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Four by Four

Use Four by Four to explore all possible 4x4 pixel black and white images. Please read the below instructions:

1) Click and drag your mouse over the grid to create a unique 4x4 image.

example: 4x4 pixels is enough to create letters and simple icons.

2) When you've finished step 1, hit any key.

3) Four by Four will animate for a moment and eventually stop when it highlights your 4x4 image.

4) Repeat steps 1-3.

About Four by Four

Binary numbers can be used to represent black and white images. For instance, the binary number 1100 can be represented as two black pixels followed by two white pixels:

1100 represented in pixels.

This means that by counting in binary and rendering each number with pixels, all possible black and white images can be generated at a given image size. Including zero, Four by Four contains 65,536 images. If that sounds strange, think of this: A 4x4 black pixel square is represented in binary as 16 bits : 1111111111111111, or 65,535.

Using the same approach for 5x5 pixels will create 33,554,431 images. A 10x10 pixel version will create well over one nonillian images (1267650600228229401496703205376 to be exact).

It is possible to create a program that renders NxN pixel images by treating the images as a procedural texure. Here is a still from an early test for such a program:

proof of concept for 10x10.