Colorful Image Colorization

author: Richard Zhang, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley
published: Oct. 24, 2016,   recorded: October 2016,   views: 10177


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Given a grayscale photograph as input, this paper attacks the problem of hallucinating a plausible color version of the photograph. This problem is clearly underconstrained, so previous approaches have either relied on significant user interaction or resulted in desaturated colorizations. We propose a fully automatic approach that produces vibrant and realistic colorizations. We embrace the underlying uncertainty of the problem by posing it as a classification task and use class-rebalancing at training time to increase the diversity of colors in the result. The system is implemented as a feed-forward pass in a CNN at test time and is trained on over a million color images. We evaluate our algorithm using a "colorization Turing test," asking human participants to choose between a generated and ground truth color image. Our method successfully fools humans on 32% of the trials, significantly higher than previous methods. Moreover, we show that colorization can be a powerful pretext task for self-supervised feature learning, acting as a cross-channel encoder. This approach results in state-of-the-art performance on several feature learning benchmarks.

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Zavylon Zavylon, May 20, 2022 at 11:53 a.m.:

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Comment2, April 27, 2023 at 10:03 a.m.:

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