Singapore researchers have developed software that searches images on the internet to find suitable colour matches for grayscale images. 

Credit: Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R)

Creating a high-quality realistic colour image from a grayscale picture can be challenging. Conventional methods typically require the user’s input, either by using a scribbling tool to colour the image manually or by using a colour transfer. Both options can result in poor colourisation quality limited by the user’s degree of skill or the range of reference images available.

Alex Yong-Sang Chia and co-workers have developed a computer program that utilises the vast amount of imagery available on the internet to find suitable colour matches for grayscale images. The program searches hundreds of thousands of online colour images, cross-referencing their key features and objects in the foreground with those of grayscale pictures. Once the initial colour images have been found, the program then filters them to find the most realistic and suitable matches for the grayscale object inputs.

“Our method automatically detects and segments salient objects from an internet photo,” explains Chia. “It then exploits shape and appearance information of these objects to compute its relevance to the original grayscale image data. The program generates several image colourisations and the user can pick the one that fits best from a graphical user interface.” explains Chia.




For further information contact:
Alex Yong-Sang Chia
Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R)
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore