Convert an image to grayscale

0 votes
asked Feb 15, 2010 by 0fnt

Is there a way to convert an image to grayscale 16 pixels per bit format, rather than setting each of the r,g and b components to luminance. I currently have a bmp from file.

Bitmap c = new Bitmap("filename");

I want a Bitmap d, that is grayscale version of c. I do see a constructor that includes System.Drawing.Imaging.PixelFormat, but I don't understand how to use that. I'm new to Image Processing and the relevant C# libraries, but have a moderate experience with C# itself.

Any help, reference to an online source, hint or suggestion will be appreciated.

Thank you.

EDIT: d is the grayscale version of c.

7 Answers

0 votes
answered Feb 15, 2010 by asad-butt

"I want a Bitmap d, that is grayscale. I do see a consructor that includes System.Drawing.Imaging.PixelFormat, but I don't understand how to use that."

Here is how to do this

Bitmap grayScaleBP = new 
         System.Drawing.Bitmap(2, 2, System.Drawing.Imaging.PixelFormat.Format16bppGrayScale);

EDIT: To convert to grayscale

             Bitmap c = new Bitmap("fromFile");
             Bitmap d;
             int x, y;

             // Loop through the images pixels to reset color.
             for (x = 0; x < c.Width; x++)
                 for (y = 0; y < c.Height; y++)
                     Color pixelColor = c.GetPixel(x, y);
                     Color newColor = Color.FromArgb(pixelColor.R, 0, 0);
                     c.SetPixel(x, y, newColor); // Now greyscale
            d = c;   // d is grayscale version of c  

Faster Version from switchonthecode follow link for full analysis:

public static Bitmap MakeGrayscale3(Bitmap original)
   //create a blank bitmap the same size as original
   Bitmap newBitmap = new Bitmap(original.Width, original.Height);

   //get a graphics object from the new image
   Graphics g = Graphics.FromImage(newBitmap);

   //create the grayscale ColorMatrix
   ColorMatrix colorMatrix = new ColorMatrix(
      new float[][] 
         new float[] {.3f, .3f, .3f, 0, 0},
         new float[] {.59f, .59f, .59f, 0, 0},
         new float[] {.11f, .11f, .11f, 0, 0},
         new float[] {0, 0, 0, 1, 0},
         new float[] {0, 0, 0, 0, 1}

   //create some image attributes
   ImageAttributes attributes = new ImageAttributes();

   //set the color matrix attribute

   //draw the original image on the new image
   //using the grayscale color matrix
   g.DrawImage(original, new Rectangle(0, 0, original.Width, original.Height),
      0, 0, original.Width, original.Height, GraphicsUnit.Pixel, attributes);

   //dispose the Graphics object
   return newBitmap;
0 votes
answered Feb 23, 2010 by vercas
Bitmap d = new Bitmap(c.Width, c.Height);

for (int i = 0; i < c.Width; i++)
    for (int x = 0; x < c.Height; x++)
        Color oc = c.GetPixel(i, x);
        int grayScale = (int)((oc.R * 0.3) + (oc.G * 0.59) + (oc.B * 0.11));
        Color nc = Color.FromArgb(oc.A, grayScale, grayScale, grayScale);
        d.SetPixel(i, x, nc);

This way it also keeps the alpha channel.

0 votes
answered Jan 23, 2011 by brent-matzelle

None of the examples above create 8-bit (8bpp) bitmap images. Some software, such as image processing, only supports 8bpp. Unfortunately the MS .NET libraries do not have a solution. The PixelFormat.Format8bppIndexed format looks promising but after a lot of attempts I couldn't get it working.

To create a true 8-bit bitmap file you need to create the proper headers. Ultimately I found the Grayscale library solution for creating 8-bit bitmap (BMP) files. The code is very simple:

Image image = Image.FromFile("c:/path/to/image.jpg");
GrayBMP_File.CreateGrayBitmapFile(image, "c:/path/to/8bpp/image.bmp");

The code for this project is far from pretty but it works, with one little simple-to-fix problem. The author hard-coded the image resolution to 10x10. Image processing programs do not like this. The fix is open GrayBMP_File.cs (yeah, funky file naming, I know) and replace lines 50 and 51 with the code below. The example sets the resolution to 200x200 but you should change it to the proper number.

int resX = 200;
int resY = 200;
// horizontal resolution
Copy_to_Index(DIB_header, BitConverter.GetBytes(resX * 100), 24);
// vertical resolution 
Copy_to_Index(DIB_header, BitConverter.GetBytes(resY * 100), 28);
0 votes
answered Feb 16, 2011 by jeffreypriebe

To summarize a few items here: There are some pixel-by-pixel options that, while being simple just aren't fast.

@Luis' comment linking to: (archived) is superb.

He runs through three different options and includes timings for each.

0 votes
answered Jan 22, 2015 by prakash-ekhande

The code below is the simplest solution:

Bitmap bt = new Bitmap("imageFilePath");

for (int y = 0; y < bt.Height; y++)
    for (int x = 0; x < bt.Width; x++)
        Color c = bt.GetPixel(x, y);

        int r = c.R;
        int g = c.G;
        int b = c.B;
        int avg = (r + g + b) / 3;
        bt.SetPixel(x, y, Color.FromArgb(avg,avg,avg));

0 votes
answered Jan 29, 2015 by szybki

There's a static method in ToolStripRenderer class, named CreateDisabledImage. Its usage is as simple as:

Bitmap c = new Bitmap("filename");
Image d = ToolStripRenderer.CreateDisabledImage(c);

It uses a little bit different matrix than the one in the accepted answer and additionally multiplies it by a transparency of value 0.7, so the effect is slightly different than just grayscale, but if you want to just get your image grayed, it's the simplest and best solution.

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by ahmed-fahmy
Bitmap c = ac.SetImageGrayscale("~/InputPath/filename.jpg",

Notice that the second two parameters are optional, which allows you to determine the file format and the path of output file to save. (Supply them if you want to save a copy of edited file to specific path.)

Check the function's original documentation here.

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