Imaging module

Digital asset management Bundled: Community edition

The Imaging module simplifies working with images. You don’t need to resize and crop each image by hand as the imaging engine generate variations on the fly. Administrators create the rules that determine the sizes of derivatives. Editors save time as they can select an image from the DAM or upload one, and it will be automatically adapted to match the rule.

Please note that the artifact IDs (Maven groupId and artifactId) have changed since Magnolia 5.5.

If you have custom Java code relying on this module, you need to install a compatibility module too.

To be sure, please check the module on our Bitbucket server.

Edition CE




Maven site



Installing with Maven

Maven is the easiest way to install the module. Add the following to your bundle:

  <version>4.0.0</version> (1)
1 Should you need to specify the module version, do it using <version>.

Note the changes in groupId and artifactId since the 3.4 release.

Compatibility module

With Magnolia 5.6 we’ve begun removing the old Content API from our modules. If you have custom code relying on classes from the old imaging module then you must do one of two things:

  • Update your code for the new version of the imaging module.

  • Or you can use the magnolia-imaging-compatibility module together with the magnolia-core-compatibility module.

Add the following snippet to your POM file:

  <version>4.0.0</version> (1)
1 Should you need to specify the module version, do it using <version>.

Image request processing

The diagram shows the elements of the Imaging module and how they interrelate (credit: Richard Unger).

  • info.magnolia.imaging.ImagingServlet is responsible for the actual generation of the images.

  • The info.magnolia.imaging.ImageGenerator interface is the entry point for generating images.

  • info.magnolia.imaging.operations.ImageOperationChain implements ImageGenerator and executes an operation chain.

  • Various implementations of the info.magnolia.imaging.ParameterProviderFactory interface are responsible for instantiating parameter providers for a given environment.

  • Implementations of the info.magnolia.imaging.ImageStreamer interface are responsible for pushing the generated image, with the given generator and parameters, to an output stream.

Image request processing

Imaging servlet

info.magnolia.imaging.ImagingServlet is registered in the Magnolia servlet filter chain in /server/filters/servlets/ImagingServlet. The servlet is responsible for generating images.

Imaging servlet node

Image generators

info.magnolia.imaging.ImageGenerator is a component that generates variants from a source image based on configuration. Generators are used by image provider classes to render images in the UI and on pages.

Generators are configured in {/modules/imaging/config/generators.

Example: Generator configurations

Generator configurations

Property Description



Generators configuration.

     <generator name>


The name of the image generator.

large, portrait and thumbnail are used in the UI to generate images in apps. mte generates image variations in a theme.



The image generator class:

  • info.magnolia.imaging.DefaultImageGenerator: Default image generator with provided OutputFormat and ImageOperation defaults.

  • info.magnolia.imaging.operations.ImageOperationChain: Image generator that delegates to a list of ImageOperation instances. This is the most commonly used generator class. It executes an operation chain and is used by large, portrait and thumbnail generators.

  • info.magnolia.templating.imaging.ThemeAwareImageGenerator: Theme-aware generator that handles image variations in a theme. Extends ImageOperationChain.



Output format configuration.




required (for ImageOperationChain only)

See the Image operation chains configuration.

Output format

The output format is the format or file type the generator produces, such as JPEG or PNG. Supported formats are bmp, gif, jpeg, png, and webp. The module also supports these formats and tiff as input formats.

Generation of WebP images from image sources that are not using the RGB color space is not supported.

The output format is configured in /modules/imaging/generators/<generator name>/outputFormat.

For the PNG format, only image compression is supported. The current implementation only supports PNG images with bit depths of 8 or 16. Compressing PNG images with a bit depth of 4 may result in a different byte size of the image.

Converting a PNG image to a different image format is not possible.

Example: Output format configurations

Output format configurations

Property Description



Output format configuration. Defines the format the generator produces, such as jpg or png.



Image quality as a percentage.


optional (required only for ImageOperationChain)

The file extension of the generated images.

