New colorization technique will change the perception of the appearance of historical figures

About a century ago, at the dawn of photography and cinema, people faced a host of difficulties that made it difficult to capture the small but significant aspects of a portrait. Not only were photographers limited to black-and-white photography, but the cameras of those times were unable to “capture” enough light, as well as some of the details of the visible color spectrum that affect the characteristics of the image. Because of this, many famous personalities in old photographs do not look like they did in real life.

New technology based on artificial intelligence Time-Travel Rephotography adds color to images and “restores” them. And it does it so well that the reworked images will easily pass for photos taken in 2021. AI eliminates the main disadvantage of older cameras – the use of orthochromatic film.

Simply put, artificial intelligence processes a photo as if it were taken with a new camera that is capable of capturing enough light to create a high-quality and realistic image (no technical limitations).

How technology works

In the past, the lack of that much needed light made many shots look noisier and grainy. And famous people look older and wrinkled on them than they were at the time of the shooting.

This is all because light penetrates the human skin and illuminates it from the inside. New cameras pick up this glow, but old ones couldn’t. Fortunately, modern technologies have made it possible to use this phenomenon in the colorization of photographs and eliminate unnecessary noise and wrinkles.

Over the past couple of years, Time-Travel Rephotography has helped improve the quality of a vast array of old photographs by adding colors and matching 20th century images with digital stills. Thanks to this, the skin of people in old photos after processing looks more realistic and natural.

Time-Travel Rephotography was developed by Google employees in collaboration with researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Berkeley. And they began by working on archival photo albums in an attempt to create for each black and white photograph a color twin with the correct characteristics by today’s standards.

Also, Time-Travel Rephotography technology helped eliminate the technical shortcomings of cameras from the 1900s. Removed unnecessary noise and grain from the images, comparing them in quality with photographs of the current century.

Why is this needed?

The creators of Time-Travel Rephotography consider a key advantage of the technology to be the ability to look at how historical figures looked in real life without the distortion caused by technical limitations.

However, experts note that fresh renders may differ significantly from the original photographs, and these changes may become more noticeable in the course of the development of artificial intelligence.

You can read more about the project at link

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