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Run-time Image in ASP.NET using GDI+

, 12 Jun 2012 CPOL
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How to make a dynamic/embedded image at run-time for an ASP.NET application using GDI+.

Sample Image


This tip explains how to make a dynamic/embedded image at run-time for an ASP.NET application using GDI+.


I searched around in Google and the only answer I could find was to make an ASPX page, hijack the Response.OutputStream, and change the Response.ContentType. This approach I think is far easier to work with, although older browser compatibility issues may come into play. Read about embedded image data and dataURI here: Wiki - Data_URI_scheme. There is also a Microsoft disclaimer for using GDI+ within ASP.NET. Anyway...

Using the code

Here is the code for the ASP.NET 'UserControl'. There is no mark-up code, and below is the code-behind.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Drawing;
using System.IO;

public partial class UserControls_ImageRender : System.Web.UI.UserControl

    protected override void Render(HtmlTextWriter writer)
        writer.Write(@"<img src=""data:image/jpeg;base64,{0}"">", Data64);

    public Bitmap bitmap
            MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
            value.Save(ms, System.Drawing.Imaging.ImageFormat.Jpeg);
            Data64 = Convert.ToBase64String(ms.ToArray());

    private string Data64
            string s = ViewState["Data64"] as string;
            return (s == null) ? string.Empty : s;
        { ViewState["Data64"] = value; }

Register your control in web.config:

<add tagPrefix="ctl" src="~/UserControls/ImageRender.ascx" tagName="ImageRender"/>

Add an example to use on your form:

<ctl:ImageRender id="Image1" runat="server"/>

Use this Control, by setting the bitmap property.

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    if (!IsPostBack)
        Image1.bitmap = MakeImage();
// make your own GDI+ image here. Here is my example...
public Bitmap MakeImage()
    DateTime dt = DateTime.Now;
    string sHeading1 = "asd";
    string sMachineSerial = "asdasd";
    string sText1 = "rtu";
    string sText2 = "uiouiouio";
    string sText3 = "dfgbftyfy";

    Bitmap bitmap = new System.Drawing.Bitmap(400, 200);
    Graphics g = System.Drawing.Graphics.FromImage(bitmap);
    g.SmoothingMode = System.Drawing.Drawing2D.SmoothingMode.HighQuality;
    g.TextRenderingHint = System.Drawing.Text.TextRenderingHint.ClearTypeGridFit;
    g.InterpolationMode = System.Drawing.Drawing2D.InterpolationMode.HighQualityBicubic;

    System.Drawing.Font drawFontAGBoldSmall = new System.Drawing.Font("Arial", 8);
    System.Drawing.Font drawFontAGBold = new System.Drawing.Font("Arial", 12);
    System.Drawing.Font drawFontAGBook = new System.Drawing.Font("Arial", 12, FontStyle.Bold);
    System.Drawing.Font drawFontAGBookDate = new System.Drawing.Font("Arial", 24);
    System.Drawing.Font drawFontAGBookHeading = new System.Drawing.Font("Arial", 16, FontStyle.Bold);
    System.Drawing.Font drawFontArial = new System.Drawing.Font("Arial", 12, FontStyle.Bold);

    Color myColor = ColorTranslator.FromHtml(@"#F0F0F0");
    System.Drawing.SolidBrush drawBrush = new System.Drawing.SolidBrush(myColor);

    System.Drawing.StringFormat drawFormat = new System.Drawing.StringFormat();
    System.Drawing.StringFormat drawCentreFormat = 
           new System.Drawing.StringFormat(StringFormatFlags.NoWrap);
    drawCentreFormat.Alignment = StringAlignment.Center;

    Pen drawPen = new Pen(drawBrush);

    g.DrawRectangle(drawPen, new Rectangle(0, 0, bitmap.Width - 1, bitmap.Height - 1));

    g.DrawString(dt.ToShortDateString(), drawFontAGBookDate, drawBrush, 
                 new Rectangle(0, 36, 400, 40), drawCentreFormat);
    g.DrawString(sHeading1, drawFontAGBookHeading, drawBrush, new Rectangle(4, 0, 392, 26), drawFormat);
    g.DrawString(sMachineSerial, drawFontAGBoldSmall, drawBrush, new Rectangle(8, 22, 392, 14), drawFormat);
    g.DrawString(sText1, drawFontAGBold, drawBrush, new Rectangle(8, 80, 192, 20), drawFormat);
    g.DrawString(sText2, drawFontAGBold, drawBrush, new Rectangle(8, 101, 192, 20), drawFormat);
    g.DrawString(sText3, drawFontAGBold, drawBrush, new Rectangle(8, 122, 192, 20), drawFormat);


    return bitmap;


All done! As my son would write, thanks for listening!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Richard Leiser
Web Developer
Switzerland Switzerland
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionMessage Automatically Removed Pin
21-Dec-14 21:50
memberpaul000921-Dec-14 21:50 
GeneralBase64 vs. Content-type Pin
Enigmatic Texan21-Jun-12 10:17
memberEnigmatic Texan21-Jun-12 10:17 
QuestionI wont vote but: Pin
HaBiX14-Jun-12 21:12
memberHaBiX14-Jun-12 21:12 
AnswerRe: I wont vote but: Pin
Richard Leiser14-Jun-12 23:49
memberRichard Leiser14-Jun-12 23:49 
GeneralRe: I wont vote but: Pin
HaBiX15-Jun-12 0:01
memberHaBiX15-Jun-12 0:01 
GeneralRe: I wont vote but: Pin
Richard Leiser15-Jun-12 4:17
memberRichard Leiser15-Jun-12 4:17 
GeneralRe: I wont vote but: Pin
HaBiX15-Jun-12 7:15
memberHaBiX15-Jun-12 7:15 
Generalsome great feedback Pin
Richard Leiser15-Jun-12 14:14
memberRichard Leiser15-Jun-12 14:14 
well I must admit, that is a really nice work around with some nice concepts of passing data around. I can't say that I'm fully competent with knowing how to handle HttpContext and the like, but certainly if you spend the time and effort to do this, it's a good idea. onwards and upwards. I guess atleast my idea is quite simple and straight forward with only mild in-effeciencies as a consequence. My website has only 50 or so users, so a few kB here or there should not hurt too much. I have also saved the rendered page to file for history/documention purposes, I know that again this is not perhaps the best way to do things, but having the image embedded into the page would help here. A lot of what I do is more about functionality, keeping things within easy grasp and simple rather than the effeciency to the server and end-user.

On a seperate note you did help me investigate my rendered page and look into the ViewState, where I found I had 490kB of data inside nested Repeaters. ouch! well even I can't live with that kind of in-effeciency. So now it's a choice of increased server load or client load. I guess there are always bigger problems lurking around the corner.
GeneralRe: some great feedback Pin
HaBiX17-Jun-12 21:31
memberHaBiX17-Jun-12 21:31 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Carsten V2.05-Jun-12 5:26
memberCarsten V2.05-Jun-12 5:26 
Questionhello Pin
beleshi4-Jun-12 0:44
memberbeleshi4-Jun-12 0:44 

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