Image manipulation

While you are already aware that Graphics Mill is a superb ASP.NET image manipulation library that greatly simplifies dealing with images, you might wonder which image manipulations are supported.

The list of specific items that Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library can handle is impressive and worth a look.

Generating Thumbnails/Image previews

Thumbnails are small copies of an image that are used as a visual reference to denote an image in a list. When many thumbnails are displayed it is important not just to resize the image, but to complete the resizing as quickly and efficiently as possible to avoid a painfully long wait time while the images load. Here’s how Graphics Mill resizing works.

It is important to state first that for most photos taken on modern cameras, there is no need to actually resize the image to generate a thumbnail. In fact, modern equipment standardly generates a 160/120 JPEG thumbnail and stores it in the EXIF data associated with an original without user direction.

If this standard thumbnail size is insufficient for your needs, or if for some reason there is no thumbnail available in the EXIF data, Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library has an answer that is quick and easy. Graphics Mill can generate the thumbnail image “on-the-fly”, without necessitating the loading of the whole image into system memory. This efficiency saves a lot of system resources over the plodding approach used by our competitors as they hobble their users; they decode the entire image and load the whole thing into memory, resize it into the thumbnail, and only then save the thumbnail as a new file.

General image resizing

Generating thumbnails is not the only reason that images need to be resized. Rather it is only one of many operations that require image resizing. Other examples are when there is a need to resize from a massive original to a small image, or any size in between. Alternately, you may need to resize from a smaller image into a larger—sometimes much larger—one.

Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library is definitely the way to go. It includes a wide array of native interpolation algorithms, from the basic nearest neighbor algorithm to a to a high quality supersampling algorithm.

Extra-large images can be quickly resized piece-by-piece. This is another way that using Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library gives you an advantage and saves your precious system resources. The whole massive image does not have to be loaded into memory before resizing and other manipulation actions take place. No more are you at the mercy of dreaded out-of-memory exceptions and slow processing speeds!

Rotating images

Many image manipulations involve rotation. The ubiquitous “rotate 90 degrees right” and “rotate 90 degrees left” button is a staple of image manipulation. It is no surprise that Graphics Mill can undertake this operation with ease. But it is of great advantage to you that Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library can rotate 90, 180, and 270 degrees without the need for recompressing. This keeps your system resource use to a minimum and greatly speeds up the task. And you aren’t limited to the standard 90/180/270 rotations. Graphics Mill can rotate images to any arbitrary angle that you specify. Better yet, through the utilization of high quality interpolation algorithms, the resulting rotated image is clean and crisp.

Cropping images

One more popular basic image manipulation is image cropping. Whether you just want to make sure that the image has the proper aspect ratio, or to give the user the ability to excise unnecessary portions of an image, Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library accomplishes this useful task using only a single line of code.

Drawing images/text/shapes on an image

There are many reasons you might want to draw on an image, all of which are easily supported with Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library. You might be adding another image to the original, or adding a line of text, or adding shapes, or protecting your intellectual property through the addition of a watermark, or drawing a border around a photo, or rendering a composite image based on a template. Whatever the reason, the position, opacity, font settings, color, and many other parameters for the image can be controlled with Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library.

Converting image formats

Sometimes you have no need of modifying the image per se, other than to convert its format. For example, converting TIFF files to JPEG, or JPEG files to PDF, or 8-bit images to 16-bit, or RGB to CMYK. Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library accomplishes all of these actions with ease.

Manipulations with image tone and colors

When it comes to photos, color adjustment is sometimes very desirable to improve the way an image’s tonal balance is presented, or modify brightness or contrast, or highlight midtones, which are often the most important part of a photo. With Graphics Mill you can do all of this in the same familiar way you would using Photoshop. There may also be artistic reasons to change colors or apply artistic effects, such as desaturating a photo, recoloring it, displaying it as a black and white or a sepia image, etc. Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library can do all of this and more.

Manipulation with alpha channel (transparency)

Alpha channel is similar to the red, green or blue in RGB, but instead of a color component this channel refers to pixel opacity within an image. This becomes very important when you are combining images and want to make a portion of an image “invisible”. Or, if you are applying effects and want to modify only part of an image such as when you need to pixelize or blur a car’s license plate. Graphics Mill lets you work with each channel just as if it was an independent grayscale image. This gives you the ability to create masks, “cut holes” in images, etc.

Bottom line, Graphics Mill’s image manipulation library allows you the ability to efficiently modify and manipulate images in many ways, all the while never using more processing power or system bandwidth than you need to. Despite the numerous actions that are described here, this is not a complete list of the image manipulation library’s capabilities. Explore our website or contact Aurigma if you have any questions about the functionality the system offers. We are confident that you will come to love and rely on Graphics Mill for all your image manipulation needs!