# Converting Image Formats With iconvert¶

## Overview¶

The iconvert program will read an image (from any file format for which an ImageInput plugin can be found) and then write the image to a new file (in any format for which an ImageOutput plugin can be found). In the process, iconvert can optionally change the file format or data format (for example, converting floating-point data to 8-bit integers), apply gamma correction, switch between tiled and scanline orientation, or alter or add certain metadata to the image.

The iconvert utility is invoked as follows:

iconvert optiions input output

Where input and output name the input image and desired output filename. The image files may be of any format recognized by OpenImageIO (i.e., for which ImageInput plugins are available). The file format of the output image will be inferred from the file extension of the output filename (e.g., foo.tif will write a TIFF file).

Alternately, any number of files may be specified as follows:

iconvert --inplace [options] file1 file2

When the --inplace option is used, any number of file names $$\ge 1$$ may be specified, and the image conversion commands are applied to each file in turn, with the output being saved under the original file name. This is useful for applying the same conversion to many files, or simply if you want to replace the input with the output rather than create a new file with a different name.

## iconvert Recipes¶

This section will give quick examples of common uses of iconvert.

### Converting between file formats¶

It’s a snap to converting among image formats supported by OpenImageIO (i.e., for which ImageInput and ImageOutput plugins can be found). The iconvert utility will simply infer the file format from the file extension. The following example converts a PNG image to JPEG:

iconvert lena.png lena.jpg

### Changing the data format or bit depth¶

Just use the -d option to specify a pixel data format. For example, assuming that in.tif uses 16-bit unsigned integer pixels, the following will convert it to an 8-bit unsigned pixels:

iconvert -d uint8 in.tif out.tif

### Changing the compression¶

The following command converts writes a TIFF file, specifically using zip compression:

iconvert --compression zip in.tif out.tif

The following command writes its results as a JPEG file at a compression quality of 50 (pretty severe compression), illustrating how some compression methods allow a quality metric to be optionally appended to the name:

iconvert --compression jpeg:50 50 big.jpg small.jpg

### Gamma-correcting an image¶

The following gamma-corrects the pixels, raising all pixel values to $$x^{1/2.2}$$ upon writing:

iconvert -g 2.2 in.tif out.tif

### Converting between scanline and tiled images¶

Convert a scanline file to a tiled file with $16 x 16$ tiles:

iconvert --tile 16 16 s.tif t.tif

Convert a tiled file to scanline:

iconvert --scanline t.tif s.tif

### Converting images in place¶

You can use the --inplace flag to cause the output to emph{replace} the input file, rather than create a new file with a different name. For example, this will re-compress all of your TIFF files to use ZIP compression (rather than whatever they currently are using):

iconvert --inplace --compression zip *.tif

### Change the file modification time to the image capture time¶

Many image formats (including JPEGs from digital cameras) contain an internal time stamp indicating when the image was captured. But the time stamp on the file itself (what you’d see in a directory listing from your OS) most likely shows when the file was last copied, not when it was created or captured. You can use the following command to re-stamp your files so that the file system modification time matches the time that the digital image was originally captured:

### Add captions, keywords, IPTC tags¶

For formats that support it, you can add a caption/image description, keywords, or arbitrary string metadata:

iconvert --inplace --adjust-time --caption "Hawaii vacation" *.jpg

iconvert --inplace --adjust-time --keyword "John" img18.jpg img21.jpg

iconvert --inplace --adjust-time --attrib IPTC:State "HI" \
--attrib IPTC:City "Honolulu" *.jpg

## iconvert command-line options¶

--help

Prints usage information to the terminal.

-v

Verbose status messages.

Use n execution threads if it helps to speed up image operations. The default (also if $$n=0$$) is to use as many threads as there are cores present in the hardware.

--inplace

Causes the output to replace the input file, rather than create a new file with a different name.

Without this flag, iconvert expects two file names, which will be used to specify the input and output files, respectively.

But when --inplace option is used, any number of file names $$\ge 1$$ may be specified, and the image conversion commands are applied to each file in turn, with the output being saved under the original file name. This is useful for applying the same conversion to many files.

For example, the following example will add the caption “Hawaii vacation” to all JPEG files in the current directory:

iconvert --inplace --adjust-time --caption "Hawaii vacation" *.jpg
-d datatype

Attempt to sets the output pixel data type to one of: UINT8, sint8, uint16, sint16, half, float, double.

