How to work with images using damfn

This page explains how to work with images and other assets stored in Magnolia Digital asset management using damfn templating functions in template scripts.

Imaging modules

If you use a Magnolia bundle, the required and optional modules are already included.

If you created a custom webapp, add the following modules in the POM file of the webapp of your bundle. The modules may have dependencies to other modules, but these dependencies are handled by Maven dependency management.

Required modules

Modules required for basic image operations.

artifactId version





Optional modules

Modules required when using info.magnolia.dam.api.AssetRendition, such as size variations of an image (recommended).

artifactId version





To select an image in a dialog, use a link field. It stores a reference to the selected asset.

Example: Code fragment from a dialog definition.

      $type: damLinkField

Displaying an image

To render an image, you need to get a link to the asset. Use the link as a value in the src attribute of the img element.

Use the #getAssetLink(itemKey) method if you have the itemKey of the image. See Get link for asset. For instance, the textImage component stores itemKey in the image property. This is a very common use case.

Example: Getting an image link with itemKey. Assume that this code is executed in a component template. The current content node has a property named image where itemKey is stored.

[#assign imgItemKey = content.image!]
[#if imgItemKey??]
    [#assign imgRef = damfn.getAssetLink(imgItemKey)!]
    [#if imgRef??]
        <img src="${imgRef}"/>

Use the getLink() method if you already have the asset. Since an [.inlineBean]#info.magnolia.dam.api.Asset object is a Java bean, you can use its public method #getLink(). You may even use the dot notation.

Example: Getting an image link for an asset.

[#assign myAsset = damfn.getAsset("jcr","/photos/pool.jpg")!]
[#if myAsset??]
    <img src="${myAsset.getLink()}"/>

[#assign myAsset = damfn.getAsset("jcr","/photos/dilbert.jpg")!]
[#if myAsset??]
    <img src="${}"/>

Displaying resized images

If you need different sizes of the same image, do not upload multiple copies (variations) of the same image to your DAM repository. Instead, upload the image only once and define image size variations in your theme.

Defining image variations

Configure your image variations in a theme. Each variation should be a node under <my-theme>/imaging/variations. The variation node name is what you will be referencing in your template scripts. It is also known as rendition name.

Example: Defining three image variations in a theme.

Configuring theme variations

Property Description



Imaging node of the theme.



info.magnolia.templating.imaging.VariationAwareImagingSupport provides support for image variations.



Map of image variations.

         <variation name>


Name of the variation (rendition). Choose a name that describes the variation. The name is used in template scripts to reference the variation. Add one node for every variation.



You can use one of the available classes or create a custom one. The available properties depend on the class used for the variation. Any custom class must implement info.magnolia.imaging.variation.Variation.

The MTE module provides:

  • info.magnolia.templating.imaging.variation.SimpleResizeVariation to resize images to a defined size in pixels (see below for available properties).

  • info.magnolia.templating.imaging.variation.ImageOperationProvidingVariation to create your own image operation chain using the mte image generator.


Add properties that are supported by the class used.



Enables and disables support for image variations.

On the node /modules/site/config/themes/<your-theme>/imaging, you must specify the class property. The used class must implement info.magnolia.imaging.ImagingSupport. The MTE module provides info.magnolia.templating.imaging.VariationAwareImagingSupport, which is a good choice for our use case here.

Add one node for every required variation below <your-theme>/imaging/variations. The name of such a node is the name of the variation (rendition name). In the example above, we have defined the renditions small-square, thumbnail and medium.

For every variation, you have to configure some properties. The available properties depend on the class you use in the variation. You can implement your own class. The definition class must implement the info.magnolia.imaging.variation.Variation interface.

In the example above, we use info.magnolia.templating.imaging.variation.SimpleResizeVariation. This class is provided by the magnolia-templating-essentials-imaging module. Your webapp bundle must contain the module.

Properties of SimpleResizeVariation:

Property Description

<variation name>



Class used to resize images to a defined size in pixels. Must implement info.magnolia.templating.imaging.variation.SimpleResizeVariation.


optional, default is true

Defines whether the image can be cropped to fit the desired aspect ratio.

Example: A source image in the DAM is 800x800 px (square). For a variation, you define the desired target size as 200x100 (rectangle). The image is first resized to 200x200 and then cropped equally from the top and bottom to reach 200x100 so that it is not distorted. If you set crop to false, the image will be distorted to achieve the desired target size.


optional, default is false

Defines whether the image can be expanded when it is not cropped.



Integer to define the height in pixels. You must define either height or width.



Integer to define the width in pixels. You must define either height or width.

  • If you do not define either height or width, the renderer will internally throw ImagingException and the image will appear in its original uploaded size.

  • If you define both height and width, the image will be sized down to the lower of the two and the rest will be cropped if necessary. Cropping starts from the middle, so the image is cropped either on the top and bottom or the left and right.

  • If you define only height or width, the other property will be calculated using the aspect ratio of the original image.

Make sure the site where you want to display the image variations references the theme. The name property of the theme in a site configuration must be the same as the main node of the configured theme.

Getting an image variation

Example: Getting an image variation (asset rendition) with itemKey. Assume that content in this example stores itemKey in the image property.

[#assign imgItemKey = content.image!]
[#if imgItemKey??]
    [#assign myMediumRendition = damfn.getRendition(imgItemKey, "medium")!]
    [#if myMediumRendition??]
        <img src="${myMediumRendition.getLink()}"/>

Example: Getting an image variation (asset rendition) for an asset.

[#if myAsset?? && myAsset.isAsset()]
    [#assign myThumbnail = damfn.getRendition(myAsset, "thumbnail")!]
    [#if myThumbnail??]
        <img src="${myThumbnail.getLink()}"/>

Image variation cache

Magnolia caches image resources to improve performance. Any dynamic images generated by the Imaging module are also cached at two levels: in the imaging workspace and in the actual cache like any other page or document. This means that once the system generates an image, you keep getting the same cached image on subsequent requests.

Disabling image cache during development

During development, it is helpful to disable caching of generated images completely. Go to Configuration > /server/filters/servlets/ImagingServlet/parameters, create a new property named storeGeneratedImages and set its value to false.

Disabling image cache during development in Configuration app

Remove the property or to set it to true after having finished image variation development. Do not use this property in your production environment.

Deleting image variations in the imaging workspace

Once image variations are stored in the imaging workspace, they remain there. After you remove the storeGeneratedImages property, any cached image variations are served from the imaging workspace again. Delete the nodes from the workspace.

Option 1: Groovy script. In the script, examples-theme is the name of your theme. You can run this script in the Groovy console or add a new script and run it.

session = MgnlContext.getJCRSession('imaging')
images = session.getNode('/examples-theme')

Option 2: Delete the nodes in the imaging workspace in the JCR Browser app.


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