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PIX_FMT_GRAY8 is a format that stores one byte per pixel. Each byte represents a luminance value from 0 (black) to (255) white. 'GRAY' refers to grayscale, although many people looking at a grayscale image would probably say it is 'black and white', because it looks similar to the images displayed on black and white televsion, in computer graphics, black and white usually refers to monotone images.