<

4 Methods for creating image overlays in HTML using CSS and PHP GD2

Published on
10,188 Points
5,188 Views
5 Endorsements
Last Modified:
This article discusses four methods for overlaying images in a container on a web page

Overview

I often come across questions which involve how to overlay images in a web page. The process for doing this is fairly straight forward. Three such methods are discussed in the sections below.
 

Method 1: Positioned

This method utilises CSS to position both images absolutely in the container and use CSS to set the z-index of the foreground image higher than the background image.
HTML

<div class="pngcontainer1">
  <img src="images/dlbg.png" />
  <img src="images/foreground1.png" />
</div>

Open in new window

CSS

<style type="text/css">
.pngcontainer1, .pngcontainer1 img {
  position: relative;
  
}
.pngcontainer1 img {
  z-index: 101;
}
.pngcontainer1 img:first-child {
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  left: 0;
  z-index: 100;
}
</style>

Open in new window

 

Method 2: Background

This method sets the background image as a background to the container and the foreground image is a normal image, inside the container.
HTML

<div class="pngcontainer2">
  <img src="images/foreground1.png" />
</div>

Open in new window

CSS

<style type="text/css">
.pngcontainer2 {
  background: url(images/dlbg.png) no-repeat 0 0;
}
</style>

Open in new window

Note: if your background image is larger than your foreground image you will need to specify a width and height on your container element to ensure that it expands to accommodate the background image.
 

Method 3: Multiple Background Images

This method uses CSS3 multiple background images.
HTML

<div class="pngcontainer3"></div>

Open in new window

CSS

<style type="text/css">
.pngcontainer3 {
  background-image: url(images/foreground1.png), url(images/dlbg.png);
  background-position: left top, left top;
  background-repeat: no-repeat, no-repeat;
  width: 132px;
  height: 150px;
}
</style>

Open in new window

Note: with this method the width and height have to be specified in order for the image to display correctly
 

Method 4: PHP GD2 imagecopymerge

This method uses the PHP GD library to create a merged image that is sent back to the browser as a normal <img/> element. In the code below the <img/> src is set to a PHP script. Two parameters are passed in the URL indicating the (fg) foreground and (bg) background images respectively. The script merges the two images and sends the result back.

No CSS is required for this solution

HTML

<div class="pngcontainer4">
  <img src="getimage.php?bg=dlbg.png&fg=foreground1.png" />
</div>
		

Open in new window

PHP
The code below assumes the images exist and are in the images folder relative to the script

<?php
if ($_GET) {
  $bg = isset($_GET['bg']) ? 'images/' . $_GET['bg'] : false;
  $fg = isset($_GET['fg']) ? 'images/' . $_GET['fg'] : false;
  if (file_exists($bg) && file_exists($fg)) {
    // Create image instances
    $dest = imagecreatefrompng($bg);
    $src = imagecreatefrompng($fg);
 
    $wd=imageSX($dest);
    $ht=imageSY($src);
    // Copy and merge
    imagecopymerge_alpha($dest, $src, 0, 0, 0, 0, $wd, $ht,100);
 
    // Output and free from memory
    header('Content-Type: image/gif');
    imagepng($dest);
 
    imagedestroy($dest);
    imagedestroy($src);
  }
}
function imagecopymerge_alpha($dst_im, $src_im, $dst_x, $dst_y, $src_x, $src_y, $src_w, $src_h, $pct){
  // creating a cut resource
  $cut = imagecreatetruecolor($src_w, $src_h);
 
  // copying relevant section from background to the cut resource
  imagecopy($cut, $dst_im, 0, 0, $dst_x, $dst_y, $src_w, $src_h);
   
  // copying relevant section from watermark to the cut resource
  imagecopy($cut, $src_im, 0, 0, $src_x, $src_y, $src_w, $src_h);
   
  // insert cut resource to destination image
  imagecopymerge($dst_im, $cut, $dst_x, $dst_y, 0, 0, $src_w, $src_h, $pct);
}		

Open in new window


A working sample of the above can be found here
 
5
Comment
0 Comments

Featured Post

Cloud Class® Course: C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.

Join & Write a Comment

In this tutorial viewers will learn how to style rounded corners for elements in CSS using the border-radius property Begin with a normal styled element such as a div: To style all four corners of the div to be the same degree of roundness, use the …
The viewer will learn how to count occurrences of each item in an array.

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month