What is CImg?

The Library is a small and open-source C++ library for image processing, designed with these properties in mind :

defines classes and methods to manage images in your own C++ code. You can use to load/save various file formats, access pixel values, display/transform/filter images, draw primitives (text, faces, curves, 3d objects, ...), compute statistics, manage user interactions on images, and so on...
defines a single image class able to represent datasets having up to 4-dimensions (from 1d scalar signals to 3d hyperspectral volumetric images), with template pixel types (bool,char,int,float,...).
It also handles image collections and sequences.
is self-contained, thread-safe and highly portable. It fully works on different operating systems (Unix,Windows,MacOS X,*BSD,...) and is compatible with various C++ compilers (Visual C++,g++,clang++,icc,...).
is lightweight. It is made of a single header file CImg.h that must be included in your C++ source. It defines only four different classes, encapsulated in the namespace cimg_library. It can be compiled using a minimal set of standard C++ and system libraries only.
No need for exotic or complex dependencies.
Although not mandatory, can use functionalities of external tools/libraries such as Board, FFMPEG, FFTW3. GraphicsMagick, ImageMagick, Lapack, libcurl, libjpeg, libpng, libtiff, Magick++, OpenEXR OpenCV OpenMP or XMedCon. Moreover, a simple plug-in mechanism allows any user to directly enhance the library capabilities according to his needs.
is a free, open-source library distributed under the CeCILL-C (close to the GNU LGPL) or CeCILL (compatible with the GNU GPL) licenses. It can be used in commercial applications.

stands for Cool Image : It is easy to use, efficient and is intended to be a very pleasant toolbox to design image processing algorithms in C++. Due to its generic conception, it can cover a wide range of image processing applications.

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with the help of many contributors around the world :

Maksim Aizenshtein, Alberto Albiol, Antonio Albiol, Kiko Albiol, Simon Barthelmé, Neil Brown, Haz-Edine Assemlal, Vincent Barra, Wolf Blecher, Romain Blei, Yohan Bentolila, Jerome Boulanger, Pierre Buyssens, Sebastien Coudert, Frederic Devernay, Olivier D'Hondt, François-Xavier Dupé, Gerd von Egidy Eric Fausett, Jean-Marie Favreau, Sebastien Fourey, Alexandre Fournier, Vincent Garcia, David Grimbichler, Jinwei Gu, Jean-Daniel Guyot, Cédric Hammiche, Matt Hanson, Sebastien Hanel, Nicholas Hayes, Michael Holroyd, Christoph Hormann, Hon-Kwok Fung, Werner Jainek, Vo Duc Khanh, Daniel Kondermann, Pierre Kornprobst, Jan W. Krieger, Francois Lauze, Orges Leka, Tony E Lewis, Xie Long, Thomas Martin, Cesar Martinez, Jean Martinot, Arnold Meijster (Center for High Performance Computing and Visualization, University of Groningen/The Netherlands) Nikita Melnichenko, Baptiste Mougel, Julien Morat, Jovana Milutinovich, Guillaume Nee, Adam Newgas, Francisco Oliveira, Andrea Onofri, Renaud Peteri, Martin Petricek, Paolo Prete, Adrien Reboisson, Klaus Schneider, Jakob Schluttig, Jamie Smith, Veronique Souchaud, Konstantin Spirin, Rainer Steffens, David G. Starkweather, Elle Stone, Grzegorz Szwoch, Thierry Thomas, Ulysse Vimont / Anatascope, Yu-En-Yun, Ingo Weyrich, Phillip Wood, Bug Zhao, Haibo Zheng.


The Library is an open-source product distributed under two distinct licenses : the library core itself is dual-licensed and can be governed either by the CeCILL-C License (LGPL-like), or the CeCILL License (GPL-compatible). Most of the other package files are distributed under the CeCILL License. Both are open-source licenses, the CeCILL-C being less restrictive than the CeCILL.

The Library source code has been registered to the APP (French Agency for the Protection of Programs) by the INRIA, under registration number IDDN.FR.001.040004.000.S.P.2004.000.21000.

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Quick History

The development of the Library began at the end of 1999, when I started my PhD thesis in the Lab at the Sophia Antipolis. It was designed to help me and my colleagues developing various image processing algorithms, for datasets as simple as 2D scalar images, or as complex as 3D volumes of diffusion tensors. I also used it for courses on image processing I teached at the university. As a result, the Library has been always intended to be compact, easy to install and to use, multi-platform and generic. It provides a lot of basic functions that everyone would like to find in a good C++ image processing framework.

I am now a permanent researcher of the institution, working in the group at the lab in Caen/France. I am still using, maintaining and updating the Library, and will probably do it for the next couple of years.

How to Help?

The Library is an open-source C++ library which is mainly developped during free time. If you enjoy using , you may contribute to the project in different ways. This will motivate me to continue the work.