back to article Boffins create 100,000 DPI image

Perhaps the world’s most famous repurposed centerfold, the Lena test image, is now the world’s smallest test image courtesy of researchers in Singapore. A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) boffins have rendered the image of Lena Söderberg (familiar to computer science students the world over) at just 50 x 50 …


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  1. Dave Bell

    There's another reason for using such an image: a human face is rather easy to get "wrong", we seem to be wired to notice such things. It's the sort of effect that lurks in the background of the uncanny valley idea.

    1. Colin Miller

      Witness the "Thatcher Effect", and the "uncanny valley".

  2. Thorne

    Stop it or you will go blind

    Puts a whole new meaning on "Stop it or you will go blind"

    Porn that small will cause eye strain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop it or you will go blind

      Yeah, you could fit every Playboy centerfold on the head of a pin....but what would be the point?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: .but what would be the point?

        easy transportation

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: .but what would be the point?

          Careful though, it might give you a prick.

        2. Steven Roper
          Thumb Up

          Re: .but what would be the point?

          More like easy concealment...

      2. Crisp

        Re: Stop it or you will go blind

        "Yeah, you could fit every Playboy centerfold on the head of a pin....but what would be the point?"

        To answer the age old question and finally find out how many angels you could get on the head of a pin.

        If I was a philosopher, it would make my blood run cold!

      3. Gordon861

        Re: Stop it or you will go blind

        "... what would be the point?

        The point is the sharp bit at the other end.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stop it or you will go blind

          "The point is the sharp bit at the other end."

          I believe that was pretty much the pun as intended by the original commentard (and subsequently missed by the rest).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stop it or you will go blind

            I think you've just been thumbed down.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Tony Rogers

    Scientific Analysis

    As I appear to be rather late in this scientific research,

    perhaps some kind soul could direct me to to

    an archive copy of the original pictures.

    For scientific research only of course !

  4. Hugh Pumphrey

    It is over here: There is a link at the bottom of the page to a scan of the whole image.

    <=== Not Paris: Lena is far to classy to be compared to Ms Hilton.

    1. Hugh Pumphrey

      Re: It is over here:

      Far too classy. I blame the "o" key on this keyboard.

  5. Nextweek

    Honest question

    Let me get this straight, 40 years of scientific research into image processing has gone into optimising porn?

    1. EddieD

      Re: Honest question

      Seems like a good use of my taxes to me.

      1. Thomas 4
        IT Angle

        Re: Honest question

        Why not? It can be a growth industry, depending on the image.

    2. Crisp

      Re: Honest question

      If you can name a worthier field of scientific endeavour then I'd like to hear it.

    3. Graham Marsden

      Re: Honest question

      The rise (snigger) in the popularity of the VCR and the internet (which, as we all know, is for porn) has been ascribed to making porn more accessible, so it's not surprising that it should drive (bigger snigger) other technologies too...

      (Icon with glasses for obvious reasons...)

    4. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Honest question

      and 30 years of compression technology...

      and 20 years of display technology....

      what field lead the way in online credit processing

      most tested secure sites online? anyone??

      the tinterweb might have been developed my military types wanting to make things elsewhere go bang.

      but what _made_ tinterwb is ladies with their shirts off!

      all power to their elbows :-D

  6. Eddie Edwards

    Very clever, but

    Very clever, but of course any hologram diffracts light, so they have to be created/printed with an equivalent DPI. Ergo, good enough photographic paper can make images at this resolution (OK, so maybe not in colour).

    Still waiting for my 100,000 DPI holographic printer though.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: Very clever, but

      The problem is there's not a lot of point, apart from wanting to be a spy and hide something in very vulnerable microdots (one tiny smudge = no info), or wanting to make a counterfeit-proof money (we've all seen how that's worked out in the past).

      Anything past a few 100 dpi and you will strain to see individual elements. Hell, most huge posters are printed at stupidly low resolutions and look atrocious close up and even magazine-print, you can see the CYMK "circles" if you look closely.

      We have little need for it. And most of the need we have is covert stuff that 99.9999% of us will never use. This is why cameras tended to bug out at 5-10Mpx. Because, after that, you really can't tell when you print it on paper and it just takes up more room and uses more equipment to process than necessary.

