Barnsley Fern Fractal

Released April 21, 2015
Version 1.1

This Photoshop plugin will generate Barnsley fern fractals.

Free Download
SKU: 17480295 Category: Tag:

The Barnsley Fern Fractal is a beautiful fractal based on self-similarity sets; mathematically generated patterns that can be reproducible at any magnification or reduction. It is a good example of an iterated function system (IFS) which is a union of numerous copies of itself, each being transformed by a function. These functions are normally contractive, which means they bring points closer together and make shapes repeatedly and infinitely smaller. The best example of an IFS is the Sierpiński gasket, also called the Sierpiński triangle.


Although in it’s most common form the Barnsley fractal represents the form of a plant, or fern, the fractal is much more complex than that and can be used to create a variety of generative art for various means including graphic design, motion graphics and illustration.


This Barnsley fractal fern plugin for Adobe Photoshop is a powerful implementation of the algorithm that unleashes the fractal’s full potential. Its most impressive feature is user-configurable supersampling for clean, antialiased output. All the fractal’s coefficients are fully adjustable thus providing a virtually unlimited number of possible forms.


The shift feature provides controls for asymmetry while the scale feature modifies sizing.


Barnsley Fern Fractal provides file saving and loading so you can save any fractal you create, as well as random fractal generation.


Finally, the plugin provides sampling multipliers for working with high resolution imagery.

Barnsley Fern Fractal is 100% multi-threaded capable of using an unlimited number of cores for ultimate speed.


Barnsley Fern Fractal supports both 8 bits / channel and 16 bits / channel color modes for professional workflows.


Iterations: Defines the maximum number of cycles to compute. The more iterations performed, the more complete the final image will be, but the longer the computation. Iterations should be carefully combined with sampling. A general rule of thumb is that the more iterations you throw at the image, the higher level of supersampling you should apply or the fractal density will increase.


Sampling: Defines the supersampling level for antialising.


a-f: Specifies the coefficients of the equation which define the fern shape. These coefficients are the heart of the fractal and define it’s form.

Shift: Controls the asymmetrical position of one side.

Scale: Specifies the size of the fern. Depending on the coefficient settings, you may want to adjust the scale of the fractal to be larger or smaller onscreen.

FG Color: Specifies the fractal color.

BG Color: Specifies the background color.

Save / Load: Saves and loads current fractal settings.

Rnd: Sets random coefficient values for a random fractal.

Preview / Render Multipliers: Specifies iteration multipliers for high resolution renders. These multipliers are multiplied by the iterations for both preview window and final render respectively. Therefore a preview with 1,000 iterations and a preview multiplier of 10X will provide 1,000 X 10 = 10,000 total iterations.

Special Thanks

  • Martin Vicanek


  • v1.0 – First release.
  • v1.1 – Cleaned up help information.
  • v1.1 – Fixed file access crashing bug in Windows 10.

Installing this software is easy and only requires three simple steps:

1 – Download the software by clicking on the Download Demo button located above on the software page. This will prompt you to save a .zip file on your computer.

2 – Extract the contents from the .zip file and place the .8bf file into your host’s plugin folder. For instance, to install for Adobe Photoshop CS6, place the .8bf file into the location shown below. You can make a sub-folder to keep your plugins organized, such as the one below. Please make sure 64 bit plugins such as these are placed in the corresponding 64 bit Adobe Photoshop plugin folder.


If you’re using Photoshop CC (eg. version 2013 – 2019 or later), your Photoshop plug-ins are stored in a folder shared between all Photoshop CC versions shown below.


3 – Launch Adobe Photoshop, open an image and click on Filter > Richard Rosenman > Filter Name. If the filter is grayed out, it may not support your current image color depth.


If you have purchased a commercial license, please review the activation section.

This software is compatible with the following OS:

  • Windows 10 Home 64 bit
  • Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
  • Windows 10 Enterprise 64 bit
  • Windows 10 Education 64 bit
  • Windows 8 64 bit
  • Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
  • Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit
  • Windows 7 Home Basic 64 bit
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
  • Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit
  • Windows Vista Business 64 bit
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64 bit
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit
  • Windows XP 64 bit
  • Windows XP Professional 64 bit

This software is compatible with the following hosts:

  • Any host capable of running Adobe Photoshop 64 bit compliant plugins
  • Adobe Photoshop (Version CS5 or higher, including CC) 64 bit
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements (Version 13 or higher, including CC) 64 bit
  • Adobe Illustrator (Version CS6 or higher, including CC) 64 bit
  • Computerinsel Photoline 64 (Version 16 or higher) 64 bit
  • CorelDRAW (Version X6 or higher) 64 bit
  • Corel Painter (Version 12.1 or higher) 64 bit
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro (Version X6 or higher) 64 bit
  • Corel Photo-Paint (Version X6 or higher) 64 bit
  • Paint.NET (with the PSFilterPdn plugin) 64 bit
  • Serif PhotoPlus (Version X6 or higher) 64 bit