If you have a pet, you know how important animals are in our lives. They keep us company, give us their love and trust, and keep us sane even during the most difficult periods. Tom Marshall of PhotograFix recognizes the importance of animals and their role in human lives. So, he has colorized photos of animals that accompanied or helped the soldiers in the First and the Second World War. The photos not only give these lesser-known heroes a new life, but also remind us of the importance of animals in the toughest of times.
The ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence (AI) image colourization were recently brought to public attention when several historical images were altered using digital algorithms.
Irish artist Matt Loughrey digitally colourized and added smiles to photos of tortured prisoners from Security Prison 21 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which was used by the Khmer Rouge from 1975-79. His photos were published in Vice and prompted outrage on Twitter.
James Berridge of JBColourisation has already demonstrated his impressive restoration and colorization skills. In his recent project, he embarked on a demanding task to make a large chunk of US history more relatable to the 21st-century folks. He restored and colorized 26 presidential portraits. All of those photos that were photographed in black & white now have their restored, colored version.
After he finished the process, James shared a video that, for the first time, shows all US presidents in color. And in another video, he spoke more about his process, the challenges he faced, and why he decided to start this project in the first place.
We’ve seen some pretty epic examples of manual photo restoration and colorization. But there’s now a website that promises equally impressive results. MyHeritage uses neural networks to restore your old photos and give them color. And judging from the examples, it truly does a pretty good job for artificial intelligence.
Olga Shirnina, also known as Klimbim, is one of the leading colorization artists who gives new life to historic images. However, her work has been banned from Facebook and Instagram several times now. Since September last year, her accounts have been suspended multiple times for posting images that depict “dangerous organizations.”
Photo restoration and colorization gives new life and new dimension to damaged old photographs. A recent video from James Berridge of JBColourisation shows just how impressive this process can be. He used a heavily damaged diptych of mother and her baby from circa 1903, with the damage splitting the image apart. In his timelapse video, you can see how he fixed it and “reunited” the mother and her child after 116 years.
Colorization and restoration of old photos is a painstaking and time-consuming process, especially if you’re working with heavily damaged images. Computer vision team of Mail.ru Group has introduced an AI-powered tool that will make his process simpler and easier. They’ve even launched a website where you can test it out and restore the vintage photos from your old family album. Or any other vintage photos, if you prefer.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I’s end, a documentary titled They Shall Not Grow Old has been released. Directed and produced by Peter Jackson, it contains footage you have never seen before, restored and colorized to add a new dimension to these striking shots.
In this video by BBC, you can hear about the painstaking process the crew went through and what it took to colorize the shots and create this amazing documentary.