A Study of Image Colourfulness

University College London
Expressive (2014)

Figure 1: Which image is more colourful? Which image is more aesthetically pleasing? Such judgements are very obvious to humans but depend on complex processes that are very difficult to identify or describe. In this study we investigate the correlation between existing colourfulness metrics and data gathered from users but also if there is any link between colourfulness and image aesthetics.


Colourfulness is often thought of as a mere measure of quantity of colour, but user studies suggest that there are more factors influencing the perception of colourfulness. Boosting and enhancing colours are operations often performed for improving image aesthetics, but the relationship between colourfulness and aesthetics has not been thoroughly explored. By gathering perceptual data from a large scale user study we have shown how existing colourfulness metrics relate to it and that there is no direct linear dependence between colourfulness and aesthetics but correlations arise for different image categories such as: “landscape”, “abstract” or “macro”.