Topics

Automatically colourise B&W images using AI


David Starkman
 

Hi Oktay,

 
Susan has used the Photoshop 2020 auto color feature, and the one that comes with MyHeritage. The MyHeritage one works better.  (see previous postings for the link). Again, the colors will not necessarily be the same as whatever the original colors may have been, but It is often looking amazingly good. 
 
-DDDavid
 
 
 
1a. 
Re: Automatically colourise B&W images using AI
From: akdens2
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 08:02:36 CDT

How does it compare to the same feature in Photoshop Elements 2020?

Oktay


Oktay
 

Thanks David, it was actually Susan's message that made me informed about Elements 2020 colorizing feature.

Oktay


David Richardson
 

David -

I tested out the My Heritage one and was very impressed. Not everything was correct and somethings are wildly bad, but I did like the results.  The problem I had was the price.  The first 10 images are free.  After that you have to get a subscription.  The first year is $149 and then it jumps to $299 per year!  

David Richardson
Civil War In 3D.com
Civil War In Color.com


Gordon Au
 

FYI: I haven't tested them thoroughly, but depending on the image, sometimes these free ones work passably well (as long as you don't need a large image):
http://deepai.org/machine-learning-model/colorizer (limited to 800 px?)
http://colourise.sg (limited to 1800 px?)


Philip Heggie
 

 

 

This one is free and nearly as good as My Heritage

https://deepai.org/machine-learning-model/colorizer

 


David Starkman
 

Hi David,
Yes. MyHeritage would not be worth it just for the colorizing feature. Susan is deep into genealogy and subscribes to MyHeritage and Ancestry.com anyway. As others have already pointed out there are other free sites that seem very similar. I tried https://colourise.sg/ and it seems very similar, at least on a quick test. - David


Depthcam
 

I have been colorizing pictures for some years now. I do it "by hand" like in the old days - except the "hand" is a mouse !

I came across auto colorizing online sites a few years ago and the one I had tried at the time was called "colorize-it.com".

The results varied.  Some were poor while others were excellent.  A few months ago, I found deepai.org and found the colorizing on this site was generally much better.  However it was not always the case.  I did several tests of the same pictures on both sites and something colorize-it got the better result but I would say that Deepai got it best most of the time.  The problem with both those sites is their output is low resolution.

What I would do if the output was higher resolution would be to use one of those converters and then redo the portions by hand that did not work correctly.  But sometimes noether of these sites works at all.

Here is an example of an old black & white postcard that AI colorizing just can't get right:




Colorize-it version:




DEEPAI version:




My hand-colored version:



Needless to say, a hand colored version can take a few hours.  However, sometimes there's nothing like the human touch !

Francois.


Dan Vint
 

Could you explain the basic process or point me to some sites for doing this by hand? I've got books on hand coloring real photos, but have not come across a digital explanation.



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: "Depthcam via groups.io" <depthcam@...>
Date: 9/15/20 9:04 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@Photo-3d.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Photo-3d] Automatically colourise B&W images using AI

I have been colorizing pictures for some years now. I do it "by hand" like in the old days - except the "hand" is a mouse !

I came across auto colorizing online sites a few years ago and the one I had tried at the time was called "colorize-it.com".

The results varied.  Some were poor while others were excellent.  A few months ago, I found deepai.org and found the colorizing on this site was generally much better.  However it was not always the case.  I did several tests of the same pictures on both sites and something colorize-it got the better result but I would say that Deepai got it best most of the time.  The problem with both those sites is their output is low resolution.

What I would do if the output was higher resolution would be to use one of those converters and then redo the portions by hand that did not work correctly.  But sometimes noether of these sites works at all.

Here is an example of an old black & white postcard that AI colorizing just can't get right:




Colorize-it version:




DEEPAI version:




My hand-colored version:



Needless to say, a hand colored version can take a few hours.  However, sometimes there's nothing like the human touch !

Francois.


