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Python wrapper for FreeImage and LCMS2 libraries

Project Description
smc.freeimage - Semantics' FreeImage wrapper for Python

smc.freeimage is a Python interface to the FreeImage and LCMS2 libraries.

Features of FreeImage

FreeImage wraps mature and widely-used libraries like LibJPEG, LibOpenJPEG,
LibPNG, LibRaw, LibTIFF4, OpenEXR and zlib in a consistent, well documented
and powerful API.

* Reading of 35 file formats and writing of more than 19 file formats as of
FreeImage 3.15.3, including JPEG 2000, multiple subformats of TIFF
with G3/G4 fax compression and JPEG subsampling.

* pixel depths from 1-32 bpp standard images up to formats like
RGBAF and 2x64complex.

* multi page images

* Metadata (e.g. EXIF, IPTC/NAA, GeoTIFF, XMP) and ICC

* Color adjustment, conversion and channel processing

* Image resizing and rotation

* High Dynamic Range (HDR) image processing and tone mapping

* RAW camera files

Contrary to PIL it doesn't contain advanced image filters or drawing
functions. FreeImage focuses on file formats

Features of LCMS2

LCMS2 is a color management engine that implements V2 and V4 ICC profiles up
to V4.3. It supports transformation, proofing and introspection of profiles
for a large variety of color formats and targets.

Features of smc.freeimage

smc.freeimage is developed as part of the closed source Visual Library

* mostly written with Cython with some lines of handwritten C Code and some
Python helpers.

* fast, it avoids copying large amounts of data and releases the GIL whenever

* 64bit safe, tested on i386/X86 and AMD64/X86_64 systems

* thread safe

* wraps a large subset of FreeImage features

* compatible with Python 2.6 to 3.3.


smc.freeimage with libjpeg-turbo read JPEGs about three to six times faster
than PIL and writes JPEGs more than five times faster.

JPEG's restart markers are not compatible with libjpeg-turbo's Huffman
decoder optimization and reduce performance a lot. Please read the section
"Restart Makers" on the page
for more information.

read / write cycles::
test image:
1210x1778 24bpp JPEG (pon.jpg)
Ubuntu 12.04 X86_64
Intel Xeon hexacore W3680@3.33GHz with 24 GB RAM

smc.freeimage, FreeImage 3.15.3 standard
- read JPEG 12.857 sec
- read JPEG 6.629 sec (resaved)
- write JPEG 21.817 sec

smc.freeimage, FreeImage 3.15.3 with jpeg turbo
- read JPEG 9.297 sec
- read JPEG 3.909 sec (resaved)
- write JPEG 5.857 sec
- read LZW TIFF 17.947 sec
- read biton G4 TIFF 2.068 sec
- resize 3.850 sec (box)
- resize 5.022 sec (bilinear)
- resize 7.942 sec (bspline)
- resize 7.222 sec (bicubic)
- resize 7.941 sec (catmull rom spline)
- resize 10.232 sec (lanczos3)
- tiff numpy.asarray() with bytescale() 0.006 sec
- tiff load + numpy.asarray() with bytescale() 18.043 sec

PIL 1.1.7
- read JPEG 30.389 sec
- read JPEG 23.118 sec (resaved)
- write JPEG 34.405 sec
- read LZW TIFF 21.596 sec
- read biton G4 TIFF: decoder group4 not available
- resize 0.032 sec (nearest)
- resize 1.074 sec (bilinear)
- resize 2.924 sec (bicubic)
- resize 8.056 sec (antialias)
- tiff scipy fromimage() with bytescale() 1.165 sec
- tiff scipy imread() with bytescale() 22.939 sec

Comparison to PIL (Pros and Cons)

Pros of smc.freeimage

* Faster! JPEG performance is about 3 to 6 times faster than PIL, numpy buffer
access is more than 100 times faster and consumes less memory due to zero
copy design.

* Modern file formats! smc.freeimage supports JPEG 2000, HDR and EXR high
dynamic range images and raw camera data (RAW).

