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0.1.11 • Public • Published


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A simple library for comparing two images using a native C++ binding. This library is highly inspired by the great pixelmatch. In fact, many parts of the algorithms are 1:1 C++ reimplementations.

Please also refer to the Documentation.

Table of contents

Supported environments

This is a native Addon to NodeJS which delivers prebuilt binaries. Only some environments are supported:

Node Version Windows 64-Bit Windows 32-Bit Linux 64-Bit Linux 32-Bit OSX
Node 10 (Abi 64)
Node 11 (Abi 67)
Node 12 (Abi 72)
Node 13 (Abi 79)
Node 14 (Abi 83)
Node 15 (Abi 88)


More sophisticated, fully working examples can be found here:

Basic example

A basic example of how to use this library can look like this:

import { diffImages } from "native-image-diff";
// Somehow get buffers to an RGB or RGBA image.
const imageBuffer1 = Buffer.alloc(300);
const imageBuffer2 = Buffer.alloc(300);
const image1 = {
    data: imageBuffer1,
    width: 20,
    height: 5
const image2 = {
    data: imageBuffer2,
    width: 20,
    height: 5
const { image, pixels, totalDelta } = diffImages(image1, image2);
// `image` now contains the width and the height of an RGBA image
// visualizing the difference between `image1` and `image2`.
// `pixels` is the number of pixels which didn't match.
// `totalDelta` is a number denoting the relative difference
// between the images with higher values being
// the more different and `0` being entirely equal.

The two buffers in image1 and image2 are expected to contain an RGB or RGBA encoded 8-bit image. In the above example an RGB image was used.

Both images will be compared pixel-per-pixel and the result as well as a visualization of the difference is returned.

This library does not provide any way to read or write images. Take a look at usage with node-libpng for an idea.

With these input images:

The generate diff image will look like this:

Usage with node-libpng

This library is API-compatible with node-libpng. It's simple to use decoded images as well as encoding them:

import { diffImages } from "native-image-diff";
import { readPngFileSync, writePngFileSync } from "node-libpng";
const { image, pixels } = diffImages(readPngFileSync("./image1.png"), readPngFileSync("./image2.png"));
console.log(`Compared both images. ${pixels} were different.`);
writePngFileSync("./diff.png", image.data, { width: image.width, height: image.height });
// In JS this can be even shorter: `writePngFileSync("./diff.png", image.data, image);`.

The resulting values explained

A result might look like this:

    pixels: 286,
    totalDelta: 3434604.5,
    image: {
        width: 100,
        height: 100,
        data: <Buffer 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ... >


This represents the total number of pixels differing between both images.


This is the summed up total perceived difference of all pixels. It grows with the color difference of every unmatched pixel.

In comparison to the pixels property this property also represents how different all colors were. Comparing a white image with a black image would yield a higher difference than comparing an orange with a red image.

It doesn't feature any specific unit and should be used for relative comparisons only.


This property is only generated if generateDiffImage is set to true (default).

Its properties width and height represent the dimensions of the generated image in pixels and data holds a RGBA buffer of raw image data showing the visual difference between both input images. Different pixels are drawn in red, and pixels which only differed between both images because of antialiasing will be drawn in yellow. This is only true if detectAntialiasing is set to true (default).

Antialiasing Detection

By default this library will try to detect whether a pixel was part of antialiasing and ignore the respective change. This works ~90% of the time:

These images (one with and one without antialiasing):

Will look like this with detection enabled:

The yellow pixels represent detected antialiasing will not be included in the pixels property of the result.

And like this with detection disabled:

Disable the detection by providing false as detectAntialiasing.

Color threshold

It's possible to specify a different colorThreshold.

The color threshold ranges from 0 to 1 with 1 permitting all changes and 0 permitting none. It influences the allowed per-pixel color difference.

The following example shows the visual difference between a gradient and a red rectangle with different thresholds:

Input images:

Thresholds from 0.0 to 0.7:

0.0: (2826 pixels different)

0.1: (2413 pixels different)

0.2: (1986 pixels different)

0.3: (1570 pixels different)

0.4: (1142 pixels different)

0.5: (731 pixels different)

0.6: (300 pixels different)

0.7: (0 pixels different)


As it is a native addon, native-image-diff is much faster than pixelmatch:

The chart below shows the comparison of comparing an 512x512 pixel image between pixelmatch and native-image-diff. The operations per second are displayed (Higher is better).

diff benchmark

(The x-axis scale shows the number of diffed images per second.)


Yarn is used instead of npm, so make sure it is installed. npm install -g yarn.

Generally, it should be enough to just run:


which will install all node dependencies and compile the C++ code, compile typescript, execute all test, lint the sources and build the docs.


  • Alexander Dmitriev
  • Frederick Gnodtke


npm i native-image-diff

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