Intel® RealSense™ Developer Documentation


Saving depth and color data to PNG format


This sample demonstrates how to configure the camera for streaming in a textual environment and save depth and color data to PNG format. In addition, it touches on the subject of per-frame metadata

Expected Output

The application should run for about a second and exit after saving PNG and CSV file to disk:

Code Overview

Similar to the first tutorial we include the Cross-Platform API:

#include <librealsense2/rs.hpp> // Include RealSense Cross Platform API

We are using nothings/stb to quickly save data to disk in PNG format:

// 3rd party header for writing png files
#include "stb_image_write.h"

We start like the last time by defining depth colorizer and starting the pipeline:

// Declare depth colorizer for pretty visualization of depth data
rs2::colorizer color_map;

// Declare RealSense pipeline, encapsulating the actual device and sensors
rs2::pipeline pipe;
// Start streaming with default recommended configuration

We prefer not to save the absolute first frame that arrives from the device, but rather wait for auto-exposure to stabalize:

// Capture 30 frames to give autoexposure, etc. a chance to settle
for (auto i = 0; i < 30; ++i) pipe.wait_for_frames();

Intel® RealSense™ devices are not limited to just video streaming, some can offer motion tracking and 6-DOF positioning. For this example we are only interested in video frames, however:

// We can only save video frames as pngs, so we skip the rest
if (auto vf =<rs2::video_frame>())

To better visualize the depth data, we apply the colorizer on any incoming depth frames:

// Use the colorizer to get an rgb image for the depth stream
if (<rs2::depth_frame>()) vf = color_map(frame);

Then we save frame data to PNG:

stbi_write_png(png_file.str().c_str(), vf.get_width(), vf.get_height(),
               vf.get_bytes_per_pixel(), vf.get_data(), vf.get_stride_in_bytes());

Each frame may come with some metadata feilds. We iterate over all possible metadata feilds and save to CSV these that are available:

// Record all the available metadata attributes
for (size_t i = 0; i < RS2_FRAME_METADATA_COUNT; i++)
    if (frm.supports_frame_metadata((rs2_frame_metadata)i))
        csv << rs2_frame_metadata_to_string((rs2_frame_metadata)i) << ","
            << frm.get_frame_metadata((rs2_frame_metadata)i) << "\n";

Please see per-frame metadata for more information.

Updated 2 years ago


Saving depth and color data to PNG format

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