Posts Taged paintschainer

Preferred Networks’ automatic coloring service PaintsChainer receives the Excellence Award at the 21st Japan Media Arts Festival

TOKYO, JAPAN — PaintsChainer™, an automatic coloring service developed and provided by Preferred Networks, Inc. (PFN, Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Toru Nishikawa), has received the Excellence Award of the Entertainment Division at the 21st Japan Media Arts Festival organized by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan.

The Japan Media Arts Festival publicly honors highly creative, artistic works in four fields of media arts: Art, Entertainment, Animation, and Manga. The annual festival was first organized in 1997 and has since recognized and awarded outstanding works. This year, it has received 4,192 entries from 98 countries and regions around the world, the most in its history, and has announced a grand prize winner, four excellence award winners, and three new face award winners in each of the four categories.

PaintsChainer has drawn a huge reaction on Twitter and other social media sites the moment it was released in January 2017 as a free online service that colors black and white sketches automatically. It uses a deep learning technology to recognize faces, clothing, and other background objects on an uploaded sketch image or picture, and color them automatically or based on a specified color. Currently, it provides three different coloring models Tanpopo, Satsuki, and Canna.

The jury cites the significance of providing an automatic coloring platform as a free web service as the main reason for giving the Excellence Award to PaintsChainer.

A commemorative photo of award winners taken at the press conference at the National Art Center, Tokyo. The fourth person from the left in the middle row is Taizan Yonetsuji.


PaintsChainer was developed by one of PFN engineers Taizan Yonetsuji, who has commented as follows:

It all started as my personal project, so I could also study deep learning. I feel very honored to receive such an award and am truly grateful to my senior colleagues who have taught me about deep learning, everyone at Preferred Networks who has supported the launch and operation of the service, and all the users who have said PaintsChainer was fun and enjoyed using it. We will make PaintsChainer even greater while continuing to take on other new challenges.


● Summary


● 21st Japan Media Arts Festival Exhibition of Award-winning Works

All the award-winning works that represent the media arts of the modern times will be shown to the public during the exhibition, which also includes symposia, artists’ talks, workshops, and other related events.


※PaintsChainer™ is the registered trademark of Preferred Networks, Inc. in Japan and other countries. Other company names and product names written in this release are the trademarks or the registered trademarks of each company.

Hakusensha and Hakuhodo DY Digital Announces the Launch of Colorized Manga Products Using PaintsChainer, a Deep Learning Coloring Technology created by Preferred Networks

Tokyo, Japan, February 6, 2018 -Hakusensha Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo; President: Kazuhiko Torishima; “Hakusensha”)and Hakuhodo DY digital Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-Ku, Tokyo; President: Akira Tsuji; “Hakuhodo DY digital”), with the cooperation of Preferred Networks, Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Toru Nishikawa, “PFN”), have started distributing and marketing color version manga products with automatic coloring using deep learning technology.

We have customized the automatic coloring service PaintsChainer *1 provided by PFN, to develop a new manga coloring model. The PaintsChainer enables users to enjoy a unique look and feel with color gradations that are only possible with automatic coloring based on deep learning.


  • Example of coloring using PaintsChainer

Kekkon X Renai (Akira Hagio)

  • Initial release titles
Kekkon X Renai (Akira Hagio)
Watashitachi XX Shimashita (Asuka Sora)

The initial releases have been distributed through Hakusensha e-net and other major e-book stores since as early as January 24, 2018.


Hakusensha have published a large number of Webcomics, such as Love Silky *2, the pioneer of monthly Web magazines, and have been involved in a large number of projects collaborating with CONPYRA *3, which is produced by Hakuhodo DY digital. This project is another product of this collaboration.

In this collaboration, PFN have developed the PaintsChainer manga coloring model, and Hakuhodo DY digital have been working on requirement definitions and specifications and directed the progress of the production. Starting with the first distribution this time, they will release other colored product versions as well.

Hakusensha, Hakuhodo DY digital, and PFN aim to further innovate manga expression and aggressively work on development of new manga production technologies using deep learning.


