The authors describe an automated technique of magnetic resonance (MR) image synthesis. Given a specific pulse sequence, MR signals are acquired for several pulse delay and/or repetition times and used to compute images of intrinsic parameters T1, T2, and N(H). Both the computed images and operator-specified pulse delay and repetition times are then used to "synthesize" a new image based on equations descriptive of MR signal behavior and comparable to that acquired by using the operator-specified parameters in an actual MR study. Instrumentation enabling rapid operator-interactive generation of synthesized images is described and initial results presented, allowing for dependence of the signal on T2 in spin echo images. Extension to full T1, T2, and N(H) dependence for arbitrary pulse sequences is described. Major advantages of this technique include retrospective optimization of contrast between arbitrary materials, rapid and systematic image analysis, and reduced scanning time; potential limitations include accuracy, noise, motion artifacts, and multicomponent behavior.