Matt Comi Matt Comi - 3 months ago 17
iOS Question

How to determine and interpret the pixel format of a CGImage

I'm loading this (very small) image using:

UIImage* image = [UIImage named:@"someFile.png"];


The image is 4x1 and it contains a red, green, blue and white pixel from left to right, in that order.

Next, I get the pixel data out of the underlying CGImage:

NSData* data = (NSData*)CGDataProviderCopyData(CGImageGetDataProvider(image.CGImage));


Now, for some reason, the pixel data is laid out differently depending on the iOS device.

When I run the app in the simulator or on my iPhone 4, the pixel data looks like this:

(255,0,0),(0,255,0),(0,0,255),(255,255,255)

So, the pixels are 3 bytes per pixel, with blue as the most significant byte and red as the least significant. So I guess you call that BGR?

When I check the CGBitmapInfo, I can see that the kCGBitmapByteOrderMask is kCGBitmapByteOrderDefault. I can't find anywhere that explains what "default" is.

On the other hand, when I run it on my first gen iPhone, the pixel data looks like this:

(0,0,255,255),(0,255,0,255),(255,0,0,255),(255,255,255,255)

So 4 bytes per channel, alpha as the most significant byte, and blue as the least significant. So... that's called ARGB?

I've been looking at the CGBitmapInfo for clues on how to detect the layout. On the first gen iPhone, the kCGBitmapAlphaInfoMask is kCGImageAlphaNoneSkipFirst. That means that the most significant bits are ignored. So that makes sense. On the first gen iPhone the kCGBitmapByteOrderMask is kCGBitmapByteOrder32Little. I don't know what that means or how to relate it back to how the R, G and B components are laid out in memory. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Thanks.

Answer

To ensure device independence, it may be better to use a CGBitmapContext to populate the data for you.

Something like this should work

// Get the CGImageRef
CGImageRef imageRef = [theImage CGImage];

// Find width and height
NSUInteger width = CGImageGetWidth(imageRef);
NSUInteger height = CGImageGetHeight(imageRef);

// Setup color space
CGColorSpaceRef colorSpace = CGColorSpaceCreateDeviceRGB();

// Alloc data that the image data will be put into
unsigned char *rawData = malloc(height * width * 4);

// Create a CGBitmapContext to draw an image into
NSUInteger bytesPerPixel = 4;
NSUInteger bytesPerRow = bytesPerPixel * width;
NSUInteger bitsPerComponent = 8;
CGContextRef context = CGBitmapContextCreate(rawData, width, height,
                                             bitsPerComponent, bytesPerRow, colorSpace,
                                             kCGImageAlphaPremultipliedLast | kCGBitmapByteOrder32Big);
CGColorSpaceRelease(colorSpace);

// Draw the image which will populate rawData
CGContextDrawImage(context, CGRectMake(0, 0, width, height), imageRef);
CGContextRelease(context);


for (NSUInteger y = 0; y < height; y++) {
    for (NSUInteger x = 0; x < width; x++) {        
        int byteIndex = (bytesPerRow * y) + x * bytesPerPixel;

        CGFloat red = rawData[byteIndex];
        CGFloat green = rawData[byteIndex + 1];
        CGFloat blue = rawData[byteIndex + 2];
        CGFloat alpha = rawData[byteIndex + 3];
    }
}

free(rawData);