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Android Boot Logo and Bootanimation

One of the favorite vanity customizations for an Android device, is to personalize the boot logo and the boot animation.

Here you find some notes about the Gretel A7, a phone based on the MediaTek MT6580 chip, running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Operation should be rather similar on other devices sharing a similar MTK chip and similar O.S. version.

We used a GNU/Linux PC as the host to perform all the actions: download and upload of partition content, manipulation of image files, running of some scripts, etc.


The boot logo is contained into a dedicated partition called logo, you can find the binary image called logo.bin packed into the stock ROM archive or you can download it from the phone using the SP Flash Tool program.

The partition image contains several different pictures (39 in our case!), some are at full screen size (720×1280 pixels), others are snippets used (before the actual boot stage) to represent e.g. the charging battery, the percentage, etc. The logo.bin has a rather simple structure:

Content Size (bytes) Notes
MTK Header 512 At offset 0x08 there should be the string LOGO or logo.
Pictures Count 4 A little-endian 32bit integer. This is the number of pictures packed into the data block.
Total Block Size 4 A little-endian 32bit integer. This is the total size of the data, excluding only the 512 bytes of the MTK header.
Offsets Map 4 x Count For each picture there is a little-endian 32bit integer, indicating the offset of the picture into the data, after the 512 bytes header. The first offset is 4 + 4 + (4 * pictures count).
Pictures Data Block Variable Each picture is in raw RGB format, it is appended as a z-compressed file.

Here there are two full screen examples:

Here it is a 163×29 pixels snippet used for the “battery charging” animation:

Unpack and repack the log.bin

Unfortunately the mtkimg did not work with my logo.bin. The issue is about unsopported signature and RGB format. So I write a Python script, download it here: mtk-android-logo.

./mtk-android-logo unpack

Run the script into the same directory containing the logo.bin file; a logo.d directory will be created with compressed (.z) and uncompressed (.bin) files.

./mtk-android-logo repack

For repacking, the script needs the original logo.bin and a logo.d directory containing the pictures. If the z-compressed picture exists, it will be used, otherwise the .bin one is used after z-compressing it. The resulting image is saved as logo.repack.bin.

Pictures are expected to be raw RGB, stored with z-compression. The pixel size (width x height) of each picture must be guessed.

Suppose that th e screen size is 720×1280 and the biggest, uncompressed picture is 3686400 bytes:

3686400 / (720 * 1280) = 4

so we can desume that the picture is 4 bytes/pixel, i.e. a 32bit RGB. By trial and error we found that it is an BGRA (Blue, Green, Red and Alpha), we can convert it into PNG with ffmpeg, specifying the bgra pixel format:

ffmpeg -vcodec rawvideo -f rawvideo \
    -pix_fmt bgra -s 720x1280 -i "img-01.bin" \
    -f image2 -vcodec png "img-01.png"

Once edited, we can convert it back to raw BGRA with:

ffmpeg -vcodec png -i "img-01.png" \
    -vcodec rawvideo -f rawvideo -pix_fmt bgra "img-01.bin"

It is known that also 16bit raw formats are used (eg. bgr565le), you can guess it, if the size of the picture is 2 bytes per pixel. You can list all the pixel formats supprted by ffmpeg by running:

  ffmpeg -pix_fmts

The logo contained into the logo.bin partition is displayed in the early stage of the boot process. Once the system partition is available, an animation is played for some seconds. That animation is contained into a zip file. In our case it turned out that the file is stored in /system/media/ To replace it, being into the /system/ directory, root privileges are required.

There should be an executable responsible to actually run the animation, it should be /system/bin/bootanimation. It may search the in several directories, where the first one found, will be used. Searched directories can be:

  • /custom/media/
  • /oem/media/
  • /data/local/
  • /system/media/

If file is not found, the framework-res.apk package is searched into directories /system/customer/framework/ or /system/framework/, that file contains two images that are used as a fall-back animation:

  • assets/images/android-logo-mask.png
  • assets/images/android-logo-shine.png

Contents of

Generally the animation is composed of two parts: the first is played just once, the second part is played in loop until the system is ready. This is controlled by the contents of the desc.txt file contained into the zip, here it is an example:

720 1280 15
p 1 0 part0
p 0 0 part1

The first line tell us that the animation is 720×1280 pixels, at 15 frames per second.

The second line tell us that there is a part of type p to be executed 1 time. The following number (0 in the example above) someone says that it is a pause to wait after the animation, in my case it is instead ununsed at all. The actual frames are contained into the part0 subdirectory.

The last line defines another part type p to be executed in an endless (0) loop until the system is ready, with a zero 0 pause. The frames are into the part1 subdirectory.

A type p means that the animation can be interrupted when the boot process is completed. If you want instead a part to be played as the final part of the animation (e.g. if you want a fade-out effect), you have to use a tpye c, which means play at least once.

720 1280 15
p 1 0 part0
c 0 0 part1
c 0 0 part2

In the above example, once the boot process is completed, the part1 is interrupted, and the part2 is executed. Animation part type c was introduced with Android Jelly Bean (i.e. Android 4.1 to 4.3.1).

Frames are actually PNG images, of the proper size (720×1280 in our case).

So the directories structure should be something like this:

├── desc.txt
├── part0
│   ├── img_000.png
│   ├── ...
│   └── img_196.png
└── part1
    ├── img_197.png
    ├── ...
    └── img_207.png

To pack eveything into a zip file you can use the command:

zip -r -Z store desc.txt part0 part1

Beware of the -Z store option: the zip archive must be created using the store compression method, not the deflate one.

Web References

doc/appunti/android/logo_bootanimation.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/07 16:33 by niccolo