If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a movie worth? To help people connect to their old family photos, genealogy service MyHeritage now offers a Deep Nostalgia AI tool that converts old portraits into animated shorts.
Unlike complicated deepfake software, Deep Nostalgia is extremely easy to use. Simply sign up for a free MyHeritage account, upload a photo to Deep Nostalgia, and wait for the tool to spit out a lifelike animation. MyHeritage lets you run five photos through the Deep Nostalgia AI for free, although you̵
It’s heartening to see #DeepNostalgia in use! Animate your old #family # photos! More information: https://t.co/9jQb55RHkt pic.twitter.com/IcJkrNZVPv
– MyHeritage (@MyHeritage) March 1, 2021
MyHeritage has licensed the Deep Nostalgia tool from D-ID, an AI company based in Israel. Like other deepfake software, Deep Nostalgia looks at the photos you upload and creates a “map” of facial features such as eyes, noses, mouths and jaw lines. Then this card is linked to a pre-recorded video of someone tilting their head, blinking and smiling. The end result is a moving portrait, although no two Deep Nostalgia portraits look the same as the software uses a fairly large database of pre-recorded videos to animate photos.
Deep Nostalgia is also an interesting educational resource, as it can bring historical figures to life in ways that static photos cannot. The Tweet below shows a Deep Nostalgia animation of Frederick Douglass who, despite being one of the most famous and influential figures in US history, today feels quite distant from children and adults. A simple animation makes Douglass feel ‘real’ in a way that can make people more interested in his story and the stories of other great characters.
Frederick Douglass, the powerful abolitionist, was the most photographed person in the United States in the 1800s. Here’s what he looked like on the move. Brace yourself and hit play. pic.twitter.com/HOxDK7jGyh
– La Marr Jurelle Bruce (@Afromanticist) February 28, 2021
Of course, Deep Nostalgia is not only a resource for old family photos and historical figures. You can use it to animate any image with a face, even if that face is from a video game or an ancient statue. Tools like Deep Nostalgia could become an essential part of game design and the movie industry for this reason – deepfakes feel very real, even when applied to non-real things. (Now seems like a good time to point out that the word ‘animation’ comes from the Latin ‘anima,’ which translates to soul, essence, or breath.)
Anyone can sign up for a free MyHeritage account and start using Deep Nostalgia. But the website only allows you to upload five free images. After that, you have to pay $ 129 per year for a MyHeritage membership.
Source: MyHeritage via The Verge