Coloriage 3.2 is marketed as a colourisation tool, but that description covers a range of applications. A commercial, Photoshop compatible plug-in, Coloriage can be used to update monochrome photographs, replace existing hues in an image or selectively desaturate areas of a photo. You can even use it to colour in sketches and line artwork quickly and easily.
The ‘quick and easy’ part is the main selling point, because Coloriage doesn’t do much that an experienced Photoshop user couldn’t already do. The difference is, Coloriage intelligently colours and amends images with much less hassle. There are no selection tools, layers, messing with sliders or multiple dialogues.
Here’s how it works. With the image you wish to edit open in Photoshop (or whichever other host application you’re using), choose Coloriage from the Filters menu. With the pencil tool selected by default, choose a colour to apply from the swatch on the bottom right of the screen or from the hierarchical colour library. This a collection of ready chosen hues that are categorised according to type. Very handy. The next step is to roughly draw an outline around the area you wish to colourise or colour correct. No need to worry about getting an exact selection. You can continue adding further areas of colour or use other tools to change existing selections, erase outlines or designate areas that should remain unchanged.
When you’re happy with your selections and your image looks like you’ve scribbled all over it, hit the Run button and Coloriage applies your edits and shows you the result. Voila – instant colourisation.
Coloriage is a great time saving tool and lots of fun to use. The sole reservation we had was the price. If you’re a keen amateur photographer, illustrator or graphic artist then the fifty quid price tag for home users is only just worth it.