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C# Wrapper to the FreeImage DLL for graphical image format conversion

, 30 Sep 2003
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This article provides a simplified C# wrapper to the FreeImage project for graphical file format conversion.


FreeImage is an extremely useful Open Source project for reading, manipulating and converting a large amount of graphical formats. However at present the library exists as Win32 Dynamic Link Library. As my latest fascination is C#, I decided to create a simple Interop wrapper for it.

Using the code

The code is very straightforward to use, which is a reflection on the FreeImage implementation itself. For my needs I wanted to be able to take a picture file in Portable Bitmap (PBM) format and convert it to a standard Bitmap (BMP). For this I needed 3 methods exposed via the FreeImage DLL, FreeImage_Load, FreeImage_Save and FreeImage_Unload, the signature for which are:

       const char *filename, int flags FI_DEFAULT(0));
   FIBITMAP *dib, const char *filename, int flags FI_DEFAULT(0)); 
DLL_API void DLL_CALLCONV FreeImage_Unload(FIBITMAP* dib);

Now the C# Interop signatures for these are:

    public class FreeImage
         public static extern int FreeImage_Load(FIF format, 
                        string filename, int flags);
         public static extern void FreeImage_Unload(int handle);
         public static extern bool FreeImage_Save(FIF format, 
            int handle, string filename, int flags);

As an example, to convert a graphical image from PBM to BMP, all you need to do is the following (note the enum FIF is not documented here, but can be found in the source code).

namespace Test
    class MainClass
        public static void Main(string[] args)
            int handle = FreeImageAPI.FreeImage.FreeImage_Load(


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About the Author

David Boland
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Displaying in .NET Pinmemberschoeneck10-Nov-03 12:22 
GeneralRe: Displaying in .NET PinmemberDavid Boland10-Nov-03 23:58 
GeneralRe: Displaying in .NET PinmemberDrolon17-Nov-03 8:15 
GeneralRe: Displaying in .NET Pinmemberfurkinfedup24-Jan-04 0:26 
GeneralRe: Displaying in .NET Pinmemberpersée23-Aug-05 5:41 
GeneralMemory or File... PinmemberDrew Stainton1-Oct-03 8:46 
GeneralRe: Memory or File... PinsussAnonymous1-Oct-03 23:38 
QuestionHow to draw FIBITMAP to form. PinmemberSkyer1-Oct-03 5:30 
Hi, guys
How to draw FIBITMAP to a form.
If I load with FreeImage function "Load", how to draw it up?
How to change FIBITAMP to .NET class "Bitmap"?

With best regards,
AnswerRe: How to draw FIBITMAP to form. PinmemberDavid Boland1-Oct-03 6:09 
GeneralAccessing the image PinmemberRay Hayes1-Oct-03 2:36 
GeneralRe: Accessing the image PinmemberDavid Boland1-Oct-03 6:20 
GeneralSystem::Drawing::Image PinmemberJonathan de Halleux1-Oct-03 2:36 
GeneralRe: System::Drawing::Image PinmemberDavid Boland1-Oct-03 6:15 

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