Using a Custom Image Model in Wagtail CRX

New in version 0.19: Added support for custom image models. You must be on Wagtail CRX version 0.19 or higher in order to follow this guide.

Using a custom image model is a very similar process to using a custom user model in Django — it is easy to do when starting a new project but extremely difficult to do mid-project. This guide will cover starting a new project using a custom image model. To switch to a custom image model mid-project, see Convert Existing Site to Use a Custom Image Model.

Before starting this guide, it is important that you are starting with a fresh empty database and have never run coderedcms migrations!

Step 1: Create a custom image model in a new app

It is imperative that the custom image model lives in a Django app which does not rely on or import coderedcms. It is recommended to create a separate “pure” app to contain custom image and document models for your site. Failure to separate the custom image model will create a circular dependency issue in migrations.

Create an empty Django app, ours will be named mediamodels:

$ django-admin startapp mediamodels

In mediamodels/, add your custom image model code, following the Wagtail custom image sample code:


from django.db import models
from wagtail.images.models import Image, AbstractImage, AbstractRendition

class CustomImage(AbstractImage):
    # Add any extra fields to image here

    # eg. To add a caption field:
    # caption = models.CharField(max_length=255, blank=True)

    admin_form_fields = Image.admin_form_fields + (
        # Then add the field names here to make them appear in the form:
        # 'caption',

class CustomRendition(AbstractRendition):
    image = models.ForeignKey(CustomImage, on_delete=models.CASCADE, related_name='renditions')

    class Meta:
        unique_together = (
            ('image', 'filter_spec', 'focal_point_key'),

Step 2: Make migrations

Before switching your project to the new custom model, first make a migration for this model. If your custom image model already exists and has already been migrated, you can skip this step.

$ python makemigrations mediamodels

Step 3: Switch to the new image model

In your Django settings file, (probably under settings/ set the WAGTAILIMAGES_IMAGE_MODEL setting to point to it:

WAGTAILIMAGES_IMAGE_MODEL = "mediamodels.CustomImage"

Step 4: Migrate Wagtail CRX

Now you may run all migrations which will properly wire everything up to use your custom image model.

$ python migrate