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CLI utility and GIMP plug-in for sending/receiving images to ColorfulImageColorization.

Colorful Image Colorization is a system that takes a grayscale photograph as input and returns a plausible color version of the photograph. It was created by Richard Zhang, Phillip Isola and Alexei A. Efros. The system is hosted on Algorithmia and you can upload your B&W images to their web site.

The Algorithmia service is not free but they will give you a lot of free credits to test the service.

With the script you can send photographs and receive results in the command line. To use this script you need to register at Algorithmia and obtain a personal API key. This key will be stored in your home directory under a .colorize file or can be hard coded into this script as a ALG_API_KEY constant.

With the GIMP plug-in you can send gray scale image directly and receive results back in GUI. The plug-in is invoked by Filters → Artistic → Colorize... On your first try, you will be asked to provide your API key which is stored in the same configuration file as described above.



The installation package provides Makefile, use make install to install the script and the plug-in.

  • Script installation path: /usr/bin/
  • Plug-in installation path: /usr/lib64/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/
  • Alternative plug-in path: ~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins/

You can use different directories for installation, but the GIMP plug-in uses methods from the module, so you need to provide the path to the directory where the file is located. In this case, update line: sys.path.insert(1, '/usr/bin').

CLI utility

 Usage: [OPTIONS]... [FILE]...

    * is a single or several image files (use shell pattern when necessary)
    * can also be a URL: http://, https://, s3://, dropbox://, data://

   -v, --verbose        ... verbose
   -s tag, --suffix tag ... download suffix (default is '-colorized')
   -t, --test-run       ... do nothing and show what will be done
   -h, --help           ... help

GIMP plug-in

The plug-in is installed by default into /usr/lib64/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/. Restart GIMP and plug-in will be available in menu: Filters → Artistic → Colorize...

This plug-in can be used only on single layer, gray scale images. When invoked from menu, your image is sent to the server, processed, downloaded and displayed as a new image in GIMP GUI. No progress bar is available because the image is processed online and server response time differs.

Known issues

Sometimes data processing fails and the server returns the following error; in this case try the command again.

    {u'duration': 0},
    u'error': {
        u'message': u'Failed to start algorithm - Unable to load algorithm due to algorithm error'