colourise.sg the best AI-based colorizing tool so far

Mar 5, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

colourise.sg the best AI-based colorizing tool so far

Mar 5, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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We have seen several AI-based colorizing tools so far, and colourise.sg is the latest addition to this bunch. While some other services like Algorithmia still need to improve, colourise.sg is capable of doing a fantastic job in only a matter of seconds.

Colourise.sg was trained using old Singaporean photos. The makers write that the point of colorization is to generate an image with plausible colors, and they may not be an accurate representation of the actual snapshot in time. They add that their model is by no means perfect: it works well on some images, but not others. I learned this to be true while testing the app. but I also learned that it still does a darn good job.

According to colourise.sg, the website doesn’t store any of the images you upload. You get the results in a few seconds, you can see the “before” and “after,” and download the colorized image. I gave it a spin, using some old CC0 black and white images, as well as my own photos converted to black and white. I compared the results of colourise.sg it to Algorithmia, as well as to my original color images.

Let’s start with the old black and white photos. Here are colourise.sg’s results:

And here are the same photos after Algorithmia’s treatment:

Now here are some of my images. I used different types of photos for the test, not just portraits. Here are the results I got with colourise.sg:

Original

Original

Original

Original

Original

For comparison, here’s what I got with Algorithmia:

Among other apps and tools capable of automatic colorizing are Google Photos and the aforementioned Algoritmia. Adobe announced Scribbler, which gave pretty decent results in the preview, but it still hasn’t become a part of Creative Cloud apps. There’s also this “semi-automatic” approach, which is essentially an improved version of Algorithmia. Of course, none of these give perfect results, and neither does colourise.sg. The colors aren’t always accurate compared to the original image, but they still seem realistic most of the times. Also, it definitely gives the best results in terms of precision. Just look at this example:

Original
colourise.sg. The colors aren’t accurate, but the colorization is precise.
Go home Algorithmia, you’re drunk

If you’d like to try it out yourself, head over to colourise.sg and have some fun. But don’t forget, for the most accurate results: you need to learn how to colorize black and white photos yourself. : ) You can find a handy tutorial here and also learn which colors would be historically accurate.

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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12 responses to “colourise.sg the best AI-based colorizing tool so far”

  1. Chris Brock Avatar
    Chris Brock

    I could eat a crayon and fart more color than that.

  2. Paul H Avatar
    Paul H

    A case of Attempted Intelligence. Disappointing results. Not something I would buy to be honest.

  3. Lee M Avatar
    Lee M

    One of the problems with colourise.sg is that (unlike with other online image processors like waifu2x) the resulting image is always limited in size and only savable as a lossy jpeg. There is, however, a way around this: resize the colorized image to match the dimensions of the original, flatten the contrast so the colorized version comprises solely of color data, then superimpose this on the original at 50% transparency (having first made sure the original is set to 16 million colors and not greyscale). What you’re now seeing is a colored image albeit with with bland colors and contrast. Save as a single layer, then adjust the contrast and saturation until it looks good to you.

    1. FYLegend21 Avatar
      FYLegend21

      Yep, I used a similar trick in Photoshop for the “Neural Network-based Automatic Image Colorization” tool by a Japanese team which also outputs low resolution. In Photoshop you can just set the colourized layer as “color” and it will preserve the saturation and put your source image below it in greyscale. In my opinion it does a much better job than colourise.sg. It even tries to colourize historical symbols like British roundel or the German hakenkreuz. I tested it on photos of the Hindenburg and other german airships and it’s quite impressive as it often colourizes that symbol on the fins. The only downside is it prefers panchromatic film under a certain lighting, not orthochromatic film (where reds show black). http://iizuka.cs.tsukuba.ac.jp/projects/colorization/web/

  4. Raphaël Pinson Avatar
    Raphaël Pinson

    DeOldify has gotten much better than that in the last few months. See for example https://www.colorize.ml/

    1. Bobby koulouris Avatar
      Bobby koulouris

      Colorize is definitely superior

      1. Raphaël Pinson Avatar
        Raphaël Pinson

        It was, 9 months ago. Now the DeOldify team has worked with MyHeritage to create a new version which is yet much better (albeit not open-source at the moment): https://www.myheritage.com/incolor

  5. Greg Miller Avatar
    Greg Miller

    How does this software compare to the Algorithmia software that does the same and you can actually have it on your computer…in a matter of fashion at least.

  6. USBTypeCNazi Avatar
    USBTypeCNazi

    This is awful. Not historically trained on Nazi symbols or British Roundels. Learn history before you make a tool like this!

  7. Bobby koulouris Avatar
    Bobby koulouris

    This is not true, it actually doesnt produce the best.

  8. georg1945 Avatar
    georg1945

    Eddig már több képet színeztem ki a ColoruiseSG-vel. NAGYON JÓ !!!
    Mától 2020.09.30-tól azonban nem tudom tovább alkalmazni, pedig szeretném.
    Kérem tegyék lehetővé, hogy LETÖLTSEM ezt a kiváló PROGRAMOT !

  9. Lisha Avatar
    Lisha

    There is a notice from colourise.sg that

    ColouriseSG is no longer operating as of 1 Oct 2020 and the codebase will be open-sourced soon

    . I found there is a new website called colourise.com that provides totally free AI online service to colorize black and white photos.