Mac Software Review: AKVIS Coloriage 5 (Mac & Windows)

Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Mac software review






More than 20 years ago, I enjoyed watching one TV show ever week. I think it was Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The original work was done in Black & White. They said they used computers to reproduce all episodes in color and aired the whole series a few decades later. A few years ago, I wondered if there were any software applications that would allow me to reproduce a color image out of an image in Black & White like that. And I found none. Then I ran into AKVIS Software’s website by accident about 14 hours ago and found Coloriage. Now, the search is over. This software title lets you reproduce a color image out of a Black & White photo. So let’s see how Coloriage works quickly.





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 01
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 02
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 03






AKVIS Coloriage comes with a standalone application and a Photoshop plug-in. You can use whichever you want. And the final result won’t change. If you are going to use the Photoshop plug-in, choose AKVIS > Coloriage under Filter after opening a Black & White photo image. (See Screenshot 01-2.) If you are going to use the standalone application version, simply drag and drop a graphic file onto the application windows (See Screenshot 03.) 

Okay. I found a photo image to use with Coloriage from Webshots. (See Screenshot 04.) Using Photoshop, I’m going to choose Adjustments > Black & White under Image to convert this color image into B&W. (See Screenshot 05-6.)





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 04
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 05
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 06






I’m going to use the standalone application version. So, as shown in Screenshot 03, I just need to drag and drop the PNG file that I produced. Coloriage reads several image formats including BMP, JPG, PNG and TIFF for Mac. It doesn’t read GIF, PICT and PDS (Photoshop).





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 07
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 08
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 09






So I have imported a Black & White image. Let me explore People and Hair under Color Library. (See Screenshot 07.) There are a lot of color rectangles under Hair. Each rectangle contains colors different in hue and brightness. I’m going to click on and select the 5th one from the top. (See Screenshot 08.) The one that I have selected is shown below Color Library. If I move the Mouse pointer over to this color strip, it will become a color picker. So let me pick a color at the near-left end. (See Screenshot 09.)





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 10
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 11
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 12






Now that I have picked a color for model’s hair, I’m going to grab Pencil. (See Screenshot 10.) If I click on it again, a horizontal slider of some sort will surface. (dSee Screenshot 11.) The number shown in this little window indicates the pixel size (thickness). Then I’m going to encircle model’s hair. (See Screenshot 12.) If necessarily, you can use the zoom in/zoom out slider to the right. You can also press Command plus + to zoom in (Command plus – to zoom out). (See Screenshot 13.)





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 13
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 14
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 15





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 16
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 17
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 18






Okay. I’ve finished encircling every major object with a color. (See Screenshot 14.) Now, I could press the light-green play button to proceed and colorize the entire image. But I won’t. Once I press it, there will be no turning back, and the entire Pencil work will be lost. So I’m going to click on the Save strokes button. (See Screenshot 15.) Let me name it stroke01. (See Screenshot 16.) Then I can press the Run button. (See Screenshot 17.) Screenshot 18 shows the result of colorization. It’s not terribly bad. But it looks as if she had too much sun tan. I should fix the skin color on her face. So I need to load the stroke file that I saved earlier. Let me click on the Load strokes button. (See Screenshot 19.) If I select the file that I saved and press the Open button (See Screenshot 20.), I get my Pencil work back. (See Screenshot 21.)





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 19
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 20
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 21






All right. Coloriage is fun to use to some extent. It’s also true that it takes a lot of work to colorize just a single Black & White image. This application is virtually applicable only to photo images where one human figure covers almost the entire area. The photo we have chosen has too much background.

Looking at Screenshot 14, there is one problem. If I paint objects with thick Pencil sizes, I cannot see the border between objects. Once done, therefore, it’ll be very difficult to fix strokes. It would be nice if we could lower the transparency of the strokes so that we could see the underlying original Black & White image.






Final works





Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 01
Mac shareware AKVIS Coloriage 5
Screenshot 02





  • Developer: AKVIS Software (http://akvis.com/en/coloriage/)
  • Developer’s location: #101 – 1001 W. Broadway, Suite 381, Vancouver, BC V6H 4E4, Canada
  • Latest version: Coloriage 5.0 (Compatible with PPC, Intel Mac, Compatibility with Leopard)
  • System requirements: OS X 10.3.9 or higher for Mac OS, Windows 2000, XP/NT/2003/Vista for Windows OS, Photoshop CS2 or 3, Photoshop Elements 1-4 or 6
  • Prices: US$97, 75 euros
  • MacHouse recommendation: We like AKVIS Software’s Coloriage. If you have some Black & White photo images to colorize, you may want to try it out for free at first. If you don’t have Black & White photo images to colorize, of course, you won’t have any use of Coloriage.






    Coloriage is a product of AKVIS Software Inc.

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