Someone asked about the Santa painting i recently posted here. i kind of tossed it off really quickly so i don't think it's one of my better pieces, but the paint presets i used to make it as well s this fractal image are kind of cool. So i posted them to the Cool Presets Sharing Group here. I'm posting here so that people will now these are available for download. It's a really small set of presets, but they do show off the use of the 'canvas contraction' source options for image process brush load paint presets.

Brush load is a control panel in the paint synthesizer. you can use it to simulate all of the complex attributes of a real dab of paint. As opposed to drawing with a simple solid color. Paint Presets that use brush loading have a lot of visual complexity, so that is often a good thing if you want to create rich effects that simulate things like raised 3D lighting or in this particular case fractal paint textures.

Canvas Contraction is one of the many Source options available in the Brush Load control panel. What it is doing is taking the existing paint canvas under the pen and warping or scaling it down to a smaller size and then using that scaled canvas image as the source for whatever kind of processing the brush load control panel is set up to do.

The key to fractal imagery is that it is self similar. So details at large scales are repeated at progressively smaller scales. If you think about what the canvas contraction source is doing (ie it scales down a small piece of the existing canvas), you can see how overpainting with a preset that uses this parameter would generate self similar texturing at progressively smaller scales, hence creating fractal imagery.

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