Part 1 — Utility Functions

I have been interested in image manipulation for some time. Last year I worked on a small package that does simple image manipulation using Go’s standard image package:

Let’s look at how to read an image from a provided file path and creating an image object. This is what the structs will look like.

// GrayscaleAverage, GrayscaleLuma, GrayscaleDesaturation
// are used by grayscale to choose between algorithms
const (
  GrayscaleAverage      = 0
  GrayscaleLuma         = 1
  GrayscaleDesaturation = 2

// Pixel is a single pixel in 2d array
type Pixel struct {
  R int
  G int
  B int
  A int

// Image is the main object that holds information about the
// image file. Also is a wrapper around the decoded image
// from the standard image library.
type Image struct {
  Pixels [][]Pixel
  Width  int
  Height int
  _Rect  image.Rectangle
  _Image image.Image

An image is basically a matrix of pixels. There are different image encoding techniques. I am using RGBA colour space, it stands for Red, Green, Blue and Alpha. Red, Green, Blue is pretty self-explanatory and Alpha is basically opacity of the pixel.

I am going to need 3 helper functions to quickly get/set a certain pixel and to transform the decoded pixel to my pixel format. This is how they are going to look:

// Get pixel value with key name
func (pix *Pixel) Get(keyName string) int {
  switch keyName {
  case "R":
    return pix.R
  case "G":
    return pix.G
  case "B":
    return pix.B
  case "A":
    return pix.A
    return -1

// Set pixel value with key name and new value
func (pix *Pixel) Set(keyName string, val int) Pixel {
  switch keyName {
  case "R":
    pix.R = val
  case "G":
    pix.G = val
  case "B":
    pix.B = val
  case "A":
    pix.A = val
  return *pix

// rgbaToPixel alpha-premultiplied red, green, blue and alpha values
// to 8 bit red, green, blue and alpha values.
func rgbaToPixel(r uint32, g uint32, b uint32, a uint32) Pixel {
  return Pixel{
    R: int(r / 257),
    G: int(g / 257),
    B: int(b / 257),
    A: int(a / 257),

rgbaToPixel function converts the pixels image package returns into pixels I defined. The RGBA values in standard package are uint32 type, I preferred int type. Therefore I need to divide the values by 257 and cast them as int.

Now, I am ready to read the image from a provided filepath and create my image object. This code can decode “jpeg”/”jpg” and “png” formats. I am going to keep the native image packages “img” object for future reference under my own image object via the key “_Image”. This function will return the image object or maybe an error.

// New reads an image from the given file path and return a
// new `Image` struct.
func New(filePath string) (*Image, error) {
  s := strings.Split(filePath, ".")
  imgType := s[len(s)-1]

  switch imgType {
  case "jpeg", "jpg":
    image.RegisterFormat("jpeg", "jpeg", jpeg.Decode, jpeg.DecodeConfig)
  case "png":
    image.RegisterFormat("png", "png", png.Decode, png.DecodeConfig)
    return nil, errors.New("unknown image type")

  imgReader, err := os.Open(filePath)
  if err != nil {
    return nil, err

  img, _, err := image.Decode(imgReader)
  if err != nil {
    return nil, err

  bounds := img.Bounds()
  width, height := bounds.Max.X, bounds.Max.Y

  var pixels [][]Pixel
  for y := 0; y < height; y++ {
    var row []Pixel
    for x := 0; x < width; x++ {
      pixel := rgbaToPixel(img.At(x, y).RGBA())
      row = append(row, pixel)
    pixels = append(pixels, row)

  return &Image{
    Pixels: pixels,
    Width:  width,
    Height: height,
    _Rect:  img.Bounds(),
    _Image: img,
  }, nil

Now I can read an image from a file but we also need to rewrite our manipulated image back to a file. This is pretty much doing everything I did in the New function in reverse as one might have guessed.

#image-manipulation #golang #go #image-processing #image

Writing an Image Manipulation Library in Go — Part 1
14.15 GEEK