What is fractal imaging? Well, it’s more than just the algorithmic generation of ferns (like the generated image above) from non-linear equation systems. It’s a way of looking at ordinary (bitmap) images of all kinds. The hypothesis is that any given image (of any kind) is the end-result of iterating on some particular (unknown) system of non-linear equations, and that if one only knew what those equations are, one could regenerate the image algorithmically (from a set of equations) on demand. The implications are far-reaching. This means:

1. Instead of storing a bitmap of the image, you can just store the equations from which it can be generated. (This is often a 100-to-1 storage reduction.)

2. The image is now scale-free. That is, you can generate it at any scale — enlarge it as much as you wish — without losing fidelity. (Imagine being able to blow up an image onscreen without it becoming all blocky and pixelated.)

— Kas Thomas

Here is the book, Fractal Imaging, referenced by the article.

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