#imaging #image #processing #editing


Rust Imaging Library: A performant and high-level image processing crate for Rust

13 releases (8 breaking)

0.9.0 Dec 14, 2022
0.7.0 Nov 23, 2022

#12 in Multimedia

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MIT license



Rust Imaging Library: A performant and high-level Rust imaging crate.

What's this?

This is a Rust crate designed to provide an easy-to-use, high-level interface around image processing in Rust. Image and animation processing has never been this easy before, and it's hard to find a good crate for it.

RIL was designed not only for static single-frame images in mind, but also for animated images such as GIFs or APNGs that have multiple frames. RIL provides a streamlined API for this.

Even better, benchmarks prove that RIL, even with its high-level interface, is as performant and usually even faster than leading imaging crates such as image-rs. See benchmarks for more information.


  • Support for encoding from/decoding to a wide range of image formats
  • Variety of image processing and manipulation operations, including drawing
  • Robust support for animated images such as GIFs via FrameIterator and ImageSequence
  • Robust and performant support for fonts and text rendering
  • A streamlined front-facing interface


⚠ This crate is a work in progress

By the first stable release, we plan to support the following image encodings:

Encoding Format Current Status
PNG/APNG Supported
JPEG Supported
GIF Supported
WebP Supported
BMP Not yet supported
TIFF Not yet supported

Additionally, we also plan to support the following pixel formats:

Pixel Format Current Status
RGB8 Supported as Rgb
RGBA8 Supported as Rgba
L8 (grayscale) Supported as L
LA8 (grayscale + alpha) Not yet supported
1 (single-bit pixel, equivalent to L1) Supported as BitPixel
Indexed RGB8 (palette) Supported as PalettedRgb
Indexed RGBA8 (palette) Supported as PalettedRgba

16-bit pixel formats are currently downscaled to 8-bits. We do plan to have actual support 16-bit pixel formats in the future.


MSRV (Minimum Supported Rust Version) is v1.61.0.


Add the following to your Cargo.toml dependencies:

ril = { version = "0", features = ["all"] }

Or, you can run cargo add ril --features=all if you have Rust 1.62.0 or newer.

The above enables all features. See Cargo Features for more information on how you can tune these features to reduce dependencies.

Linking errors on Windows

If you get errors regarding link.exe on Windows, this is because libwebp has problems linking with Windows for now.

This will be resolved when WebP encoders/decoders are rewritten in pure Rust. For now, you can use switch out the all feature with all-pure:

ril = { version = "0", features = ["all-pure"] }

This will hopefully resolve the linking errors, at the cost of not having WebP support.


Decode GIF + Invert each frame + Encode GIF (600x600, 77 frames)

Performed locally (10-cores) (Source)

Benchmark Time (average of runs in 10 seconds, lower is better)
ril (combinator) 902.54 ms
ril (for-loop) 922.08 ms
ril (low-level hardcoded GIF en/decoder) 902.28 ms
image-rs (low-level hardcoded GIF en/decoder) 940.42 ms
Python, wand (ImageMagick) 1049.09 ms

Rasterize and render text (Inter font, 20px, 1715 glyphs)

Performed locally (10-cores) (Source)

Benchmark Time (average of runs in 10 seconds, lower is better)
ril (combinator) 1.5317 ms
image-rs + imageproc 2.4332 ms

Cargo Features

RIL currently depends on a few dependencies for certain features - especially for various image encodings. By default RIL comes with no encoding dependencies but with the text and resize dependencies, which give you text and resizing capabilities respectively.

You can use the all feature to enable all features, including encoding features. This enables the widest range of image format support, but adds a lot of dependencies you may not need.

For every image encoding that requires a dependency, a corresponding feature can be enabled for it:

Encoding Feature Dependencies Default?
PNG and APNG png png no
JPEG jpeg jpeg-decoder, jpeg-encoder no
GIF gif gif no
WebP webp libwebp-sys2 no

Other features:

Description Feature Dependencies Default?
Font/Text Rendering text fontdue yes
Image Resizing resize fast_image_resize yes
Color Quantization (using NeuQuant) quantize color_quant yes
Gradients gradient colorgrad yes
Enable all features,
including all encoding features (excludes nightly feature)
all no

WebP Support limitations

WebP support uses libwebp, which is a native library. This means that if you try to use the webp feature when compiling to a WebAssembly target, it might fail. We plan on making a pure-Rust port of libwebp in the future.

