How to create multiple thumbnails from a single uploaded image in Codeigniter


Here in this tutorial I am going to show you how to create multiple thumbnails using PHP based Codeigniter framework from a single uploaded image. Codeigniter provides a file upload class that is used to upload single file or multiple files or even you can create thumbnail(s).

This class also permits you to set various preferences, such as, destination where the file and thumbnail will be uploaded, restriction on file types, restriction on file size, whether a file name should be encrypted or not, maximum length of the file name etc.

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Below are the simple few processes for uploading an image file and creating multiple thumbnails in CodeIgniter for this uploaded image file.

  1. A form with input type file is required so that user can select the file using the browse button.
  2. When the form is submitted, the file is validated to make sure that the file and thumbnails are uploaded against the preferences you set.
  3. Once the file and thumbnails are uploaded successfully to the specified destination, the success message is shown.


PHP 7.4.3, Codeigniter 3.1.11, Apache HTTP server 2.4

Creating Project Directory

It’s assumed that you have setup Apache, PHP and Codeigniter in Windows system.

Now we will create a project root directory called codeIgniter-multiple-thumbnails under the Apache server’s htdocs folder.

Now move all the directories and files from CodeIgniter framework into  codeIgniter-multiple-thumbnails directory.

We may not mention the project root directory in subsequent sections and we will assume that we are talking with respect to the project’s root directory.

Configuring Auto-load

Edit the file application/config/autoload.php and

change the value as shown below. We do not want to load every time the repeatedly used helper functions, so it is always good to load those things once in order to use them uniformly throughout the application.

$autoload['helper'] = array('url');

Creating View File

We need to create a file called thumbnails_view.php under application/views/ folder.

In the below form I have used CodeIgniter’s form helper function. Also notice when we need to upload a file or files we have to use the enctype="multipart/form-data" and hence we have used form_open_multipart().

If there is no need to upload a file then we can use only form_open(). We have passed some attributes in form_open_multipart(), which will be added in the html’s form tag.

We have also some other variables like $errors$success which will show errors and success messages respectively. We have CodeIgniter’s built-in validation_errors() function which will show also error messages.

defined('BASEPATH') OR exit('No direct script access allowed');
?><!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
	<meta charset="utf-8">
	<title>CodeIgniter Multiple Thumbnails Creation</title>

	<style type="text/css">

	::selection { background-color: #E13300; color: white; }
	::-moz-selection { background-color: #E13300; color: white; }

	body {
		background-color: #fff;
		margin: 40px;
		font: 13px/20px normal Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
		color: #4F5155;

	a {
		color: #003399;
		background-color: transparent;
		font-weight: normal;

	h1 {
		color: #444;
		background-color: transparent;
		border-bottom: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		font-size: 19px;
		font-weight: normal;
		margin: 0 0 14px 0;
		padding: 14px 15px 10px 15px;

	code {
		font-family: Consolas, Monaco, Courier New, Courier, monospace;
		font-size: 12px;
		background-color: #f9f9f9;
		border: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		color: #002166;
		display: block;
		margin: 14px 0 14px 0;
		padding: 12px 10px 12px 10px;

	#body {
		margin: 0 15px 0 15px;

	p.footer {
		text-align: right;
		font-size: 11px;
		border-top: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		line-height: 32px;
		padding: 0 10px 0 10px;
		margin: 20px 0 0 0;

	#container {
		margin: 10px auto;
		padding: 10px;
		border: 1px solid #D0D0D0;
		box-shadow: 0 0 8px #D0D0D0;

<div id="container">
	<h1>CodeIgniter Multiple Thumbnails Creation</h1>

	<p>Select an image to create multiple thumbnails</p>
		if (isset($success) && strlen($success)) {
			echo '<div class="success">';
			echo '<p>' . $success . '</p>';
			echo '</div>';
		if (isset($errors) && strlen($errors)) {
			echo '<div class="error">';
			echo '<p>' . $errors . '</p>';
			echo '</div>';
		if (validation_errors()) {
			echo validation_errors('<div class="error">', '</div>');
		$attributes = array('name' => 'file_upload_form', 'id' => 'file_upload_form');
		echo form_open_multipart($this->uri->uri_string(), $attributes);
		<p><input name="file_name" id="file_name" readonly="readonly" type="file" /></p>
		<p><input name="file_upload" value="Create Thumbnails" type="submit" /></p>
        echo form_close();


Controller Class

Create a file called Thumbnails.php under application/controllers/ folder.

This controller is responsible for uploading the selected file and creating multiple thumbnails from the uploaded image file.

In the below controller class we have loaded the required library to validate form.

I am handling error and success message through separate functions.

I have defined separate destination folders for uploading the image file and thumbnails.

I have set required configurations for image file and thumbnails.

