Inkscape: Creating fractals

Inkscape is  great tool to create fractals since it allows duplication and grouping so that the same structure can be repeated to created larger structures.   Fractals are based on repetitions of the same structure. See some amazing fractals in nature.

Creating fractals manually (you have to hit Control D and make copies)

In each of the following examples, a shape is duplicated multiple times and then grouped together to create the same shape. For example in the Sierpinski triangle, a triangle is copied 3 times to make another triangle with an empty triangle shape in the center. This new grouped triangle is then used to make more triangles.

Sierpinski triangle

Sierpinski triangle fractal

Steps

1. make a triangle using the polygon tool, number of sides set to 3. Hold Control key to make an equilateral triangle.

2. Duplicate using Control D and create 2 more triangles and arrange them to make another larger triangle, with an empty triangle shape in the center.

3. Select all 3 triangles and use Control G to make them into one group.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 above to create larger and larger triangles. This is the Sierpinski triangle.

Pentagram.

Fractal pentagram

Steps

1. make a pentagon using the polygon tool, number of sides set to 5.

2. Duplicate using Control D and create 4 more pentagons and arrange them to make another larger pentagon, with an empty pentagon shape in the center. Double click a pentagon, to get the turning handles to rotate the pentagon so it lines up with the next pentagon as shown in the figure.

3. Select all 5 pentagons and use Control G to make them into one group.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 above to create larger and larger pentagons.

Repeating L shapes

Fractal repeating L

Steps

1. Use the rectangle tool, and create a square holding down the Control key. Duplicate square using Control D two times and then line up the 3 squares to create a L shape.

2. Control D to duplicate L to create 3 more L shapes. Rotate and flip the L shapes to create a new L shape from the original 4 L shapes as shown in the figure.

3. Group all 4 L shapes to make a new L shapes

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make L shapes from previous L shapes

Creating fractals using Inkscape extensions – a programming approach

This involves understanding the Lindenmeyer system (L-system) of defining fractals and the use of Inkscape Extensions.

See Using Inkscape to create fractals from the Cornell web site

and the Inkscape guide on L-system effects

Other resources on Fractals

See more types of fractals here