High-Precision Deep Zoom



Deep zoom with growing multiple X structures


This video is an extension of the Metaphase animation, which was based on a stucture identified by Paul Derbyshire in the 1990's.  The concept was beautifully extended by Stardust4Ever (see YouTube) to expand the number of X's by zooming deeper in a carefully selected progression based on the original Metaphase zooming. The video here recapitulates that progression, with pauses at important landmarks along the way to emphasize how this is done.

This project previously had some post-production technical problems that have since been resolved, and is now being published in its final form. For details, and links to the earlier video files see below.

The color palette has also been updated, moving away from the previously mostly black coloring to something brighter and more vivid.

The video links in the following table are to new, fixed, versions, with a wide variety of download options to accomodate any bandwidth or quality preference.



This is a truly deep zoom animation! The final size is 5e-119, which is one of the deepest zoom videos ever created. To attempt to put this into perspective, the ratio of the size of the galaxy to the size of a proton is about 6e+35. So the scale of magnification this video spans is about 3 times that scale -- that means if you start by looking at something the size of the galaxy, then zoom in to a proton, then start over, magnifying that proton to the size of the galaxy, and zoom in again to a proton size, then do that AGAIN...you're close to how much magnification is illustrated in this video. Some other examples of the amazing depth of magnification in many fractal deep zooms is on this math page.

Trouble Downloading?
Video download options
MP4 Files
INSANE Quality970 MB 1280x720 60 Mbps INSANE QUALITY
Extreme Quality488 MB 1280x720 20 Mbps
HD Quality199 MB 1280x720 8 Mbps FastStart
Good Quality83 MB 1280x720 3 Mbps FastStart
Low Bandwidth15 MB 640x360 500Kbps 15fps FastStart
Minimal bandwidth5.5 MB 320x180 200Kbps 15fps FastStart
WMV Files
Minimal bandwidth5.6 MB 320x180 200Kbps 15fps
Vital Statistics
Date Generated:28  Nov - 1 Dec 2010
Final Image Size:5e-119
Rendering Time:72.3 hours
Method:Escape counts
Audio:Sonic Fire Pro 5.5.2

Download Options

First of all -- you HAVE TO download the INSANE QUALITY file! It is breathtaking. The gradients have no more than just barely perceptible block artifacts. The details are sharp and crisp. At more than double the usual Blu-Ray movie bit rate, this file is really something to be seen. I arbitrarily chose to make just an MP4 rendering of this bit rate. It takes a long time to do. Now, on to the story that led to this...

The Montage1 project led me to create five download options, kind of by accident. Now, it is starting to seem like a good idea. Three mid-level options should make most people happy, spanning a reasonable tradeoff of video quality against download time.

But extremes do exist. Some mobile phones just can't handle much data, or may be in an area of a weak signal, so a super-slow, ultra-compressed file makes some sense. The "Minimal bandwidth" 200 Kbps files should suit those needs.

On the other hand, with Blu-Ray and HD video becoming more common, video data rates above 10 Mbps are entering the mainstream. Some hard-core fractalphiles may want the ultimate in video quality and are willing to wait for a huge file to download. So I am offering "Extreme" quality 15Mbps versions of animations from now on.

The utility of this is still being explored, and some fine-tuning of video parameters is necessary to deliver the optimal video experience for a given file size. Compare the 15Mbps files here to the ones in the Montage1 project, and you will see a huge difference. The Montage1 files are much crisper, and the color gradients are creamy smooth, with essentially no discernible blocking artifacts. But the files in this project, at similar bit rates, have noticeable blurring of detail and quite prominent blocking. I believe the reason for this is the difference in video resolution: This project is 1280x720, while Montage1 is only 960x540 (actually, only the first segment is rendered at that resolution in the raw data; the other segments are much smaller).

That is why the Extreme WMV is 15 Mbps, while the Extreme MP4 is 20 Mbps. I did the WMV encoding first and was disappointed, so I increased the bit rate for the MP4 encoding. The difference is noticeable, but not prominent. The 20 Mbps encoding is quite pretty, but still has distinctly obvious and annoying artifacts, and the overall experience seems inferior to lower-resolution projects at the same bit rate.

For example, compare this to Seattle, which has 20 Mbps encodings available in WMV and MP4, and is 1080x720. The 20 Mbps renderings of Seattle are very good, although very subtle block artifact is visible in a few areas. And again, look at Montage1, which is nearly flawless at 15-17 Mbps, with its lower resolution.

This makes me wonder if rendering videos at very high resolution might be a waste, if even 15 Mbps and 20 Mbps encoded files have encoding artifacts that detract from the beauty of the images. The other way to look at it is that 15 Mbps is not enough to get truly extreme quality video at these extreme resolutions. Perhaps 25 Mbps is needed? But is anyone going to download a 2 GB file to watch 2 minutes of video?

Previous Issue - Now Resolved - Here for historical archival purposes

Video download options were limited at first because Vegas is messing up the fade-in/out transitions. I've put in multiple reports to tech support for several months, but this is the first time I've been able to reliably reproduce this problem with a relatively small video clip made specifically for demonstrating this problem, so hopefully Sony will figure out a solution to this problem. In the meantime, I am posting only a couple of moderately good quality files here. When the problem gets resolved, I'll make a full spectrum of compressed files and also upload this to YouTube.

Resolution April 2011: Sony provided a workaround involving velocity envelopes. It's not a great solution, since it seems it can only work at the end of a clip. But by cutting off the first frame and extending it, I can get the desired effect at the beginning too.

The example videos of this bug have been removed Dec 2011.