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Colourising and restoring old photographs.


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Roger_Mellie

That's amazing. 

My grandad had exactly one picture of his mother and he cherished it, if that picture is 1930 she must have been about the same age as that nurse. He would have been beside himself if someone could have converted it to full colour. 

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ad_ceng
3 hours ago, The XYY Man said:

Does anyone else on DOSBODS do this kind of thing...?

I've done it for years, but although I find restoration is relatively easy, manually colourising B&W photos has always been a labour-intensive pain in the arse - and as a lazy bastard, something that I have avoided wherever possible.

But thanks to Artificial Intelligence techniques, it seems to have just got a whole lot easier. 

For my recent birthday, Mrs XYY bought me a copy of some software that does a lot of the donkey work for you. It's not perfect, but it does turn hours into minutes. Every now and again it is astonishingly good "out of the box", but whatever it produces will save you time.

Feed the raw output into your favourite photo-editing software - and the results are up to you after that. 

But whatever your experience level, you'll get your best results a damn sight faster. I certainly did during the project I've just completed.

 

ORIGINAL: Nurse Jenny Kell from Trimdon, Co Durham. Picture was taken in 1930 when she worked in Hartlepool hospital.

 

nurse-jenny-kell_large_MONO.thumb.png.f6e8d811df4a03f3c8471d7a2f65d7c8.png

 

RAW OUTPUT:

 

nurse-jenny-kell_large_MONO_final_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.f09a0b5e7613954644f89250d1a43a2b.jpg

 

FINAL EDIT:

 

nurse-jenny-kell_large_colorSAI_result_PSP_edited9.thumb.png.e62a28d364a6a67429c198dd33bd303c.png

 

 

XYY

That is magnificent, how do you determine the colour when you just have the luminance information in the original image?

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The XYY Man
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ad_ceng said:

That is magnificent, how do you determine the colour when you just have the luminance information in the original image?

That is the $64,000 question. The truth is that unless it's obvious such as skin tones, or you have a colour photo as a reference, then you have to use your best guess. Luminance levels can only ever give you a hint at the true colour.

It's always been guess-work to some degree or another no matter how you do it, but the AI algorithm in the software our lass bought me seems to understand patterns such as faces, bricks in buildings and trees and grass, and colours them accordingly.

I have fed around 500 images into it so far, and it is very good at finding approximate colours that look about right. It does not get everything correct - sometimes it's quite poor - but as a time-saver in the colourisation process I am very impressed with it.

Colourisation is as old as photography itself, and often used to be done literally by painting colours on the print by hand. Anything that makes that task easier is a welcome addition to my software collection.

 

XYY

Edited by The XYY Man
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The XYY Man
17 minutes ago, spunko said:

Last time I looked at doing this as a favour for my mum it wasn't easy to do it in Photoshop and I gave up. What software is it that you're using please @The XYY Man

 

The software I used for the initial colourisation is called "Color Surprise", which is produced by a company called Pixbim.

Mrs XYY paid thirty quid for it on a special offer, but you can use it for free on a number of websites if you don't mind uploading your photos and having maximum sizes/resolutions imposed on you.

What you are paying for ultimately is the colourisation algorithm, and the Windows software itself is pretty shit. 

But if you have any decent photographic-editing software to feed it into, then truly excellent results are possible.

And every now and then, the algorithm gets it pretty good "straight out of the box". The picture below has only had the MoT sign coloured a bit deeper blue manually. Other than that, the picture is exactly as the algorithm painted it...

 

grand-garage_large.thumb.jpg.8816328b0261b0a6aafdbe96f4e16d0c.jpg

 

 

grand-garage_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.64c2f245f97acad5e7db8631621499aa.png

 

 

XYY

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The XYY Man
Posted (edited)

Other half-decent "out of the box" photos using Color Surprise.

I get a bit of a semi-on when I look at these...

