Cloudinary Blog

Cloud-based API for applying effects on images

If you Google for “Hello Cloudinary”, you will find some intriguing articles claiming that Cloudinary is a Photoshop replacement. Well, although the comparison is very flattering and we do believe that Cloudinary is a fantastic service for web developers, we never thought of our service as a replacement for Photoshop. However, some image manipulation features of Cloudinary allow web developers and web designers to dynamically modify the look & feel of their website’s images in an extremely easy way without manually processing their images using an image editing desktop software. In this blog post we wanted to describe some of Cloudinary’s newest features - applying effects and filters on images.

Effects 

Applying effects on images is done using the new ‘effect’ parameter or ‘e’ for URLs. Some effects also accept an additional numeric parameter. Here are some examples:

Let’s take the following ‘horses’ image that was uploaded to Cloudinary:

https://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/horses.jpg

The following examples modify the color saturation of the image. A negative saturation value will reduce saturation and a positive will increase it:

.../image/upload/e_saturation:-70/horses.jpg       .../image/upload/e_saturation:70/horses.jpg

   

If you’re using Cloudinary’s client-side integration libraries, applying this transformation is made even simpler:

Ruby on Rails:

<%= cl_image_tag("horses.jpg", :effect => "saturation:70") %>

PHP:

<?php echo cl_image_tag("horses.jpg", array("effect" => "saturation:70")) ?>
Django:
{% cloudinary "horses.jpg" effect="saturation:70" %}

 

With Cloudinary’s cloud-based transformations you can also change an image’s brightness

.../image/upload/e_brightness:-50/horses.jpg      .../image/upload/e_brightness:50/horses.jpg

   

 
You can also apply a sepia effect. Use either the default sepia level or set a custom level by specifying the extra numeric value:
 
 
And you can also easily convert an image to grayscale or apply an oil-paint effect:
 

 

Chained Transformations

If you read our documentation and follow our blog posts, you probably know that Cloudinary already provides many image transformations and delivery methods. By chaining these image transformations together, you can create images that perfectly complement your graphic design.

For example, the following image is Arianna Huffington’s Facebok profile picture:

Take a look at the following Cloudinary URL that generates the image below:

.../image/facebook/w_150,h_150,c_thumb,g_face,r_20,e_sepia/l_techcrunch,g_south_west,x_5,y_5,w_50/a_10/AriannaHuffington.png 

 

What happened here? Simply accessing the above URL told Cloudinary to remotely fetch Arriana Huffington’s Facebook profile picture, created a 150x150px thumbnail using face detection based cropping, rounded the image’s corners, added a sepia effect, converted it to a transparent PNG format, added a watermark layer on the bottom-left corner, rotated the image by 10 degrees clock-wise and ultimately delivered the resulting image through a fast CDN using smart caching techniques. Isn’t that great?

Same example in Ruby on Rails:

<%= facebook_profile_image_tag("AriannaHuffington.png", :angle => 10, 
        :transformation => 
          [{:width => 150, :height => 150, :crop => :thumb, 
            :gravity => :face, :radius => 20, :effect => :sepia},
           {:overlay => "techcrunch", :gravity => :south_west, 
            :x => 5, :y => 5, :width => 50}]) %>

 

Tweaking a Website’s Color Scheme

Web developers and web designers often encounter a scenario in which a client sees their website and asks for just a tiny tweak to the color scheme they used. Changing colors of texts and other HTML elements can be easily done using CSS tweaks. But what about the images that construct your website’s design? With Cloudinary you no longer need to process all images to generate slightly different color variations. You can simply apply the hue change effect on all images delivered by Cloudinary. It accepts a numeric value between -100 and 100.

For example, the following is a background image used on Cloudinary’s web site.



<img src="site_bg.jpg" width="350" height="135" data-src="site_bg.jpg" 
     class="bg_image"/>

The following URL can be used to generate a version with a slightly different hue:



The same can be achieved using Cloudinary’s client-side libraries. For example, this is how it might look like using our jQuery library:
$('.bg_image').cloudinary({ effect: "hue:50"});

All effects and filters described above are available for all our paid and free plans. Want to try it out? Sign up to our free plan in seconds.
Please tell us what you think about the new effects. Should we support additional effects? Any other image transformation features still missing?

Recent Blog Posts

How to Make Boomerang Video Effect With Cloudinary

When you see the term boomerang, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

A thrown tool made of wood that returns to its thrower? Another definition is reversal, logically portraying the aim of the tool itself. Based on this definition, the term boomerang videos” came into play to depict videos that loop back and forth.

Read more
Shortening the Development Cycle of Media-Related apps with Cloudinary

Currently, the Android platform boasts the highest demand for mobile solutions, as evidenced by Google’s announcement in 2017 that there were two billion monthly active Android devices, a number that is likely to increase in the years ahead. For app developers like you, now is the right time to build and release solutions for Android. you might have also noticed that a higher percentage of apps being developed nowadays are filled with visual media: images and videos.

Read more
Build Your Own Image Storyboard Android App

Globally, approximately two billion people now own smartphones, which also feature cameras capable of capturing photos and videos of a tonal richness and quality unimaginable even five years ago. Until recently, those cameras behaved mostly as optical sensors, catching light that determines the resulting image's pixels. The next generation of cameras, however, can blend hardware and computer-vision algorithms that apply to an image's semantic content, spawning creative mobile photo and video apps.

Read more
Cloudinary Delivers Simplified Image Management Workflow for Fairfax Media's Digital Transformation

Fairfax Media Limited [ASX:FXJ] is one of the largest media companies in Australia and New Zealand that engages audiences and communities via print and digital media. It includes recognizable mastheads including The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Fairfax Media operates numerous news and information websites, as well as tablet and smartphone apps, for online news sites.

Read more
Bleacher Report Scores with Real-Time Video Highlights Delivered by Cloudinary

Bleacher Report is a global digital destination for sports fans, creating and collaborating on content at the intersection of sports and culture. Owned by Turner, a division of Time Warner, Bleacher Report's website and social channels focus on sports culture for the next generation of fans. Bleacher Report also has a five-star mobile app and popular email newsletters, which are part of the company’s strategy for instantly delivering in-depth articles, results and video highlights personalized for users’ favorite teams, players and leagues.

Read more