Advances in nucleation technology have made possible the thy development of thin-film metallic images on a sensitized substrate at high speed. The media are sensitive to ultraviolet light exposure or may be written upon with a scanning elec tron beam. Development occurs at reduced pressure by the selective condensation of metal atoms from a vapor. This technique for image formation allows development to occur in about one second. Permanent, black-on-white images are produced on the opaque media which are well suited for use in high brightness, reflection displays, or opaque pro lectors. Alternatively, cathodoluminescent readout may be employed to produce a video signal directly from the image. The resolution of the medium exceeds 500 line pairs/mm on a flexible substrate and the granularity is very low.