Adaptive Delivery

Adaptive Delivery is a proprietary technology that adapts images to user context: screen size, browser, location, and other parameters. It speeds up page loading and provides a better user experience on all devices without any coding.

It's a leap forward in a Responsive Image technology that traditionally uses srcset image attribute and viewport browser data. With Adaptive Delivery, all optimizations are done momentarily at the time of a user image request in a certain context.

How to use

After you integrate Adaptive Delivery JS Library, you can selected images you want to optimize automatically to a user's context on delivery.

Replace src image attribute with data-blink-src in an HTML code of your webpage to serve this image via Adaptive Delivery. Uploadcare will automatically relay your original image to the CDN and serve it optimized.

Here's what Adaptive Delivery will do automatically as you instruct:

  • Resize images for any device, browser, and layout.
  • Encode and compress images with no visible loss.
  • Upscale images to Retina displays.
  • Serve images in a modern format (e.g., WebP) when possible.
  • Provide lightweight & customizable lazy loading.
  • Provide auto enhance and other image filters.
  • Use webhooks to customize your webpage behaviour with callbacks.

Adaptive Delivery reads your visitors' behavior and renders images at the moment of user request with no preprocessing. Once requested, these results get cached.

The JS Library is lightweight (3kb) and sturdy. It provides a fallback to original images in case something goes wrong.

Storage options are flexible. You can upload images to your Uploadcare project or keep them on your servers and there's no need to migrate existing data.

You can use a wide range of filters and transformations. For example, Smart Crop, Image Rotation, watermarks, and many more. Add more options when needed while keeping your images optimized and responsive at all times.

Integration

Follow these three simple steps to integrate Adaptive Delivery.

Step 1. Turn on Adaptive Delivery and its features

Go to Delivery > Adaptive Delivery in your Project's Dashboard.

Customize experience by turning on features that you need. You can control these features in a code snippet on the Step 3 as well.

  • Lazy Loading. It renders images as user scrolls the page. Lazy Loading helps render webpages quicker and optimize traffic consumption.
  • Smart Compression. This feature optimizes image quality on delivery. Smart AI techniques set max compression levels without visible artifacts.
  • Responsiveness. A Responsive Design for images techique. It adapts images for all screen sizes and screen orientations.
  • Retina support. It boosts image resolution when a user has a high-density display.
  • WebP support. It'll serve images in a modern WebP format when supported by a client's browser.

Step 2. Whitelist image sources

Skip this step if you host images with Uploadcare.

If you use other image sources, whitelist their domains (e.g., yourdomain.com). It helps protect your account. For example, it prevents from uploading images to your project by third parties, eating up your storage and traffic.

To whitelist an image origin, scroll to the Step 2 in your Dashboard and Add domains you are planning to use. Add multiple domains if you need.

Whitelisting domains
Whitelisting domains

Step 3. Connect the JS Library

Use the following code to connect the Adaptive Delivery JS Library:

<script>
   (function(src, cb) {
    var s = document.createElement('script'); s.setAttribute('src', src);
    s.onload = cb; (document.head || document.body).appendChild(s);
  })('https://ucarecdn.com/libs/blinkloader/3.x/blinkloader.min.js', function() {
    window.Blinkloader.optimize({
      pubkey:'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
      fadeIn:true,
      lazyload:true,
      smartCompression:true,
      responsive:true,
      retina:true,
      webp:true
    });
  })
</script>

Note: Replace YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY with your Public API Key to identify the target project for storing images.

Note: Control lazyload, retina, and other options. true is set by default.

There're two ways to integrate Adaptive Delivery:

  • Standard, for plain HTML websites (no Webpack and other JavaScript bundler). Simply add the code above to the webpage's <head>.
  • SPA, for single-page applications built with React or another framework and that use Webpack or a similar JavaScript bundler. Run the code snippet at your app initialization. Put it into a component or helper function if you like.

Step 4. Optimize your images

Replace src attributes with data-blink-src within your img HTML elements.

<img data-blink-src='https://storage.example.com/logo.png'/>

<!-- same goes for background images -->
<div data-blink-src='https://storage.example.com/banner.png'>
  There is a banner behind this text.
</div>

If you use Uploadcare to host images, you can also use a file UUID instead of a URL. Like this:

<img data-blink-uuid='6493f2d1-a476-427f-bcd5-94330cc02837'/>

<!-- same goes for background images -->
<div data-blink-uuid='6493f2d1-a476-427f-bcd5-94330cc02837'>
  There is a banner behind this text.
</div>

Once you’re done with the replacements, your images get instantly responsive, optimized, and lazy-loaded (depending on the set of the features seleted on the Step 1 and Step 3).

