Dynamic RGB-to-CMYK conversion using visual contrast optimisation

Zhihua CHEN, Zhenzhu WANG, Bin SHENG, Chao LI, Ruimin SHEN, Ping LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


As the standard colour space used by printers, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (CMYK) colour model is a subtractive colour space used to describe the printing process. Existing CMYK conversion methods rely on static conversion table, which may not preserve the subtle visual structures of images, due to the local visual contrast loss caused by the static colour mapping. Therefore, the authors propose a novel dynamic Red, Green, Blue (RGB)-to-CMYK colour conversion, which utilises the weighted entropy to extract the pixels with filter response change dramatically. They obtain the image activity map by combining these pixels with high skin probability regions, and optimise the colour conversion of each pixel to ensure that the ink used for each pixel can be saved, while the visual contrast can be preserved with ink-saving. In this way, their proposed technique can achieve dynamic CMYK colour conversion, in which the consumption of ink can be reduced without the loss of visual contrast. The experimental results have shown that their dynamic CMYK colour conversion saved 10-25% ink consumption compared with the static conversion method, while with high visual quality for the converted images. Copyright © 2017 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-549
JournalIET Image Processing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


Chen, Z., Wang, Z., Sheng, B., Li, C., Shen, R., & Li, P. (2017). Dynamic RGB-to-CMYK Conversion Using Visual Contrast Optimization. IET Image Processing, 11(7), 539-549. doi: 10.1049/iet-ipr.2016.0989


  • Entropy
  • Filtering theory
  • Image colour analysis
  • Optimisation


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