I need to run an exported NetChain in ONNX, surprisingly the model exports and runs successfully, but there's a discrepancy in the image loading stage (the NetEncoder'ing that must be written manually).

Here's a minimal working example of the issue:

Export["oxford.jpg", ExampleData@ExampleData[{"TestImageSet", "Oxford2011"}][[1]]];
encoder = CloudGet @"https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj/8af91972-cf2f-4754-9ea7-34d53d8cb312";

correct = encoder @ Import @ "oxford.jpg";
byHandMMA = ImageData[ImageResize[Import@"oxford.jpg", {224, 224}], 
                  Interleaving -> False] - {.48, .46, .4};

Max @ Abs[correct - byHandMMA] (* ok, not zero but small enough... *)

enter image description here

Then here it is in Python:

# pip install scikit-image 
import numpy as np
from skimage.transform import resize
from skimage import io

img = io.imread("oxford.jpg")
img = np.rollaxis(img, 2, 0) # uninterleaved
img = resize(img / 255, (3, 224, 224), anti_aliasing=True)
img[1]=img[1]-0.46  # subtracting mean channel values (from NetEncoder)
img = img.astype(np.float32)

Importing back yields a big difference with what it should be:

byHandPy = Normal[%];
Max @ Abs[correct - byHandPy] (* 0.125127 *)

enter image description here

Here's another attempt with a different image library:

# pip install Pillow
import numpy as np
from PIL import Image

img = Image.open('oxford.jpg').resize((224, 224))
img = np.array(img, dtype='float32')/255
img = np.rollaxis(img, 2, 0) # uninterleaved
img[1]=img[1]-.46  # subtracting mean channel values (from NetEncoder)

Now the error is smaller, but still too big and impacts the network's performance.

byHandPy = Normal[%];
Max @ Abs[correct - byHandPy] (* 0.0627451 still too big*)

enter image description here

Perhaps someone knows exactly how NetEncoder["Image"] works (exact resizing method, order, antialiasing options etc..)? I think I'm missing some tiny detail.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @xslittlegrass Could you help here? $\endgroup$
    – user5601
    Commented Nov 30, 2021 at 6:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ NetEncoder["Image"] uses OpenCV to load images. The details are hidden in OpenCVLink binary though. The actual call to link is in OpenCVLinkImportOpsCVLoadImagesFromPath. The following code reveals the call: ` Trace[encoder[file], OpenCVLinkImportOpsCVLoadImagesFromPath[___]] ` $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ @PavrlPerikov Can you turn this into an answer? $\endgroup$
    – user5601
    Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ I provided the answer with some warning below $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


According to @user5601 suggestion I'm turning my comment into an answer.

NetEncoder["Image"] uses OpenCV to load images. The exact implementation is hidden inside OpenCVLink binary library though and deeper in libopencv_core.dylib. The actual OpenCV call is cv::imread in case you use it as in NetEncoder["Image"][File["...."].

The following snippet reveals the code that calls OpenCVLink:

file = File[...];
Trace[encoder[file], OpenCVLink`ImportOps`CVLoadImagesFromPath[___]]


Please be aware of the bug in NetEncoder["Image"][File[...]] implementation which presents since early 12.x releases (and will be fixed in 13.1): it leaks every image it loads so using it repeatedly in affected versions is impossible — you'll run out of memory pretty soon.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's an insanely bad regression $\endgroup$
    – M.R.
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ I was mad about it. It's already fixed but will show only in 13.1 $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 15:11

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