 

177909933_10158885455481210_6602934946261310740_n.thumb.jpg.6532e0dd192f8d74be225e5e114fa63a.jpg

 

177909933_10158885455481210_6602934946261310740_n_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.bdbf87c76e5ca2f6f4db41eddff6a3fc.png

 

181334225_10158904743396210_6551287139017802379_n.thumb.jpg.cbe3fc8f8680d790c2cca5bee59b98e8.jpg

 

181334225_10158904743396210_6551287139017802379_n_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.3599d4fa8810502ae4f760b5c82e13db.png

 

179976843_4275970415760645_2596349175260201926_n.jpg.16a4644428df9da19cc19cd1c8eb0afe.jpg

 

179976843_4275970415760645_2596349175260201926_n_colorSAI_result.png.8d645827a82e62213f1c4ec0a9317fe2.png

 

133088818_1513740462148868_5624558613021315543_n.thumb.jpg.783d57c2e36cae86792e8fc65d617abc.jpg

 

133088818_1513740462148868_5624558613021315543_n_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.db11f3310fa60bd1d34d7610706b5a29.jpg

 

a-helping-hand_large.thumb.jpg.b51e2c1d200dae05bc634cd674df4ea6.jpg

 

a-helping-hand_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.ddd9d669e102ad2e6fbf82dc18277979.jpg

 

a-game-of-dominoes_large.thumb.jpg.2fab1fa0e963a73ab804cdea326b0f0a.jpg

 

a-game-of-dominoes_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.39509bb9cee99e4ea75ce6675b68c226.jpg

 

coronation-procession-1_large.thumb.jpg.a9fe3a62bd6666d5c4a292346e233ce0.jpg

 

coronation-procession-1_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.3c0aebf0ee166ff5d8bf91057ee67f4a.jpg

 

hoggett's-music-shop_large.jpg

 

441862487_hoggetts-music-shop_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.aa858bd602c93359c85b277fe2650b89.png

 

XYY

Edited by The XYY Man
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JoeDavola
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, The XYY Man said:

Does anyone else on DOSBODS do this kind of thing...?

I did this for the first time a few weeks back. I nearly cried when I saw the result it was so incredible.

Tiny black and white photo of my Mum when she was about 3 or 4 became so lifelike in colour and on my monitor it was like you could reach in and pick her up out of the photo.

I also colourized a photo of my grandfather who died so long ago that there are no colour photos of him in existence. He died when my Mum was 9 so I thought this was a nice thing to be able to do for her.

I just used some free web software but I imagine if you know what you're doing it could be even better.

After the re-colouring I did a manual touch up in MS paint where I went pixel by pixel over the areas that had white 'dots' - usually 1 to 3 pixels of white and just used my own judgement to fill them in with colours from the surrounding pixels. Worked very well but there's probably software can do that automatically. I was just wary of putting a mask over the image making it too 'artificial' looking.

Edited by JoeDavola
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The XYY Man
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, JoeDavola said:

I did this for the first time a few weeks back. I nearly cried when I saw the result it was so incredible.

Tiny black and white photo of my Mum when she was about 3 or 4 became so lifelike in colour and on my monitor it was like you could reach in and pick her up out of the photo.

I also colourized a photo of my grandfather who died so long ago that there are no colour photos of him in existence. He died when my Mum was 9 so I thought this was a nice thing to be able to do for her.

I just used some free web software but I imagine if you know what you're doing it could be even better.

After the re-colouring I did a manual touch up in MS paint where I went pixel by pixel over the areas that had white 'dots' - usually 1 to 3 pixels of white and just used my own judgement to fill them in with colours from the surrounding pixels. Worked very well but there's probably software can do that automatically. I was just wary of putting a mask over the image making it too 'artificial' looking.

Yep, and once you experience that, it gets addictive.

I did my first ever colourisation about fifteen years ago, 100% manually. It was shit when I look at it now, but even back then I loved the idea of doing more due to the reaction I got when I gave the lady I did it for a print of it on photo paper.

These new algorithms aren't perfect, but they are very, very good. And as I experiment with them, I have discovered ways to make them work better.

If you have a lot of people in a picture, sometimes skin comes up as a horrible blue colour. Hands seem to suffer the most for some reason. It makes people look like Smurfs if it colours their face that way.

What I tried was cropping the picture into smaller pieces, and putting them through the algorithm individually before building them back up to the full image in a photo editor. 

I tried this method as I was getting frustrated with the results I was getting from a B&W school photo of all of my junior-school class taken in 1972. Half the class looked like Smurfs...!

