Cloudinary Blog

Adding rounded corners to images and cropping images to circles

by Nadav Soferman
 
Twitter and Facebook. One adds rounded corners to their user’s profile pictures. The other doesn’t. Can you recall which service is the one adding rounded corners?
 
At the moment, the right answer is Twitter, though if you guessed Facebook you weren’t far off. Both services have on-and-off relations with rounded cornered images, and Facebook tried different designs before backing out of rounded corners for the time being.
 
Overall, it’s a matter of fashion, though having images with rounded corners seems like a very common graphics design requirement these days.
 
So how does one goes on adding rounded corners for his originally rectangular images?
 
The main approach today is adding a rounded-corner mask to the image on the client’s side, using either CSS or image mask overlays. 
 
With Cloudinary, you now have a new approach - add rounded corners to the original image and serve it to the browser in its final form. This approach offers some very nice benefits.
 
While the client-side masking approach usually works, it certainly has its drawbacks.
Supporting older browsers is non-trivial and the HTML can get cluttered. In addition, this method fails when generating PDFs or sending emails. Email clients today simply do not support advanced CSS techniques. 
 
For example, you may notice that emails sent from Twitter use rectangular thumbnails and not rounded ones, breaking the website’s graphics design concept. We assume that this is due to these technical difficulties. Their graphics design team can’t be too happy with this.
 
Last but not least, client-side masking is non-trivial for mobile applications where it’s more complex to transform the images or add masks on the device itself.
 
So how can Cloudinary help?
 
We recently added support for rounded corners transformation in the cloud, and it’s a snap to use. Simply add the new ‘radius’ parameter to have your images delivered with rounded corners. You can even use this technique to have a completely circular or oval crop. How cool is that? 
 
Here’s a quick example for generating a 150x100 PNG of an uploaded sample image while adding rounded corners. Either by using our dynamic URL API (delivered through a CDN) or in Rails:
 
 
 
White Chicken White Chicken - Rounded
 
  <%= cl_image_tag("white_chicken.png", :width => 150, :height => 100,
                                    :crop => :fill, :radius => 20) %>

You can also easily chain additional transformations together. For example, a 100x100 PNG of a Facebook profile with face detection based cropping and rounded corners:


Rounded face

Using this method you can also achieve completely circular and ellipses crops. It certainly adds a nice graphical touch.

Below is an example of a 150x100 ellipse of the original image. Simply passing ‘max’ as the radius parameter:


Ellipse

You can of course use face detection and circular cropping to get nice circles with faces of your users. To allow transparency, remember to convert your original images to PNGs, by simply using the .png suffix. Here is how it looks on a colored background:



We’d be happy to hear how you used Cloudinary’s rounded corners crop in your website. And - what other graphical effects would you like us to support?

Recent Blog Posts

Optimizing web performance and your bottom line

by Robert Moseley
Optimize your website and app for maximum user engagement
Patience is not a virtue for website visitors and online shoppers. Every fraction of a second counts when it comes to keeping – or losing – a visitor to your website.  
 
Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment, according to an infographic on the Kissmetrics blog using statistics from Akamai and Gomez. Because the average web visitor has no patience for a page that takes too long to load, abandonment increases as a percentage with every second of load time. Nearly 40 percent of users will abandon a page after 10 seconds, the blog noted. Mobile Internet users probably experience the most frustration with this issue –  73 percent noted that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load. 
Read more
Is your website offering the best user experience?
 
The most common frustrations voiced by people when visiting a website are the time it takes for pages to load and the amount of bandwidth some sites eat from their monthly mobile plans. 
 
What these users might not realize is that, in many cases, the culprit is the same: website image performance. Ensuring images are optimized is particularly important to businesses who manage these sites since they account for the majority of the downloaded bytes on a web page, and can slow down load times considerably. 
Read more
Improve your site with content personalization & A/B testing

Personalization of web content is becoming increasingly important for businesses to gain – and maintain – their competitive advantage. Web personalization is key to increasing conversion rates and return rates, as well as boosting retention, time-on-site, and page views, according to a December 2015 VentureBeat study, which noted that 87 percent of companies have seen a lift of at least 5 percent in their most important metrics as a result of personalization. 
Read more
Dynamic ZIP files generation with a single line of code

As a developer, you want to allow your users to download multiple files in a single click. An easy way to download multiple files and share them is to generate a ZIP file. When images are involved, you may also want to normalize the original images before including them in the ZIP file, by scaling them down to the same maximum resolution or converting them to the same format.

Read more