David Richardson
 

Thank you for sharing this.  I have been doing colorization's for 10+ years and agree that the personal human touch has not been matched (yet). ;)  

I tried the image of Lily Elsie on other AI colorize programs and they all seem to have the same issue.  They don't seem to recognize that her dress is one color and that the ribbon around her neck is not a dividing line in the color.  I do like the skin tones and some of the other detail work.  I think the AI is good to get things started and on complex scenes can help to speed some of the very tedious detail work.  One of the things I don't like (at least for what I have seen now) is the size limitation.  All of these programs that I have found restrict the size.  I often work with images that the original starts out as a 100Mb Tiff file (Library of Congress images) and they fail trying to colorize for being too large, or the system will scale it down.  One of the AI's mentioned previously scaled an image that was originally 20Mp to less than 1Mp!  You lose all of the detail very frustrating!

David Richardson
Civil War in 3D.com
Civil War in Color.com


David Richardson
 

David -

Yes, I had to go back and take a look again.  I thought the $299/yr was just for colorizing.  Did not realize that it included subscription to the rest of MyHeritage site.  For Susan it would make sense, but agree, just for colorization, too expensive.  Just curious if there is a size limit like there is with other sites?  Will it allow you to take the really large (for example) Library of Congress files?  All of the others that I have seen either fail or resize them smaller.

Thanks,

David Richardson
Civil War in 3D.com
Civil War in Color.com


Andy Modla
 

I have not colorized any photos and have been following this discussion with interest.
I thought I would try it with www.runwayML.com
RunwayML.com is a tool for artists who want to use machine learning models in the cloud, but are not experts in ML.
It's a subscription service but they give a free trial. I subscribe and find it quite inexpensive.
I have used it to stylize (AdaIn-Style-Transfer model) some of my photos using a 2nd photo and was very pleased with the results.

I tried the  a version of DeOldify colorize model on the sample photo and thought the result was very good to my novice eyes:




It looks like the colorize model can accept large photos (3847x4896) too.

RunwayML also has a model to create depth maps. My experiments with the depthmap model so far were just OK. In the future I might use it as a starting point for manual depth map editing.

-Andy


Depthcam
 

On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 11:28 AM, Andy Modla wrote:
I tried the  a version of DeOldify colorize model on the sample photo and thought the result was very good to my novice eyes:

It's slightly better than the others on that picture, but it's still very much flawed.  If you look at her dress, you can see there are many areas that are without color.  Also, none of the programs were able to tell she is wearing a gold chain.  The face on all the pictures also remains single tone although de-oldify does a slightly better job on the tone.  Missing are color highlights on the cheeks, lips and eyes, which I put on my own version.  I'd also like to point out that my goal with this picture is not to make it as realistic as possible but to follow the style of period hand colorization.  Having a large collection of period portraits - both black & white and hand colored - I have a good sense of how to recreate that period effect.

Francois

Francois


Depthcam
 

> Could you explain the basic process or point me to some sites for doing this by hand? I've got books on hand coloring real photos, but have not come across a digital explanation


I started this out 20 years ago using a simple photo editing program called Printshop Pro.  They had a "colorize mode" which just made the colours blend into the black and white image.  From that point on, it's all a matter of choosing and adjusting the colours and - essentially, "staying within the lines".  I taught myself and developed my own techniques using this program.  As you can imagine, I couldn't always stay within the lines, so I used the eraser function to clean up around the edges.  I do all this using a trackball mouse.

However, modern photo editing programs have more sophisticated ways of doing this where one can adjust the colours after painting them in. Here is a YT clip showing how to do it with Paintshop Pro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UME9xVeyeI

Here are a couple showing ways to do it in Photoshop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB-o1-LyGlM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SfTTDIjiM4

Here a detailed clips on understanding colour saturation depending on lighting conditions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbveFU0JL4c

There are also dedicated colorizing programs like Codijy which speed up the hand coloring process by not requiring that you actually fill in the colours.  Instead, you just outline the areas and choose the colours which can even be done by sampling them from a colour picture of the same or similar subject.

https://www.codijy.com/

Here is a demo showing how the colorizing is done using the above program:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__TPaXbGjp0

Here an entertaining review of Image Colorizer and how to improve an AI result as well as using the AI colorizing on the original high resolution version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XWBpTVEPWo

Have fun !

