Colourising Images and Movies With Squiggles

Okay, this is cool. The coulourising is done using MATLAB, the “flagship” product made by the company I work for. Though, I wouldn’t post this unless I thought it was cool.

Basically, this allows you to take black & white images and movies, add a few coloured squiggles to the areas of the picture you want coloured, then run it through MATLAB. But that’s just my math-fearing explanation of it.

In this paper we present a simple colorization method that requires neither precise image segmentation, nor accurate region tracking. Our method is based on a simple premise: neighboring pixels in space-time that have similar intensities should have similar colors. We formalize this premise using a quadratic cost function and obtain an optimization problem that can be solved efficiently using standard techniques. In our approach an artist only needs to annotate the image with a few color scribbles, and the indicated colors are automatically propagated in both space and time to produce a fully colorized image or sequence. We demonstrate that high quality colorizations of stills and movie clips may be obtained from a relatively modest amount of user input.

Exactly. Squiggly lines of colour, then presto.

before and after colourised pictures

Especially interesting is the ability to do this to movies, which they have examples of on the site.