OpenCV - Colored Images to GrayScale


In the earlier chapters, we discussed how to read an input image as different types (binary, grayscale, BGR, etc.). In this chapter, we will learn how to convert one type of image to another.

The class named Imgproc of the package org.opencv.imgproc provides methods to convert an image from one color to another.

Converting Colored Images to Grayscale

A method named cvtColor() is used to convert colored images to grayscale. Following is the syntax of this method.

cvtColor(Mat src, Mat dst, int code)

This method accepts the following parameters −

  • src − A matrix representing the source.

  • dst − A matrix representing the destination.

  • code − An integer code representing the type of the conversion, for example, RGB to Grayscale.

You can convert colored images to gray scale by passing the code Imgproc.COLOR_RGB2GRAY along with the source and destination matrices as a parameter to the cvtColor() method.


The following program demonstrates how to read a colored image as a grayscale image and display it using JavaFX window.

import java.awt.image.BufferedImage;
import org.opencv.core.Core;
import org.opencv.core.Mat;
import org.opencv.imgcodecs.Imgcodecs;
import org.opencv.imgproc.Imgproc;

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.embed.swing.SwingFXUtils;
import javafx.scene.Group;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.image.ImageView;
import javafx.scene.image.WritableImage;

import javafx.stage.Stage;

public class ColorToGrayscale extends Application {
   public void start(Stage stage) throws Exception {
      WritableImage writableImage = loadAndConvert();
      // Setting the image view
      ImageView imageView = new ImageView(writableImage);

      // Setting the position of the image

      // setting the fit height and width of the image view

      // Setting the preserve ratio of the image view

      // Creating a Group object
      Group root = new Group(imageView);

      // Creating a scene object
      Scene scene = new Scene(root, 600, 400);

      // Setting title to the Stage
      stage.setTitle("Colored to grayscale image");

      // Adding scene to the stage

      // Displaying the contents of the stage;
   public WritableImage loadAndConvert() throws Exception {
      //Loading the OpenCV core library
      System.loadLibrary( Core.NATIVE_LIBRARY_NAME );

      String input = "C:/EXAMPLES/OpenCV/sample.jpg";

      //Reading the image
      Mat src = Imgcodecs.imread(input);

      //Creating the empty destination matrix
      Mat dst = new Mat();

      //Converting the image to gray sacle and saving it in the dst matrix
      Imgproc.cvtColor(src, dst, Imgproc.COLOR_RGB2GRAY);
      //Extracting data from the transformed image (dst)
      byte[] data1 = new byte[dst.rows() * dst.cols() * (int)(dst.elemSize())];
      dst.get(0, 0, data1);

      //Creating Buffered image using the data
      BufferedImage bufImage = new BufferedImage(dst.cols(),dst.rows(), 

      //Setting the data elements to the image
      bufImage.getRaster().setDataElements(0, 0, dst.cols(), dst.rows(), data1);

      //Creating a WritableImage
      WritableImage writableImage = SwingFXUtils.toFXImage(bufImage, null);
      System.out.println("Converted to Grayscale");
      return writableImage;
   public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception {

Input Image

Assume that following is the input image sample.jpg specified in the above program.

Sample Image

Output Image

On executing the program, you will get the following output.

Colored Images to GrayScale Output