[SciPy-User] FreeImage <-> numpy IO wrappers

Sebastian Haase seb.haase@gmail....
Tue Oct 19 12:59:19 CDT 2010

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 6:10 PM, Zachary Pincus <zachary.pincus@yale.edu> wrote:
> Hi Sebastien,
> Thanks -- I hope this winds up being useful. Stéfan tried out this code a
> while ago and ran into a segfault loading a color jpeg that I was never able
> to reproduce... perhaps something to do with the fact that his
> python/FreeImage were 64-bit. Anyhow, beware that caveat.
>> Here are some comment and questions:
>> 1) I would rename it to freeImage.py - or alike
> Yeah, sure, that's reasonable. Below is a new version of the code that's a
> package that you import as "FreeImage"...
>> 2) Compiling freeimage from source went really well. No configure,
>> simple a "make" and it ran through. Except in my version
>> freeimage-3.14.1 I had to add "#include <string.h>" to file
>> ImathMatrix.h so that it would accept the use of memset(...)
> Huh... that's odd. Good to know!
>> 3) you are changing the FreeImage convention of 0,0 being bottom-left
>> to 0,0 being top-left -- to make it more like "all other" image
>> software.   I actually come from UCSF where we used the MRC format
>> having 0,0 being left-bottom.  How strong do you feel about this ?
> Pretty much all of the common basic image formats (TIFF, PNG, JPG and the
> like) have 0,0 as top-left, so I tried to make it so that images loaded
> would index just the same as they would in any other image viewer like
> MetaMorph or ImageJ or Photoshop, etc. This explains the 0,0-as-top-left as
> well as your question 5 below about the striding.
> Also, the image formats I'm most familiar with are by-and-large stored
> on-disk in scanline order from top to bottom, then additional image planes
> (also in scanline order). Which corresponds to fortran-order (fast axis
> first) xy[zt] in memory, with 0,0 at the top-left. Which is also what most
> libraries expect when passed an memory region that's supposed to be an image
> (e.g. OpenGL, other UI libs, etc.), so I tried to make the output conform to
> the most usual "expected" memory pattern.
> One strange thing crops up with color images. Usually RGB(A) pixels are
> stored next to eachother, so the fortran-order memory format is cxyzt
> (again, this is what external libraries expect). But a quick .view()
> operation with a structured RGB(A) dtype makes this work more "naturally"
> (if desired).
>> 4) For the return numpy-array you explicitly call copy() -  I guess
>> this is needed because one has to call FreeImage's unload() , right ?
> Yes, this is the case.
> I think there's some way in the numpy C-api (or perhaps the new py3 buffer
> api?) to specify a function pointer to be called when an array needs to be
> freed (if the array is constructed around some external chunk of memory). So
> if some numpy hacker who knows the C api better than I could comment on how
> one might do this, it could be arranged such that FreeImage_unload is called
> by numpy, so that we don't need to copy the array and then manually unload
> the image.
>> 5) you define the array strides to have the pitch (that is, the line
>> width) last -- this is somewhat against the C-convention of having the
>> fast axis last. Obviously you did this, to get arrays with indices i,j
>> having x,y order rather than y,x -- how strong do you feel about this
>> ? I accepted at some point that the fast (x) coordinate would be last
>> and thus always write coordinates as y,x.
>> (In 3D this becomes semi-naturally z,y,x  rather then z,x,y - BTW - )
> See above... given that images are usually fortran-order on disk and that
> most external libraries expect them to be that way too, I think that this is
> the most reasonable. It's just that PIL has been so broken for so long that
> people on Python are used to indexing images as i[y,x] instead of i[x,y].
> But fortran-order arrays are just as natural as C-order, and i[x,y,z,t] is
> also as natural, if not more so, than i[t,z,y,x].
> Again, the code is barely a few hundred lines, so feel free to modify to the
> conventions that are most natural for your application! But I think this is
> the best general-case approach.
>> Do you happen to have os-x binaries of libfreeimage.dylib ?
> I do -- 32-bit only though. (Pretty easy to build...) Do you want me to send
> the dylib?
> Attached is the latest version of my code, which has a few new bug fixes
> from the previous version. (Can read palletized grey-scale images, for
> example.) Just drop whatever .dylib, .dll, or .so FreeImage shared library
> you've got into the directory with image.py and the setup.py script will
> detect it and install it alongside the python code. Then just do "import
> FreeImage" and you're good to go.
> Zach
I really don't want to edit your python file - even though I
appreciate the fact that it is quite small.
I would rather write smaller wrapper functions to get the memory order I need.
Another way would be to add some sort of mem_layout flag to support
the four possible permutations c<->fortran and bottom<->top at the
lowest level and prevent an extra copy.
I had never heard that image data (file formats, OpenGL, etc.) was not
ordered in y,x (C-order, i.e. x being fast) memory layout - I though
the top vs. bottom origin was the only "uncertainty" - well, there
maybe more FORTRAN around than I thought ...

I will take a look at your update tomorrow.
- Sebastian

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