* Full baseline TIFF support! Contrary to PIL smc.freeimage supports all
flavors of baseline TIFF like G3 and G4 compression and multipage TIFFs.

* PEP 3118 buffer interface that exports images as 2d or 3d non-contiguous

* Correct and optimized integration of a color management system (LittleCMS2)
instead of lcms1 integration including caching of optimized
transformations, in-place transformation and introspection of profiles.

* Structured metadata access to EXIF, XMP and IPTC information, also supports
fast loading of metadata without loading pixel data.

* Lot's of color types! Bitmap (8bit) with 1, 4, 8, 16, 24 and 32 bits per
pixel, (unsigned) int 16 and 32, float, double gray scale, complex, RGBA
16bit and RGBA floats.

* Static build support, no need for "make install". You just need a C99
compatible C/C++ compiler, make and nasm (for FreeImage-Turob).

Cons of smc.freeimage

* Few image filters, no support for complex image filters in FreeImage

* Low quality resize filters are slower than PIL's filters

* No drawing API for primitives (lines, circles, boxes)

* No text drawing support and libfreetype integration.

* Still not feature complete and under development.

FreeImage + libjpeg-turbo

An experimental fork of FreeImage with libjpeg-turbo is available at

Testdata and Windows build files

Neither the Windows build files nor the test images are included in the
source distribution. All files can be downloaded from .


Christian Heimes

Dirk Rothe (testing and proposals)


Copyright (C) 2008-2012 semantics GmbH. All Rights Reserved.::

Kommunikationsmanagement GmbH
Viktoriaallee 45
D-52066 Aachen

Tel.: +49 241 89 49 89 29
eMail: info(at)


smc.freeimage 0.2

*Release date: 17-Aug-2012*

- implemented simple and read-only multipage image support

- added support for static linking of libfreeimage and liblcms2

- added binary and errors arguments to getMetadata()

- implemented PEP-3118 buffer interface for all image types. The buffer
is either 2d (for grey, i16bit, int, uint, float and double) images or
3d for all colored images.

- added getColor* functions to get shift, mask and order of RGBA
and 16bit image pixel data.

- implemented getRaw() to get a copy of the raw pixel data.

- support building smc.freeimage without Cython and just from _freeimage.c

- added experimental FreeImageTurbo.dll for 32bit Windows

- added --without-turbo

- enhanced FormatInfo class and fixed a possible segfault

- fixed icc_cmyk property handling of missing ICC profile

- added ImageDataRepresentation as central information place for mapping
of image and color type to buffer layout, LCMS types and PIL modes.

smc.freeimage 0.1

*Release date: 13-Jul-2012*

- project moved to

- experimental support for Python 3

- support for Windows X86_64 builds

- updated code base to LCMS 2.3, FreeImage 3.15.3 and Cython 0.16

- modernized and cleaned up Cython code to use recent features like pxd files
Release History

Release History

History Node


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File Name & Checksum SHA256 Checksum Help Version File Type Upload Date
smc.freeimage-0.2.full.tar.gz (21.8 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2-py2.6-win32.egg (1.2 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.6 Egg Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2-py2.6-win-amd64.egg (1.5 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.6 Egg Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2-py2.7-win32.egg (1.2 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.7 Egg Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2-py2.7-win-amd64.egg (1.5 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.7 Egg Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2-py3.2-win32.egg (1.2 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 3.2 Egg Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2-py3.2-win-amd64.egg (1.5 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 3.2 Egg Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2.tar.gz (285.4 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2.win32-py2.6.exe (1.4 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.6 Windows Installer Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2.win32-py2.7.exe (1.4 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.7 Windows Installer Aug 17, 2012
smc.freeimage-0.2.win32-py3.2.exe (1.4 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 3.2 Windows Installer Aug 17, 2012 (1.7 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.6 Windows Installer Aug 17, 2012 (1.7 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 2.7 Windows Installer Aug 17, 2012 (1.7 MB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 3.2 Windows Installer Aug 17, 2012 (319.5 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Aug 17, 2012

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