The Visual Computer

, Volume 24, Issue 7–9, pp 505–514 | Cite as

An improved contrast enhancing approach for color-to-grayscale mappings

  • Giovane R. Kuhn
  • Manuel M. Oliveira
  • Leandro A. F. FernandesEmail author
Original Article


Despite the widespread availability of color sensors for image capture, the printing of documents and books are still primarily done in black-and-white for economic reasons. In this case, the included illustrations and photographs are printed in grayscale, with the potential loss of important information encoded in the chrominance channels of these images. We present an efficient contrast enhancement algorithm for color-to-grayscale image conversion that uses both luminance and chrominance information. Our algorithm is about three orders of magnitude faster than previous optimization-based methods, while providing some guarantees on important image properties. More specifically, our approach preserves gray values present in the color image, ensures global consistency, and locally enforces luminance consistency. Our algorithm is completely automatic, scales well with the number of pixels in the image, and can be efficiently implemented on modern GPUs. We also introduce an error metric for evaluating the quality of color-to-grayscale transformations.


Color reduction Color-to-grayscale Image processing Error metric 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovane R. Kuhn
    • 1
  • Manuel M. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Leandro A. F. Fernandes
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de InformáticaUFRGSPorto AlegreBrazil

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