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AKVIS Coloriage 4

AKVIS Coloriage 4 is a plug in which helps you to color black and white photos into colored photos.


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Introduction

Coloring a black and white image is no easy task, although it is possible to do this manually within almost all the image editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop. Coloriage is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop from AKVIS which makes this task much easier.

An older review on AKVIS Coloriage can be found here.

This review looks at the new AKVIS Coloriage 4 that offers many more possibilities. This version allows you to adjust the brightness range of a picture to make the coloring appear more natural, it also provides a larger color library, and the interface in streamlined with the ability to customize tools.

Coloriage is from AKVIS, a company based in Russia that specializes in graphics programs and scientific research. Apart from Coloriage, AKVIS also creates other Photoshop compatible programs like retoucher, Chameleon, Stamp, Sketch and Enhancer.

You can download a free 10 day trial version of Coloriage from the AKVIS site.

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How To Use

With Coloriage, you do not need to work with layers; it is enough to assign a color to an area by the stroke of the brush, the program does the rest of the work: recognizes the object's border and tailors the new color to the grayscale tones of the initial picture.

Here’s how you can use Akvis Coloriage 4 to color a black and white image:

  1. Open any black and white image in an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

  2. In Photoshop, choose Filter | Akvis | Coloriage as shown in Figure 1.

    Akvis Coloriage
    Figure 1: Akvis Coloriage

  3. This will open the Coloriage interface that you can see in the Figure 2 below. As you can see, Coloriage shows the black and white image in the Before tab, which has yet to be colored.

    Interface
    Figure 2: Akvis Interface

    The interface is explained below:

    1. Preview has two tabs -- Before and After which show the black and white and the colored image respectively.

    2. On the top right, you will find the Navigator.

    3. Color Library, which has readymade color shades for several common human features like eyes, hairs and lips. It also has more colors for stones, skies, grasses, leaves, fabrics, etc.

    4. Colors Palette contains color swatches that you can choose from.

      The interface also sports a toolbar on the top that contains tools for selections and editing such as pencil, eraser etc.
  1. Use the pencil -- and then select appropriate colors from the Color Library or Color Palette. Thereafter, create outlines around recognizable areas you want to color. Figure 3 shows colors chosen for areas like the hair, face, eyes, hat, etc.


    Figure 3: Akvis Interface

  2. After the outlines have been created, click the Run icon (see the screenshot below).



  3. This creates a color version of the original black and white image. If you are not too happy with the result, you can again fine-tune the selections and outlines as required. You can preview the colorized portrait in the After tab as shown in Figure 4.


    Figure 4: Colorize Image

  4. Once you’re done with the colorization, apply the result to the image by pressing the Apply icon (see screenshot) to return to Photoshop, or another image editor.

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Specifications

Photoshop Versions: 5+
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Site: AKVIS
Price: US$97 and above
Trial Version: 10 days

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