I am perform validations on file to check whether file was really uploaded or not.

defined('BASEPATH') OR exit('No direct script access allowed');

class Thumbnails extends CI_Controller {

	//variable for storing error message
    private $error;
    //variable for storing success message
    private $success;
    function __construct() {
        //load this to validate the inputs in upload form
    //appends all error messages
    private function handle_error($err) {
        $this->error .= nl2br($err . "\r\n");
    //appends all success messages
    private function handle_success($succ) {
        $this->success .= nl2br($succ . "\r\n");
    //file upload action
    public function index() {
        //check whether submit button was clicked or not
        if ($this->input->post('file_upload')) {
            //set preferences
            //file upload destination
            $config['upload_path'] = './upload/';
            //allowed file types. * means all types
            $config['allowed_types'] = 'gif|jpg|png';
            //allowed max file size. 0 means unlimited file size
            $config['max_size'] = '0';
            //max file name size
            $config['max_filename'] = '255';
            //whether file name should be encrypted or not
            $config['encrypt_name'] = TRUE;
            //thumbnail path
            $thumb_path = './upload/thumbnails/';
            //store file info once uploaded
            $file_data = array();
            //check for errors
            $is_file_error = FALSE;
            //check if file was selected for upload
            if (!$_FILES) {
                $is_file_error = TRUE;
                $this->handle_error('Select at least one file');
            //if file was selected then proceed to upload
            if (!$is_file_error) {
                //load the preferences
                $this->load->library('upload', $config);
                //check file successfully uploaded. 'file_name' is the name of the input
                if (!$this->upload->do_upload('file_name')) {
                    //if file upload failed then catch the errors
                    $is_file_error = TRUE;
                } else {
                    //store the file info
                    $file_data = $this->upload->data();				
					$config = array(
						// Large Image
							'source_image'  => $file_data['full_path'],
							'new_image' => $thumb_path . 'large/' . $file_data['file_name'],
							'maintain_ratio'=> true,
							'width'         => 600,
							'height'        => 400
						// Medium Image
							'source_image'  => $file_data['full_path'],
							'new_image' => $thumb_path . 'medium/' . $file_data['file_name'],
							'maintain_ratio'=> true,
							'width'         => 500,
							'height'        => 333
						// Small Image
							'source_image'  => $file_data['full_path'],
							'new_image' => $thumb_path . 'small/' . $file_data['file_name'],
							'maintain_ratio'=> true,
							'width'         => 300,
							'height'        => 200
						// Tiny Image
							'source_image'  => $file_data['full_path'],
							'new_image' => $thumb_path . 'tiny/' . $file_data['file_name'],
							'maintain_ratio'=> true,
							'width'         => 150,
							'height'        => 100
					$this->load->library('image_lib', $config[0]);
					foreach ($config as $cfg){
							return false;
            // There were errors, we have to delete the uploaded files
            if ($is_file_error) {
                if ($file_data) {
                    $file = './upload/' . $file_data['file_name'];
                    if (file_exists($file)) {
                    $thumb = $thumb_path . $file_data['file_name'];
                    if ($thumb) {
            } else {
                $this->handle_success('File was successfully uploaded and multiple thumbnails created');
        //load the error and success messages
        $data['errors'] = $this->error;
        $data['success'] = $this->success;
        //load the view along with data
        $this->load->view('thumbnails_view', $data);

/* End of file Thumbnails.php */
/* Location: ./application/controllers/Thumbnails.php */

Configuring Route

I will override the default controller name in application/config/routs.php file with our controller class.

$route['default_controller'] = 'thumbnails';

Testing the Application

Make sure your Apache HTTP server is up and running. Hitting the URL http://localhost/codeIgniter-multiple-thumbnails/ will display the form on browser and you can select an image to upload and create multiple thumbnail images from the uploaded image. The sample image is given in the source code.

Make sure uploadupload/thumbnails, upload/thumbnails/large, upload/thumbnails/medium, upload/thumbnails/small, upload/thumbnails/tiny folders exist under project root directory.

codeigniter multiple thumbnails

Once you click the button Create Thumbnails, the selected image will be uploaded and multiple thumbnails will be created under separate folders. You will see the success message once done.

create multiple thumbnails from a single uploaded image in codeigniter

The folder view of the uploaded image:

create multiple thumbnails from a single uploaded image in codeigniter

The folder view of the thumbnails. Here you see that apparently all folders are having images with the same size but actually they are not when you open each folder and view the image.

codeigniter multiple thumbnails

That’s all about creating multiple thumbnail images using Codeigniter.

Source Code


Thanks for reading.

1 thought on “How to create multiple thumbnails from a single uploaded image in Codeigniter

  1. I have download the file and tried to upload the image . I am getting problem only original image is uploading . Its thumbnails image is not uploading.
    Try to suggest any changes that will I implement so that it work fine an I can upload thumbnails image also,.


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