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Python bindings for WebP

Project description

WebP Python bindings

Build status License PyPI GitHub


pip install webp

On Windows you may encounter the following error during installation:

conans.errors.ConanException: 'settings.compiler' value not defined

This means that you need to install a C compiler and configure Conan so that it knows which compiler to use. See for more details.


  • libwebp (tested with v1.0.3)
    • Install libwebpmux and libwebpdemux components as well.
    • Check out the Dockerfile for steps to build from source on Ubuntu.
  • Python 3 (tested with v3.6)
  • cffi
  • Pillow
  • numpy


import webp

Simple API

# Save an image
webp.save_image(img, 'image.webp', quality=80)

# Load an image
img = webp.load_image('image.webp', 'RGBA')

# Save an animation
webp.save_images(imgs, 'anim.webp', fps=10, lossless=True)

# Load an animation
imgs = webp.load_images('anim.webp', 'RGB', fps=10)

If you prefer working with numpy arrays, use the functions imwrite, imread, mimwrite, and mimread instead.

Advanced API

# Encode a PIL image to WebP in memory, with encoder hints
pic = webp.WebPPicture.from_pil(img)
config =, quality=70)
buf = pic.encode(config).buffer()

# Read a WebP file and decode to a BGR numpy array
with open('image.webp', 'rb') as f:
  webp_data = webp.WebPData.from_buffer(
  arr = webp_data.decode(color_mode=WebPColorMode.BGR)

# Save an animation
enc =, height)
timestamp_ms = 0
for img in imgs:
  pic = webp.WebPPicture.from_pil(img)
  enc.encode_frame(pic, timestamp_ms)
  timestamp_ms += 250
anim_data = enc.assemble(timestamp_ms)
with open('anim.webp', 'wb') as f:

# Load an animation
with open('anim.webp', 'rb') as f:
  webp_data = webp.WebPData.from_buffer(
  dec =
  for arr, timestamp_ms in dec.frames():
    # `arr` contains decoded pixels for the frame
    # `timestamp_ms` contains the _end_ time of the frame


  • Picture encoding/decoding
  • Animation encoding/decoding
  • Automatic memory management
  • Simple API for working with PIL.Image objects

Not implemented

  • Encoding/decoding still images in YUV color mode
  • Advanced muxing/demuxing (color profiles, etc.)
  • Expose all useful fields

Developer notes

Running tests

$ pytest tests/

Cutting a new release

  1. Ensure that tests are passing and everything is ready for release.
  2. Create and push a Git tag:
    $ git tag -a v0.1.4
    $ git push --tags
  3. Download the artifacts from GitHub Actions, which will include the source distribution tarball and binary wheels.
  4. Create a new release on GitHub from the tagged commit and upload the packages as attachments to the release.
  5. Also upload the packages to PyPI using Twine:
    $ twine upload webp-*.tar.gz webp-*.whl
  6. Bump the version number in setup.cfg and create a commit, signalling the start of development on the next version.

These files should also be added to a GitHub release.

Known issues

  • An animation where all frames are identical will "collapse" in on itself, resulting in a single frame. Unfortunately, WebP seems to discard timestamp information in this case, which breaks webp.load_images when the FPS is specified.
  • There are currently no 32-bit binaries of libwebp uploaded to Conan Center. If you are running 32-bit Python, libwebp will be built from source.

Project details

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