After Blinkloader is initialized, the library starts tracking node changes in DOM. Blinkloader listens to adding new elements to DOM with [data-blink-uuid] and [data-blink-src] attributes, and applies optimization functions to these elements.

Read on to learn about adding additional filters and image transformations or implement our Advanced Configuration options.

Step 5. Add image filters and effects (Optional)

You can apply any of the supported image filters and transformations via the data-blink-ops attribute:

<div
  data-blink-ops='filter: pamaya; filter-amount: 30; mirror; enhance: 100'
  data-blink-src='https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1501281668745-f7f57925c3b4'
/>

Here’s a before-after example:

The main Adaptive Delivery advantage for a front end developer is that you don’t need to add srcsets, media queries, image resizing and other operations. When you apply Adaptive Delivery, Uploadcare will handle all that automatically.

Configuration

You can customize your Adaptive Delivery experience through our Advanced Configuration options.

Image fade-in

We recommend using a fade-in effect to add a smooth visual transition once images are ready to load. Fade In is disabled by default since you might be using other transition effects on your end. Here’s how you enable the option:

Blinkloader.optimize({
  pubkey: 'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
  fadeIn: true
})

Lazy loading

Lazy-loading is enabled by default. You can explicitly turn it off or customize the behavior.

There are two configurable parameters: “batch interval” and “batch size.” When your page visitors engage in scrolling, our AD Library starts fetching images in batches. “Batch size” defines the number of images for a single fetch, while “batch interval” sets the interval between loading batches, in milliseconds.

If you have many images laid out in a grid, we recommend setting batchSize to 10. If there are one or two images per screen, batchSize should be kept smaller. For batchInterval, it’s vice-versa. You can tweak the parameters to find an optimal combination for your layout or stick with the defaults.

If you’re implementing a different lazy-loading mechanic, you can switch off the option by setting lazyload to false:

Blinkloader.optimize({
  pubkey: 'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
  lazyload: true, // true by default
  batchInterval: 250, // 250ms by default
  batchSize: 10, // 5 by default
})

Before-render hook

Implementing the before-render hook is an efficient way to add a custom UI logic for each image. The function is applied to every image and gets triggered right before it’s ready to render. You can add or remove CSS classes, configure overlays, etc.

Blinkloader.optimize({
  pubkey: 'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
  beforeRender: function(node) {
    // node is a DOM element of the rendered image
    console.log(node);

    // add special effects or remove preloading overlays
    node.classList.add('cool-transition')
  }
})

Progressive loading

We noticed that users prefer using a fade-in transition rather than progressive loading. Hence, progressive loading is disabled by default. You explicitly enable the behavior by stating progressive: true:

Blinkloader.optimize({
  pubkey: 'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
  progressive: true
})

Fallback

Fallback is enabled by default and supports reliable image loading regardless of any conditions. Initially, we serve optimized images from our CDN, and if something goes wrong (unexpected image source, for instance), we render your original image.

Fallback is also automatically activated when you use fadeIn or beforeRender.

Setting fallback to false disables the behavior:

Blinkloader.optimize({
  pubkey: 'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
  fallback: false // true by default
})

Custom CNAME

cdnBase

Specify your custom CNAME in the cdnBase option. When empty, it's set to https://ucarecdn.com by default.

Blinkloader.optimize({
  pubkey: 'YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY',
  cdnBase: 'https://cdn.mycompany.com'
})

host

Specify your custom Proxy Endpoint for Media Proxy in the host option, which is YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY.ucr.io by default.

When you use host, there's no need to specify pubkey.

Blinkloader.optimize({
  host: 'mydomain.ucr.io'
})

Extra-large images

The output image size limit delivered with CDN is 3000 px in either dimension. JPEG images can be resized up to 5000 px. For that, you need to set the image format explicitly.

Adaptive Delivery will resize an image up to 5000 px automatically, when:

  1. data-blink-src has a file extension jpeg or jpg (case-insensitive). For example, https://yourdomain.com/image.jpg
  2. data-blink-format is auto or jpeg. When you set webp:true (default), auto is set implicitly.

Workaround: to have PNG and WEBP image formats up to 5000 px on delivery, rename files so that they have a jpeg file extension (even though they're not). However, the alpha channel will be lost.

Transformations

You can add additional Image Transformations within Adaptive Delivery to serve both optimized and enhanced images. There are two ways to add Image Transformations:

  • Inline a set of transformations in a single data-blink-ops attribute.
  • Add individual transformations via corresponding data attributes.

