Pelican plugin that automates image processing.

Image Process: A Plugin for Pelican

Image Process is a plugin for Pelican, a static site generator written in Python.

Image Process let you automate the processing of images based on their class attribute. Use this plugin to minimize the overall page weight and to save you a trip to Gimp or Photoshop each time you include an image in your post.

Image Process also makes it easy to create responsive images using the HTML5 srcset attribute and <picture> tag. It does this by generating multiple derivative images from one or more sources.

Image Process will not overwrite your original images.

Installation

The easiest way to install Image Process is via Pip. This will also install the required dependencies automatically.

python -m pip install pelican-image-process


You will then need to configure your desired transformations (see Usage below) and add the appropriate class to images you want processed.

Usage

Image Process scans your content for <img> tags with special classes. It then maps the classes to a set of image processing instructions, computes new images, and modifies HTML code according to the instructions.

Define Transformations

The first step in using this module is to define some image transformations in your Pelican configuration file. Transformations are defined in the IMAGE_PROCESS dictionary, mapping a transformation name to a list of operations. There are three kinds of transformations: image replacement, responsive image, and picture set.

Image Replacement

The simplest image processing will replace the original image by a new, transformed image computed from the original. You may use this, for example, to ensure that all images are of the same size, or to compute a thumbnail from a larger image:

IMAGE_PROCESS = {
"article-image": ["scale_in 300 300 True"],
"thumb": ["crop 0 0 50% 50%", "scale_out 150 150 True", "crop 0 0 150 150"],
}


These transformations tell Image Process to transform the image referred to by the src attribute of an <img> according to the list of operations specified, and replace the src attribute with the URL of the transformed image.

For consistency with other types of transformations described below, there is an alternative syntax for the processing instructions:

IMAGE_PROCESS = {
"thumb": {
"type": "image",
"ops": ["crop 0 0 50% 50%", "scale_out 150 150 True", "crop 0 0 150 150"],
},
"article-image": {
"type": "image",
"ops": ["scale_in 300 300 True"],
},
}


To apply image replacement to the images in your articles, you must add to them the special class image-process-<transform>, in which <transform> is the ID of the transformation you wish to apply.

Let's say you have defined the transformation described above. To get your image processed, it needs to have the right CSS class:

<img class="image-process-article-image" src="/images/pelican.jpg"/>


This can be produced in Markdown with:

![](/images/pelican.png){: .image-process-article-image}


In reStructuredText, use the :class: attribute of the image or the figure directive:

.. image:: /images/pelican.png
:class: image-process-article-image

.. figure:: /images/pelican.png
:class: image-process-article-image


⚠️ Warning:

The reStructuredText reader will convert underscores (_) to dashes (-) in class names. To make sure everything runs smoothly, do not use underscores in your transformation names.

Responsive Images

You can use Image Process to automatically generate a set of images that will be selected for display by browsers according to the viewport width or according to the device resolution. To accomplish this, Image Process will add a srcset attribute (and maybe a media and a sizes attribute) to the <img> tag.

HTML5 supports two types of responsive image sets. The first one is device-pixel-ratio-based, selecting higher resolution images for higher resolution devices; the second one is viewport-based, selecting images according to the viewport size. You can read more about HTML5 responsive images for a gentle introduction to the srcset and <picture> syntaxes.

To tell Image Process to generate a responsive image, add a responsive-image transformation to your your IMAGE_PROCESS dictionary, with the following syntax:

IMAGE_PROCESS = {
"crisp": {
"type": "responsive-image",
"srcset": [
("1x", ["scale_in 800 600 True"]),
("2x", ["scale_in 1600 1200 True"]),
("4x", ["scale_in 3200 2400 True"]),
],
"default": "1x",
},
"large-photo": {
"type": "responsive-image",
"sizes": (
"(min-width: 1200px) 800px, "
"(min-width: 992px) 650px, "
"(min-width: 768px) 718px, "
"100vw"
),
"srcset": [
("600w", ["scale_in 600 450 True"]),
("800w", ["scale_in 800 600 True"]),
("1600w", ["scale_in 1600 1200 True"]),
],
"default": "800w",
},
}


The crisp transformation is an example of a transformation enabling device-pixel-ratio-based selection. The srcset is a list of tuples, each tuple containing the image description ("1x", "2x", etc.) and the list of operations to generate the derivative image from the original image (the original image is the value of the src attribute of the <img>). Image descriptions are hints about the resolution of the associated image and must have the suffix x. The default setting specifies the image to use to replace the src attribute of the image. This is the image that will be displayed by browsers that do not support the srcset syntax.

