Google Research

Language-based Colorization of Scene Sketches

  • Changqing Zou
  • Haoran Mo
  • Chengying Gao
  • Ruofei Du
  • Hongbo Fu
ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 38, pp. 16


Being natural, touchless, and fun-embracing, language-based inputs have demonstrated effective for various tasks from image generation to literacy education for children. This paper for the first time presents a language-based system for interactive colorization of scene sketches, based on their semantic comprehension. The proposed system is built upon deep neural networks trained on a large-scale repository of scene sketches and cartoon-style color images with text descriptions. Given a scene sketch, our system allows users, via language-based instructions, to interactively localize and colorize specific foreground object instances to meet various colorization requirements in a progressive way. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach via comprehensive experimental results including alternative studies, comparison with the state of the art, and generalization user studies. Given the unique characteristics of language-based inputs, we envision a combination of our interface with a traditional scribble-based interface for a practical, multi-modal colorization system, benefiting various applications.

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