I split the picture into three, saved them as separate files, and put them through ColorSuprise. The results were a lot better. Not perfect, but enough for me to take over manually and not spend a month doing it. I also found cropping the original image around one or two individuals, processing that for colour, and pasting it into the colour composite was effective.  

I still regard the colour picture below as a "work in progress" after spending around 20 hours on it. 

 

THE CLASS OF 72.

Original:

 

haliday2.thumb.jpg.8501343e8e0fe495ef9d7cdb9f1c844f.jpg

 

What I got from ColorSurpise - just look at all them Smurfs...!!! 

 

haliday2_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.6c7f687b3d57c38acd43b604aa9b9879.jpg

 

What I have now. Still some work to do, but very much getting there.

 

HALIDAY_FINAL2.thumb.jpg.7b60fc6c49aeccf02f840a2d3077ea4d.jpg

 

I'm the handsome blonde cunt at the back wearing the "blue" jumper...

;)

 

XYY

Edited by The XYY Man
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JoeDavola
4 minutes ago, The XYY Man said:

Yep, and once you experience that, it gets addictive.

I did my first ever colourisation about fifteen years ago, 100% manually. It was shit when I look at it now, but even back then I loved the idea of doing more due to the reaction I got when I gave the lady I did it for a print of it on photo paper.

These new algorithms aren't perfect, but they are very, very good. And as I experiment with them, I have discovered ways to make them work better.

If you have a lot of people in a picture, sometimes skin comes up as a horrible blue colour. Hands seem to suffer the most for some reason. It makes people look like Smurfs if it colours their face that way.

What I tried was cropping the picture into smaller pieces, and putting them through the algorithm individually before building them back up to the full image in a photo editor. 

I tried this method as I was getting frustrated with the results I was getting from a B&W school photo of all of my junior-school class taken in 1972. Half the class looked like Smurfs...!

I split the picture into three, saved them as separate files, and put them through ColorSuprise. The results were a lot better. Not perfect, but enough for me to take over manually and not spend a month doing it. I also found cropping the original image around one or two individuals, processing that for colour, and pasting it into the colour composite was effective.  

I still regard the colour picture below as a "work in progress" after spending around 20 hours on it. 

 

THE CLASS OF 72.

Original:

 

haliday2.thumb.jpg.8501343e8e0fe495ef9d7cdb9f1c844f.jpg

 

What I got from ColorSurpise - just look at all them Smurfs...!!! 

 

haliday2_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.6c7f687b3d57c38acd43b604aa9b9879.jpg

 

What I have now. Still some work to do, but very much getting there.

 

HALIDAY_FINAL2.thumb.jpg.7b60fc6c49aeccf02f840a2d3077ea4d.jpg

 

I'm the handsome blonde cunt at the back wearing the "blue" jumper...

;)

 

XYY

Incredible result.

I spotted you right away you cunt.

Bleach your hair and you've not changed a bit ;)

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Chewing Grass

Knowing what colour the clothing was or would have been goes a long way, though I always wonder how you tell black from blue or other dark colours that don't appear as a shade of grey.

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Bobthebuilder

Really good stuff, well done.

I like the images like this of WW1 soldiers and old steam trains etc, really brings it to life.

Lovely work sir.

 

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The XYY Man
4 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Knowing what colour the clothing was or would have been goes a long way, though I always wonder how you tell black from blue or other dark colours that don't appear as a shade of grey.

You can't tell 100%. It's guesswork ultimately. 

As an example, here's me mam and dad's wedding photo. I'm in there too, aged minus six months...!

 

25.thumb.jpg.2a73dd773f18c19ceee766355c0001ac.jpg

 

And here's the output from ColorSurprise.

 

26.thumb.png.4dc9e9d8076af24298337f673e66c885.png

 

As you can see, me dad is wearing a suit of many colours. Is it grey, or is it blue...?

I'm going to ask me mam what colour it was before I go any further with this one....

 

XYY

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Upsettah
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The XYY Man said:

Yep, and once you experience that, it gets addictive.

I did my first ever colourisation about fifteen years ago, 100% manually. It was shit when I look at it now, but even back then I loved the idea of doing more due to the reaction I got when I gave the lady I did it for a print of it on photo paper.

These new algorithms aren't perfect, but they are very, very good. And as I experiment with them, I have discovered ways to make them work better.

