Color Harmonization

Daniel Cohen-Or, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Ran Gal, Tommer Leyvand, Ying-Qing Xu

Color Harmonization

Harmonization in action. Our algorithm changes the colors of the background image to harmonize them with the foreground. Left: original image; right: harmonized result.


Harmonic colors are sets of colors that are aesthetically pleasing in terms of human visual perception. In this paper, we present a method that enhances the harmony among the colors of a given photograph or of a general image, while remaining faithful, as much as possible, to the original colors. Given a color image, our method finds the best harmonic scheme for the image colors. It then allows a graceful shifting of hue values so as to fit the harmonic scheme while considering spatial coherence among colors of neighboring pixels using an optimization technique. The results demonstrate that our method is capable of automatically enhancing the color “look-and-feel” of an ordinary image. In particular, we show the results of harmonizing the background image to accommodate the colors of a foreground image, or the foreground with respect to the background, in a cut-and-paste setting. Our color harmonization technique proves to be useful in adjusting the colors of an image composed of several parts taken from different sources.


accompanying video (with narration)


We would like to thank Hagit Hel-Or, Dani Lischinski and Qi Ren for insightful discussions, and Gila Hameiri, Becky Sundling, Svetlana Matusova, Andrew Nealen, Dongyu Cao and Tsui Hon Hei Hilda for their help with preparing the paper. The background image in Figure 1 is courtesy of Yanxi Liu and James H. Hays. This work was supported in part by grants from the Israel Science Foundation (founded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities) and the Israeli Ministry of Science.