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And Finally, A 2-Bit Grayscale Image of Teddy Roosevelt with 6 Bits of Compression

For my final trick this evening, I decided to see what would happen if I applied some pixel-level compression a la Audrey Hepburn to a grayscale image. Of course, I’m working with the bare-bones of grayscale, having only four levels of value: white, light gray, dark gray and black. That allows me to clump the pixels in triplets: 4 values x 4 values x 4 values = 64 encodings. So the encoding here is similar to Audrey’s, but instead of encoding “white-black-black-white-white-black”, the letter “P” now encodes “light gray – dark gray – light gray”.

The practical upshot of all this is that I could encode a 2-bit grayscale image of Teddy Roosevelt at 15 x 26 pixels and still fit it in a tweet. Here’s what the Rough Rider looks thus rendered:

Which is actually pretty recognizable, if not as Theodore Roosevelt, then at least a middle-aged white guy in a suit. That’s pretty good for only 140 bytes. Here he is embiggened:

Here are his compressed pixel values still in a grid:

$!xgk
lkggh
xggkg
jhwgh
fVfcg
ala6l
W9K0Q
a4G07
GL417
GL10N
WLbKN
XgbvM
bPbL7
qbWGM
eMKHQ
vRfKM
fbb5M
wsgLN
khbLN
wka5N
kRfPA
fI!aB
c2gGg
MHP1h
V1a6g
hQgQh

and, finally, his resulting tweet, with an information blurb included:

$!xgklkgghxggkgjhwghfVfcgala6lW9K0Qa4G07GL417GL10NWLbKNXgbvMbPbL7qbWGMeMKH
QvRfKMfbb5MwsgLNkhbLNwka5NkRfPAfI!aBc2gGgMHP1hV1a6ghQgQh 2bG 15x26

2 Comments on “And Finally, A 2-Bit Grayscale Image of Teddy Roosevelt with 6 Bits of Compression”

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