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Ruby on Rails 2.1 - RMagick


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Rails provide a bindings to ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick which are popular and stable C libraries. The RMagick library provides the same interface against ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick, so it does not matter which one you use.

You can get RMagick by installing the rmagick gen on Unix or rmagick-win32 gem on Windows. Let's install it on a Unix machine as follows:

$ gem install rmagick

The RMagick module comes along with class Magick::Image which lets you resize images four different methods:

  • resize(width, height)
  • scale(width, height)
  • sample(width, height)
  • thumbnail(width, height)

All these methods accept a pair integer values, corresponding to the width and height in pixels of the thumbnail you want.

Example

Here's an example that uses resize() method to resize the image. It takes the file tmp.jpg and makes a thumbnail of it 100 pixels wide by 100 pixels tall:

require 'rubygems'
require 'RMagick'

class ImageController < ApplicationController

   def createThubnail
     width, height = 100, 100

     img =  Magick::Image.read('tmp.jpg').first
     thumb = img.resize(width, height)
	   
     # If you want to save this image use following
     # thumb.write("mythumbnail.jpg")

     # otherwise send it to the browser as follows
     send_data(thumb.to_blob, :disposition => 'inline', 
	                          :type => 'image/jpg')
   end
end

Here are the steps to create a thumbnail:

  • Here the class method Image.read receives an image filename as an argument and returns an array of Image objects. You obtain the first element of that array which is obviously our tmp.jpg image.

  • Next we are calling method resize with the desired arguments which is creating a thumbnail.

  • Finally we are directing this image to browser. You can also use method thumb.write("mythumbnail.jpg") to store this image locally are your machine.

Converting Image Formats:

This is very easy to convert an image file from one format to another format. The RMagick handles is very smartly. You can just read in the file and write it out with a different extension.

Example:

Following example converts a JPEG file into a GIF file:

require 'rubygems'
require 'RMagick'

class ImageController < ApplicationController

   def changeFormat

     img =  Magick::Image.read('tmp.jpg').first
    
     # If you want to save this image use following
     # img.write("mythumbnail.gif")

     # otherwise send it to the browser as follows
     send_data(img.to_blob, :disposition => 'inline', 
	                          :type => 'image/gif')
   end
end

Similar way you can change format based on your requirement as follows:

img = Magick::Image.read("tmp.png").first
img.write("tmp.jpg")                 # Converts into JPEG
img.write("tmp.gif")                 # Converts into GIF
img.write("JPG:tmp")                 # Converts into JPEG
img.write("GIF:tmp")                 # Converts into GIF


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