*1 PaintsChainer(R)
PaintsChainer is an online automatic coloring service developed and provided by PFN, which became a big topic on Twitter and other social media sites on its release in January 2017.
After uploading black and white pictures, it colors them automatically or as specified based on deep learning technologies. PaintsChainer provides three different coloring models Tanpopo, Satsuki, and Kanna, free of charge.
Official site:

*2 Love Silky
Love Silky is the monthly Web magazine distributed by Hakusensha. It features a large number of manga works for women and it distributes a new issue every third Wednesday of the month. It has been five years since the first release of Love Silky in January 2013, and currently its sixty-first issue is being released in January 2018. It has two sister magazines Love Jossie (published since July 2015), which features manga works for women, and Jossie Bunko (started publication November 2017), which specializes in novels.
Official site:

CONPYRA is the author agent business produced by Hakuhodo DY digital.
Currently a lot of new content is generated and issued by users on the digital platform every day. CONPYRA uncovers particularly excellent works using their proprietary data analytics capabilities and produces these works collaborating with the authors/creators based on agent agreements.
In addition to agent work, CONPYRA is promoting the development of a large number of businesses focusing on novels and manga, in collaboration with a variety of publishing companies.
Official site:


Drawing app “pixiv Sketch” and automatic coloring service “PaintsChainer” collaborate to provide a new function for automatic coloring of illustrations!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) supports the “coloring” of sketches and illustrations by providing new functions to recognize faces, clothes, and background in the image and automatically filling them with color and shading.

Tokyo, Japan, 24 May 2017 – pixiv Inc. (President: Hiroki Ito, Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) and AI startup Preferred Networks, Inc.  (President & CEO: Toru Nishikawa, Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter referred to as PFN) collaborate to add the new function of automatic coloring, realized by “PaintsChainer”, to the drawing communication platform “pixivSketch”, available from Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

pixiv Sketch is a communication platform that allows users to post drawings directly from devices such as PCs and smartphones. Even when relaxing or playing outside with friends, users can paint anytime and anywhere and experience communication in real-time by posting and sharing their drawings.

The new functionality added to pixiv Sketch is realized using the technology of PaintsChainer that can automatically select painting colors, trained from pairs of line drawings and colored illustrations using Chainer, a deep learning framework developed and provided by PFN.

It allows the user to perform the important process of “coloring” when producing illustrations by selecting a picture drawn on pixiv Sketch or an external image file and then simply clicking the automatic coloring button. Face, clothing, and the background of the illustration are recognized by AI and colors are automatically added. You can also put your favorite color chosen from a color palette as a hint for automatic coloring at any point on the line drawing.

pixiv and PFN will continue to provide valuable services to make drawing and painting more natural and pleasant through AI technology and research.

◆ Automatic coloring function in pixiv Sketch

Release date: May 24th

Cost: free

URL: (Available only on Web version)

How to use the new function;

1. Draw a line drawing or select an image of a line drawing

2. Start the automatic coloring tool by pressing the “Automatic coloring” button

3. Select the coloring pattern of your choice from two different styles

4. If necessary, put color hints from the color palette to adjust the coloring

5. After specifying the colors, click the arrow button to complete the coloring process!


◆ pixiv Sketch

pixiv Sketch is a painting communication platform launched with the desire to “make everyday paintings more casual and fun”. It is a service where you can post images you’ve painted anytime, anywhere through devices such as PCs and smartphones.



PaintsChainer is developed and offered by PFN, and received had a great response on Twitter and other social media sites when the service was released in January 2017. Users can upload a black and white drawing file and have it colored automatically using deep learning technology. The user can also supply color hints to control the colorization results.


◆ About Preferred Networks, Inc.

Founded in March 2014 with the aim of business utilization of deep learning technology focused on IoT. PFN advocates Edge Heavy Computing as a way to handle the enormous amount of data generated by devices in a distributed and collaborative manner at the edge of the network and realizes innovation in the three priority business areas of the transportation system, manufacturing industry, and bio/healthcare.

PFN develops and provides solutions based on the Deep Intelligence in Motion (DIMo) platform that provides state-of-the-art deep learning technology. PFN promotes advanced initiatives by collaborating with world leading organizations, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, Fanuc Inc., National Cancer Research Center.