Color2Gray: Salience-preserving color removal

Amy A. Gooch*, Sven C. Olsen, Jack Tumblin, Bruce Gooch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


Visually important image features often disappear when color images are converted to grayscale. The algorithm introduced here reduces such losses by attempting to preserve the salient features of the color image. The Color2Gray algorithm is a 3-step process: 1) convert RGB inputs to a perceptually uniform CIE L*a*b* color space, 2) use chrominance and luminance differences to create grayscale target differences between nearby image pixels, and 3) solve an optimization problem designed to selectively modulate the grayscale representation as a function of the chroma variation of the source image. The Color2Gray results offer viewers salient information missing from previous grayscale image creation methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-639
Number of pages6
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005
EventACM SIGGRAPH 2005 - Los Angeles, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 31 2005Aug 4 2005


  • Color reduction
  • Image processing
  • Non-photorealistic
  • Perceptually-based rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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