gstreamer appsink buffer to ROS CompressedImage

asked 2022-05-04 11:53:02 -0500

davide.cremona gravatar image

Hi, I'm building this GStreamer pipeline:

v4l2src device=/dev/video0 ! image/jpeg,width=1280,height=720,framerate=30/1 ! jpegdec ! videoconvert ! appsink

Then, I want to publish the frames read from appsink to a CompressedImage topic, so I use a gstreamer callback to the signal "new-sample":

/* The appsink has received a buffer */
static GstFlowReturn new_sample (GstElement *sink, CustomData *data) {
    GstSample *sample;

    /* Retrieve the buffer */
    cout << "Pulling sample from: " << gst_element_get_name(sink) << endl;
    g_signal_emit_by_name (sink, "pull-sample", &sample);
    if (sample) {

        // get the buffer and the inner memory
        GstBuffer* buf = gst_sample_get_buffer(sample);
        GstMemory *memory = gst_buffer_get_memory(buf, 0);

        GstMapInfo info;

        gst_memory_map(memory, &info, GST_MAP_READ);
        gsize &buf_size = info.size;
        guint8* &buf_data =;

        // Stop on end of stream
        if (!buf) {
            g_print("appsink Buffer is not ok");
            return GST_FLOW_ERROR;

        sensor_msgs::CompressedImage msg;
        msg.format = "jpeg";;

        cout << "Buffer Size: " << buf_size << endl;
        std::copy(buf_data, (buf_data)+(buf_size),;

        gst_memory_unmap(memory, &info);
        gst_sample_unref (sample);
        return GST_FLOW_OK;

    return GST_FLOW_ERROR;

Where "data" is a struct:

/* Structure to contain all our information, so we can pass it to callbacks */
typedef struct CustomData {
    GstElement *pipeline;
    GstElement *v4l2src;   // v4l2src element
    GstElement *caps_filter_1;  // capsfilter element
    GstElement *jpeg_dec;
    GstElement *video_convert;   // converter element
    GstElement *app_sink;

    ros::NodeHandle nh;
    ros::Publisher img_pub;
    ros::Subscriber img_sub;

} CustomData;

The publisher is declared in this way:

data.img_pub = data.nh.advertise<sensor_msgs::CompressedImage>("/test_cam/image_raw/compressed", 1);

Then, I need to convert the CompressedImage messages to OpenCV and I'm using cv_bridge for that.

In a Python script, I subscribe to /test_cam/image_raw/compressed and use this callback:

def cbk_compressed(msg):
    frame = bridge.compressed_imgmsg_to_cv2(msg)

But the obtained frame is None.

Also, for debugging, I subscribe to /test_cam/image_raw/compressed from the node that publishes the CompressedImage messages using this callback:

void compressed_image_cb(const sensor_msgs::CompressedImageConstPtr& msg) {
    cout << "RECEIVED COMPRESSED IMAGE MSG" << endl;
    cv_bridge::CvImagePtr cv_ptr;
    cout << "RECEIVED BUFFER SIZE: " << msg->data.size() << endl;
    try {
        cv_ptr = cv_bridge::toCvCopy(msg, sensor_msgs::image_encodings::BGR8);
    catch (cv_bridge::Exception& e) {
        ROS_ERROR("cv_bridge exception: %s", e.what());

but when the callback is executed, I get this error:

terminate called after throwing an instance of 'cv::Exception'
  what():  OpenCV(4.2.0) ../modules/imgproc/src/color.cpp:182: error: (-215:Assertion failed) !_src.empty() in function 'cvtColor'

I searched everywhere but I don't find any solution. Also, I'm using the same method that gscam is using here: to send compressed image messages (I tried with sensors_msgs::CompressedImagePtr but it does not change anything).

Anyone have some suggestions?

I'm doing this because I have to build a bigger pipeline where I read two cameras and then publish the frames (unmodified) + one frame that is the result of some processing on both frames. I am not using two gscam because I don't want the overhead caused by publishing (with gscam) and subscribing to the frames and then process them. I need the ... (more)

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The fact that the failure is in cvtColorsuggests that there's a problem with your gstreamer pipeline. Have you gotten the pipeline working with gscam? I know that this rather simple pipeline works in ROS2, it should also work in ROS1:

clyde gravatar image clyde  ( 2022-06-22 11:04:58 -0500 )edit