The large-photo transformation is an example of a transformation enabling viewport-based selection. The sizes contains a rule to compute the width of the displayed image from the width of the viewport. Once the browser knows the image width, it will select an image source from the srcset. The srcset is a list of tuple, each tuple containing the image description ("600w", "800w", etc.) and the list of operations to generate the derivative image from the original image (the original image is the value of the src attribute of the <img>). Image descriptions are hints about the width in pixels of the associated image and must have the suffix w. The default setting specifies the image to use to replace the src attribute of the image. This is the image that will be displayed by browsers that do not support the srcset syntax.

In the two examples above, the default setting is a string referring to one of the images in the srcset. However, the default value could also be a list of operations to generate a different derivative image.

To make the images in your article responsive, you must add to them the special class image-process-<transform>, in which <transform> is the ID of the transformation you wish to apply, exactly like you would do for the image replacement case, described above.

So, in HTML it should look like this:

<img class="image-process-large-photo" src="/images/pelican.jpg"/>


Which can be produced in Markdown with:

![](/images/pelican.jpg){: .image-process-large-photo}


In reStructuredText, use the :class: attribute of the image or the figure directive:

.. image:: /images/pelican.jpg
:class: image-process-large-photo

.. figure:: /images/pelican.jpg
:class: image-process-large-photo


Picture Set

Image Process can be used to generate the images used by a <picture> tag. The <picture> syntax allows for more flexibility in providing a choice of image to the browser. Again, you can read more about HTML5 responsive images for a gentle introduction to the srcset and <picture> syntaxes.

To tell Image Process to generate the images for a <picture>, add a picture entry to your IMAGE_PROCESS dictionary with the following syntax:

IMAGE_PROCESS = {
"example-pict": {
"type": "picture",
"sources": [
{
"name": "default",
"media": "(min-width: 640px)",
"srcset": [
("640w", ["scale_in 640 480 True"]),
("1024w", ["scale_in 1024 683 True"]),
("1600w", ["scale_in 1600 1200 True"]),
],
"sizes": "100vw",
},
{
"name": "source-1",
"srcset": [
("1x", ["crop 100 100 200 200"]),
("2x", ["crop 100 100 300 300"]),
]
},
],
"default": ("default", "640w"),
},
}


Each of the sources entries is very similar to the responsive image describe above. Here, each source must have a name, which will be used to find the URL of the original image for this source in your article. The source may also have a media, which contains a rule used by the browser to select the active source. The default setting specifies the image to use to replace the src attribute of the <img> inside the <picture>. This is the image that will be displayed by browsers that do not support the <picture> syntax. In this example, it will use the image 640w from the source default. A list of operations could have been specified instead of 640w.

To generate a responsive <picture> for the images in your articles, you must add to your article a pseudo <picture> tag that looks like this:

<picture>
<source class="source-1" src="/images/pelican-closeup.jpg"></source>
<img class="image-process-example-pict" src="/images/pelican.jpg"/>
</picture>


Each <source> tag maps a source name (the class attribute) to a file (the src attribute). The <img> must have the special class image-process- followed by the name of the transformation you wish to apply. The file referenced by the src attribute of the <img> will be used as the special default source in your transformation definition.

You can't produce this with pure Markdown and must instead resort to raw HTML.

In reStructuredText, however, you can also use the figure directive to generate a <picture>. The figure image file will be used as the special default source; other sources must be added in the legend section of the figure as image directives. The figure class must be image-process- followed by the name of the transformation you wish to apply, while the other images must have two classes: image-process and the name of the source they provide an image for:

.. figure:: /images/pelican.jpg
:class: image-process-example-pict

Test picture

.. image:: /images/pelican-closeup.jpg
:class: image-process source-1


The images in the legend section that are used as source for the <picture> will be removed from the image legend, so that they do not appear in your final article.

