I have the following png file that contains the player sprite.

As with any png file, the non-colored pixels are transparent.


(Width: 16px; Height: 16px)

Currently, I can erect a rectangle (collision-bounds), using java.awt.Rectangle around the image using the image's width and height, as seen below.

image-based width and height bounds

I would like to crop the image so that the width and height are changed to the edges of the colored portion of the image, much like what is shown below.

non-zero-based pixel width and height bounds

This will allow for more accurate collision-detection between entities or objects in a game.

I want to construct a method that handles this modification dynamically, as seen below.

//Method calculates how far in from [top, bottom, left and right] 
//the [non-zero] or [transparent] pixel-data of an image are
//in order to construct a new image that starts at the edges
//of the colored portion of the image.
public BufferedImage adjustImage(BufferedImage image)
    BufferedImage result = null;

    return result;


However, I am uncertain as to the algorithm to use to achieve the result above.

Can anyone give a step-by-step on how to detect these bounds and how to implement such a fuction as described above?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to calculate the rectangle, or do you want to crop the image? \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bálint oh yes, sorry, should have specified. I want to crop the image. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


You first need to scan the image for the edges. You need to loop through each pixel in the image and store the position of the pixel closest to the left, the pixel closest to the right, etc.

Pixels are stored in the

 8 bit alpha | 8 bit red | 8 bit green | 8 bit blue

format in integers. This means that you need to use the

int alpha = (color >> 24) & 0xFF;

method to get the alpha value of a pixel.

int minX = Integer.MAX_VALUE;
int maxX = integer.MIN_VALUE;
int minY = Integer.MAX_VALUE;
int maxY = integer.MIN_VALUE;
for (int x = 0; x < img.getWidth(); x++) {
    for (int y = 0; y < img.getHeight(); y++) {
        int color = img.getRGB(x, y);
        int alpha = (color >> 24) & 0xFF;
        if (alpha != 0) {
            // This sets the edges to the current coordinate
            // if this pixel lies outside the current boundaries
            minX = Math.min(x, minX);
            maxX = Math.max(x, maxX);
            minY = Math.min(y, minY);
            maxY = Math.max(y, maxY);

Then you need to create an image and copy the pixel data to it:

BufferedImage result = new BufferedImage(maxX - minX, maxY - minY, BufferedImage.TYPE_INT_ARGB);

for (int x = 0; x < maxX - minX; x++) {
    for (int y = 0; y < maxY - minY; y++) {
        result.setRGB(x, y, img.getRGB(x + minX, y + minY));
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Bálint, for your answer. Quite through! However, after implementing your solution and testing it. It appears to be going from i.sstatic.net/NRRg4.png to i.gyazo.com/44de8f79fc60c96add385140d3e0e204.png. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ This error is occurring because minY and maxY are equal, however, the targeted image within the 16x16px image is not equal in width and height. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nicholas I forgot to change 2 xs to ys. Should be fixed now \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 9:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .