Load a photo in a canvas, then flip

May 3rd, 2008. Tagged: canvas, images, JavaScript


Today our family went to the yearly photo session with the girls. We took one shot that can be looked normally, as well as upside down, so I was wondering can you flip an image using a canvas tag. Turns out, yes, you can and it's pretty easy.

» Demo is here.

How to load an image in a canvas tag?

Start unpretentiously with an empty canvas tag:

<canvas id="canvas"></canvas>

Now the javascript. Two variables to store a handle to the canvas element and the 2D context of the canvas:

var can = document.getElementById('canvas');
var ctx = can.getContext('2d');

Now let's load an image into the canvas. Using the new Image() constructor you can create an image object, then set its src property to point to the location of the image file. Then set an onload handler for the image which is an anonymous function to be called when the image is done loading. There you put the image inside the canvas using the drawImage() method of the canvas context.

var img = new Image();
img.onload = function(){
    can.width = img.width;
    can.height = img.height;
    ctx.drawImage(img, 0, 0, img.width, img.height);
img.src = 'zlati-nathalie.jpg';

You can also notice how the dimensions of the canvas are adjusted to match the dimensions of the image.

How to flip the image upside down

The canvas context provides a rotate() method. The rotation always happens around the top left corner of the image, so we first translate() the image to the bottom right. This way when the image is rotated, it fits back into the canvas. (There is also a one pixel correction, I have no idea why, just saw that the image wasn't flipping exactly otherwise). Assigning this functionality to the onclick:

can.onclick = function() {
    ctx.translate(img.width-1, img.height-1);
    ctx.drawImage(img, 0, 0, img.width, img.height);

C'est tout! Once again, the demo is here.

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