This man used AI to colorize a 1911 video and upscale it to 4K

Feb 26, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

This man used AI to colorize a 1911 video and upscale it to 4K

Feb 26, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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I find vintage photos and videos to be something special. They give us a glimpse into the past times and tell us more about what the world was like before. But seeing them in color and high resolution can make us feel even closer to the past times, and the feeling is incredible.

This is what Denis Shiryaev did with a 1911 film A Trip to New York City. He used AI to colorize it and upscale it to 4K, so you can now see footage of New York’s daily life in color and high resolution.

YouTube video

Perhaps you remember Denis for upscaling Lumière Brothers’ The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station. This time, he upscaled and colorized a film shot by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to America. For comparison, here’s the original footage below, with ambient sound added:

YouTube video

Denis boosted the film’s frame rate to 60 fps and upscaled the resolution to 4K. He even improved the video sharpness. As for the colorization, he says that he’s still unsure about the method he used. But because of many subscribers’ requests, he decided to test DeOldify NN on this video.

To be fair, the colorization work doesn’t look as good as hand-colorized photos and videos, but it’s still pretty good for an AI-based solution. Colorization algorithms still need improvement, but they are becoming better as technology advances.

Unrelated to the colorization and upscaling process, I noticed something I found very interesting. Today, we all take photos and videos all the time with tiny gadgets that fit in our pockets. And we rarely even notice when someone does it, it’s become so common. But in this 1911 video, I love it how people look at the camera and the cameraman. You can tell that they’re utterly confused and very curious, and I found it kinda heartwarming to see.

If you’d like to see more of Denis’ work, check out his YouTube channel.

[via Laughing Squid]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “This man used AI to colorize a 1911 video and upscale it to 4K”

  1. Ilkka Alavalkama Avatar
    Ilkka Alavalkama

    Great – upscaled resolution and frame rate with corrected speed. And still the original framing, little black corners visible! – It´s an artistic crime to cut these films to modern widescreen aspect ratio!

  2. Jeremy Sciarappa Avatar
    Jeremy Sciarappa

    Sucks his blew up, I did mine first lol

  3. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
    Freelance cameraman China/HK

    Simply amazing,