Slowly copy an image from a window or texture to Matlab/Octave, by default
returning a uint8 array.
Calling this function on an onscreen window while an asynchronous flip is
pending on the window due to Screen(‘AsyncFlipBegin’) is not allowed. Finalize
such flips first. Readback of other onscreen or offscreen windows or textures is
possible during async flip, but discouraged because it will have a significant
impact on performance.
The returned imageArray by default has three layers, i.e. it is an RGB image.
“windowPtr” is the handle of the onscreen window, offscreen window or texture
whose image should be returned.
“rect” is the rectangular subregion to copy, and its default is the whole
window. The specified image subregion must be fully contained inside the window,
otherwise this function will abort with an error.
Matlab/Octave will complain if you try to do math on a uint8 array, so you may
need to use DOUBLE to convert it, e.g. imageArray/255 will produce an error, but
double(imageArray)/255 is ok. Also see Screen ‘PutImage’ and ‘CopyWindow’.
“bufferName” is a string specifying the buffer from which to copy the image: The
‘bufferName’ argument is meaningless for offscreen windows and textures and will
be silently ignored. For onscreen windows, it defaults to ‘frontBuffer’, i.e.,
it returns the image that is sent through the video output of your graphics card
to your display device at that moment. On OpenGL-ES graphics hardware, all
‘bufferName’ settings except ‘backBuffer’ or ‘drawBuffer’ will be ignored and
image data is always read from either the ‘drawBuffer’ or the ‘backBuffer’. This
is an unavoidable system limitation of such embedded hardware.
If frame-sequential stereo mode is enabled, ‘frontLeftBuffer’ returns the image
generated for the left eye, ‘frontRightBuffer’ returns the right-eye view. If
double-buffering is enabled, you can also return the ‘backBuffer’, i.e. what
your subject will see after the next Screen(‘Flip’) command, and for
frame-sequential stereo also ‘backLeftBuffer’ and ‘backRightBuffer’
respectively. Both the ‘frontBuffer’ and ‘backBuffer’ images and their stereo
variants will return the final images as they are really encoded in the system
framebuffer and sent to the video outputs of your graphics hardware. These
images are the result of any post-processing done by the Psychtoolbox imaging
pipeline, e.g., Retina display processing, geometric transformations, color
transformations, certain types of gamma correction, stereo post-processing, or
special pixel encoding for devices like Bits# or Datapixx. As such they may
differ in size and format from what you have drawn into the onscreen window.
‘aux0Buffer’ - ‘aux3Buffer’ returns the content of OpenGL AUX buffers 0 to 3.
Only query the AUX buffers if you know what you are doing, otherwise your script
will crash. This is mostly meant for internal debugging of PTB.
If the imaging pipeline is enabled, you can also return the content of the
unprocessed backbuffer, ie. before processing by the pipeline, by requesting
If the imaging pipeline is enabled, querying the ‘backBuffer’ will only give you
up to date results after you called Screen(‘Flip’) or Screen(‘AsyncFlipBegin’)
or Screen(‘DrawingFinished’), otherwise you may encounter stale results. If our
own homegrown frame-sequential stereo mode is in use, querying the
‘backLeftBuffer’ and ‘backRightBuffer’ is well defined, after a Screen(‘Flip’)
or Screen(‘DrawingFinished’), but querying the ‘frontLeftBuffer’ or
‘frontRightBuffer’ or ‘frontBuffer’ will result in an assignment of left- and
right- stereo images that is mostly based on chance, e.g., you may get
accidentally swapped left- and rightBuffer images!
“floatprecision” If you set this optional flag to 1, the image data will be
returned as a double precision matrix instead of a uint8 matrix. Please note
that normal image data will be returned in the normalized range 0.0 to 1.0
instead of 0 - 255. Floating point readback is only beneficial when reading back
floating point precision textures, offscreen windows or the framebuffer when the
imaging pipeline is active and HDR mode is selected (ie. more than 8bpc
framebuffer). On OpenGL-ES hardware, only floating point framebuffers do support
“nrchannels” Number of color channels to return. By default, 3 channels (RGB)
are returned. Specify 1 for Red/Luminance only, 2 for Red+Green or
Luminance+Alpha, 3 for RGB and 4 for RGBA. A setting of 2 is not supported on