Making an Android app involves making a lot of images of various sizes:

  • The app's launcher icon, in high/low/medium resolution
  • Buttons, menu buttons, if any, in high/low/medium resolution
  • Images for listing on Google Play: main icon, feature graphics

To simplify this, I use high-resolution source images + ImageMagick to cut to the various sizes + Makefile to only regenerate the images whose source image has changed.

For the feature graphics I cheat: I just generate a transparent canvas with the required dimensions, and overlay on top of it the app's icon, as big as it fits.


names:=$(patsubst $(src_dir)/%,%,$(wildcard $(src_dir)/*.png $(src_dir)/*.jpg))
hdpi_target:=$(patsubst %,$(hdpi_dir)/%,$(names))
ldpi_target:=$(patsubst %,$(ldpi_dir)/%,$(names))
mdpi_target:=$(patsubst %,$(mdpi_dir)/%,$(names))


default: all

hdpi: $(hdpi_dir) $(hdpi_target)

ldpi: $(ldpi_dir) $(ldpi_target)

mdpi: $(mdpi_dir) $(mdpi_target)

googleplay: $(appicon) $(feature)

all: hdpi ldpi mdpi googleplay

    rm $(hdpi_target) $(ldpi_target) $(mdpi_target) $(appicon) $(feature)

    @mkdir -p $@

    @mkdir -p $@

    @mkdir -p $@

$(hdpi_dir)/btn_%.png: $(src_dir)/btn_%.png
    convert -geometry 48x $< $@
    identify $@

$(ldpi_dir)/btn_%.png: $(src_dir)/btn_%.png
    convert -geometry 24x $< $@
    identify $@

$(mdpi_dir)/btn_%.png: $(src_dir)/btn_%.png
    convert -geometry 36x $< $@
    identify $@

$(hdpi_dir)/launcher_%.png: $(src_dir)/launcher_%.png
    convert -geometry 72x $< $@
    identify $@

$(ldpi_dir)/launcher_%.png: $(src_dir)/launcher_%.png
    convert -geometry 36x $< $@
    identify $@

$(mdpi_dir)/launcher_%.png: $(src_dir)/launcher_%.png
    convert -geometry 48x $< $@
    identify $@

$(appicon): $(src_dir)/launcher_main.png
    @mkdir -p $(@D)
    convert -geometry 512x $< $@
    identify $@

$(feature): $(src_dir)/launcher_main.png
    @mkdir -p $(@D)
    convert -size 1024x500 xc:transparent $(canvas)
    convert -geometry 1024x500 $< $(work)
    convert -composite $(canvas) $(work) -gravity west $@
    identify $@

If you want to play with this, save this script as Makefile, put an image file in src/launcher_main.png, and assuming you have ImageMagick installed, simply run make to have the images of various sizes generated in the res directory. In Android projects I have res pointing to the real resources directory of the project.

This works well, but it's a bit repetitive at some places. I'm wondering if this can be more DRY, or if there are other ways to improve.


Use target- and pattern-specific variables:

$(ldpi_dir)/btn_%.png : GEOMETRY := 24x
$(mdpi_dir)/btn_%.png : GEOMETRY := 36x
$(hdpi_dir)/btn_%.png : GEOMETRY := 72x

and similar definitions for launcher_%.png

Then you can combine all the individual recopies into a single one:

$(ldpi_dir)/%.png $(mdpi_dir)/%.png $(hdpi_dir)/%.png) :
    convert -geometry $(GEOMETRY) $< $@
    identify $@
| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe I'm missing something but I can't get this to work. Can you please include a more complete example? \$\endgroup\$ – janos Mar 2 '15 at 22:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the ) at the end of $(ldpi_dir)/%.png $(mdpi_dir)/%.png $(hdpi_dir)/%.png) is a typo right? \$\endgroup\$ – janos Mar 2 '15 at 22:07

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