If you have a lot of people in a picture, sometimes skin comes up as a horrible blue colour. Hands seem to suffer the most for some reason. It makes people look like Smurfs if it colours their face that way.

What I tried was cropping the picture into smaller pieces, and putting them through the algorithm individually before building them back up to the full image in a photo editor. 

I tried this method as I was getting frustrated with the results I was getting from a B&W school photo of all of my junior-school class taken in 1972. Half the class looked like Smurfs...!

I split the picture into three, saved them as separate files, and put them through ColorSuprise. The results were a lot better. Not perfect, but enough for me to take over manually and not spend a month doing it. I also found cropping the original image around one or two individuals, processing that for colour, and pasting it into the colour composite was effective.  

I still regard the colour picture below as a "work in progress" after spending around 20 hours on it. 

 

THE CLASS OF 72.

Original:

 

haliday2.thumb.jpg.8501343e8e0fe495ef9d7cdb9f1c844f.jpg

 

What I got from ColorSurpise - just look at all them Smurfs...!!! 

 

haliday2_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.6c7f687b3d57c38acd43b604aa9b9879.jpg

 

What I have now. Still some work to do, but very much getting there.

 

HALIDAY_FINAL2.thumb.jpg.7b60fc6c49aeccf02f840a2d3077ea4d.jpg

 

I'm the handsome blonde cunt at the back wearing the "blue" jumper...

;)

 

XYY

You are Michael Fabrication MP and I claim my £5!

 

Your 'Teacher' is, uh, 'interesting'!

Edited by Upsettah
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Upsettah
On 16/05/2021 at 18:22, The XYY Man said:

Does anyone else on DOSBODS do this kind of thing...?

I've done it for years, but although I find restoration is relatively easy, manually colourising B&W photos has always been a labour-intensive pain in the arse - and as a lazy bastard, something that I have avoided wherever possible.

But thanks to Artificial Intelligence techniques, it seems to have just got a whole lot easier. 

For my recent birthday, Mrs XYY bought me a copy of some software that does a lot of the donkey work for you. It's not perfect, but it does turn hours into minutes. Every now and again it is astonishingly good "out of the box", but whatever it produces will save you time.

Feed the raw output into your favourite photo-editing software - and the results are up to you after that. 

But whatever your experience level, you'll get your best results a damn sight faster. I certainly did during the project I've just completed.

 

ORIGINAL: Nurse Jenny Kell from Trimdon, Co Durham. Picture was taken in 1930 when she worked in Hartlepool hospital.

 

nurse-jenny-kell_large_MONO.thumb.png.f6e8d811df4a03f3c8471d7a2f65d7c8.png

 

RAW OUTPUT:

 

nurse-jenny-kell_large_MONO_final_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.f09a0b5e7613954644f89250d1a43a2b.jpg

 

FINAL EDIT:

 

nurse-jenny-kell_large_colorSAI_result_PSP_edited9.thumb.png.e62a28d364a6a67429c198dd33bd303c.png

 

 

XYY

Nice rack.

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The XYY Man
2 minutes ago, Upsettah said:

Your 'Teacher' is, uh, 'interesting'!

Yes. Mrs Halliday was a fearsome woman.

Particularly when riled by a cocky, gobshite seven year-old... 

 

XYY

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Upsettah

She puts me in mind of Miss Courtney from 'Mind Your Language' circa 1978

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Upsettah
17 hours ago, The XYY Man said:

Other half-decent "out of the box" photos using Color Surprise.

I get a bit of a semi-on when I look at these...

 

177909933_10158885455481210_6602934946261310740_n.thumb.jpg.6532e0dd192f8d74be225e5e114fa63a.jpg

 

177909933_10158885455481210_6602934946261310740_n_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.bdbf87c76e5ca2f6f4db41eddff6a3fc.png

 

181334225_10158904743396210_6551287139017802379_n.thumb.jpg.cbe3fc8f8680d790c2cca5bee59b98e8.jpg

 

181334225_10158904743396210_6551287139017802379_n_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.3599d4fa8810502ae4f760b5c82e13db.png

 

179976843_4275970415760645_2596349175260201926_n.jpg.16a4644428df9da19cc19cd1c8eb0afe.jpg

 

179976843_4275970415760645_2596349175260201926_n_colorSAI_result.png.8d645827a82e62213f1c4ec0a9317fe2.png

