Native Imaging

This is an experiment in seeing how far you can get using platform-provided packages such as GraphicsMagick, CoreImage, etc. to provide a PIL-like interface but taking advantage of their support for more advanced features such as threading, broader format support (including JPEG-2000), vectorization, etc.

The goal is simple: a user should be able to install NativeImaging and do something like this to a program which is currently using PIL:

from NativeImaging import get_image_class

Image = get_image_class("GraphicsMagick")


Build Status


Very fast JPEG 2000 thumbnail generation compared to GraphicsMagick. Requires the non-OSS AWARE library:


Currently supports typical web application usage: loading an image, resizing it and saving the result. Testing reveals mixed results, beating PIL when producing thumbnails from large TIFFs and underperforming when thumbnailing equivalent JPEGs, both by about 2:1.

Both CPython and PyPy are supported, with PyPy seeing performance gains using the CFFI backend instead of ctypes. Significant optimization gains are likely possible, particularly where the I/O functions marshall data in and out of the non-filename-based APIs where data is currently being copied.


Currently supports basic usage: loading an image, resizing it, and saving the result. Performance is generally quite decent as the Java Advanced Imaging API is quite tuned, if somewhat baroque in design.

Table of Contents


You’ll need to install Sphinx to build the documentation. For convenience, a requirements-devel.pip file has been provided and you may simply use “pip install -r requirements-devel.pip” to keep your dependencies current.