Re: Clarifying the behavior of SVG arithmetic feComposite filters

I think it was a mistake to have the filters work on premultiplied alpha.
Premultiplied alpha is a trick to make calculations easier, but it should
not be the default.

So, option 1 is the 'correct' one.
However, I agree that 2 is much simpler since it doesn't break existing


On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 7:31 AM, Stephen Chenney <>wrote:

> The SVG 1.1 (Second Edition)  16 August 2011 feComposite filter
> operation (
> currently defines arithmetic composite to act on pre-multiplied rgba
> pixels, just as the other feComposite operations do. Combined with the
> per-component nature of the filter, this allows the filter to generate
> invalid pre-multiplied rgba values both as intermediate results and
> the final output. For example, this filter sequence:
> <!-- This filter produces intermediate results that are invalid
> pre-multiplied rgba pixels. -->
> <!-- Specifically, after the 4th step an interior pixel will contain
> (0, 0.8, 0, 0.5) which -->
> <!-- is invalid because g > a. When used in other operations, this may
> generate bad results. -->
> <filter id="arithmetic">
>  <feComposite operator="arithmetic" in="SourceGraphic"
> in2="SourceGraphic" k1="0" k2="0.2" k3="0" k4="0" result="rgba02" />
>  <feComposite operator="arithmetic" in="SourceAlpha"
> in2="SourceAlpha" k1="0" k2="0.3" k3="0" k4="0" result="alpha05" />
>  <feComposite operator="arithmetic" in="rgba02" in2="alpha05" k1="0"
> k2="1" k3="1" k4="0" result="tmp" />
>  <feComposite operator="arithmetic" in="SourceGraphic" in2="tmp"
> k1="0" k2="1" k3="-1" k4="0" />
>  <feComposite operator="arithmetic" in="tmp" k1="0" k2="1" k3="1" k4="0" />
> </filter>
> An invalid pixel is anything with color component greater than alpha.
> The easiest way to produce invalid pixels is in a subtraction
> operation (k1=0, k2=1, k3=-1, k4=0), when one opaque image subtracted
> from a different opaque image will generate an entire image of alpha =
> 0 pixels that have non-zero color components.
> The Webkit team is concerned with this behavior because the invalid
> pixels may feed into other operations and pollute the entire image. We
> would like to tighten the spec on arithmetic filter operations to
> preclude this behavior.
> Option 1 is to define arthimetic feComposite to act on regular rgba
> pixels. This prevents any issue of invalid data and is probably easier
> for content authors to reason about. On the downside, it may be costly
> to convert between pre-multiplied and regular pixel representations.
> Option 2 is to modify the spec section 15.12 from this statement "with
> the result clamped between [0..1]" to this statement "with alpha
> clamped to [0..1] and color components clamped to [0..alpha]". This is
> the simplest change that ensures valid pixels everywhere.
> Option 3 is to modify the spec to require that arithmetic results be
> clamped to valid pre-multiplied pixels before use in any other filter
> operation, while intermediate arithmetic results must clamp only to
> [0..1] per component. This seems to match current behavior in Opera,
> Firefox and Webkit, although I have not extensively tested. I think
> the behavior just falls out of current pixel conversion methods for
> pre-multiplied to regular pixels, although Webkit catches the problem
> in debug builds.
> Personally I support Option 2 as it is least disruptive and simplest
> to implement, although I am also satisfied with Option 1.
> Regardless of which clarification is chosen, in the interests of
> cross-browser consistency we would like the spec tightened.
> Stephen.

Received on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 17:40:40 UTC