Here’s an example of using data-blink-ops with its syntax similar to inline CSS:

<img
  data-blink-ops='filter: nerion; enhance: 15; mirror'
  data-blink-src='https://storage.example.com/logo.png'
/>

If you decide to go with individual data attributes, the above example can be rewritten in the following way:

<img
  data-blink-filter='nerion'
  data-blink-enhance='15'
  data-blink-mirror
  data-blink-src='https://storage.example.com/logo.png'
/>

Note, Adaptive Delivery JS Library adds resize, format and quality automatically. We don’t recommend changing the behavior, since we calculate the transformation parameters based on the user context.

Applying image transformations for adaptive delivery differs from our regular URL directives approach, but it supports almost the same set of image transformations with the same limits.

List of image transformations

Resize and Crop

Preview

preview: :two_dimensions

Reduces an image proportionally for it to fit into the given dimensions in pixels. If dimensions are not specified, we use the default value of 2048x2048 pixels.

Resize

resize: :one_or_two_dimensions

Resizes an image to fit into the specified dimensions. With just a single linear dimension specified, preserves your original aspect ratio and resizes an image along one of its axes.

Change resize behavior

stretch: :mode

Sets the resize behavior when a source image is smaller than the resulting dimensions. The following modes can apply:

  • on — stretches an image up, the default option.
  • off — forbids stretching an image along any dimension that exceeds image size along any of its axes.
  • fill — does not stretch an image, the color-filled frame is rendered around instead, the default fill color is used.

preview: 160x160
resize: 220x

preview: 160x160
stretch: off
resize: 220x

preview: 160x160
stretch: fill
resize: 220xsetfill: 8d8578

Crop

crop: :two_dimensions
crop-position: :two_coords

Crops an image using specified dimensions and offsets. If no offset values are passed into the operation, the top-left image corner is used by default.


Original image.

crop: 200x130; crop-position: center

crop: 200x130; crop-position: 200,70

Scale crop

scale-crop: :two_dimensions
scale-crop-position: :type

When :type is not specified.

The transformation scales down an image until one of its dimensions gets equal to some of the specified ones; the rest is cropped. This proves useful when your want to fit as much of your image as possible into a box. Let us compare the two resizing methods:


resize: 1024x1024
Requested size.
Distorted.

preview: 1024x1024
Adjusted size.
No distortion.

scale-crop: 1024x1024
Requested size.
No distortion.

Smart crop

When smart :type is specified.

Switching the crop type to one of the smart modes enables the content-aware mechanic. Uploadcare applies AI-based techniques to detect faces and other visually important objects or regions in images and crops the rest.


/scale_crop/1024x1024/smart/
Smart cropping.

Content-aware mechanics of Smart Crop are based on the following methods of image analysis:

  • Face Detection, :type is set to smart_faces. Face detection identifies and locates human faces in digital images.
  • Object Detection, :type is set to smart_object. Object detection identifies and locates the most visually important regions in the image.
  • Corner Points Detection, :type is set to smart_points. This method analyses image pixels to find the high contrast corners in the image, useful for abstract, landscape, and art images. The corner points have much less semantic information than other methods and designed to be used as a fallback.

The methods you include separating by underscore are applied sequentially. The algorithm switches to the next method only if no regions were found by the previous one. For example smart_faces_objects_points applies face detection initially as the first step. Only when no faces are found on an image, the object detection will be used. Finally, when no objects are found, the corner points will be detected.

If specified methods were unable to find regions or points of interest, the :offset setting will be used to crop an image. When no :offsets are specified, images get center-cropped.


smart_faces_objects
Centering on faces or objects
when no faces found.

smart_objects_faces
Centering on objects or faces
when no objects found.

smart_points
Centering on corner points.

Possible :type values:

smart (alias for smart_faces_objects_points), smart_faces_objects, smart_faces_points, smart_objects_faces_points, smart_objects_faces, smart_objects_points, smart_points, smart_objects, smart_faces.

Set fill color

setfill: :color

Sets the fill color used with crop, stretch or when converting an alpha channel enabled image to JPEG. The operation uses hexadecimal notation to define colors.


crop: 440x380
crop-position: center

crop: 440x380
crop-position: center
setfill: ece3d2

crop: 440x380
crop-position: center
setfill: ece3d2format: jpeg

Compression

Format

format: :format

Converts an image to one of the following formats:

  • jpeg — JPEG is a lossy image format (good compression, good for photos). JPEG doesn’t support an alpha channel, hence you can use the setfill operation that sets a background color. All browsers support JPEG.
  • png — PNG is a lossless format (good compression only for graphics) with alpha channel support. Supported by all browsers.
  • webp — WebP is a modern image format that supports alpha channel and lossy compression. The format is good for all kinds of images but supported by a limited number of browsers.
  • auto — the image format used for content delivery is set according to the presence of an alpha channel in your input and capabilities of a client.

