MCS 275 Spring 2022
It is a package you can install with
python3 -m pip install pillow
Or check the official install instructions.
Pillow provides a module called
The name difference is for historical reasons.
Pillow replaces a module named
PIL that was created for Python 2, and which hasn't been updated since 2011.
There are two basic types of image files you will encounter: vector images and bitmap images.
Store instructions about what to draw (a circle here, a line there, etc.); can be viewed at any size without loss of sharpness.
Displaying a vector image is a complicated operation! (PS, PDF are full programming languages.)
A rectangular grid of colors, meant to be displayed with each color corresponding to one pixel on the display device; becomes blurry or blocky if you zoom in.
JPEG is for photos. That's what the P stands for.
JPEG compresses the image data, discarding some of it. Images with sharp edges will look bad as a result.
Use PNG for anything other than photos, unless it is essential to have a small file size.
JPEG is an amazing application of the Fourier transform, and I think everyone should learn a bit about it. I used all the self-control I could muster to say no more about it here.
Pillow is for working with bitmap images. It can read and write PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, and more.
It is useful for format conversion, low-level image operations (e.g. make this pixel red), and provides some high-level operations too (e.g. blur, sharpen, convert to grayscale, ...).
PIL.Image is a class that represents bitmap images.
from PIL import Image img = Image.open("adorable_kitten.png") # load img.save("discord_avatar.jpg") # save # new color image, 1920x1080 resolution, all white img = Image.new("RGB",(1920,1080),color=(255,255,255))
An image file can store various amounts and types of color data. Pillow encodes this in a mode string:
"1"- 1 bit per pixel, 0=black, 1=white
"L"- 8 bits per pixel, 256 shades of gray. 0=black, 255=white. Also called "grayscale".
"RGB"- 24 bits per pixel, 8 each for red, green, blue. Also called "true color". Most common.
These are common modes, but there are lots more.
A location in a bitmap image is specified by a pair of integers
(x,y). The upper left corner is
x increases as you move right, and
y increases as you move down.
y direction is opposite from mathematics.
img is a
Set a pixel color (draw a tiny dot):
# make pixel at (10,20) magenta img.putpixel( (10,20), (255,0,255) )
Get a pixel color:
# returns color of pixel at (10,20) img.getpixel( (10,20) )
Some other methods of
convert- Conversion to a different mode, e.g. from true color to grayscale.
crop- Crop (remove all but a smaller rectangle).
resize- Stretch or compress to a new size.
paste- Draw another image on this one.
transpose- Do any combination of mirroring and rotating by multiples of 90 degrees.
Lots more in the documentation.
If you have PIL image objects
frame0.save( "anim.gif", save_all=True, append_images=[frame1,frame2,...], duration=50, loop=0 )
duration is milliseconds per frame
loop=0 means loop forever (
loop=5 means play 5 times and stop)
There are many Python image processing libraries, and for a particular purpose it may be best to use something other than Pillow. Examples:
Generally, Pillow tends to emphasize minimal dependencies and doing basic things well.
GUI image editing tools are good for making modifications to an image that require planning, decisions, review, revision, etc.
PIL and other programmatic image manipulation libraries are great for batch operations and cases where the input or output of a program is naturally an image.