This image is black and white. No, really.

Written by Andy Stout

Replay: Artist and developer Øyvind Kolås has made some extremely viral images of greyscale pictures overlaid by coloured grids that fool the eye into adding the missing colour.

Blender Animation Studio CC-BY-4.0A still from an excerpt of the Blender short ‘Spring’ with illusory colour overlay.

Øyvind Kolås is an artist and developer and a prominent member of the GIMP open-source image editor project. He came up with this illusion of adding colour to greyscale images via superimposing a coloured grid over them as a result of working on improvements in the saturation operation of GIMP.

“This is not the exactly same as the way JPEG compression works, since in JPEG compression the lower resolution color signal is present for in every reconstructed pixel,” he writes. “In this illusion the reconstruction is happening in our eyes/mind - but it uses the same principle that Chroma Subsampling does, that luminance is a lot more important than the chroma for our visual perception.”

The original post is an interesting read as he goes on to show different examples of using different patterns to get the same effect, including dots, lines, and text.

And, given his position in GIMP development, if you want to experiment with the effect yourself it will be available in stock GIMP versions with the next GIMP-2.10 release as well as in any upcoming development snapshot for 3.0.

Here it is below working on a greyscale version of the Blender Open Movie ‘Spring’.



Tags: Post & VFX


Related Articles

21 October, 2020

Digital Anarchy Flicker Free 2.0 unveiled: Huge speed increase and major improvements 

Digital Anarchy has introduced Flicker Free 2.0, their powerful de-flicker tool, used by many editors to help fix problematic footage with flicker....

Read Story

20 October, 2020

Adobe Max is upon us, and here are all the Creative Cloud updates

In anticipation of today’s opening of Adobe Max, Adobe is announcing updates to the Creative Cloud family of applications.                          ...

Read Story

9 October, 2020

Is it ever acceptable to grade on a computer monitor?

Grading is a discipline that often throws up discussions about colour accuracy. But is it really that essential that all grading takes place on a...

Read Story