ThemeAwareImageGenerator and DefaultImageGenerator generate images in the same format as the source image. If you upload a jpg, this generator will produce a jpg.

Parameter provider factory

Parameters are instructions passed to an operation, such as where to load a source image or what text to lay over it. Registering ParameterProviderFactory allows you to pass parameters from different sources:

The parameter provider factory is configured in /modules/imaging/generators/<generator name>/parameterProviderFactory.

Parameter provider factory configuration

Parameter provider classes:


Node-based ParameterProviderFactory that tries to determine Node by its identifier.


Node-based ParameterProviderFactory that tries to determine Node by its path.


Theme-aware ParameterProviderFactory.


Superclass for parameter provider factories based on workspace and path.


Extracts workspace and identifier from path. Everything after the identifier is ignored. This allows you, for example, to pass a properly named filename to the image.

Image operation chains

The Imaging module can resize and crop images, overlay text and apply image filters. These are called image operations and are configured in /modules/imaging/config/generators/<generator name>/operations. Image operations can also be configured in a theme.

An image operation chain consists of one or more operations. A simple chain could add only fixed text, while a more complex chain could load an image from a remote source, apply filters, add multiple text fields and style them differently.

Example: Image operation chain configuration

Image operation chain configuration

Property Description

<generator name>


Name of the image generator.



Operations node.

         <operation names>


One node for each operation in the chain, for example load, resize and overlay. The chain is executed from top to bottom.



Operation class



Other properties supported by the operation class.

The first operation in an operation chain is typically a load operation. Use info.magnolia.imaging.operations.load.FromBinaryNode to load an image from the DAM.

Parameter provider factory and load operation class typing

Note that the ParameterProviderFactory and ParameterProvider implementations are typed. Let’s have a look at the interfaces:

The return type of ParameterProviderFactory#newParameterProviderFor and the method argument in the class used for a load operation must have the same type!

For instance, info.magnolia.imaging.parameters.BinaryJcrNodePathParameterProviderFactory and info.magnolia.imaging.operations.load.FromBinaryNode work well together.

Creating a custom generator

You can create a custom image generator If the defaults do not meet your requirements:

  • Subclass ImageOperationChain.

  • Override getOutputFormat() method.

  • Set the value of the class node in configuration to your class name.

Imaging workspace

The imaging engine stores generated images in the imaging workspace.

The path where generated images are stored depends on info.magnolia.imaging.caching.CachingStrategy. The default path is:

    /<path of node or property (nodedata)>

For the MTE generator, the path is:

      /<path of node or property (nodedata)>

For example:

             /generated image

When the image is rendered on a page, the URL to the generated image is:

/<CATALINA_HOME, contextPath>
  /.imaging (which is the Imaging servlet default path)
      /<path to the cached image>

Here’s the same image generated by the portrait and mte generators in the JCR Browser app. The 960x720 variation is configured in the travel-demo-theme.

Image configuration in JCR workspace

Viewing generated images

The syntax for the URL to request a generated image depends on the used ParameterProviderFactory. However, it usually has the following pattern:

<protocol>://<context>/.imaging/<generator name>/<specific parameters ...>

Here is an example of a path when using info.magnolia.imaging.parameters.BinaryJcrNodePathParameterProviderFactory:



Magnolia caches image resources to improve performance. Any dynamic images generated by the Imaging module are 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.

During testing, you can disable caching of generated images completely. In /modules/imaging/config, create a new property named storeGeneratedImages and set the value to false.

Disable caching of generated images

There is still a small delay between configuration changes and a new image being available. Magnolia’s observation mechanism intentionally waits a couple of seconds before reading a changed configuration.

Imaging support

Imaging support is enabled by 3 Magnolia modules:



The support interface for imaging.



Asset renderer that uses ImagingSupport to generate renditions.


ImagingSupport that delegates to a Theme.

Image variations in a theme

A variation is a theme-specific configuration that defines the size of the target image and tells the imaging engine whether cropping is allowed. Variations are configured in a theme which allows you to configure image look and feel in the same place as CSS.


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