraits if the background isn’t too busy.