      We are closer to printing CPU's on paper than we are to getting this technology to commercial standards. And when you can put a whole CPU + RAM on a bit of paper, it seems a bit silly to rave about having a tiny "printed" image on there instead.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Very clever, but

        Cameras have 20MP+ resolutions so you can crop an image without being left with too little resolution.

        As for nano-resolutions - likely useless for vanilla print, but potentially useful for holographic manufacturing and other industrial processes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Picture reminds me of...

    Deluxe Paint 4.0 on the Amiga

    1. Rob

      Re: Picture reminds me of...

      Wow it's amazing what detail you forget, I spent most of my younger days using Deluxe Paint when I had an Amiga, always remember marvelling at the graphic detail on the gold Egyptian sarcophagus.

      Thanks for the blast from the past which stirred some happy memories.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Old arts revisited?

    When looking at that picture I can't help think back of the C64 ages (which I lived). Back then there were already plenty of .gifs circling around ("World of GIF" anyone? A CD which you could buy with hundreds of GIF pictures?). A very common trade at that time was to try and take a PC picture and set it up so that it would be usable on the C64. This usually involved quite a bit of work (before it was automated) mainly because of the heavy resolution differences.

    I know this is a different issue but when looking at the picture in the article I can't help wonder how much of a difference there really is ?

    Controlling colours through the size of the particles sounds a lot like 'the old days'. Then it obviously wasn't so much controlling colour but overall image impressions. Using different sized sprites (to name one example) to achieve the best possible appearance of a colour blend for example.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just who

    owns the copyright to this image?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just who

      Playboy I guess

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Just who

      Playboy granted an exemption to researches for using this image.

      Eileen Kent, VP of new media at Playboy: "We decided we should exploit this, because it is a phenomenon."

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Just who


        Playboy uses a different (nay, better) useage of "exploit" that means "let people use it for free to keep our name well known." Most of the rest of the media uses a definition meaning "suing the fuck out of anyone who looks at our image funny"

        Let's rase one for the classy mag.

  10. mark 63 Silver badge

    so what res was the source image?

    do we have here a high resolution picture of the pixels in the source?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      An interesting question

      Presumably, since the 'pixels' in the image are around the diffraction limit of visible light, any image of them at a higher resolution than 1 pixel per, errm pixel, would require imaging technology employing shorter wavelengths of light (e.g. x-rays) , or techniques such as electron microscopy. Personally, I think the electron micrographs might be quite interesting to look at.

    2. Matthew 25

      Strangely enough the resolution is 100,000 DPI. Just like it says in the title

      1. Clive Galway

        Surely DPI is a measure of density, not resolution.

        Asking "What is the resolution?" clearly means "How many pixels wide by how many tall is the image?"

        1. mark 63 Silver badge

          The way I see it DPI means dots per inch , so yes , a measure of the density of dots per inch.

          The term DPI usually refers to printed output where in the real world an inch is an inch.

          If you are still looking at the image on the screen then the DPI is variable depending on how big your screen is and how zoomed in/out you are on the image.

          The resolution however will remain static

          so ( re scanning the article ) they have actually printed this image at 100,000 dpi

          but they dont say how big the image is could be a thousandth of an inch square , or it could be A4

          either way you need a high res source

          actually thats not right , if thats some classic image used in desktop publishing since the 90s its probly only 800x600 pixels or something - you could print that at a ratio of 1 pixel to one dot on the paper if you did it really small - so it would be 800 dots wide at 1 dot per inch/100,000

          100,00 / 800 = 125

          so it'd be 125th of an inch wide

          or 0.2 mm

  11. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

    Standard data sets: 2D vs 3D

    Can't help feeling sorry for the 3D computer modelling people though.

    These 2D boffs get comely Slavic totty.

    The 3D crew have to make do with a teapot.

    1. Ilgaz

      Re: Standard data sets: 2D vs 3D

      When 3d goes up to insane levels I am almost sure they will pick up a human body for testing photo realistic 3d. As mentioned above, any error would be immediately visible because everyone knows human body.

      Just hope it won't be a male :)

  12. Daniele Procida

    An image from Playboy magazine

    I can't imagine why more women aren't attracted to careers in science and technology. It must be because they can't hack it or they have no sense of humour or something. Or probably they just spoil it for the other scientists by getting all huffy when everyone in the lab is nominating their favourite porn magazine pictures to illustrate the research.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An image from Playboy magazine

      I think your first conclusion was correct.

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