HEIF / HEIC -- ISO/IEC 23008-12:2017 High Efficiency Image File Format

Added in version 3.2.

Driver short name


Build dependencies

libheif (>= 1.1), built against libde265

High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) is a container format for individual images and image sequences. The driver has mostly been developed and tested to be able to read images using the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, ITU-T H.265) codec. Such images are usually called HEIC (HEVC in HEIF) files, and have the .heic extension. iOS 11 can generate such files.

libheif 1.4 or later is needed to support images with more than 8-bits per channel.

The driver can read EXIF metadata (exposed in the EXIF metadata domain) and XMP metadata (exposed in the xml:XMP metadata domain)

The driver will expose the thumbnail as an overview (when its number of bands matches the one of the full resolution image)

If a file contains several top-level images, they will be exposed as GDAL subdatasets.

Driver capabilities

Supports VirtualIO

if libheif >= 1.4

Built hints on Windows

  • Download source archives for libheif at https://github.com/strukturag/libheif and libde265 at https://github.com/strukturag/libde265

  • Unpack the archives (for example libde265-1.0.5.tar.gz and libheif-1.7.0.tar.gz)

  • Build libde265:

    cd libde265-1.0.5
    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64" .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=c:/dev/install-libheif
    cmake --build . --config Release --target install
    cd ..
    copy libde265\de265.h c:/dev/install-libheif/include/libde265
    copy libde265\de265-version.h c:/dev/install-libheif/include/libde265
    cd ..
  • Build libheif with libde265 support:

    cd libheif-1.7.0
    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64" .. \
        -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=c:/dev/install-libheif \
        -DLIBDE265_FOUND=ON \
        -DLIBDE265_CFLAGS=/Ic:/dev/install-libheif/include \
  • Add in GDAL's nmake.local the following lines before building GDAL:

    HEIF_INC = -Ic:\dev\install-libheif\include
    HEIF_LIB = C:\dev\install-libheif\lib\heif.lib