Take a look at the two small monotone Mandelbrot fractal sets below. They are identical – apart from the fact that the set on the left is aliased and the set on the right is anti-aliased. When fractal images are aliased – they look scratchy and you can see a lot of noise over the image. Aliasing comes about because the edge of the fractal is infinite, but the screen has a finite amount of pixels with which to represent it.

anti aliasing
Below are the same two mandelbrot fractal sets magnified by around 800% At this level of magnification you can see each individual pixel clearly. When the fractal is calculated, each pixel has to be either inside the fractal set (black) or outside the fractal set (white) Even though some of the pixels contain both the inside, and the outside of the fractal. This is what causes aliasing.

anti aliasing

When the fractal image is anti-aliased, each pixel that contains both the inside and the outside of the fractal – is shaded between the two colours – according to how much of the inside and outside it contains. This removes aliasing. Although it is impossible to remove aliasing all together, anti-aliasing a fractal image greatly improves its quality. Take a look at the full colour example below.

anti aliasing

here is a video to illustrate the difference whilst zooming…

here is another video – this time in hd – to illustrate the difference whilst zooming…