Image Studio

This feature is only available in Contao 4.10 and later.

The Image Studio consists of a set of classes and templates that help you generate and output images and metadata.


You can find the Image Studio components in the Contao\CoreBundle\Image\Studio namespace.


The Figure is a data container that groups all data related to an image under one object. Along the responsive image with multiple sizes itself, this can also contain image/file metadata (like an alt text or a caption), a secondary lightbox image, image link attributes or additional template options.

The name figure originates from the idea that the HTML <figure> tag is also a container for an image with metadata. The Figure object therefore plays well with the default image.html5 PHP template as well as the Studio’s own Twig templates and macros that both render this tag.

Have a look at the templating section for more information on how to output Figure data in your templates.

Studio factory

The Contao\CoreBundle\Image\Studio\Studio is a factory that allows creating one of the following result objects:

  • The FigureBuilder provides a DX friendly way to create Figure objects (see below).

  • The ImageResult provides picture/image data (such as source/img/original dimensions) by lazily querying the image and picture factories and caching the results when you use the object’s getters. The ImageResult is always part of a Figure.

  • The LightboxResult provides lightbox data (such as the lightbox group identifier or a link) and can optionally contain an ImageResult - the resized lightbox image. The LightboxResult can also be part of a Figure.

Using the FigureBuilder

Use the FigureBuilder class to create Figure result objects. The class has a fluent interface to configure the desired output. It configures Contao-typical scenarios like retrieving metadata from the DBAFS, fetching lightbox data or handling image links for you out of the box. When you are ready, call build() to get a Figure. Have a look at the full reference for all available config options.

  1. Use the Studio factory to create a new FigureBuilder

    // Use dependency injection to inject the Contao\CoreBundle\Image\Studio\Studio service
    $figureBuilder = $this->studio->createFigureBuilder();
    // Or from within the legacy code
    $figureBuilder = System::getContainer()
  2. Dial in your needed configuration

    // Example 1
      ->setSize([800, 600, 'crop'])
    // Example 1
      ->setMetadata($metadata) // overwrite with custom metadata
      ->setLinkAttribute('data-foo', 'bar')
      ->setOptions(['attr' => ['class' => 'custom-figure']]);
  3. Build a Figure

    $figure = $figureBuilder->build();

After building a Figure you can optionally repeat steps 2 and 3 to alter the configuration and create another result. This can be helpful if you need to output multiple images with a similar configuration (e.g. a gallery).

FigureBuilder Reference

Defining the base resource

fromFilesModel Define the base resource from a FilesModel.
fromUuid Define the base resource from a tl_files UUID.
fromId Define the base resource from a tl_files ID.
fromPath Define the base resource from an absolute or relative (to the project dir) path. By default, this will try to find a matching FilesModel to retrieve metadata - set $autoDetectDbafsPaths to false to prevent this.
fromImage Define the base resource from an ImageInterface. This will try to find a matching FilesModel to retrieve metadata.
from Define the base resource by autodetecting the type and resolving to one of the above variants.

Setting options

setSize Set the size configuration that should be applied. This can either be a PictureConfiguration, an image size array or a reference to a predefined image configuration: either via ID of the tl_image_size record or via the underscore-prefixed name of the config key (_my_size). Pass null to disable resizing.
setMetadata Overwrite the default metadata that the system tries to retrieve from the base resource’s FilesModel. Pass null to restore the default behavior.
disableMetadata Disable retrieving and outputting metadata completely. If this is active, the resulting Figure will not contain any metadata. Pass false to restore the default behavior.
setLocale Explicitly set the locale that should be used to retrieve metadata. By default the system will try to match the current page’s or root page’s language. If you are using the FigureBuilder outside a request context and need metadata, you always need to define this option. Pass null to restore the default behavior.
setLinkAttribute Add a custom link attribute. This takes precedence over an automatically generated attribute with the same name. Set the value to null to remove a previously set attribute again. By also setting $forceRemove to true, this will make sure the respective argument won’t appear in the result list (even if it was autogenerated).
setLinkAttributes Set all custom attributes at once: The list will be merged with the automatically generated ones and override arguments that are already existing. Set a value to null to make sure the respective argument won’t appear in the result list (even if it was autogenerated).
setLinkHref Short hand for setting the href link attribute (see setLinkAttribute).
enableLightbox Enable the creation of lightbox (disabled by default). Pass false to restore the default behavior.
setLightboxResourceOrUrl Overwrite the lightbox resource that the system tries to derive from the metadata URL or base resource. This can either be an absolute or relative (to the project dir) path or an ImageInterface. Pass null to restore the default behavior.
setLightboxSize Overwrite the lightbox size that the system tries to read from the current page’s associated layout. If you are using the FigureBuilder outside a request context and need a lightbox image, you always need to define this option. Pass null to restore the default behavior.
setLightboxGroupIdentifier Define the lightbox group identifier (data-lightbox="<group-identifier>"). By default or if the argument is set to null the identifier will be empty.
setOptions Set an associative array of template options. These options won’t be processed and are intended to ship parameters to the template. If you are using the Image Studio’s twig templates, you might for instance want to pass a HTML class: ['attr' => ['class' => 'my_figure']]


