How to get pixel data from a UIImage (Cocoa Touch) or CGImage (Core Graphics)?

Swift 5 version

The answers given here are either outdated or incorrect because they don’t take into account the following:

  1. The pixel size of the image can differ from its point size that is returned by image.size.width/image.size.height.
  2. There can be various layouts used by pixel components in the image, such as BGRA, ABGR, ARGB etc. or may not have an alpha component at all, such as BGR and RGB. For example, UIView.drawHierarchy(in:afterScreenUpdates:) method can produce BGRA images.
  3. Color components can be premultiplied by the alpha for all pixels in the image and need to be divided by alpha in order to restore the original color.
  4. For memory optimization used by CGImage, the size of a pixel row in bytes can be greater than the mere multiplication of the pixel width by 4.

The code below is to provide a universal Swift 5 solution to get the UIColor of a pixel for all such special cases. The code is optimized for usability and clarity, not for performance.

public extension UIImage {

    var pixelWidth: Int {
        return cgImage?.width ?? 0
    }

    var pixelHeight: Int {
        return cgImage?.height ?? 0
    }

    func pixelColor(x: Int, y: Int) -> UIColor {
        assert(
            0..<pixelWidth ~= x && 0..<pixelHeight ~= y,
            "Pixel coordinates are out of bounds")

        guard
            let cgImage = cgImage,
            let data = cgImage.dataProvider?.data,
            let dataPtr = CFDataGetBytePtr(data),
            let colorSpaceModel = cgImage.colorSpace?.model,
            let componentLayout = cgImage.bitmapInfo.componentLayout
        else {
            assertionFailure("Could not get a pixel of an image")
            return .clear
        }

        assert(
            colorSpaceModel == .rgb,
            "The only supported color space model is RGB")
        assert(
            cgImage.bitsPerPixel == 32 || cgImage.bitsPerPixel == 24,
            "A pixel is expected to be either 4 or 3 bytes in size")

        let bytesPerRow = cgImage.bytesPerRow
        let bytesPerPixel = cgImage.bitsPerPixel/8
        let pixelOffset = y*bytesPerRow + x*bytesPerPixel

        if componentLayout.count == 4 {
            let components = (
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 0],
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 1],
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 2],
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 3]
            )

            var alpha: UInt8 = 0
            var red: UInt8 = 0
            var green: UInt8 = 0
            var blue: UInt8 = 0

            switch componentLayout {
            case .bgra:
                alpha = components.3
                red = components.2
                green = components.1
                blue = components.0
            case .abgr:
                alpha = components.0
                red = components.3
                green = components.2
                blue = components.1
            case .argb:
                alpha = components.0
                red = components.1
                green = components.2
                blue = components.3
            case .rgba:
                alpha = components.3
                red = components.0
                green = components.1
                blue = components.2
            default:
                return .clear
            }

            // If chroma components are premultiplied by alpha and the alpha is `0`,
            // keep the chroma components to their current values.
            if cgImage.bitmapInfo.chromaIsPremultipliedByAlpha && alpha != 0 {
                let invUnitAlpha = 255/CGFloat(alpha)
                red = UInt8((CGFloat(red)*invUnitAlpha).rounded())
                green = UInt8((CGFloat(green)*invUnitAlpha).rounded())
                blue = UInt8((CGFloat(blue)*invUnitAlpha).rounded())
            }

            return .init(red: red, green: green, blue: blue, alpha: alpha)

        } else if componentLayout.count == 3 {
            let components = (
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 0],
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 1],
                dataPtr[pixelOffset + 2]
            )

            var red: UInt8 = 0
            var green: UInt8 = 0
            var blue: UInt8 = 0

            switch componentLayout {
            case .bgr:
                red = components.2
                green = components.1
                blue = components.0
            case .rgb:
                red = components.0
                green = components.1
                blue = components.2
            default:
                return .clear
            }

            return .init(red: red, green: green, blue: blue, alpha: UInt8(255))

        } else {
            assertionFailure("Unsupported number of pixel components")
            return .clear
        }
    }

}

public extension UIColor {

    convenience init(red: UInt8, green: UInt8, blue: UInt8, alpha: UInt8) {
        self.init(
            red: CGFloat(red)/255,
            green: CGFloat(green)/255,
            blue: CGFloat(blue)/255,
            alpha: CGFloat(alpha)/255)
    }

}

public extension CGBitmapInfo {

    enum ComponentLayout {

        case bgra
        case abgr
        case argb
        case rgba
        case bgr
        case rgb

        var count: Int {
            switch self {
            case .bgr, .rgb: return 3
            default: return 4
            }
        }

    }

    var componentLayout: ComponentLayout? {
        guard let alphaInfo = CGImageAlphaInfo(rawValue: rawValue & Self.alphaInfoMask.rawValue) else { return nil }
        let isLittleEndian = contains(.byteOrder32Little)

        if alphaInfo == .none {
            return isLittleEndian ? .bgr : .rgb
        }
        let alphaIsFirst = alphaInfo == .premultipliedFirst || alphaInfo == .first || alphaInfo == .noneSkipFirst

        if isLittleEndian {
            return alphaIsFirst ? .bgra : .abgr
        } else {
            return alphaIsFirst ? .argb : .rgba
        }
    }

    var chromaIsPremultipliedByAlpha: Bool {
        let alphaInfo = CGImageAlphaInfo(rawValue: rawValue & Self.alphaInfoMask.rawValue)
        return alphaInfo == .premultipliedFirst || alphaInfo == .premultipliedLast
    }

}

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