Transitioning from Scipy’s imread

Scipy is deprecating their image I/O functionality.

This document is intended to help people coming from Scipy to adapt to Imageio’s imread function. We recommend reading the user api and checkout some examples to get a feel of imageio.

Imageio makes use of variety of plugins to support reading images (and volumes/movies) from many different formats. Fortunately, Pillow is the main plugin for common images, which is the same library as used by Scipy’s imread. Note that Imageio automatically selects a plugin based on the image to read (unless a format is explicitly specified), but uses Pillow where possible.

In short terms: For images previously read by Scipy’s imread, imageio should generally use Pillow as well, and imageio provides the same functionality as Scipy in these cases. But keep in mind:

  • Instead of mode, use the pilmode keyword argument.
  • Instead of flatten, use the as_gray keyword argument.
  • The documentation for the above arguments is not on imread, but on the docs of the individual formats, e.g. PNG.
  • Imageio’s functions all return numpy arrays, albeit as a subclass (so that meta data can be attached).