Image processing for PHP 5.3

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1.3.5 2023-06-07 14:49 UTC



PHPUnit Coding Style

Tweet about it using the #php_imagine hashtag.

Image manipulation library for PHP inspired by Python's PIL and other image libraries.


The Imagine library has the following requirements:

  • PHP 5.5+

Depending on the chosen Image implementation, you may need one of the following PHP extensions:

  • GD2
  • Imagick (with ImageMagick version 6.2.9 or later, except version 7.0.7-32)
  • Gmagick

To read EXIF metadata (e.g. for autorotation), activate the PHP exif extension. This is optional: Imagine works without the PHP exif extension, but then it can't read and act on image orientation or other EXIF metadata.

Installation using composer

php composer.phar require imagine/imagine

Basic Principles

The main purpose of Imagine is to provide all the necessary functionality to bring all native low level image processing libraries in PHP to the same simple and intuitive OO API.

Several things are necessary to accomplish that:

  • Image manipulation tools, such as resize, crop, etc.
  • Drawing API - to create basic shapes and advanced charts, write text on the image
  • Masking functionality - ability to apply black&white or grayscale images as masks, leading to semi-transparency or absolute transparency of the image the mask is being applied to

The above tools should be the basic foundation for a more powerful set of tools that are called Filters in Imagine.

Some of the ideas for upcoming filters:

  • Charting and graphing filters - pie and bar charts, linear graphs with annotations
  • Reflection - apple style
  • Rounded corners - web 2.0






New pull requests should be based on the develop branch. The master branch is the stable branch: it usually matches the latest a release but in can be a bit ahead.

Test groups

Some PHPUnit test is marked as skipped (for example, tests that require a driver that support multiple layers and executed with the GD driver). In addition, if you don't have installed gmagick, the gmagick tests will be marked as skipped.

If you don't want to run tests that are marked as "always skipped" you can tell PHPUnit to exclude the always-skipped group. The same for the tests that require a specific driver (gd, imagick, imagick).

So, for example, to exclude the always-skipped and the gmagick tests, you can launch phpunit with this command options:

composer run test -- --exclude-group always-skipped,gmagick

Development environment

Setting up an environment with all the required libraries may be very hard. In order to run the tests locally, you can use the same docker images used by Imagine to test the pull requests.

For example, if you have Imagine locally in the /home/me/imagine folder, you can run tests for PHP 8.1 with the GD and Imagick with this very simple approach:

  1. Launch a temporary docker container with:
    docker run --rm -it -v /home/me/imagine:/app -w /app bash
  2. Inside the docker container, run these commands:
    # Start a local web server: some tests require it
    cd tests
    php -n -S >/dev/null 2>&1 &
    cd ..
    # Tell the tests that the local web server is available at the port 8013
    export IMAGINE_TEST_WEBSERVERURL=http://localhost:8013
    # Install the composer dependencies
    composer update
    # Run the tests
    composer run test -- --exclude-group always-skipped,gmagick

Note: This approach works on Windows too: simply launch the docker container with

docker run --rm -it -v C:\Path\To\Imagine:/app -w /app bash

Built test files

Many tests create temporary files (in the tests/tmp directory) containing built images. Those temporary files are compared with expected images, and then are deleted. If you want to keep those temporary files (for example, to check what's being built), you can set the IMAGINE_TEST_KEEP_TEMPFILES environment variable. If the IMAGINE_TEST_KEEP_TEMPFILES is configured in the GitHub Action tests, those temporary files are attached to tests as an articact.