PHP Templates

If you are creating your own PHP templates and want to apply Figure data directly, you currently need to create the markup yourself.

If you are instead using the legacy Contao image.html5 template, you can make use of two builtin helper functions to apply/get an array of data ready to use.

$template = new FrontendTemplate('image');

// Transform and apply the figure data to a given template
// - comparable to `Controller::addImageToTemplate` 

// If you want you can set the data yourself. Note that you might
// have to deal with a collision of the 'href' key yourself


If you are using Twig, there are three supported ways to get figures/images into your templates:

  1. Default figure template — Rendering the default figure.html.twig template will produce a single figure. It expects the variable figure to be set in its context with a Studio\Figure.

    $twig->render('@ContaoCore/Image/Studio/figure.html.twig', ['figure' => $figure]);
  2. Using macros — The composition of a figure - even in the default template - is done with a bunch of macros that you can also call yourself.

    $twig->render('@App/my_figure_collection.html.twig', [
        'figure_collection' => [$figure1, $figure2, $figure3],
    {% import "@ContaoCore/Image/Studio/_macros.html.twig" as studio %}
    {% for figure in figure_collection %}
      {{- studio.figure(figure) -}}
    {% endfor %}

    The macros accept an options object as the second argument. This can contain the same data as a Figure's option property and will take precedence over already set values. You can for instance use these options to set custom HTML properties on the various tags. Have a look at the macro definitions for more information.

    The figure macro itself is built using a picture and caption macro. The picture macro again uses an img macro (and so on). You can also use these individual macros as building blocks for your custom template.

  3. Inline — You can also output a figure directly from within your template by using the contao_figure Twig function. The function expects a resource (uuid, id, path) as the first and the image size as the second argument. If you want to specify more config, you can pass a config object as the third argument.

    In the config object you can configure the same things you would as when using the FigureBuilder (see reference). In fact, under the hood, the Twig function uses PropertyAccess to configure a FigureBuilder instance. This is why you can also use the same short notation you expect from Twig when accessing variables (e.g. size instead of setSize). In the case of metadata, you can also just pass an object which will internally be converted into Metadata.

    {# It's enough to specifiy the resource and size... #}
    {{ contao_figure('path/to/my/image.png', '_my_size') }}
    {# ...but you can also go wild with the options. #}
    {{ contao_figure(id, [200, 200, 'proportional'], { 
      metadata: { alt: 'Contao Logo', caption: 'Look at this CMS!' },
      enableLightbox: true,
      lightboxGroupIdentifier: 'logos',
      lightboxSize: '_big_size',
      linkHref: '',
      options: { attr: { class: 'logo-container' } }
    }) }}

    By default, the figure.html.twig template (see 1) is used to render the result, but you can optionally pass a custom template as the fourth argument. The template will receive a figure variable with your configured Figure as its context.

    If you want to use a complex size configuration for just one image, you do not need to create a global configuration. Instead, use the picture_config Twig function, pass it the configuration and use the result as the size argument of the contao_figure function:

    {% set special_size = picture_config({
        width: 400,
        height: 400,
        resizeMode: 'proportional',
        sizes: '0.75,1,1.5,2',
        items: [{
            width: 200,
            height: 100,
            media: '(max-width: 140px)',
    }) %}
    {{ contao_figure(uuid, special_size) }}