- ImageMagick Examples Preface and Index
- Known and Fixed Bugs Index
The following is a demonstration of a known bug, in the handling of composite
mask for ALL alpha composition modes. Some versions of IM trialed a different
way of fixing that worked for black an white shape mask, but not a
greyscale blend of the results. This is an on going issue.
The following is a demonstration of a known fixed bug in the handling of
composite mask for ALL alpha composition modes. Before it was fixed
composition masking only worked correctly for the default 'Over' composition
of images which did not have any existing alpha channel transparency.
This page is for reference for older IM users who may still have to deal with
this bug. The examples on this page have not been re-created since the bug was
" command and "
" operator will
also take a third masking image which is suposed to limit the area effected by
For example given two images, and a mask
image you can overlay part of
image onto the background
image, as defined by that
mask. Please note however that the background
image still defines the
final size of resulting image.
magick -size 70x70 xc:black \
-fill white -draw 'circle 35,35 35,5' \
-fill black -draw 'circle 28,30 35,5' moon_mask.gif
magick composite tile_water.jpg tile_aqua.jpg \
moon_mask.gif +matte mask_over.png
That is, the normal working an use of a composite mask operation, and works
very well. But it ONLY works when using a mask to select from two
The problems arise when we want to use this mask with images that already have
a alpha channel. That is, we want to use the mask to limit the area in which
the compose operation is applied (as defined by the SVG standard.)
Lets use some colored circles for the source, background, and masking
magick -size 60x60 xc:none -fill red -draw 'circle 30,21 30,3' src.png
magick -size 60x60 xc:none -fill '#0F0' -draw 'circle 21,39 24,57' bgnd.png
magick -size 60x60 xc:black -fill white -draw 'circle 39,39 36,57' mask.png
And apply them, again using an 'Over' compose method...
magick composite src.png bgnd.png mask.png mask_masked.png
Notice how the red circle source image is overlaid as if its alpha channel was
replaced by the alpha channel of the blue masking image. That the pixels
which are supposed to be fully-transparent black have suddenly became visible!
What is happening is that at this time the above is equivalent to...
magick composite mask.png src.png +matte -compose CopyOpacity miff:- |\
magick composite - bgnd.png mask_masked_equiv.png
However what it should have generated was something like...
magick composite mask.png src.png -compose DstIn miff:- |\
magick composite - bgnd.png mask_masked_true.png
WARNING: The above is NOT a generic solution, and while close to the correct
result, is not actually a perfectly correct result.
Because currently a composite masked operation is not performing a proper area
limited operation, it use is limited to only combining two matte images
(generally textures) using a mask to select what image is visible.
Also using anything other than an '
' compose method probably
result in other unexpected results.
Correct Operation Masking
The correct fix for users with older versions of IM is NOT simple....
This is provided purely for reference, and as the bug was fixed in IM v6.3.5
and the addition of other image operation masking techniques such as "
". It basically
shows, the true complexity image mask overlaying.
There are a number of methods can be used to generated a 'mask limited
composite operation'. But the method which is most generic and should work
with ALL alpha composition methods is...
To do the alpha composition (with whatever "
-compose" method the user
requested) as normal, but then then use the mask to 'blend' the original image
with the result, to produce the masked limited result.
This is what I would have expected a 'masked' solution to really be.
Currently however using a mask to blend two images together is a tricky
matter, but is can be done as shown below.
magick composite src.png bgnd.png composed.png
magick composite mask.png mask.png +matte -compose CopyOpacity alpha_mask.png
magick composite alpha_mask.png bgnd.png -compose DstOut bgnd_masked.png
magick composite alpha_mask.png composed.png -compose DstIn composed_masked.png
magick composite bgnd_masked.png composed_masked.png -compose Plus result.png
Do the Normal Alpha Composition of the two images
Use the mask to divide the results in unchanged and changed parts
Add these parts together to blend the result (EG: masked blend of result)
ASIDE: The extra step using '
' is to magick any pure
greyscale mask into a image with an alpha mask. While this is not needed for
this example, it will allow you to use a greyscale mask with the alpha
composition methods, '
' and '
', as well as
' to blend the images together properly.
Note that the above 'blended' the images together. You can NOT just 'overlay'
the masked result onto the final image, as that will produce incorrect
results. Specifically it would result in the colors being overlaid multiple
times, which for semi-transparent pixels will produce a more opaque result
than is correct.
I recommend the creation of an internal 'Mask blend' type operation as a
faster and simpler method of doing the whole thing. This would be the only
'three image' operation that should be needed for alpha composition, other
that 2-Dimensional Displacement