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CSSStyleDeclaration JS Conversion

HTML canvas getImageData() Method

❮ Canvas Object


The code below copies the pixel data for a specified rectangle on the canvas with getImageData(), and then put the image data back onto the canvas with putImageData():

var c = document.getElementById("myCanvas");
var ctx = c.getContext("2d");
ctx.fillStyle = "red";
ctx.fillRect(10, 10, 50, 50);

function copy() {
  var imgData = ctx.getImageData(10, 10, 50, 50);
  ctx.putImageData(imgData, 10, 70);
Try it Yourself »

Browser Support

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the method.

getImageData() 4.0 9.0 3.6 4.0 10.1

Definition and Usage

The getImageData() method returns an ImageData object that copies the pixel data for the specified rectangle on a canvas.

Note: The ImageData object is not a picture, it specifies a part (rectangle) on the canvas, and holds information of every pixel inside that rectangle.

For every pixel in an ImageData object there are four pieces of information, the RGBA values:

R - The color red (from 0-255)
G - The color green (from 0-255)
B - The color blue (from 0-255)
A - The alpha channel (from 0-255; 0 is transparent and 255 is fully visible)

The color/alpha information is held in an array, and is stored in the data property of the ImageData object.

Tip: After you have manipulated the color/alpha information in the array, you can copy the image data back onto the canvas with the putImageData() method.


The code for getting color/alpha information of the first pixel in the returned ImageData object:

red = imgData.data[0];
green = imgData.data[1];
blue = imgData.data[2];
alpha = imgData.data[3];

Try it Yourself

Tip: You can also use the getImageData() method to invert the color of every pixels of an image on the canvas.

Loop through all the pixels and change the color values using this formula:

red = 255-old_red;
green = 255-old_green;
blue = 255-old_blue;

See below for a "Try it Yourself" example!

JavaScript Syntax

JavaScript syntax: context.getImageData(x, y, width, height);

Parameter Values

Parameter Description
x The x coordinate (in pixels) of the upper-left corner to start copy from
y The y coordinate (in pixels) of the upper-left corner to start copy from
width The width of the rectangular area you will copy
height The height of the rectangular area you will copy

More Examples

Image to use:

The Scream


Use getImageData() to invert the color of every pixels of an image on the canvas:



var c = document.getElementById("myCanvas");
var ctx = c.getContext("2d");
var img = document.getElementById("scream");
ctx.drawImage(img, 0, 0);
var imgData = ctx.getImageData(0, 0, c.width, c.height);

// invert colors
for (var i = 0; i < imgData.data.length; i += 4) {
  imgData.data[i] = 255-imgData.data[i];
  imgData.data[i+1] = 255-imgData.data[i+1];
  imgData.data[i+2] = 255-imgData.data[i+2];
  imgData.data[i+3] = 255;
ctx.putImageData(imgData, 0, 0);
Try it Yourself »

❮ Canvas Object