Abstract The correction of faded colors in old pictures, prints, and paintings is an interesting issue for color image processing. Several techniques have already been introduced to enhance faded color images, many of which approach the problem as color cast removal and use
global illuminant estimation methods, such as the gray world or Von Kries assumptions. However, the use of simple global operators to eliminate the illuminant effects is not always suitable for enhancing faded images. Therefore, this article presents a color correction algorithm based on a
multi-scale gray world algorithm for faded color images. First, the proposed method adopts a local process using multi-scale filters, and coefficients are obtained for each filtered image. Integration of the coefficients using weights is then performed to calculate the correction ratio for
the red and blue channels in the gray world assumption. Finally, the corrected image is obtained by applying the integrated coefficients to the gray world algorithm. In experiments, the proposed method is able to reproduce corrected colors for both wholly and partially faded images, in contrast
to previous methods. The proposed method also enhances the visibility of the input images using multi-scale processing.