Thank you for giving me an example and hope that I can achieve this.
I found and downloaded a program called Mutatorkammer BETA and am exploring it.
Do you know of any tutorial resources describing how to use an image as you mentioned?
I have found a "Set Image" feature under Global Options, but as yet, haven't found a way for it to affect anything, but then again, it is all "greek" to me ...
Mutatorkammer is a strange one, but it's still a favorite of mine for it's ease of playing with images in fractals.
The Fractal Forums logo was made in Mutatorkammer while the Walking Mandelbrot image took several programs working together to make.
Unfortunately, Mutatorkammer never left Beta and development stopped years ago - so it's a bit unstable and the documentation is non-existent
I'll help as much as I can though. The first steps are to open the Global Options panel, change the Min Value to Zero, and uncheck the Tone Mapping button. That will preserve the colors of any image you choose. Of course while you're there you can set the image of your choice too.
Then open the Library and go to the Image Fun menu. Choose one and drag it to the "Breed Chamber" in the upper area to set it as a starting point. Then either use the Breed, Variate, or Random tabs and click the Go button to generate a bunch of random things based on the chosen starting point.
Or you can open the Crossover Tab and drag a second item into the new window that appears next to the item you already placed there. The second item can be a plain fractal, something else from the image fun library or even the same item you started with. Then click the Go button.
Keep doing this until one of the results looks interesting, then either click on the "eye" icon that appears when you "mouse over" the item, or double click it to open it in a new window.
There may or may not be little target things when it's in it's own "Detail Window". If there are, click and drag from the center of one to change parameters. Not all actually show visible results though. That's the hard part about Mutatorkammer. It can be a random process and taming it takes time.
Eventually you'll find one you like. Then comes the animating it part. That uses a timeline like most animation software. Let's get past the beginning hurdles before going into that...
Just to show how complicated it can be, I'll explain a bit about the Logo posted above.
I had to give it a black background and experiment a lot with different border sizes on the image to get it distorting how I wanted. Here's what the same parameter file does to an image of the woman I love without changing the border at all:
As you can see, the background is distorting a lot. I got around that by using a black border. The border is warping in exactly the same way, but it's not noticeable because it's just a solid color.
I have the "Workspace" file for that saved if you want to have a look at it.
Mutatorkammer is not the easiest way to do things, as controlling it is a bit awkward, but it produces fun results and I have always managed with it while others may have varying degrees of difficulty.
JWildfire is also free, but uses the Flame style of fractals - one which I never quite wrapped my head around using to make Art. I like what I see from the software, but never even got anywhere with Apophysis and the one time I tried JWildfire I did not do much better. I keep meaning to try again though...
ChaosPro is another free alternative, but working with images in that one is also a bit less intuitive for me.
Sorry for the long-winded post. I'll stop and see if you can make sense of what I said before going on further.
Good luck with it