Transformations

Available operations for transformations are:

• crop <top> <left> <right> <bottom>:

Crop the image to the box (<left>, <top>)-(<right>, <bottom>). Values can be absolute (a number) or relative to the size of the image (a number followed by a percent sign %).

• flip_horizontal:

Flip the image horizontally.

• flip_vertical:

Flip the image vertically.

• grayscale:

Convert the image to grayscale.

• resize <width> <height>:

Resize the image. This operation does not preserve the image aspect ratio. Values can be absolute (a number) or relative to the size of the image (a number followed by a percent sign %).

• rotate <degrees>:

Rotate the image.

• scale_in <width> <height> <upscale>:

Resize the image. This operation preserves the image aspect ratio and the resulting image will be no larger than <width> x <height>. Values can be absolute (a number) or relative to the size of the image (a number followed by a percent sign %). If <upscale> is False, smaller images will not be enlarged.

• scale_out <width> <height> <upscale>:

Resize the image. This operation preserves the image aspect ratio and the resulting image will be no smaller than <width> x <height>. Values can be absolute (a number) or relative to the size of the image (a number followed by a percent sign %). If <upscale> is False, smaller images will not be enlarged.

• blur:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.BLUR filter to the image.

• contour:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.CONTOUR filter to the image.

• detail:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.DETAIL filter to the image.

• edge_enhance:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.EDGE_ENHANCE filter to the image.

• edge_enhance_more:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.EDGE_ENHANCE_MORE filter to the image.

• emboss:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.EMBOSS filter to the image.

• find_edges:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.FIND_EDGES filter to the image.

• smooth:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.SMOOTH filter to the image.

• smooth_more:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.SMOOTH_MORE filter to the image.

• sharpen:

Apply the pillow.ImageFilter.SHARPEN filter to the image.

You can also define your own operations; the only requirement is that your operation should be a callable object expecting a pillow.Image as its first parameter and it should return the transformed image:

def crop_face(image):
"""Detect face in image and crop around it."""
# Fancy algorithm.
return image

IMAGE_PROCESS = {
"face-thumbnail": [crop_face, "scale_out 150 150 True"]
}


Destination Directory

By default, the new images will be stored in a directory named derivative/<TRANSFORMATION_NAME> in the output folder at the same location as the original image. For example, if the original image is located in the content/images folder, the computed images will be stored in output/images/derivative/<TRANSFORMATION_NAME>. All the transformations are done in the output directory in order to avoid confusion with the source files or if we test multiple transformations. You can replace derivative by something else using the IMAGE_PROCESS_DIR setting in your Pelican settings file:

IMAGE_PROCESS_DIR = "derivees"


Force Image Processing

If the transformed image already exists and is newer than the original image, the plugin assumes that it should not re-compute it again. You can force the plugin to re-compute all images by setting IMAGE_PROCESS_FORCE to True in your Pelican configuration file.

IMAGE_PROCESS_FORCE = True


Selecting a HTML Parser

You may select the HTML parser which is used. The default is the built-in html.parser but you may also select html5lib or lxml by setting IMAGE_PROCESS_PARSER in your Pelican settings file. For example:

IMAGE_PROCESS_PARSER = "html5lib"


For details, refer to the BeautifulSoup documentation on parsers.

File Encoding

You may select a different file encoding to be used by BeautifulSoup as it opens your files. The default is utf-8.

IMAGE_PROCESS_ENCODING = "utf-8"


Copying EXIF Tags

You may ask Image Process to copy the EXIF tags from your original image to the transformed images. You must have exiftool installed.

IMAGE_PROCESS_COPY_EXIF_TAGS = True


Contributing

Contributions are welcome and much appreciated. Every little bit helps. You can contribute by improving the documentation, adding missing features, and fixing bugs. You can also help out by reviewing and commenting on existing issues.

To start contributing to this plugin, review the Contributing to Pelican documentation, beginning with the Contributing Code section.

Regenerating Test Images

If you need to regenerate the transformed images used by the test suite, there is a helper function to do this for you. From the Python REPL:

>>> from pelican.plugins.image_process.test_image_process import generate_test_images
>>> generate_test_images()
36 test images generated!


Pelican image in test data by Jon Sullivan. Published under a Creative Commons Public Domain license.

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