Automatic color palette detection
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Image palette detection in Python modelled after Paul Annesley's color detector in PHP. colorific determines what the most important colors used in your image are, and if one of them is a background color.

by Dennis Hotson & Lars Yencken


colorific is meant to run in a streaming manner. You can run it on a single image by echo'ing in the image:

$ echo myimage.png | colorific
myimage.png #3e453f,#2ea3b7,#bee6ea,#51544c,#373d38 #ffffff

Each input line should be a filename. Each output line will be a tab-delimited string containing the filename, major colors in order, and (optionally) a detected background color.

To run on an entire directory tree of images::

$ find . -name '*.jpg' | colorific

For a small amount of images, colorific can also be invoked with the image file names provided as arguments:

$ colorific myimage.png
myimage.png #3e453f,#2ea3b7,#bee6ea,#51544c,#373d38 #ffffff

colorific has an experimental multiprocessing mode, accessed by the -n argument. For example, to run the same example using 8 processes::

$ find . -name '*.jpg' | colorific -p 8

You can also get usage information by running colorific --help.


Here's a concrete example of use. This is the NASA Ares logo:

NASA Ares Logo

Let's run palette detection on it:

$ echo 500px-NASA-Ares-logo.svg.png | colorific
500px-NASA-Ares-logo.svg.png  #0065b9,#bbd6ec,#ff0000

These correspond to the colors:

Ares palette

Note that black and white have been stripped away, and minor colors introduced through antialiasing are not present.