We propose a novel deep example-based image colourization method called dense encoding pyramid network. In our study, we define the colourization as a multinomial classification problem. Given a greyscale image and a reference image, the proposed network leverages large-scale data and then predicts colours by analysing the colour distribution of the reference image. We design the network as a pyramid structure in order to exploit the inherent multi-scale, pyramidal hierarchy of colour representations. Between two adjacent levels, we propose a hierarchical decoder–encoder filter to pass the colour distributions from the lower level to higher level in order to take both semantic information and fine details into account during the colourization process. Within the network, a novel parallel residual dense block is proposed to effectively extract the local–global context of the colour representations by widening the network. Several experiments, as well as a user study, are conducted to evaluate the performance of our network against state-of-the-art colourization methods. Experimental results show that our network is able to generate colourful, semantically correct and visually pleasant colour images. In addition, unlike fully automatic colourization that produces fixed colour images, the reference image of our network is flexible; both natural images and simple colour palettes can be used to guide the colourization.
- image and video processing
- image processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design