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Fractal Image Generator

fractal-haskell is a tool written in haskell (duh!) that draws Mandelbrot fractals. It is capable of generating stunning high resolution renders, both stills and animated, of the Mandelbrot set fractal featuring smooth colorful gradients.

This is just an example of what it can do!


  • Drawing mandelbrot set
    • Integer escape time
    • Real escape time
    • Greyscale or colored renders
    • Continuously colored with gradient
    • Customizable color scheme
  • Variable zoom and focus renders
  • Outputing to .png
  • Animating to .gif
    • Animation generation with linear or exponential zoom
    • Stationary or moving focal point
  • Render individual frames of zoom animation
    • Bash script to render multiple frames in parallel, leverages multiple cores (tested up to 40 cores)
    • Combine individual images of frames into animated .gif, variable delay between frames


See examples here! Images and animated gifs rendered on UoE Informatics computing servers.


The following third party libraries/packages are required for low level image manipulation


JuicyPixels is the library used to draw output into image files.

cabal update
cabal install juicypixels


colour (not color!) package is used to represent colors as well as switching between colorspaces.

cabal update
cabal install colour


Note: It is important to run commands from project root to ensure relative file paths are correct.

You may need to chmod +x executables and shell script in order to run them.

Generating animated images

There are 2 ways of generating animated images.

  • Generate entire .gif at once

    • Use createGifColor function provided in ImageOutput function, by passing a list of Image
    createGifColor [createImage size (drawColorZoom i (-0.75,0)) | i <- [1..10]]
    • Not recommended for high resolutions or high frame count (takes a while)
  • Generate individual frames then combine them 0. cd to root of project folder

    1. Modify src/ to change number of desired frames
    2. Modify src/generateFrame.hs to change pixel rendering function
    3. Compile src/generateFrame.hs with ghc -O2 -isrc -outputdir tmp -o generateFrame src/generateFrame.hs
    4. Run ./ Warning: very CPU intensive operation
    5. Grab a coffee, it's gonna be a while
    6. Edit src/imagesToGif.hs to change number of frames
    7. Compile src/imagesToGif.hs with ghc -O2 -isrc -outputdir tmp -o imagesToGif src/imagesToGif.hs
    8. Run ./imagesToGif
    9. Grab another coffee, it'll be done by the time you're back
    10. Marvel at the gif animation while sipping coffee

The second method is preferred and much faster as it renders all frames concurrently, leveraging all CPU cores.

Generating static images

Examples are provided in src/generateStatic.hs for drawing a few sample fractals, modify source to add your own render functions.

  1. cd to root of project folder
  2. Compile src/generateStatic.hs with ghc -O2 -isrc -outputdir tmp -o imagesToGif src/generateStatic.hs
  3. Run ./generateStatic i where i is number for fractal as defined in source.

Running in interactive mode

While individual haskell source files can be run in GHCi, it is not recommended due to poorer performance. Run ghci -isrc src/filename.hs from project root for interactive environment.


  • Write more documentation
  • Generate more example outputs
  • Rewrite functions to make changing parameters easier
  • Optimizations to reduce runtime



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