Francois


John Clement
 

On can do a really good test by turning a color photo into B&W, then using some of the programs.  Actually 3D conversions should work better than color conversions because there are many clues in a photo as to what is in front or back.  I think that the enclosed picture is a pretty good colorization.  It resembles the sort of work done by photographers when they painted in the colors.  The background looks like a photographer’s painted background.  Zooming in on the jewelry details might give clues as to what colors they should be.

 

Personally I like the various sepia tones in the old pictures, and some old movies have gorgeous use of B&W+gray.  However some old movies are improved by colorization.  Alexander Nevsky is one of those old movies where colorization would not really improve it, but Fainzimmer’s Lt. Kizhe (Kije) would benefit with colorization and rerecording of the musical tract by Prokofiev.  Nevsky is improved by the rerecorded modern musical tract.  I am sure everyone on this list has their favorite colorized version, and the one they consider to be a travesty.  I would be surprised if there is agreement.  The old Midsummer Night’s Dream with Rooney as Puck is so glitzy in B&W it might be lurid in color.  I would love to see it in HD with the full range of B%W but alas it is not out o Blu-Ray and I have an old HD 3D TV without the extra resolution color.  BTW I like the colorized It’s a Wonderful Life.

 

John M. Clement

 

From: main@Photo-3d.groups.io <main@Photo-3d.groups.io> On Behalf Of Andy Modla
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:28 AM
To: main@Photo-3d.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Photo-3d] Automatically colourise B&W images using AI

 

I have not colorized any photos and have been following this discussion with interest.
I thought I would try it with www.runwayML.com
RunwayML.com is a tool for artists who want to use machine learning models in the cloud, but are not experts in ML.
It's a subscription service but they give a free trial. I subscribe and find it quite inexpensive.
I have used it to stylize (AdaIn-Style-Transfer model) some of my photos using a 2nd photo and was very pleased with the results.

I tried the  a version of DeOldify colorize model on the sample photo and thought the result was very good to my novice eyes:




It looks like the colorize model can accept large photos (3847x4896) too.

RunwayML also has a model to create depth maps. My experiments with the depthmap model so far were just OK. In the future I might use it as a starting point for manual depth map editing.

-Andy


Depthcam
 

I think it's case by case.  I generally don't like colorized movies better than their b&w counterparts.  However, as with prints and postcards, several of them were hand colored back in those days as well.  For example, Mélies's "Le Voyage dans la Lune" was shot in b&w but several copies distributed were hand colored.  When Mélies destroyed his studio, he destroyed all the colour prints and for many years it was thought they had all been lost.  Some years ago, a colour copy was found in an advanced state of deterioration and it was entirely digitally restored by meticulously matching the original hand-tinted parts that were still in fair shape.  There is a fascinating documentary about the restoration process called "Le Voyage Extraordinaire".  The restored version can be found on YT and Vimeo.  It took eleven years to complete !

Francois


John Clement
 

There is a Blu-Ray with a large number of restored Melies color movies.  The restorations are a bit rough, partially due to the variations in the paint as each frame was colorized by hand.  So it was not just one, but a number of prints that survived in color including the famous Voyage to the Moon.

 

John M.  Clement

 

From: main@Photo-3d.groups.io <main@Photo-3d.groups.io> On Behalf Of Depthcam via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 5:26 PM
To: main@Photo-3d.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Photo-3d] Automatically colourise B&W images using AI

 

I think it's case by case.  I generally don't like colorized movies better than their b&w counterparts.  However, as with prints and postcards, several of them were hand colored back in those days as well.  For example, Mélies's "Le Voyage dans la Lune" was shot in b&w but several copies distributed were hand colored.  When Mélies destroyed his studio, he destroyed all the colour prints and for many years it was thought they had all been lost.  Some years ago, a colour copy was found in an advanced state of deterioration and it was entirely digitally restored by meticulously matching the original hand-tinted parts that were still in fair shape.  There is a fascinating documentary about the restoration process called "Le Voyage Extraordinaire".  The restored version can be found on YT and Vimeo.  It took eleven years to complete !

