MagicColors automatically enhances the colors and contrast of your images with its breakthrough technology in regional colormapping. Simply load an image, press the start button, wait a moment and see sophisticated shining, brilliant new result images.
Much care has been put into the design and userinterface of MagicColors to help making this help not too voluminous.

How it works

read here


the following screenshot shows the basic layout:

MagicColors offers 2 methods to remap different color levels:

method 1: a grid is used to divide the image into subimages, identify the color distribution for each subimage and remap the colors with respect to adjacent subimage cells. Width and height of the cells is adjusted with the "cell width" slider. Adjust contrast and color enhancement with the "contrast limit" slider. High "contrast limit" values may result in high noise amplification. The "high shift"/"low shift" sliders determine the mapping range and influence the light and dark pixel values.
This method also allows to process real HDR (High Dynamic Range) images, whereby under HDR more than 8 bit/colorchannel is understood . Starting with Vers. 3.00, MagicColors supports 48bit RGB images which may be loaded as camera raw, tiff, png, ... images. The 48bit mode is activated with the checkbox "process images as 48bit RGB (16bit/channel)". In this mode, all images will be processed as HDR, i.e. also 24bit images (for processing they will be converted internally to 48bit images). The contrast limit is determined in this mode through a different algorithm - it goes more into the darker regions and causes less colorshifts than in 24bit mode.

Advantages of 48bit RGB:

  • the color remapping enhances noise, which especially with jpg images may manifest in disturbing jpg-artefacts. Camera raw images show significantly less noise.
  • 16bit/channel mean 65536 graduations vs. 256 with 8bit/channel - meaning of course there is much more information in the image available (High Dynamic Range HDR). The human eye hardly notices this as it may differentiate graduations only in the 8bit range (Low Dynamic Range LDR). The used color mapping process enhances contrasts in the HDR domain and projects these into the LDR domain - showing structures otherwise not or hardly noticable. This is especially of advantage in technical, forensic or medical image analysis.

method 2: the software tries to identify regions with different light levels within the image. The colormapping is applied within these regions to improve the regional contrast and color distribution. The "method 2" editpanel shows 4 global parameters (global = for all regions) used for remapping the image. As with method 1, the "high shift"/"low shift" sliders determine the mapping range and influence the light/dark pixel values. The "distance" parameter denotes the pixeldistance 2 neighbouring regions influence each other. Indicate with the "regions" slider into how many regions you wish the image to be divided - this is a wish, the resulting number of regions maybe less than this number.

start: pressing the start button in the button panel on the right handside will start processing the original image on the left handside with the currently selected method. The progress and processing steps will be shown within the progressbar on the statuspanel at the bottom. The color enhanced result image is displayed on the right handside. In case method 2 was selected, you may view the generated mask image for identified tonal regions: rightclick the result image to open its contextmenu, go to "images" and select "mask". Alternatively, open the mainmenu "image" item, and select "show mask". Redisplay the result image with the same line of action.

The status bar at the bottom shows some processing values (time, regions used..) on the left, and some image parameters on the right (z stands for current zoom factor).

logo: clicking on the MagicColors logo at the topright will terminate the program.

User Interface

Doubleclick on the top panel or edit panel will maximize/normalize the MagicColors window. With a single mouseclick on those panels the application window may be moved. Clicking the logo at the top right corner closes the application.
All sliders may also be moved with the left/right cursor keys and the page up/down keys. Clicking with the mouse on the sliderbar moves the sliderthumb to the clickpoint.


The right click context menus of the images offer possibilities to copy and paste to and from the clipboard. You may adjust the zoom value via the contextmenu or use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out at the mouse point. An image may be panned using the left mouse button. The result image also offers the possibility to select between the mask and the result.


- image: within the image menu, you may open a new image, save the result image, open, save and clear the mask, switch between mask and result image.
  It also offers a history of opened files within the "recent" menuitem.
- edit: offers "copy" and "paste" functions (for the original image) and to select between different languages. The "undo" entry is for editing the mask image within the mask panel. Open the options dialog to configure parameters like jpg-compression or batch-processing behaviour. Also supported languages may be selected within this menu.

