Artificial Intelligence based automatic colorization, anyone? Designers and hobbyists alike will be thrilled with the new PaintsChainer, an automatic coloring software first announced on Twitter last fall. Manga software developer Taizan is the person behind this innovative tool. By visiting the PaintsChainer website, users will be able to upload line drawings that Taizan’s software will fill in with color automatically.

The software gives you the ability to:


  • Simplify and refine the colors of a rough and unfinished sketch


  • Add color hints to influence the final colorization, by using the hints pallette


  • Use three Magna-based colorization styles: Tanpopo, Satsuki, and Canna


  • Use PaintsChainer with pixiv Sketch, a specialized drawing app optimized for iOS.


There are sketch simplification settings which are easy to use. Simply switch to “Line Art Edit” Mode. There are two sketch simplification styles available: Panda and Shirokuma.


Here are some examples of the app:

How do you use the app? First you select the image you want to colorize. Next you upload the image. Users can then provide their color hints to tell PaintsChainer where to add the colors, and which colors to add. Users can deploy more than one color, even in the same section of an image, and PaintsChainer will helpfully blend and shade the colors appropriately, producing a perfectly blended and shaded image.

This is an example of a color hint.

The next step is to colorize – by clicking the icon, the website then takes a few minutes to complete the image to your specifications. Many users have observed that light colors and thin lines seem to work out the best on earlier versions of the software. Now that the bugs have been worked out, the software seems to excel in all areas.

This software could be the first in a new frontier of magna creation. Manga are comics created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. The genre is incredibly popular all over the world. Many people use PaintsChainer for fun, but anime remains popular and every software or app that comes along should open the process to more people. Many hobbyists eventually become professionals after practice.

Manga stories were traditionally printed in black and white, but color and shading has been creeping into the medium for a long time. Full color manga do exist now in Japan. The finished products are serialized, often in large magazines with several stories. They are episodic and meant to be continued in the next issue. The most popular manga then go on to become trade paperbacks.


The most recent update to the PaintsChainer software made the shading and coloring process more precise. It added the Canna painting and coloring style, which is known to be particularly good at shading and lighting.