“Transferring color to greyscale images”

  • ©Tomihisa Welsh, Michael Ashikhmin, and Klaus Mueller




    Transferring color to greyscale images



    We introduce a general technique for “colorizing” greyscale images by transferring color between a source, color image and a destination, greyscale image. Although the general problem of adding chromatic values to a greyscale image has no exact, objective solution, the current approach attempts to provide a method to help minimize the amount of human labor required for this task. Rather than choosing RGB colors from a palette to color individual components, we transfer the entire color “mood” of the source to the target image by matching luminance and texture information between the images. We choose to transfer only chromatic information and retain the original luminance values of the target image. Further, the procedure is enhanced by allowing the user to match areas of the two images with rectangular swatches. We show that this simple technique can be successfully applied to a variety of images and video, provided that texture and luminance are sufficiently distinct. The images generated demonstrate the potential and utility of our technique in a diverse set of application domains.


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