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I assumed that Image and ImageData are inverses, so that the following expression gives back the original image.


But that doesn't work. Why?

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What do you mean by "it doesn't work"? Image[ImageData[ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}]]] works fine... – blochwave Feb 26 at 19:36
Actually Image[ImageData[ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}]]] == ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}] returns false. If you look at FullForm you see the image color representation has changed from interger to float. – george2079 Feb 26 at 19:49
If you use for example a black 24-bit Bitmap image, then what you will get back is a blue image. – Anton Alice Feb 26 at 19:52
I colud have sworn this is a duplicate or at least thoroughly discussed in another question but can't find it. – Liam Feb 27 at 4:53
Strongly related: "ImageType used by ImageData." – Alexey Popkov Feb 27 at 7:33
up vote 8 down vote accepted

I would guess it's something to do with the ImageType.

img1 = ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}];
img2 = Image[ImageData[ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}]]];    
img1 == img2
(* False *)
(* Byte *)    
(* Real *)

However, trying the following doesn't seem to help:

img3 = Image[
   ImageData[ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}], "Byte"], "Byte"];
(* Byte *)    
img3 == img1
(* False *)

But the following (courtesy of @george2079) does work! It must be related to the default option for Image being the following, rather than RGB, so the original colorspace is not preserved.

ColorSpace -> Automatic treats values as arbitrary channel intensities

img4 = Image[
  ImageData[ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}], "Byte"], "Byte", 
  ColorSpace -> "RGB"]
img1 == img4
(* True *)

Hence the following code from @Kuba should work generally:

Image[ImageData[#, ImageType[#]], ImageType[#], Options[#]] &[img1]
share|improve this answer
puzzled myself.. this gets it back: Image[ImageData[ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Mandrill"}], "Byte"], "Byte", ColorSpace -> "RGB"] – george2079 Feb 26 at 20:05
thank you both very much. – Anton Alice Feb 26 at 20:07
probably more general: img1 === Image[ImageData[#, ImageType[#]], ImageType[#], Options[#]] &[img1] – Kuba Feb 26 at 20:08
Shouldn't the ColorSpace of RGB provide only 3 parameters? A black bmp image mentioned above comes with a ColorSpace of RGB, but the ImageData looks like {{0,0,0,255},{0,0,0,255}...}. What does the 4th parameter do? – Anton Alice Feb 26 at 20:36
@AntonAlice It denotes the transparency, or "alpha" value. – blochwave Feb 26 at 20:46

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