Many people worldwide look at old family photos of relatives who are long gone and wonder what they might look like had video been available decades ago. MyHeritage has developed a new technology called Deep Nostalgia that it calls a groundbreaking new photo feature and allows people to animate the faces in old family photos. The tool provides a realistic depiction of how people in old photos could have moved and looked if they were captured on video.
Deep Nostalgia uses deep learning algorithms to produce results that look very much like short video clips. Any faces in photos can be animated, allowing them to move, blink, and smile. The tool works on both black and white images and pictures taken in color. It also works for colorized photos or photos that are stored using MyHeritage In Color tools.
Deep Nostalgia offers the ability to share links of ancestors smiling, blinking, and turning their heads with friends and family. MyHeritage licensed the technology from D-ID, a company that specializes in video reenactment via deep learning. Photos submitted to Deep Nostalgia are automatically enhanced using other MyHeritage tools before being processed into a video animation.
The company says the enhancement is required to achieve as high-resolution an image as possible for the video conversion. The company says several possible gesture sequences can be applied to photo, with each originating from a pre-recorded driver video prepared in advance. Those driver videos guide the animation’s movements, allowing users to see ancestors smile, blink, and turn their heads.
The process requires users to sign up for a free account and upload a file from their computer. Animating one face in a photo takes between 10 and 20 seconds, depending on the length of the driver video applied to it. Multiple faces in a single image can be animated. As far as cost, a subscription to MyHeritage allows for unlimited photo animating. Anyone can animate several photos for free, but a watermark is added. A complete plan subscription costs $199 per year and includes features for making family trees and finding old relatives similar to ancestry.com.