Count pixels of different colors in C#

[count pixels]

The following CountPixels method counts pixels in an image that match a target color.

// Return the number of matching pixels.
private int CountPixels(Bitmap bm, Color target_color)
    // Loop through the pixels.
    int matches = 0;
    for (int y = 0; y < bm.Height; y++)
        for (int x = 0; x < bm.Width; x++)
            if (bm.GetPixel(x, y) == target_color) matches++;
    return matches;

This code is reasonably straightforward. It loops through the pixels calling the GetPixels method to get each pixel’s color. It then compares the pixel’s returned value to the target color.

The only strangeness here is that the Color class’s Equals method, which is used by == to determine equality, treats named colors differently from those obtained in other ways, including colors obtained with the GetPixel method. That means this method won’t work if you pass it a named color such as Color.Black. If you used such a color, the method would find no matching pixels.

The following code shows how this program uses the CountPixels method to count pixels that are black or white in the image.

// Count the black and white pixels.
private void btnCount_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    Bitmap bm = new Bitmap(picImage.Image);
    int black_pixels =
        CountPixels(bm, Color.FromArgb(255, 0, 0, 0));
    int white_pixels =
        CountPixels(bm, Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 255, 255));
    lblBlack.Text = black_pixels + " black pixels";
    lblWhite.Text = white_pixels + " white pixels";
    lblTotal.Text = white_pixels + black_pixels + " total pixels"; 

The code is also reasonably straightforward. The only thing to note is that it uses the colors returned by Color.FromArgb(255, 0, 0, 0) and Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 255, 255) instead of the named colors Color.Black and Color.White.

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6 Responses to Count pixels of different colors in C#

  1. Rod Stephens says:

    Lots of other posts show how to do this. The steps are:

    – Add a OpenFileDialog to the form.
    – Add something to let the user tell the program to open a file. For example, add a button or a File > Open menu item.
    – When the user wants to open a file, call the OpenFileDialog’s ShowDialog method. If ShowDialog returns OK, then open the file given by the dialog’s FileName property.

    For example, see today’s post Pixellate parts of an image in C#. It lets you open (save save) an image file.

  2. Rod Stephens says:

    Sorry but if you’re asking a question I don’t understand what it is.

  3. Rod Stephens says:

    Do you mean you want to calculate the area of the non-transparent pixels? You can use this same technique. Just look for pixels where the alpha component is 0. Those are the transparent ones. In other words:

     if (GetPixel(x, y).A == 0) num_transparent++; 

    This won’t work with pixels that are translucent (i.e. only partly transparent). Although you could do something like the following, which looks for pixels that are mostly transparent.

     if (GetPixel(x, y).A < 128) num_transparent++; 
  4. Abdul Amin Khan says:


  5. hieu nguyen says:

    How to count similar pixel blacks
    For example : Count these color : RGB(6,4,7) RGB(3,9,11) RGB(4,6,2) …v.v
    Because these color is very similar with RGB(0,0,0) . How to count for all the pixel like that.

    • RodStephens says:

      You need to decide how to tell if a pixel is close enough. For example, you could calculate the squares of the differences between the red, green, and blue color components and count the pixel if the result is within a certain distance.

          int dr = target_r - pixel.R;
          int dg = target_g - pixel.G;
          int db = target_b - pixel.B;
          if (dr * dr + dg * dg + db * db < difff_squared) matches++;

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