ImageMagick Examples --
Resize Halo Bug -- FIXED

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This is a demonstration of a 'resize halo bug' generated by the resize filter when doing small resizes of very light colored images on a transparent background. This bug was completely fixed, by user demand with the release of ImageMagick version 6.2.4.

This page is for reference for older IM users who may still have to deal with this bug. The examples on this page have not been re-created when/if the bug was fixed.

Resize Halo Bug

We have a white text on a transparent background. Everything works fine.

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello   label.png
[IM Output]

But resizing it slightly produces a slightly darker edge, though this is not easily seen on the darker background of this page.

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello  -resize 95%  resized.png
[IM Output]

To see the halo clearly lets overlay the white text image on a white background, then normalize to show the darker pixels.

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello  -resize 95% \
            -background white -flatten -normalize     resize_halo.jpg
[IM Output]

We can see that this really is a resize bug by removing the resize command and overlaying, producing the expected pure white image. A pure white image should have been the result of the previous command.

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello  \
            -background white -flatten -normalize      no_resize.jpg
[IM Output]

Non-Graphical Test for the Bug

Lets look at this in a different way....

Running the command...

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
             label:Hello    txt:-  |\
      egrep -v '\) (white|none|#FFFFFFFFFFFF)'

The 'egrep' will filter out any pixels in the "txt:" output that are fully-transparent black or white, semi-transparent white or fully-opaque white pixels. This basically leave the "txt:" comment header and any semi-transparent grey or black pixels, which form the halo.

In the above case their are no semi-transparent grey or black pixels, so only the single line command header is generated.

However if we now resize the image slightly before outputing the "txt:" image file...

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello   -resize 95%    txt:-  |\
      egrep -v '\) (white|none|#FFFFFFFFFFFF)'

You will now see lots, and lots, and lots, of semi-transparent grey pixels, which should NOT have been generated!!!! These pixels represent the 'black halo' around the resized image.

A Work Around

The problem in the above is caused by the resize filters not understanding that full-transparent colors should not be used in the final color of a pixel, only the transparency.

This problem is the same problem involving blurs with transparency, and discussed in Blur Transparency Bug, and similar solutions to this problem also works here.

One workaround that works on both problems, is to set the color of the transparency to the same as the edge color of the image being resized. That is, use a fully-transparent white (EG: '#FFFF' as the background instead of fully transparent black (EG: 'none').

    magick -background '#FFFF' -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello   -resize 95%  resized_white.png
[IM Output]

For resize you can also try turn off the resize filters by using a 'point' resize filter.

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 72 -font Candice \
            label:Hello   -filter point  -resize 95%  resized_point.png
[IM Output]

And this works reasonably well for resizing small amounts, but falls down when heavily resizing images.

    magick -background none -fill white -pointsize 1200 -font Candice \
            label:Hello   -filter point -resize 5%  resized_point_big.png
[IM Output]

If you look closely at the result you can see that the image while not having a resize halo effect, also effectively has no anti-aliasing along the edges, (that is, it has the 'jaggies'). Also on more detailed images the internal details of the resized image can be very bad indeed. Even as small resizes can produce a moire pattern across an image.

Overlaying any of these examples on a white background (using -flatten for example) and -normalizing will show no 'halo' effect.

Created: 3 May 2005
Updated: 10 August 2005
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <>
Examples Generated with: [version image]