Friday, December 7, 2012

Load images under Android with NDK and JNI

Previous parts
  This snippet will focus on loading images on Android NDK using JNI. Our cross-platform mobile engine runs on Android, bada and desktop Windows. In last part I described two ways how to load images on Windows platform. Similar to that I again wanted solution that will load .png image as well as .jpg image.

 The solution that works good for me is split into C and Java part. The actual image loading and texture creating takes part in Java part. It also works either in fully native app with its C main loop and using native_app_glue or in Java app with GLSurfaceView.Renderer calling native methods in onDrawFrame method.

 The java part not only loads image but also creates openGL texture for me. If you are interested only in loading the image you will have to adjust it a little for your needs.

Native part

  The initial part of the method is split depending on whether you are using native_app_glue or not. If yes then first call to getApplication is actually returning android_app* type. This structure is part of parameter list of native main method. In my engine it is typedefed to SBC::System::Application (typedef struct android_app Application;). If you are not writing fully native app then you will have to use some variables previously cached (gJavaVM, gJavaActivityClass). I am caching it in JNI_OnLoad which is called when native library is loaded (see another article on JNI_OnLoad).
void Texture::construct(u8* aFileName, u32 aIdx)
 JNIEnv *env;

 SBC::System::Application* app = &Game::getGame().getApplication();

 JavaVM* vm = app->activity->vm;
 vm->AttachCurrentThread (&env, NULL);
 jclass activityClass = env->GetObjectClass(app->activity->clazz);
 bool shouldDetach = false;
 JavaVM* vm = gJavaVM;
 jint rc = vm->GetEnv((void **)&env, JNI_VERSION_1_6);
 if (rc != JNI_OK)
  shouldDetach = true;
  vm->AttachCurrentThread(&env, NULL);
 jclass& activityClass = gJavaActivityClass;

  Then main part of the method follows:
 jmethodID mid = env->GetStaticMethodID(activityClass, "loadTexture", "(Ljava/lang/String;I)I");
 jstring mystr = env->NewStringUTF(aFileName);
 jint ret = env->CallStaticIntMethod(activityClass, mid, mystr, aIdx);

 // store information on ID, width and height of texture
 mTextureID = ret;

 mid = env->GetStaticMethodID(activityClass, "getTextureWidth", "()I");
 mWidth = env->CallStaticIntMethod(activityClass, mid);
 mid = env->GetStaticMethodID(activityClass, "getTextureHeight", "()I");
 mHeight = env->CallStaticIntMethod(activityClass, mid);

 mTextureID, mWidth and mHeight are member variables of the Texture class. The ID is OpenGL ID of the texture. So I am simply calling java methods that will do all the work. After that I just "clean" with detaching if necessary:

 if (shouldDetach)

 LOGI("texture ID %i, width %i, height %i", mTextureID, mWidth, mHeight);

Java part

 The main things are going on in java class. I call it Tools as the image/texture loading is not its only purpose. But only this is subject of this article. In the beginning I just open file fname for reading. The second parameter beyond the file name (int id) is used when using compound files (single file made from multiple other files with some offsets header in the beginning). If using single file then this parameter contains -1.
package com.sbcgames.sbcengine;

import java.util.Locale;

import android.content.res.AssetManager;
import android.opengl.GLES20;
import android.opengl.GLUtils;
import android.util.Log;

 * Help methods for doing things I cannot do from my native code now...
 * Hope, this class will get smaller and smaller when it finally disappears...

public class Tools
 // last loaded texture parameters
 static int txtID, width, height;
 /* fname = asset file name
  * id >= 0 ... position in compound file
  * id < 0 ... single file (no compound)
 public static int loadTexture(String fname, int id)
  // clear last texture parameters
  txtID = width = height = -1;
  Log.d("Helper", "Loading texture from asset file " + fname + " with id " + id);

  final BitmapFactory.Options options = new BitmapFactory.Options();
  options.inScaled = false;    // No pre-scaling
  AssetManager am = SBCEngine.getSBCEngine().getAssets();
  Bitmap bitmap = null;

   InputStream stream =;

 After the file is opened I can start loading the image. Again there is split depending on whether the file is compound or not.
   // loading from compound file?
   if (id >= 0)
    DataInputStream input = new DataInputStream(stream);
    // skip header
    // skip to entry offset
    input.skip(id * 4);
    // read entry beginning
    int dataStart = input.readInt();
    // read data length
    int dataLen = input.readInt() - dataStart;
    // skip to start of subfile
    // offsets are without header (3) bytes
    // we already skipped id * 4 bytes
    // we already have read 2 offset by 4 bytes = 8 in total
    input.skip(dataStart - (id * 4) - 8);

    // get data from correct position
    byte[] data = new byte[dataLen];;

    bitmap = BitmapFactory.decodeByteArray(data, 0, data.length, options);
   else // no compound
    Log.d("Helper", "Loading from stream");
    bitmap = BitmapFactory.decodeStream(stream, null, options);

 Here we can test whether we are succesful and have bitmap loaded

   // test returned bitmap for success
   if (bitmap == null)
    Log.e("Helper", "Failed to load texture " + fname + " with id " + id);

 If yes, we can continue to creating OpenGL texture from it. First we also check whether the image height and width is power of 2. If not we put message into log and then we convert it to nearest power of two image.
   // check whether the loaded bitmap has width and height equal to power of 2
   int w = bitmap.getWidth();
   int h = bitmap.getHeight();
   if (getNearestPOT(w) != w || getNearestPOT(h) != h)
    Log.w("Helper", "Texture " + fname + " with id " + id +
      " has not either width or height power of 2");
    // new dimensions
    w = getNearestPOT(w);
    h = getNearestPOT(h);
    // redraw bitmap into POT bitmap
    Bitmap newBitmap = Bitmap.createBitmap(w, h, Bitmap.Config.ARGB_8888);
    Canvas canvas = new Canvas(newBitmap);
    canvas.drawBitmap(bitmap, 0.0f, 0.0f, null);
    canvas = null;
    bitmap = newBitmap;
    Log.w("Helper", "Texture " + fname + " rebuilded into texture with POT");

 From the bitmap (possibly rebuilt into new power of two image) we create OpenGL texture like this:
   // generate textureID
   int[] textures = new int[1];
   GLES20.glGenTextures(1, textures, 0);
   int textureID = textures[0];
   // create texture
   GLES20.glBindTexture(GLES20.GL_TEXTURE_2D, textureID);
   GLUtils.texImage2D(GLES20.GL_TEXTURE_2D, 0, bitmap, 0);

 And finally we do some clean up:
   // destroy bitmap
   txtID = textureID;
   width = w;
   height = h;
   Log.d("Helper", "Loaded texture ID:" + textureID + ", width:" + w + ", height:" + h);
   return textureID;
  catch (IOException e)
   Log.e("Helper", "Failed to load texture " + fname + " with id " + id);
   return 0;

 The other Java methods called from C or from within the Java loadTexture method are these:
 public static int getTextureWidth()
  return width;
 public static int getTextureHeight()
  return height;
 private static int getNearestPOT(int val)
  int newDim = 1;
  while(val > newDim) newDim *= 2;
  return newDim;

 It is probably pretty stupid to call three methods to get texture first and then to get its width and height. Better way would be to return some kind of object with three members. But it works and as I will get deeper into NDK/JNI I will adjust it in future.

 I hope this article helped you to write your own image loading class. The final class can load OpenGL textures from .png, .jpg files in your asset directory and it can also adjust images that are not power of two to make OpenGL happy.