Digital Art involves all artistic visual creations made by using, in most part of the creative process, the wide range of the cool tools that computers offer us: 3D Art, 3D Modelling, Fractals, Digital Painting, Digital Drawing, 2D and 3D Animations, Net-Art, Video....
1 - Neither analogue nor digital photography that have been given only little o basic digital process like colour retouching , contrast, brightness or any other sort of corrections which do not imply a creative and intense work is NOT Digital Art.
2 - Neither analogue nor digital photography to which only ordinary digital effects have been applied (those made by only a click of the mouse when no artist's skills are required). This kind of images may be considered as 'Retouched or Manipulated Photography' or 'Photo Art' but NOT Digital Art.
3 - Any kind of scanned or photographed hand-made artworks like oil paintings, acrylic paintings, watercolour, etc. that have been printed later on any sort of media (canvas, paper, etc.), are NOT Digital Art. This process might be valid for those traditional artists who wish to make reproductions of their original paintings, drawings, watercolours, etc., by printing them as high quality limited series, but such process shoud not be classified as 'Digital Art'.
4 - Those kind of printed images mentioned above to which hand painting is added (oil, acrylic, watercolour, etc.) to get a 'new artwork' is NOT Digital Art, and should be considered as 'Mixed Media' as they have no digital creative process, since they are only printed photos of artworks on which some hand painting has been added.
It is the creation of virtual worlds (= only exist in the computer) through which, you can travel with a virtual camera. In these worlds, you can create objects, texturize, rotate, move and deform them as you wish. Once your project is finished and you are satisfied with it, you ask the computer to render (= the final process of all 3D software; at this point, the processor does the hard job to draw the image in the size and at the highest resolution you want so as to get an optimal quality image output for printing).
What are Fractals? Although there has been some research by 1918, fractals have been discovered in 1975 by the Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot who gave them the name 'fractal' that comes from the Latin word 'fractus' meaning 'fractured'. Fractals can be found in nature: trees, clouds, rivers, coasts, mountains, our circulatory system,... are fractals. They are difficult to define as not all of them meet the same features although they share some: they represent a geometric shape that repeats itself exactly (self-similarity) or with some variations (some of them may be chaotic), zooming in or out to disappear eventually. Coast perimeters, can be calculated with fractal formulas, and they are used in medicine, biology, astronomy, meteorology, etc.... and also fractal music can be created.
Those fractals that have been studied previously (Julia and Mandelbrot sets) get closest to the fractal definition in reference to the fact of having a specific and repetitive pattern. The 'Fractal Flames' and '3D Fractal Flames', developed by Scott Draves in 1991, have a different algorithm, and they differ from the ones previously mentioned, in showing those repetitive self-similar patterns scarcely. The final images are more ethereal, with bright areas, with either abstract or figurative shapes, expanding -this way- the creation boundaries to make them look much more artistic.
There's no need to have a deep Maths knowledge to be able to do 'Fractal Art'. The pieces of software to design fractals allow you to start with a complex formula or from the scratch, and it is the artist who is in control and has to modify amounts, variables and functions to create his fractal images. Colours are also applied by using formulas, and the final fractal depends on the artist and his skills to handle these tools.
'Fractal Art' is the real 'Modern Art' as it is discovered, developed and became a reality since the advent of the computer, as there's no other way to do the many and very complex required calculations without this great technologic tool.
I do some hard POST PRODUCTION work to my 3D Art images: correction of rendering imperfections and, when necessary, brightness and/or contrast adjustments.
I do little POST PRODUCTION work to my Fractal Art images: only brightness and/or contrast adjustments, when necessary.