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Programmatically Render Image Style for Image Field with Drupal


Drupal 6

Here is a function that you can pass an imagecache preset name and a drupal image file path to and it will try to build a derivative image from the preset name and return to you the path to the derived image:

function tf_imagecache_image_path ($presetname, $file_system_image_path) {
  if (!$preset = imagecache_preset_by_name($presetname)) { return; }
  $src = imagecache_create_path($presetname, $file_system_image_path);
  if (!file_exists($src)) {
    if (!imagecache_build_derivative($preset['actions'], $file_system_image_path, $src)) {
      watchdog("tf","tf_imagecache_image_path - imagecache_build_derivative failed - (" . $preset['actions'] . ") ($file_system_image_path) ($src)",WATCHDOG_WARNING);
return $src;

Here is an example usage using a CCK Filefield Image field I made called 'field_event_main_image':

$filepath = $node->field_event_main_image[0]['filepath'];
$event_img_src = tf_imagecache_image_path("my_imagecache_preset_name",$filepath);
$event_img_alt = $node->field_event_main_image[0]['data']['alt'];
$event_img_title = $node->field_event_main_image[0]['data']['title'];
$event_img = theme_image($event_img_src,$event_img_alt,$event_img_title);
print $event_img;

Drupal 7

In D7 it is easier to accomplish this. In the following example we'll take an image located at sites/default/files/clothing/hat.JPG and print out the 'thumbnail' for it.

$image = array(
  'style_name' => 'thumbnail',
  'path' => 'public://clothing/hat.JPG',
  'alt' => 'A Picture of a Hat',
  'title' => 'A Cool Hat'
print theme('image_style', $image);

The 'thumbnail' image style is a default image style that comes with D7, replace it with your custom image style's machine name to use custom image styles (a.k.a. image cache presets in D6).


Hi , I tried alot but I cant call imagecache image only I get the path of preset but no file name. pls advice thanks

tyler's picture

Hi irfan,

Are you having troubles with D6 or D7? I imagine it is for D6, but please clarify, thanks!

D7 version seems to fail if no preset has yet been generated; not the equivalent of imagecache_build_derivative()?

tyler's picture

Thanks for pointing this out Kenneth, I've noticed this behavior before if the preset hasn't been generated yet.

Worked like a charm.  Thanks!

As a side note, if anyone is using 1and1 hosting, you might need to add this to your settings.php to get ImageMagic to work:

Otherwise you might get the watchdog error:

ImageMagick reported error code 1. Message: libgomp: Thread creation failed: Resource temporarily unavailable in [yada yada yada]

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