 

133088818_1513740462148868_5624558613021315543_n.thumb.jpg.783d57c2e36cae86792e8fc65d617abc.jpg

 

133088818_1513740462148868_5624558613021315543_n_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.db11f3310fa60bd1d34d7610706b5a29.jpg

 

a-helping-hand_large.thumb.jpg.b51e2c1d200dae05bc634cd674df4ea6.jpg

 

a-helping-hand_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.ddd9d669e102ad2e6fbf82dc18277979.jpg

 

a-game-of-dominoes_large.thumb.jpg.2fab1fa0e963a73ab804cdea326b0f0a.jpg

 

a-game-of-dominoes_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.39509bb9cee99e4ea75ce6675b68c226.jpg

 

coronation-procession-1_large.thumb.jpg.a9fe3a62bd6666d5c4a292346e233ce0.jpg

 

coronation-procession-1_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.3c0aebf0ee166ff5d8bf91057ee67f4a.jpg

 

hoggett's-music-shop_large.jpg

 

441862487_hoggetts-music-shop_large_colorSAI_result.thumb.png.aa858bd602c93359c85b277fe2650b89.png

 

XYY

Picture 13 & 14:  "I'll have you know I *AM* smiling"!

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The XYY Man
6 minutes ago, Upsettah said:

Picture 13 & 14:  "I'll have you know I *AM* smiling"!

:)

That photo was taken in 1937, at a street party in Hartlepool celebrating the coronation of George VI.

I'm guessing her miserable face was because she'd just "spent a penny", and realised it was one of the extremely rare ones featuring his brother Edward VIII...

 

XYY

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Vendetta
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The XYY Man said:

Yep, and once you experience that, it gets addictive.

I did my first ever colourisation about fifteen years ago, 100% manually. It was shit when I look at it now, but even back then I loved the idea of doing more due to the reaction I got when I gave the lady I did it for a print of it on photo paper.

These new algorithms aren't perfect, but they are very, very good. And as I experiment with them, I have discovered ways to make them work better.

If you have a lot of people in a picture, sometimes skin comes up as a horrible blue colour. Hands seem to suffer the most for some reason. It makes people look like Smurfs if it colours their face that way.

What I tried was cropping the picture into smaller pieces, and putting them through the algorithm individually before building them back up to the full image in a photo editor. 

I tried this method as I was getting frustrated with the results I was getting from a B&W school photo of all of my junior-school class taken in 1972. Half the class looked like Smurfs...!

I split the picture into three, saved them as separate files, and put them through ColorSuprise. The results were a lot better. Not perfect, but enough for me to take over manually and not spend a month doing it. I also found cropping the original image around one or two individuals, processing that for colour, and pasting it into the colour composite was effective.  

I still regard the colour picture below as a "work in progress" after spending around 20 hours on it. 

 

THE CLASS OF 72.

Original:

 

haliday2.thumb.jpg.8501343e8e0fe495ef9d7cdb9f1c844f.jpg

 

What I got from ColorSurpise - just look at all them Smurfs...!!! 

 

haliday2_colorSAI_result.thumb.jpg.6c7f687b3d57c38acd43b604aa9b9879.jpg

 

What I have now. Still some work to do, but very much getting there.

 

HALIDAY_FINAL2.thumb.jpg.7b60fc6c49aeccf02f840a2d3077ea4d.jpg

 

I'm the handsome blonde cunt at the back wearing the "blue" jumper...

;)

 

XYY

@The XYY Man I can try and take your photos to the ‘next level’ if you want? Don’t want to overstep the mark mind. Photos are very personal things. You might be surprised mind.
 

Can we still post video on here? 

Edited by Vendetta
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Vendetta
Posted (edited)

You can animate and enhance even further.

 

Edited by Vendetta
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The XYY Man
21 minutes ago, Vendetta said:

@The XYY Man I can try and take your photos to the ‘next level’ if you want? Don’t want to overstep the mark mind. Photos are very personal things. You might be surprised mind.
 

Can we still post video on here? 

By all means please do so. It's one of the reasons I started this thread. 

I want to get better at this, and if you know a superior method then I'm all ears.

They may well be blue-coloured ears, but they are listening...

;)

 

XYY

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