Technically, the default behavior of auto is about always trying to deliver WebP images based on checking the Accept header.


png 135Kb
Transparent

jpeg 8.8Kb
Opaque

webp 11.5Kb
Transparent, size is equal
to the opaque one.

Quality

quality: :value

Sets the level of image quality that affects file sizes and hence loading speeds and volumes of generated traffic. quality works with JPEG and WebP images.

The following options can apply:

  • normal — the default setting, suits most cases.
  • better — can be used to render relatively small and detailed previews. ≈125% file size compared to normal.
  • best — useful for hi-res images, when you want to get perfect quality without paying much attention to file sizes. ≈170% file size.
  • lighter — useful when applied to relatively large images to save traffic without significant losses in quality. ≈80% file size.
  • lightest — useful for retina resolutions, when you don’t have to worry about the quality of each pixel. ≈50% file size.
  • smart — automatically adjusts image compression and format settings to preserve visual quality while minimizing the file size. The mode is content-aware. Image formats will not be adjusted if you define format explicitly.

best 32Kb

lighter 18.6Kb

lightest 12.3Kb

smart 13.8Kb, WebP

Progressive JPEG

progressive: yes
progressive: no

Returns a progressive image. The operation does not affect non-JPEG images, and won’t force the output image format to JPEG.

Colors

Color adjustments

Adjust image color properties by controlling brightness, exposure, gamma, contrast, saturation, vibrance, and warmth.

brightness: :value
exposure: :value
gamma: :value
contrast: :value
saturation: :value
vibrance: :value
warmth: :value

The :value parameter controls the strength of any applied adjustment. Ranges of the :value parameter differ across image transformations. Setting the :value to “zero point” leaves images unchanged.

Operation:value rangeZero point
brightnessfrom -100 to 1000
exposurefrom -500 to 5000
gammafrom 0 to 1000100
contrastfrom -100 to 5000
saturationfrom -100 to 5000
vibrancefrom -100 to 5000
warmthfrom -100 to 1000

The first three adjustments: brightness, exposure, and gamma produce similar results with the following differences:

  • brightness adds :value to each color channel; out-of-range values are cut.
  • exposure and gamma compress color values distribution thus preserving the details.

brightness: -20

Original image.

brightness: 20

exposure: -100

Original image.

exposure: 80

gamma: 150

Original image.

gamma: 70

The next three operations adjust color diversity and dynamic range in images:

  • contrast affects both colors and dynamic range; on increase, images lose both bright and dark details.
  • saturation uniformly bumps up color intensity leaving the dynamic range unchanged.
  • vibrance cleverly increases the intensity of muted colors and leaves the well-saturated ones alone.

contrast: -25

Original image.

contrast: 25

saturation: -25

Original image.

saturation: 25

vibrance: -50

Original image.

vibrance: 50

In turn, warmth adjusts color temperature in images.


warmth: -50

Original image.

warmth: 50

You can combine any adjustments, and piping the operations won’t get you any performance or precision losses: all adjustments are applied in one pass.


Original image.

Old photo effect.
saturation: -80
contrast: 80
warmth: 50

Fresh view.
exposure: 50
saturation: 50
warmth: -30

Automatic image enhancement

enhance: :strength

Provides automatic image enhancement by combining the following transformations: auto levels, auto contrast, and saturation sharpening. The :strength values should be set in the range from 0 to 100. The default value is 50.


Original image. 10.3Kb

enhance: 50 13.5Kb

enhance: 100 17Kb

Grayscale

You can desaturates images with the grayscale transformation. It has no additional parameters and simply produces a grayscale image output when applied.

grayscale


Original image.

grayscale

Inverting

Invert images rendering a “negative” of your input,

invert

An example of inverting an image follows,


Original image.

invert

Filter

You can apply photo filters to your images while keeping them optimized and respnsove with Adaptive Delivery.

filter: :name
filter-amount: :amount

The transformation applies one of predefined photo filters by its :name. Photo filters help streamline your content production through serving consistent visuals across your site pages or content pieces.

:name should be set to one of the following: adaris, briaril, calarel, carris, cynarel, cyren, elmet, elonni, enzana, erydark, fenralan, ferand, galen, gavin, gethriel, iorill, iothari, iselva, jadis, lavra, misiara, namala, nerion, nethari, pamaya, sarnar, sedis, sewen, sorahel, sorlen, tarian, thellassan, varriel, varven, vevera, virkas, yedis, yllara, zatvel, zevcen.

