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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Re: Exporting Density Plots -- one pixel per point?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg64362] Re: [mg64344] Exporting Density Plots -- one pixel per point?
  • From: "Maarten van der Burgt" <maarten.vanderburgt at>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 01:31:38 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


The following results in a gray scale TIFF file which is exactly
3000 x 3000 pixels.
The Export to the hard disk takes 0.7 sec on a Pentium M, 1.6 GHz, 500 Mb
portable PC with Mathematica 5.0 and Windows XP.

Hope this helps,



dat = Table[Random[Integer, {0,255}],{h},{w}];

gr =Show[Graphics[Raster[dat,{{0,0},{w,h}},{0,255}]],

Timing[Export[CurDir[]<>"image.tif", gr, "Tiff"]]

                    <quintessentialk@        To:     mathgroup at                                                                        
          >               cc:                                                                                                   
                                             Subject: [mg64362]     [mg64344] Exporting Density Plots -- one pixel per point?                                
                    13/02/2006 09:15                                                                                                               


I wish to generate large bitmaps (tiffs, say) where each the greyscale
color value of each pixel is determined by a given function of x and y.
By large, I mean more than 9E6 pixels.

I've tried using a density plot for this, and then a rasterized table,
but I run into a couple of difficulties. First, if I use pixel counts
which approach this order of magnitude, I get memory errors -- on a
win32 machine with 2GB installed. Second, if I make do with a smaller
pixel count, I have trouble exporting the plot in a truly
one-pixel-per-data-point fashion. (The process is time consuming, and
results are unconvincing).

I think the problem is the way Mathematica internally tries do
everything in a resolution independent way, which I don't want here.


(The specific application is to generate high resolution print-outs of
holographic patterns which can later be imaged to photographic film.
After appropriate development and bleaching, the exposed film can be
used as a transmission hologram to couple gaussian laser beams into
other interesting modes.)

Thank you.

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