- info: "about" to show the program version etc. and "help".

regions tabsheet

With method 2, a region tab is offered. Clicking it, the region tabsheet displays the mask image on the left handside. The mask image displays the different regions used for color optimizing identified by numbers and colors. Within the region edit panel you may edit parameters of each region used. The currently selected region is shown with its color on the "selected region" button at the bottom and may be changed there by opening its selected region contextmenu or altenatively by doubleclicking a region within the mask image.

Displayed on the left of the regions edit panel is the histogram of the selected region, together with a simplified representation of the color mapping transfer function (CMT)- the black step line. The CMT representation shows the used low shift value on the left and the high shift value on the right. Those values may be edited via the "hi shift", "lo shift" sliders. To influence individual color channels through the CMT, select them via the channel buttons below the histogram image.
With the percent slider the border influence of the selected region on neighbouring regions may be adjusted. With this regional parameter eventual halos may be reduced, as well as with the global parameter "distance".
The "reset" button resets the values of the selected regions to it's original values, the "reset all" button resets all regions to their original values.

mask tabsheet

With method 2, the mask panel offers sophisticated edit capabilities to adjust individual regions of the image. The mask and the original image are merged on the right handside. The merge value may be adjusted via the "merge original/mask" slider in percent. Setting it to zero displays the mask alone. The currently selected region for editing is indicated through its color on the "draw color" button. The current draw color is selected with the mouse cursor located above an image region (move the mouse over the "edit mask" image). Holding down the ctrl key doesn't change the color when the mouse enters a new region. The brush width is depicted with the mouse cursor and may be changed with the brush width slider. Mask regionborders may be changed holding the left mouse button down while moving the mouse (colorpicker and brush in one). Zooming in/out with the mouse wheel also changes the brush width with regard to the image (or use the context menu of the image to change the zoom value). To pan the image, hold down the Alt-key. To define a new region for color mapping, select a new color via the "draw color" button, which drops down a color select panel when clicked.

Switch to fillmode by checking the "fill" box. In this mode, the cursor displays a paint bucket and a new region color is created and shown on the "draw color" button. Clicking the mask image will fill the mask using the range slider value and the original image pixels at the point clicked (magic wand function). Holding down the ctrl key while clicking the mask will select the color at the clickpoint as drawing color. This allows to create not connected regions sharing the same regional mapping behaviour. Holding down the shift key will fill the mask directly without respect to the original pixels - this just changes the color of the selected region.
Parameters of the mask image are shown on the left of statuspanel: x, y: the actual mouse position within the image, z: the actual zoom level , c: the color at the mouse position as hex value.

batch tabsheet

Within the batch sheet, all images of a source directory may be processed with the values adjusted within the method 1/method 2 tabsheets. The processed images will be saved in the selected target path having the original image filename extended with characters specified in the options dialog ("edit/options..."). Batch processing allows you to see which of your images are particularly suitable for processing with MagicColors. In demo mode, processed images will only be available as thumbnails.


Even though MagicColors automatic image processing results in impressive and award winning images, there will always remain the desire to edit images by hand. This tutorial guides into using MagicColors editing functions.

The image above on the left shows an atmospheric sunset with the alps in the background. MagicColors processing it with the default parameters produces the result image on the right. The sky becomes very intense, but the prealps region doesn't really fit, - also there are halos from some of the alp peaks into the background sky.
Opening the "regions" sheet and setting the "hi shift"/"lo shift" sliders to the values depicted below for the blue region "0" results in a more natural looking scene.

Open the mask sheet, select the fill tool and create a new region through clicking the arrow point shown below.

Press the "apply mask" button, the program asks to save the edited mask, press yes. The mask will be applied and the result displays within the general sheet:

The foreground wall, originally not visible, appears within the image. The prealp region again is to light, so open the regions sheet and change the "hi shift"/"lo shift" values for the blue region "1".

To reduce the halo around the guy in the foreground, select the green region "0" and change the "percent" slider to a low value:

to be continued.


the sunset image