:amount can be set in the range from -100 to 200 and defaults to 100.

The :amount of:

  • 0 stands for no changes in the image, the output is equal to the original.
  • Values in the range from 0 to 100 gradually increase filter strength; 100 makes filters work as designed.
  • Values over 100 emphasizes filter effect: the strength of applied changes.
  • Any negative number would mean subtracting the difference between the filtered and original images from the original. That will produce a “negative filter” effect.

filter: vevera;
filter-amount: -100

Original image.

filter: vevera;
filter-amount: 100

filter: vevera;
filter-amount: 200

All filters provide predictable outputs with the :value ranging from 0 to 100. For some filter presets, setting the :amount value outside those bounds may produce weird results. For example, all filters producing grayscale outputs will result in a negative image when set to the :amount greater than 100. Set to negative values, those will saturate images.

Here’s how all of our filters look like:


filter: adaris

filter: briaril

filter: calarel

filter: carris

filter: cynarel

filter: cyren

filter: elmet

filter: elonni

filter: enzana

filter: erydark

filter: fenralan

filter: ferand

filter: galen

filter: gavin

filter: gethriel

filter: iorill

filter: iothari

filter: iselva

filter: jadis

filter: lavra

filter: misiara

filter: namala

filter: nerion

filter: nethari

filter: pamaya

filter: sarnar

filter: sedis

filter: sewen

filter: sorahel

filter: sorlen

filter: tarian

filter: thellassan

filter: varriel

filter: varven

filter: vevera

filter: virkas

filter: yedis

filter: yllara

filter: zatvel

filter: zevcen

Overlay

The overlay transformation allows to layer images one over another.

overlay-uuid: :uuid
overlay-dimensions: :relative_dimensions
overlay-coordinates: :relative_coordinates
overlay-opacity: :opacity

One of the most common use cases here are watermarks: semi-transparent images layered over opaque ones to complicate their unauthorized usage, etc.

  • :uuid — UUID of an image to be layered over input. To be recognized by :uuid, that image should be related to any project of your account.
  • :relative_dimensions — linear dimensions of the overlay image. The aspect ratio of an overlay is preserved. What you set is a maximum linear size along one of the axes: -/overlay/:uuid/50%x50%/ means any linear dimension of the overlay can not exceed 50% in size. Default size setting is 100%.
  • :relative_coordinates — position of the overlay over your input. By default, an overlay is positioned in the top-left corner of an input. Coordinates represent an offset along each of the axes in either pixel or percent format. In general, the coordinate system is similar to the CSS background-position.
  • :opacity — controls the opacity of the overlay in percent format. Your overlay may either be initially semi-transparent or made to be so by tuning :opacity.

Since % is an escape char in URLs, it can’t be used as-is and should be replaced with either %25 escape sequence or the p char, which is a more readable and concise option.

Every overlay parameter is optional and can be omitted. However, the order of the parameters should be preserved.


overlay-uuid: b18b5179-b9f6-4fdc-9920-5539f938fc44;
overlay-dimensions: 50%25x50%25;
overlay-opacity: 20%25

Specifying size and opacity, positioning is omitted.

overlay-uuid: b18b5179-b9f6-4fdc-9920-5539f938fc44;
overlay-dimensions: 50%25x50%25;
overlay-coordinates: center

Specifying size and position, opacity is omitted.

Blur & Sharpen

Blur

blur: :strength

Applies image blur guided by the :strength factor. Uploadcare implements Gaussian Blur with :strength acting as effect intensity in the range from 0 to 5000. The default value is 10. The transformation provides uniform performance in the full range of intensities.


Original image. 14Kb

blur: 10 7.6Kb

blur: 100 2.4Kb

Sharpen

sharp: :strength

Applies image sharpening, which is specifically useful for downscaled images. While Adaptive Delivery provides automatic image resizing, you can further tune your visuals with sharpening. :strength values can be in the range from 0 to 20; the default is 5.


Downscaled image. 16.1Kb

sharp: 10 21.4Kb

sharp: 20 25Kb

Rotate and flip

Manual Right-Angle Rotation

rotate: :angle

Right-angle image rotation, counterclockwise. The value of :angle must be a multiple of 90.


Original image.

rotate: 90

rotate: 180

rotate: 270

Flip

flip

The transformation provides image flipping.


Original image.

flip

Mirror

mirror

The transformation allows mirroring images.


Original image.

mirror