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Image Asset Generation

It takes about 5 minutes as a Mobile developer until you realize that Mobile apps have a lot of image assets. If you're a Cross Platform developer you realize that with your doubled reach comes a doubling of the amount of image assets you need to track. One of the premiere features of the Mobile.BuildTools in version 2 is the ability to handle custom asset generation. We do this by only tracking or letting you worry about the Full Resolution image assets that you want as part of your app.


It is extremely important to note that the Image Processing features listed here are largely WIP guidance on how these features are intended to work. As Image Processing is still very much WIP, not everything listed here may currently be functioning as expected.

Adding Image Search Directories

The Mobile.BuildTools allows you to bring in images within one or more directories in 3 different ways:

  • Directories that should be searched for all builds
  "images": {
    "directories": [
  "images": {
    "conditionalDirectories": {
      "someCondition": [ "AnotherDirectory" ]
  • MSBuild Configured Directories typically used in CI which can optionally override your json configuration. See the Build Customization topic for more information.


The Mobile.BuildTools will only evaluate images in the top level of the specified directories. Images in subdirectories will be ignored unless otherwise specified as a search directory or conditional directory.

Conditional Directories

Conditional Directories supercharges your ability deliver customized images for your apps. The Conditional Directories help us to get a better handle on what image assets we want to include either for a specified Target Platform or Build Configuration.

Supported Conditions

Platform Conditions

A powerful feature of the Mobile.BuildTools is the ability to customize by Build Platform. This allows to to use the office Target Framework Moniker (TFM) or the more friendly platform name like the following.

  • Xamarin.iOS
  • iOS
  • MonoAndroid
  • Android

Build Configurations

  • Any Build Configuration you have!
  • Optionally negate a Condition like !Debug
  "images": {
    "directories": [
    "conditionalDirectories": {
      "MonoAndroid": [ "Images\\Android" ],
      "Xamarin.iOS": [ "Images\\iOS" ],
      "Debug": [ "Images\\Debug" ],
      "!Store": [ "Images\\NotProduction" ],
      "Store": [ "Images\\Production" ]

Sample Outputs

Using Conditional Directories along with the ability to watermark images (see Configuring Images topic) you can easily transform images.

For this let's say that we have two watermark images that we want to use on one or more of the images that will be used in our app.

Dev Badge Example

Let's next say that we have two images we want to test this on like the following:

.NET Bot Mobile.BuildTools
.NET Bot .NET Bot - Dev .NET Bot - Example
Mobile.BuildTools Mobile.BuildTools - Dev Mobile.BuildTools - Example


You may have noticed from looking at these images that all of the images are different resolutions. The Mobile.BuildTools is smart enough to understand that we want to scale your watermark and your input image to share the same canvas size. We will then generate the appropriate output size based on what your needs are.


Keep in mind that we do require that each image have a sibling json configuration file. This means that if your image is at the path: Images\foo.png, then we would expect a configuration at Images\foo.json, even if that file is an empty JSON file.

When using Conditional Directories it is very much possible that you would have more than one json configuration file for a single image. The Mobile.BuildTools will ignore the sibling configuration any time a second json configuration file is found in another directory.


While the Mobile.BuildTools can handle locating 2 json configurations during a build where one of them is a sibling of the image, the Mobile.BuildTools cannot handle scenarios where you it locates more than one json configuration that is not a sibling of the image as we would not know which one is the proper one to use.

Supported Platforms

Not all platforms are supported. For more information see the grid below:

Platform Status
Android Supported
iOS Supported
macOS Supported *
tvOS Supported *
Tizen Not Supported - See issue #101
UWP Not Supported - See issue #100
Blazor Not Planned
Web Assembly Not Planned

* Platform is theoretically supported as there should be no difference from iOS, however this has not been directly tested.