Francois


Fabbian Dufoe
 

I've never tried to color a digital image and from what I've read here it seems more difficult that painting a black and white photo with Marshall's transparent photo oils, which I fooled around with in the late 1960s.  It was remarkably easy to get good results.  I wonder if you could achieve the same thing by coloring on a layer on top of the black and white image using colors with a high transparency setting.  I believe even pretty unsophisticated paint programs allow you to set the degree of transparency you want.  The layer feature would make it easier to switch the colors on and off, but you could apply transparent colors directly to the black and white image as well.
--
Fabbian Dufoe
Fuji W3
JVC GS-TD1-B


Depthcam
 

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 06:02 PM, John Clement wrote:
So it was not just one, but a number of prints that survived in color including the famous Voyage to the Moon.

The point is that no colour prints were known to have survived of "Le Voyage dans la Lune" until during the nineties when a copy was found in a highly deteriorated state.  By this I mean that the entire film on the reel was stuck together.  That's why it took eleven years to carefully try and pry it apart and then digitally scan each image and then restore it digitally.

Colour prints of other Méliès films did survive so did not need the extensive restoration required for "Le Voyage dans la Lune".

Francois


David Starkman
 

Hi Francois,

No question that hand-coloring is (or can be) far superior to any of the Automatic colorizing programs. Susan has manually colored many photos over the years (I don't have the patience or skill). However, considering what these programs can do in less than a minute, sometimes (not always) the results are amazingly good. Yes, the colors many not match what the originals colors many have been (if you know what they were), but they may be "good enough" for a lot of people. Especially on old family photos, as the programs are usually pretty good about finding skin tones. - DDDavid
 
3b. 
Re: Automatically colourise B&W images using AI
From: Depthcam
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2020 23:04:51 CDT

I have been colorizing pictures for some years now. I do it "by hand" like in the old days - except the "hand" is a mouse !

I came across auto colorizing online sites a few years ago and the one I had tried at the time was called "colorize-it.com".

The results varied.  Some were poor while others were excellent.  A few months ago, I found deepai.org and found the colorizing on this site was generally much better.  However it was not always the case.  I did several tests of the same pictures on both sites and something colorize-it got the better result but I would say that Deepai got it best most of the time.  The problem with both those sites is their output is low resolution.

What I would do if the output was higher resolution would be to use one of those converters and then redo the portions by hand that did not work correctly.  But sometimes noether of these sites works at all.

Here is an example of an old black & white postcard that AI colorizing just can't get right:




Colorize-it version:




DEEPAI version:




My hand-colored version:



Needless to say, a hand colored version can take a few hours.  However, sometimes there's nothing like the human touch !

Francois.


David Starkman
 

Hi David,

Yes. Susan had already been using MyHeritage for genealogy for years before they suddenly offered the "deOldify" colorization feature. Also more recently they've added an "enhance" feature that does an amazing job of sharpening soft old photos. Obviously MyHeritage had old family photos in mind, but she has had fun colorizing B&W stereos as well. To answer your question there is definitely a size limit. Susan says it won't work with images larger than 9mb. Again, it was meant for family photos to share online, so I guess they didn't feel it had to work with larger image sizes. Maybe some of the standalone AI programs work with larger images, but others will have to answer that question.
 
-The other DDDavid
 
2b. 
Re: Automatically colourise B&W images using AI
From: David Richardson
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2020 10:46:48 CDT

David -

Yes, I had to go back and take a look again.  I thought the $299/yr was just for colorizing.  Did not realize that it included subscription to the rest of MyHeritage site.  For Susan it would make sense, but agree, just for colorization, too expensive.  Just curious if there is a size limit like there is with other sites?  Will it allow you to take the really large (for example) Library of Congress files?  All of the others that I have seen either fail or resize them smaller.

Thanks,

David Richardson
Civil War in 3D.com
Civil War in Color.com