The types uint10 and uint12 may be used to request 10- or 12-bit unsigned integers. If the output file format does not support them, uint16 will be substituted.

If the -d option is not supplied, the output data type will be the same as the data format of the input file, if possible.

In any case, if the output file type does not support the requested data type, it will instead use whichever supported data type results in the least amount of precision lost.

-g gamma

Applies a gamma correction of $$1/\mathrm{gamma}$$ to the pixels as they are output.

--sRGB

Explicitly tags the image as being in sRGB color space. Note that this does not alter pixel values, it only marks which color space those values refer to (and only works for file formats that understand such things). An example use of this command is if you have an image that is not explicitly marked as being in any particular color space, but you know that the values are sRGB.

--tile x y

Requests that the output file be tiled, with the given $$x \times y$$ tile size, if tiled images are supported by the output format. By default, the output file will take on the tiledness and tile size of the input file.

--scanline

Requests that the output file be scanline-oriented (even if the input file was tile-oriented), if scanline orientation is supported by the output file format. By default, the output file will be scanline if the input is scanline, or tiled if the input is tiled.

--separate
--contig

Forces either “separate” (e.g., RRR…GGG…BBB) or “contiguous” (e.g., RGBRGBRGB…) packing of channels in the file. If neither of these options are present, the output file will have the same kind of channel packing as the input file. Of course, this is ignored if the output file format does not support a choice or does not support the particular choice requested.

--compression method
--compression method:quality

Sets the compression method, and optionally a quality setting, for the output image. Each ImageOutput plugin will have its own set of methods that it supports.

By default, the output image will use the same compression technique as the input image (assuming it is supported by the output format, otherwise it will use the default compression method of the output plugin).

--quality q

Sets the compression quality to q, on a 1–100 floating-point scale. This only has an effect if the particular compression method supports a quality metric (as JPEG does).

DEPRECATED(2.1): This is considered deprecated, and in general we now recommend just appending the quality metric to the compression name:qual.

--no-copy-image

Ordinarily, iconvert will attempt to use ImageOutput::copy_image underneath to avoid de/recompression or alteration of pixel values, unless other settings clearly contradict this (such as any settings that must alter pixel values). The use of --no-copy-image will force all pixels to be decompressed, read, and compressed/written, rather than copied in compressed form. We’re not exactly sure when you would need to do this, but we put it in just in case.

When this flag is present, after writing the output, the resulting file’s modification time will be adjusted to match any "DateTime" metadata in the image. After doing this, a directory listing will show file times that match when the original image was created or captured, rather than simply when iconvert was run. This has no effect on image files that don’t contain any "DateTime" metadata.

--caption text

Sets the image metadata "ImageDescription". This has no effect if the output image format does not support some kind of title, caption, or description metadata field. Be careful to enclose text in quotes if you want your caption to include spaces or certain punctuation!

--keyword text

Adds a keyword to the image metadata "Keywords". Any existing keywords will be preserved, not replaced, and the new keyword will not be added if it is an exact duplicate of existing keywords. This has no effect if the output image format does not support some kind of keyword field.

Be careful to enclose text in quotes if you want your keyword to include spaces or certain punctuation. For image formats that have only a single field for keywords, OpenImageIO will concatenate the keywords, separated by semicolon (;), so don’t use semicolons within your keywords.

--clear-keywords

Clears all existing keywords in the image.

--attrib text

Sets the named image metadata attribute to a string given by text. For example, you could explicitly set the IPTC location metadata fields with:

iconvert --attrib "IPTC:City" "Berkeley" in.jpg out.jpg
--orientation orient

Explicitly sets the image’s "Orientation" metadata to a numeric value (see Display hints for the numeric codes). This only changes the metadata field that specifies how the image should be displayed, it does NOT alter the pixels themselves, and so has no effect for image formats that don’t support some kind of orientation metadata.

--rotcw
--rotccw
--rot180

Adjusts the image’s "Orientation" metadata by rotating it $$90^\circ$$ clockwise, $$90^\circ$$ degrees counter-clockwise, or $$180^\circ$$, respectively, compared to its current setting. This only changes the metadata field that specifies how the image should be displayed, it does NOT alter the pixels themselves, and so has no effect for image formats that don’t support some kind of orientation metadata.