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Image filters and delayed processing

ImageInterface in Imagine is very powerful and provides all the basic transformations that you might need, however, sometimes it might be useful to be able to group all of them into a dedicated object, that will know which transformations, in which sequence and with which parameters to invoke on the ImageInterface instance. For that, Imagine provides FilterInterface and some basic filters that call transformation on the ImageInterface directly as an example.


more filters and advanced transformations is planned in the nearest future

Image Transformations, aka Lazy Processing

Sometimes we’re not comfortable with opening an image inline, and would like to apply some pre-defined operations in the lazy manner.

For that, Imagine provides so-called image transformations.

Image transformation is implemented via the Filter\Transformation class, which mostly conforms to ImageInterface and can be used interchangeably with it. The main difference is that transformations may be stacked and performed on a real ImageInterface instance later using the Transformation::apply() method.

Example of a naive thumbnail implementation:


$transformation = new Imagine\Filter\Transformation();

$transformation->thumbnail(new Imagine\Image\Box(30, 30))


The result of apply() is the modified image instance itself, so if we wanted to create a mass-processing thumbnail script, we would do something like the following:


$transformation = new Imagine\Filter\Transformation();

$transformation->thumbnail(new Imagine\Image\Box(30, 30));

foreach (glob('/path/to/lots/of/images/*.jpg') as $path) {

The Filter\Transformation class itself is simply a very specific implementation of FilterInterface, which is a more generic interface, that lets you pre-define certain operations and variable calculations and apply them to an ImageInterface instance later.

Filter Application Order

Normally filters are applied in the order that they are added to the transformation. However, sometimes we want certain filters to always apply first, and others to always apply last, for example always apply a crop before applying a border. You can do this by specifying a priority when passing a filter to the add() method:


$transformation = new Imagine\Filter\Transformation();

$transformation->add(new Filter\Basic\Crop($point, $size), -10); //this filter has priority -10 and applies early
$transformation->add(new Filter\Advanced\Border($color), 10); //this filter has priority 10 and applies late
$transformation->add(new Filter\Basic\Rotate($angle)); //this filter has default priority 0 and applies in between

//filters with equal priority will still be applied in the order they were added

This is especially useful when you add filters based on user-input.


As we already know, Filter\Transformation is just a very special case of Filter\FilterInterface.

Filter is a set of operations, calculations, etc., that can be applied to an ImageInterface instance using Filter\FilterInterface::apply() method.

Right now only basic filters are available - they simply forward the call to ImageInterface implementation itself, more filters coming soon…

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