libheif is an ISO/IEC 23008-12:2017 HEIF and AVIF (AV1 Image File Format) file format decoder and encoder.
HEIF and AVIF are new image file formats employing HEVC (h.265) or AV1 image coding, respectively, for the best compression ratios currently possible.
libheif makes use of libde265 for HEIF image decoding and x265 for encoding. For AVIF, libaom is used as encoder and decoder. Alternative codecs for, e.g., AVC and JPEG can be provided as plugins.
libheif has support for decoding
- tiled images
- alpha channels
- reading EXIF and XMP metadata
- reading the depth channel
- multiple images in a file
- image transformations (crop, mirror, rotate)
- overlay images
- plugin interface to add alternative codecs for additional formats (AVC, JPEG)
- decoding of files while downloading (e.g. extract image size before file has been completely downloaded)
- reading color profiles
- heix images (10 and 12 bit, chroma 4:2:2)
The encoder supports:
- lossy compression with adjustable quality
- lossless compression
- alpha channels
- save multiple images to a file
- save EXIF and XMP metadata
- writing color profiles
- 10 and 12 bit images
- monochrome images
The library has a C API for easy integration and wide language support. Note that the API is still work in progress and may still change.
The decoder automatically supports both HEIF and AVIF through the same API. No changes are required to existing code to support AVIF.
The encoder can be switched between HEIF and AVIF simply by setting
Loading the primary image in an HEIF file is as easy as this:
heif_context* ctx = heif_context_alloc(); heif_context_read_from_file(ctx, input_filename, nullptr); // get a handle to the primary image heif_image_handle* handle; heif_context_get_primary_image_handle(ctx, &handle); // decode the image and convert colorspace to RGB, saved as 24bit interleaved heif_image* img; heif_decode_image(handle, &img, heif_colorspace_RGB, heif_chroma_interleaved_RGB, nullptr); int stride; const uint8_t* data = heif_image_get_plane_readonly(img, heif_channel_interleaved, &stride);
Writing an HEIF file can be done like this:
heif_context* ctx = heif_context_alloc(); // get the default encoder heif_encoder* encoder; heif_context_get_encoder_for_format(ctx, heif_compression_HEVC, &encoder); // set the encoder parameters heif_encoder_set_lossy_quality(encoder, 50); // encode the image heif_image* image; // code to fill in the image omitted in this example heif_context_encode_image(ctx, image, encoder, nullptr, nullptr); heif_encoder_release(encoder); heif_context_write_to_file(context, "output.heic");
See the header file
heif.h for the complete C API.
There is also a C++ API which is a header-only wrapper to the C API. Hence, you can use the C++ API and still be binary compatible. Code using the C++ API is much less verbose than using the C API directly.
There is also an experimental Go API, but this is not stable yet.
This library uses a standard autoconf/automake build system.
After downloading, run
./autogen.sh to build the configuration scripts,
Make sure that you compile and install libde265
first, so that the configuration script will find this.
Preferably, download the
frame-parallel branch of libde265, as this uses a
more recent API than version in the
Also install x265 and its development files if you want to use HEIF encoding.
For AVIF support, make sure that libaom is installed.
Install dependencies with Homebrew
brew install automake make pkg-config x265 libde265 libjpeg
Configure and build project
./autogen.sh ./configure make
Adding rav1e encoder for AVIF
cargo install --force cbindgen
- Make sure that the
cbindgenexecutable is found. You probably have to add
- Run the
rav1e.cmdscript in directory
third-partyto download rav1e and compile it.
When using cmake, you have to enable compiling in the local rav1e encoder with
USE_LOCAL_RAV1E'. With autoconf, use the configure option --enable-local-rav1e'.
build-emscripten.sh for further information.
Check out this online demo.
Some example programs are provided in the
heif-convert converts all images stored in an HEIF/AVIF file to JPEG or PNG.
heif-enc lets you convert JPEG files to HEIF/AVIF.
heif-info is a simple, minimal decoder that dumps the file structure to the console.
For example convert
example.heic to JPEGs and one of the JPEGs back to HEIF:
cd examples/ ./heif-convert example.heic example.jpeg ./heif-enc example-1.jpeg -o example.heif
In order to convert
example-1.jpeg to AVIF use:
./heif-enc example-1.jpeg -A -o example.avif
There is also a GIMP plugin using libheif here.
HEIF/AVIF thumbnails for the Gnome desktop
heif-thumbnailer can be used as an HEIF/AVIF thumbnailer for the Gnome desktop.
The matching Gnome configuration files are in the
Place the files
heif.xml and 'avif.xml' into
You may have to run
update-mime-database /usr/share/mime to update the list of known MIME types.
libheif also includes a gdk-pixbuf loader for HEIF/AVIF images. 'make install' will copy the plugin
into the system directories. However, you will still have to run
to update the gdk-pixbuf loader database.
The libheif is distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. The sample applications are distributed under the terms of the MIT License.
See COPYING for more details.
Copyright (c) 2017-2020 Struktur AG Contact: Dirk Farin [email protected]