For ease of use, the all-pure feature is provided, which is the equivalent of all minus the webp feature.


Open an image, invert it, and then save it:

use ril::prelude::*;

fn main() -> ril::Result<()> {
    let image = Image::open("sample.png")?;

or, why not use method chaining?


Create a new black image, open the sample image, and paste it on top of the black image:

let image = Image::new(600, 600, Rgb::black());
image.paste(100, 100, Image::open("sample.png")?);

you can still use method chaining, but this accesses a lower level interface:

let image = Image::new(600, 600, Rgb::black())
    .with(&Paste::new(Image::open("sample.png")?).with_position(100, 100))

Open an image and mask it to a circle:

let image = Image::<Rgba>::open("sample.png")?;
let (width, height) = image.dimensions();

let ellipse = 
    Ellipse::from_bounding_box(0, 0, width, height).with_fill(L(255));

let mask = Image::new(width, height, L(0));


Animated Image Support

RIL supports high-level encoding, decoding, and processing of animated images of any format, such as GIF or APNGs.

Animated images can be lazily decoded. This means you can process the frames of an animated image one by one as each frame is decoded. This can lead to huge performance and memory gains when compared to decoding all frames at once, processing those frames individually, and then encoding the image back to a file.

For lazy animated image decoding, the DynamicFrameIterator is used as a high-level iterator interface to iterate through all frames of an animated image, lazily. These implement Iterator<Item = Frame<_>>.

For times when you need to collect all frames of an image, ImageSequence is used as a high-level interface around a sequence of images. This can hold extra metadata about the animation such as loop count.

Open an animated image and invert each frame as they are decoded, then saving them:

let mut output = ImageSequence::<Rgba>::new();

// ImageSequence::open is lazy
for frame in ImageSequence::<Rgba>::open("sample.gif")? {
    let frame = frame?;

    // or...
    output.push_frame(frame?.map_image(|image| image.inverted()));


Open an animated image and save each frame into a separate PNG image as they are decoded:

    .for_each(|(idx, frame)| {
            .save_inferred(format!("frames/{}.png", idx))

Although a bit misleading a first, ImageSequence::open and ImageSequence::decode_[inferred_]from_bytes return lazy DynamicFrameIterators.

Additionally, Frames house Images, but they are not Images themselves. However, Frames are able to dereference into Images, so calling image methods on frames will seem transparent.

Rendering Text

RIL provides a streamlined interface for rendering text.

There are two ways to render text: with a TextSegment or with a TextLayout. A TextSegment is faster and more lightweight than a TextLayout (and it's cloneable, unlike TextLayout), but lacks many of the features of a TextLayout.

A TextSegment supports only one font and either represents a segment in a TextLayout, or it can be directly rendered more efficiently than a TextLayout. You should only use TextLayout if you need what TextSegment can't provide.

TextLayouts support anchor-style text-alignment, and can be used to render text with multiple fonts and styles, such as different sizes or colors. It also provides the ability to grab the dimensions of the text before rendering such as width and height. TextSegment cannot do this.

Render text with a TextSegment:

let mut image = Image::new(512, 256, Rgb::black());
// Open the font at the given path. You can try using `Font::from_bytes` along with the `include_bytes!` macro
// since fonts can usually be statically loaded.
let font = Font::open(
    // Do note that the following is a specified optimal size
    // and not a fixed size for the font. It specifies what size
    // to optimize rasterizing for. You do not have to load the same
    // font multiple times for different sizes.

let text = TextSegment::new(&font, "Hello, world", Rgb::white())
    .with_position(20, 20);


Render text in the center of the image with a TextLayout:

let mut image = Image::new(512, 256, Rgb::black());
let font = Font::open("Arial.ttf", 36.0)?;
let bold = Font::open("Arial Bold.ttf", 36.0)?;

let (x, y) = image.center();
let layout = TextLayout::new()
    .centered() // Shorthand for centering horizontally and vertically
    .with_wrap(WrapStyle::Word) // RIL supports word wrapping
    .with_width(image.width()) // This is the width to wrap text at. Only required if you want to wrap text.
    .with_position(x, y); // Position the anchor (which is the center) at the center of the image
    .with_segment(&TextSegment::new(&font, "Here is some ", Rgb::white()))
    .with_segment(&TextSegment::new(&bold, "bold ", Rgb::white()))
    .with_segment(&TextSegment::new(&font, "text.", Rgb::white()));



See CONTRIBUTING.md for more information.


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