Color Parameters


Set the color of the interior: for example, "inside=0" makes the M-set "lake" a stylish basic black. A setting of -1 makes inside=maxiter.

Six more options reveal hidden structure inside the lake. Inside=bof60 and inside=bof61, are named after the figures on pages 60 and 61 of "Beauty of Fractals". Inside=zmag is a method of coloring based on the magnitude of Z after the maximum iterations have been reached. The affect along the edges of the Mandelbrot is like thin-metal welded sculpture. Inside=fmod is a method of coloring based on the magnitude of the last orbit within a set distance from the origin. Inside=period colors pixels according to the period of their eventual orbit. Inside=atan colors by determining the angle in degrees the last iterated value has with respect to the real axis, and using the absolute value. See Inside=bof60|bof61|zmag|period for a brilliant explanation of what these do!

Inside=epscross colors pixels green or yellow according to whether their orbits swing close to the Y-axis or X-axis, respectively. Inside=starcross has a coloring scheme based on clusters of points in the orbits. Best with outside=[nnn]. For more information, see Inside=epscross|startrail .

Note that the "Look for finite attractor" option on the [Y] options screen will override the selected inside option if an attractor is found - see Finite Attractors .


The classic method of coloring outside the fractal is to color according to how many iterations were required before Z reached the bailout value, usually 4. This is the method used when OUTSIDE=iter.

However, when Z reaches bailout the real and imaginary components can be at very diferent values. OUTSIDE=real and OUTSIDE=imag color using the iteration value plus the real or imaginary values. OUTSIDE=summ uses the sum of all these values. These options can give a startling 3d quality to otherwise flat images and can change some boring images to wonderful ones. OUTSIDE=mult colors by multiplying the iteration by real divided by imaginary. There was no mathematical reason for this, it just seemed like a good idea. OUTSIDE=atan colors by determining the angle in degrees the last iterated value has with respect to the real axis, and using the absolute value.

Outside=nnn sets the color of the exterior to some number of your choosing: for example, "OUTSIDE=1" makes all points not INSIDE the fractal set to color 1 (blue). Note that defining an OUTSIDE color forces any image to be a two-color one: either a point is INSIDE the set, or it's OUTSIDE it.


Reads in a replacement color map from [filename]. This map replaces the default color map of your video adapter. Requires a VGA or higher adapter. The difference between this argument and an alternate map read in via [L] in color-command mode is that this one applies to the entire run. See Palette Maps .


Sets colors for the current image, like the [L] function in color cycling and palette editing modes. Unlike the MAP= parameter, colors set with COLORS= do not replace the default - when you next select a new fractal type, colors will revert to their defaults. COLORS=@filename tells Fractint to use a color map file named "filename". See Palette Maps . COLORS=colorspecification specifies the colors directly. The value of "colorspecification" is rather long (768 characters for 256 color modes), and its syntax is not fully documented here.

The encoding for this is straightforward, albeit cryptic. Each red, green, and blue value is encoded as a value from 0-63, represented by a character extracted from this string:


Where colors can be linearly interpolated, they are condensed; a "<" means begin interpolating, followed by a number of colors to interpolate, followed by a ">". As many maps produced by FractInt contain such linearly interpolated segments, some space savings can be achieved by this.

Of course, "\" indicates the color string should be continued on the next line, and leading spaces do not matter. This form of the COLORS= command is not intended for manual use - it exists for use by the [B] command when saving the description of a nice image.


Controls the method of writing colors in PAR files. Auto causes the colors to be written in the colors=@mapfile form if the colors were loaded from a map. Use this mode if you manage your colors using map files. If you share PAR files with others, and have trouble remembering to send them the map file, use RECORDCOLORS=comment or yes. These modes force the writing of compressed color maps in the PAR file in all cases. The only difference is that the 'comment' option also writes the mapfile name in a comment so you can remember where the colors came from.


Sets the range of color numbers to be animated during color cycling. The default is 1/255, i.e. just color number 0 (usually black) is not cycled.


Sets the speed of color cycling. Technically, the number of DAC registers updated during a single vertical refresh cycle. Legal values are 1 - 256, default is 55.


Set text screen colors to simple black and white.


Set text screen colors. Omit any value to use the default (e.g. textcolors=////50 to set just the 5th value). Each value is a 2 digit hexadecimal value; 1st digit is background color (from 0 to 7), 2nd digit is foreground color (from 0 to F). Color values are:

      0 black     8 gray
      1 blue      9 light blue
      2 green     A light green
      3 cyan      B light cyan
      4 red       C light red
      5 magenta   D light magenta
      6 brown     E yellow
      7 white     F bright white

31 colors can be specified, their meanings are as follows:

  1. Fractint version info
  2. heading line development info (not used in released version)

  3. sub-heading
  4. main text
  5. instructions at bottom of screen
  6. hotlink field
  7. highlighted (current) hotlink

    menu, selection boxes, parameter input boxes:
  8. background around box and instructions at bottom
  9. emphasized text outside box
  10. low intensity information in box
  11. medium intensity information in box
  12. high intensity information in box (e.g. heading)
  13. current keyin field
  14. current keyin field when it is limited to one of n values
  15. current choice in multiple choice list
  16. speed key prompt in multiple choice list
  17. speed key keyin in multiple choice list

    general (tab key display, IFS parameters, "thinking" display):
  18. high intensity information
  19. medium intensity information
  20. low intensity information
  21. current keyin field

    disk video:
  22. background around box
  23. high intensity information
  24. low intensity information

    diagnostic messages:
  25. error
  26. information

    credits screen:
  27. bottom lines
  28. high intensity divider line
  29. low intensity divider line
  30. primary authors
  31. contributing authors

The default is:


(In a real command file, all values must be on one line.)


Sets the coloring scheme used with the distance estimator method to the pre-version 16 scheme.


You can save the iteration escape value in a file called ITERATES.TGA. This will allow experimentation with trucolor algorithms. A C language source file that reads the iterates file is provided. Someday we'll have REAL truecolor support ...

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