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I am interest in fractal compression and would like to clarify myths and wild speculation about this technology. There are new developments taking place and I am attempting to gather enough facts and references to be included in the fractal compression article for the benefit of others who are also interested in this subject.

TruDef and SoftVideo, Fractal Compression Development Continues[edit]

High Definition Fractal Video Compression (TruDef) [1] is the only known commercial video codec under active development capable of encoding full motion video using fractal compression. Its former name was SoftVideo, a product used in a number of CD-ROM games.

Development started in the early 1990's between Philip Taylor Kramer's company Total Multimedia Inc., MCI Communications and Iterated Systems Inc. which resulted in Total Multimedia's version of the codec called SoftVideo, based upon Michael Barnsley's original fractal compression patents and others owed by Iterated Systems Inc. Kramer's contributions made full motion fractal video compression viable with increased quality and compression ratios. In 1994 Total Multimedia Inc. licensed SoftVideo to Spectrum Holobyte for use in its CD-ROM games including Falcon Gold and Star Trek: The Next Generation A Final Unity[2]

While showing promise computer hardware of the time lacked the necessary processing power for fractal video compression to be practical beyond a few select usages. Compression results were only achieved by distributing encoding tasks over a network of servers and took up to 15 hours to encode a single minute of video.

With current computing technology several generations ahead, Total Multimedia Inc. announced in 2007 further development of its SoftVideo codec, renaming it to TruDef and its plans for the next generation codec conforming to modern 64 bit operating system environments.

Latest Build: TruDef Encoder V.0.001 (June 17, 2008), Visual Studio 2008 for Vista 32, supports Multi Threading for Intel® Dual and Quad Core architecture, distributed processing over networked servers.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Original Manual specifying on page 11 SoftVideo under license from TMM Inc.

TruDef 1600x1216 Frames only 39KB in size[edit]


TruDef has been tested with the "Magic Hour" sequence of StEM (Standard Evaluation Material) commissioned by DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) for purposes of quality analysis of video compression codecs. This footage contains a number of elements such as complex motion, film graining and color variations that are a better test of a video codec's capabilities.

TruDef was tested by cropping out 1600x1216 sections of the original 4096x1714 uncompressed RGB 4:4:4 24fps StEM footage providing 1.95 megapixel resolution which compressed in the 8-9mbps range.

Four test clips were made each containing 98 frames with a total file size of 15.4MB. The average 1600x1216 frame size is 39KB.

Examples of Fractal Compression up to 700:1[edit]

Raw file use as reference






Screen capture demo of the TruDef Encoder compressing a file 265:1[edit]

216MB Raw Source File, 815KB Compressed

You must first install the FM lossless screen capture codec

TruDef VideoPrep Encoder Demo 265:1

You will see from the video no human intervention is required during the encoding process, contrary to false and misleading claims previously made in the Wiki fractal compression article.

Uncompressed video from 265:1 TruDef Demo 265:1

Fractal Upscaling[edit]




A single frame of 1280x960 4:2:0 color video takes 0.23 seconds to encode using TruDef Fractal Compression compiled for Microsoft Vista 32:

Total time to compress 552 1280x960 frame sequence: 127635 ms (4.324833 fps)

Note: Encoding time includes hard drive I/O bottleneck.

Test System

OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1 Build 6001
System Model P5K Deluxe
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz, 2394 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 0404, 6/15/2007
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6001.18000"
Installed Physical Memory (1066mhz RAM) 4.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.40 GB
Total Virtual Memory 8.21 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.90 GB
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB 7,200 RPM 32MB Cache