This web-based color grading app copies colors from photo to photo in seconds
If you want to transfer the color palette or color grading style from one photo to another, you can do that in Photoshop. Or, you can just import the source and target photo, click a button, and do it for you. Enter Image Color Transfer, a web-based application that lets you do just that. By inserting two photos and clicking a button, you can have your image color graded with a specific style in just seconds. I’ve played around with it a bit to show you the results, and while not all of them are perfect, I can see the potential.
The web application is the result of a collaboration between Terry Johnson and Michele Renzullo. Johnson formulated the underlying methodology, while Renzullo adapted the methodology for implementation as a web application. The duo explain in detail how the app works in a Medium article, and the GitHub repository is available here.
In this app, you can play with seven pairs of sample images and transfer colors from one photo to another. From the “Samples” drop-down menu, select one of the target images and the source image will automatically appear next to it. Click the “Generate Output Image” button, then click the output image to download it.
Of course, you can also upload your own photos. The process is similar and quite simple. Click on the “Target” and “Palette” image panels to import your photos. The “Palette” image is the one from which you want to copy the colors. You can also make some changes using the sliders below the images before clicking “generate output image”.
As I mentioned, I tested it a bit just to show what it can do. I used the same sunset photo for this batch of images as my “Photo Palette”. With some of them I made some adjustments before generating the final photo, and with others I left all the settings on “default”. Here are the results:
I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the footage I got, I have to admit. But then I changed my “Palette image” to a photo taken on a sunny day in Zlatibor (more info here). My target image was a panorama of Uvac taken on a very cloudy day, and I wanted to see how it would change if I applied colors from a photo I had taken in the midday sun. I was actually pretty happy with the results and didn’t even change the settings.
Although not all results were impressive, Image Color Transfer was a pleasant surprise in some cases. I guess it all depends on the source image you choose or the combination of source and target. Either way, it might find applications in photo editing, and maybe even video color grading. Regardless of the colors, I like that there aren’t any weird artifacts in the resulting images, and that’s definitely a big plus. If you would like to play around with it and test it out for yourself, you can do so here. Let us know how you liked it.