Add Colors to a Photo of a Castle Using Coloriage

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Tutorial: AKVIS Coloriage

A Castle in Scotland: colourizing an old photo


In this tutorial David Kelly colourizes a photo of a castle in Scotland. The copyright for the original photo is held by the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and is used with their permission.



Previous photographs colourized using AKVIS Coloriage plug-in in conjunction with AliveColors were typical head and shoulder portraits containing few detailed areas, which made colourizing straightforward.

Using photo editor on its own it was possible with selections, layers, and masks, etc., to successfully colourize photographs that contained small, detailed areas. Could using Coloriage to colour this type of image produce acceptable results? To find out I used an 1870 sepia-toned photograph of a stately Scottish family home, Crossbasket House.
Original image Colorized image



The original 1870 sepia-toned Crossbasket House photograph is shown below, Image 01.

Crossbasket House -  sepia-toned photograph
Image 01. Crossbasket House, 1870. Photo by Thomas Annan
Copyright © University of Strathclyde



The steps below explain how AliveColors, in conjunction with AKVIS plug-ins, Noise Buster and Enhancer, was used to convert the original sepia-toned photo into a black and white image suitable for colourizing.

  • Step 1. Original photo loaded into AliveColors.
  • Step 2. Reduced noise levels: Effects -> AKVIS -> Noise Buster. Noise Buster's one-button-click Automatic Filtering feature was used to reduce the photo's noise levels.
  • Step 3. Converted to grayscale: Image -> Mode -> Grayscale.
  • Step 4. Increased colour depth: Image -> Mode -> 16 bits/channel.
  • Step 5. Increased brightness and contrast: Image -> Adjustment -> Brightness/Contrast.
  • Step 6. Enhancer was used to improve detail: Effects -> AKVIS -> Enhancer.



The editing steps 02 to 06 produced the black and white photograph below, Image 02.

after the preliminary processing
Image 02
  • Step 7. AliveColors tools were used to create then add a new flagpole.
  • Step 8. Clone Stamp tool was used to remove the Crossbasket name, just visible bottom-middle-left.
  • Step 9. AKVIS Coloriage plug-in was called from: Effects -> AKVIS -> Coloriage. Next, suitable coloured strokes were drawn around the photo's various sections. Image 03 below shows how the black and white photo, complete with its new flagpole looked after the strokes were added. For a comprehensive Coloriage tutorial please click here.
Colour strokes in AKVIS Coloriage
Image 03
  • Step 10. The button located top-left was clicked to preview the finished coloured version inside Coloriage's workspace. See Image 04.
coloured version
Image 04
  • Step 11. After previewing, and being happy with the results, the stroke file was named and saved. It could now be reloaded at any time and changed as necessary.
  • Step 12. Finally the button , top-right, was clicked to colourize the black and white photo. This closed the Coloriage plug-in to reveal editor workspace that now contained the newly colourized Crossbasket House photograph.
  • Step 13. AliveColors tools in conjunction with layers were used to improve the blue sky, add a couple of wispy clouds, and as a finishing touch a new flag was attached to the house's flagpole.
  • Step 14. Enhancer was used to improve overall detail levels.
  • Step 15. Finally the house's part reflection seen in the water, bottom-middle-right, had its colour saturation level reduced.



The edited, colourized photo is shown below.

coloured version of the Scottish castle
How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Select Colors — Select Colors
   — Colorization Tips — Colorization Tips
   — Save and Load Strokes — Save and Load Strokes
   — Preferences — Preferences
Examples Examples
   — Adding Color To An Old Postcard — Adding Color To An Old Postcard
   — Changing Color of Your Car — Changing Color of Your Car
   — Selective Desaturation — Selective Desaturation
   — Selective Colorization of B&W Photos — Selective Colorization of B&W Photos
   — Make White Whiter — Make White Whiter
   — Photo Coloring Tricks — Photo Coloring Tricks
   — Colorizing a Black and White Photo — Colorizing a Black and White Photo
   — Colorizing a Portrait of a Gentleman — Colorizing a Portrait of a Gentleman
   — Technique of Reiterative Colorization — Technique of Reiterative Colorization
   — Colorize Your Memories — Colorize Your Memories
   — A Present for the Mother's Day — A Present for the Mother's Day
   — Color Correction of a Portrait — Color Correction of a Portrait
   — Canadian Settlers — Canadian Settlers
   — Add Color to the Photo of a Child — Add Color to the Photo of a Child
   — Color Options for Interior Design — Color Options for Interior Design
   — Colorize a Family Portrait — Colorize a Family Portrait
   — Change the Color of Clothes — Change the Color of Clothes
   — Colorize a Group Photo — Colorize a Group Photo
   — Creating a Colorful Background — Creating a Colorful Background
   — Paint Your House — Paint Your House
   — Raise Spirits — Raise Spirits
   — Expressive Cat Eyes — Expressive Cat Eyes
   — A Portrait of a Geisha — A Portrait of a Geisha
   — Colorize a Bas-Relief — Colorize a Bas-Relief
   — An Old Postcard with a Geisha — An Old Postcard with a Geisha
   — Touching Up a Colorized Photo — Touching Up a Colorized Photo
   — Colorizing an Anime Girl — Colorizing an Anime Girl
   — Colorize a Photo for a Collage — Colorize a Photo for a Collage
   — A Flower Show — A Flower Show
   — A Pencil Sketch: Self-Portrait — A Pencil Sketch: Self-Portrait
   — Creating a Christmas Postcard — Creating a Christmas Postcard
   — Love Story — Love Story
   — Desktop Wallpaper with a Pet — Desktop Wallpaper with a Pet
   — Portrait of William Gladstone — Portrait of William Gladstone
   — How to Get a Nice Sepia Photo — How to Get a Nice Sepia Photo
   — A Castle in Scotland — A Castle in Scotland
   — How to Achieve a Natural Colorization — How to Achieve a Natural Colorization
   — Christmas Card: B&W to Color — Christmas Card: B&W to Color
   — Movie Star Ayshwarya Ray — Movie Star Ayshwarya Ray
   — Adding Detail and Color a Drawing — Adding Detail and Color a Drawing
   — Coloring Old Black-And-White Drawing — Coloring Old Black-And-White Drawing
   — Flower Meadow — Flower Meadow
   — Children's Photo — Children's Photo
   — Medieval Engraving — Medieval Engraving
   — Wedding Album — Wedding Album
   — Full Dress Uniform — Full Dress Uniform
   — A Lovely French Couple — A Lovely French Couple
   — Simple Approach for Coloring Pictures — Simple Approach for Coloring Pictures
   — Multicolor Painting — Multicolor Painting
   — Pop Art Poster — Pop Art Poster


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