If you want to transfer the color palette or color grading style from one photo to another, you can do it in Photoshop. Or, you can just import the source and target photo, click a button and have it done for you. Enter Image Colour Transfer, a web app that lets you do exactly that. By inserting two photos and clicking a button, you can have your image color graded with a specific style in just a few seconds. I played with it a little to show you the results, and while not all of them are perfect, I can see the potential.
The Web App is the result of a collaboration between Terry Johnson and Michele Renzullo. Johnson formulated the underlying methodology, while Renzullo adapted the methodology for implementation as a web app. The duo explains in detail how the app works in a Medium article, and the GitHub repository is available here.
Within this app, you can play with seven pairs of sample images and transfer colors from one photo to another. From the “Samples” drop-down menu, select one of the target images and the source image will automatically appear next to it. Click the “Generate output image” button, and then click on the output image to download it.
Of course, you can upload your own photos, too. The process is similar and pretty straightforward. Click the “Target” and “Palette” image panels to import your photos. The “Palette” image is the one from which you want to copy colors. You can also make some tweaks using the sliders below the images before you click on “generate output image.”
As I mentioned, I tested it a bit just to show what it can do. I used the same sunset photo for this batch of images as my “Palette photo.” With some of them, I made some tweaks before generating the final photo, and with the others, I left all the settings on “default.” Here are the results:
I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the resulting images, I must admit. But then I changed my “Palette image” to a photo taken on a sunny day in Zlatibor (more about it here). My target image was a panorama of Uvac taken on a very cloudy day, and I wanted to see how it would change if I applied colors from a photo I took in the midday sun. I was actually quite pleased with the results, and I didn’t even mess with the settings.
While not all results are impressive, Image Colour Transfer was a pleasant surprise in some cases. I guess it all depends on the source image you choose or the combination of the source and target. Either way, it could find applications in photo editing, and possibly even video color grading. Regardless of the colors, I like that there are no weird artifacts in the resulting images, and that’s certainly a big plus. If you’d like to play around with it and test it out for yourself, you can do so here. Let us know how you liked it.