Photo Colorization Software AKVIS Coloriage: Program Workspace

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Tutorial: AKVIS Coloriage



AKVIS Coloriage can work independently as a standalone program and as a plug-in to a photo editor.

  • Standalone is an independent program; you can open it by clicking on the program's icon.

    To launch the standalone version, run the program directly:

      On a Windows computer - select it from the Start menu or use the program's shortcut.

      On a Macintosh computer - launch the app from the Application folder.

  • Plugin is an add-on for a photo editor, for example for Photoshop.

    To call the plugin, select it from filters of your image editing program.

The AKVIS Coloriage program window looks like this:

Photo colorization software AKVIS Coloriage

Most of the AKVIS Coloriage window is taken by the Image Window with two tabs: Before and After. Under the Before tab you can see the original photo, to which you apply color strokes with the Pencil tool. The After tab shows the resulting image.


In the upper part of the program's window you can see the Control Panel with the following buttons:

  • The button opens the home page of AKVIS Coloriage.
  • The button (only in the standalone version) opens an image for processing. The hot-keys for the command are Ctrl+O on Windows, +O on Macintosh.
  • The button (only in the standalone version) saves an image to the disk. The hot-keys are Ctrl+S on Windows, +S on Macintosh.
  • The button (only in the standalone version) prints the image. The hot-keys are Ctrl+P on Windows, +P on Macintosh.
  • The button lets posting pictures from the program to the social networks: Twitter, Flickr, Google+, Dropbox.
  • The button opens files with the .strokes extention. These are the files where you save strokes drawn on an image.
  • The button saves color strokes drawn on an image into a file with the .strokes extension. It is helpful when you want to edit the photo later, for example, if you have to interrupt your work before you have drawn the strokes for all objects.
  • The button cancels the last operation. It is possible to cancel several operations in a row. The hotkey for the command is Ctrl+Z (+Z on Macintosh).
  • The button returns the last cancelled operation. It is possible to return several operations in a row. The hotkey for the command is Ctrl+Y (+Y on Macintosh).
  • The button / / helps to switch between view modes of the strokes.
    - this indicates that normal mode is active. All strokes are displayed in the chosen color, i.e. various tones of the same color will look the same.
    - this indicates that Brightness Preview mode is active. In this mode the strokes are displayed taking into account the brightness of pixels of the original image and the selected brightness range.
    - this indicates that the strokes are hidden.
  • Press the button to start the colorization process. The shortcut to start the colorization from the keyboard is Ctrl+R (+R on Macintosh). The resulting image is shown in the After tab.
  • The button (only in the plugin version) applies the result of the colorization. When you press the button, the changes are applied to the image and the AKVIS Coloriage window closes.
  • The button shows information about the program.
  • The button opens the help files of the program.
  • The button calls the Preferences dialog box for changing the program's options.


To the left of the Image Window there is a Toolbar with the following tools:

  • The button calls the Pencil tool. Apply color strokes with this tool to assign a color to every object. The shortcut for the Pencil is the B key.
  • The button calls the Eraser tool that erases strokes and lines. The shortcut for the Eraser is the E key.

    The properties of the tool vary according to the processing stage: on the first stage (drawing strokes in the Before tab) the Eraser tool can have only a hard edge, on the second stage (applying the Recolor Brush) the hardness of the Eraser brush can be adjusted.

  • The button activates the Keep Color Pencil. This tool is used to mark image areas, the color of which should stay the same. The Keep Color Pencil is useful when working with color images, especially when you want to replace colors of one object without touching the others.
  • The button calls the Tube tool that changes the color of a drawn stroke (the brightness range of the color is taken into account too). The shortcut for the Tube is the G key.
  • The button calls the Magic Tube tool that recolors all strokes having the same color and the same brightness range. To recolor all strokes having the same color regardless of the brightness range, use this tool with the Ctrl-key pressed on the keyboard ( on Macintosh).
  • The button calls the Eyedropper tool that selects a color from the image. You can also select a color with a click of the middle mouse button when the Pencil or the Keep Color Pencil tool is activated. The shortcut for the Eyedropper is the I key.
  • The button activates the Recolor Brush. This brush colors the image manually by applying semitransparent soft strokes.

    Attention!  This tool is active only on the After tab and can be applied only on the last stage of work. If you switch to the Before tab and click on the Run button , the changes made with the Recolor Brush will be lost.

The settings of the active tool are shown in the floating window that appears when you click on the tool button or when you right-click on any part of the Image Window. If you click outside of the floating window, it disappears.

To draw a straight line you should activate the Pencil tool, press the Shift-key and left-click on the start point of the line and then click on the finish point. If you want to continue drawing, just hold down the Shift-key and click to set points for additional segments.

To change the brush size of the Pencil, Keep Color Pencil, Eraser and Recolor Brush tools, move the slider on the scale in the floating window or use hot keys [ (to reduce the brush size) and ] (to increase the brush size).

Additional Tools:

  • The button activates the Hand tool which allows you to scroll the image when it does not fit within Image Window at the desired scale. To use it click on the button, bring the cursor over the image, and while keeping the left mouse button pressed move in the desired direction. Press H to quickly access the tool.
    Double-clicking on the tool's icon on the Toolbar makes the image fit the Image Window.
  • The button activates the Zoom tool, which changes the image's scale. To zoom in left click on the image. To zoom out left click with Alt on the image. Press Z to quickly access the tool.
    Double-clicking on the tool's icon on the Toolbar makes the image scale to 100% (actual size).


In the right part of the program window you can see the Navigator and the Color Selection Area.

Navigate and scale the image using the Navigator. In the Navigator you can see the reduced copy of the image. The red frame shows the part of the image that is now visible in the Image Window; the areas outside the frame will be shaded. Drag the frame to make other parts of the image visible. To move the frame, bring the cursor inside the frame, press the left mouse button and, keeping it pressed, move the frame in the Navigator.


To scroll the image in the Image Window you can press the spacebar on the keyboard and drag the image with the left mouse button. Use the scroll wheel of the mouse to move the image up/down, by keeping the Ctrl key pressed (Macintosh: ) – to the left/to the right, by keeping the Alt key pressed (Macintosh: Option) − scale the image. Right-click on the scroll bar to activate the quick navigation menu.

Use the slider or the buttons and , to scale the image in the Image Window. When you click on the button or move the slider to the right, the image scale increases. When you click on the button or move the slider to the left, the image scale decreases.

You can also change the image scale by entering a new coefficient into the scale field and pressing the button Enter (Return in Macintosh). The drop-down menu shows some frequently used coefficients.

You can use hot-keys to change the image scale + and Ctrl++ (++ in Macintosh) to increase the image scale and - and Ctrl+- (+- in Macintosh) to reduce the scale.


Under the Navigation window you can see the Color Selection Area with the Color Library and the palettes: Color, Swatches, and Multicolor.

The Color Library contains gradations of colors that frequently appear on photos. For example, color patterns of skin, hair, lips, grass, trees, stones. It helps users to select a natural-looking color.

Changes in the Color can be made via a gradient or by entering numerical values for color components and their settings.

The Swatches palette contains a set of frequently used colors and allows you to choose a color simply by clicking on any of the colors in the palette.

The Multicolor palette allows one to work in Multicolor mode — to apply more than one color at once. This mode is only available for advanced licenses (Deluxe, Business).

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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