Earlier this year we released an amazing feature for colorization of black and white photos –MyHeritage In Color. It was based on deep-learning technology licensed by us exclusively from DeOldify – the super talented team of Jason Antic and Dana Kelley, following pioneering work by our team member Maor Cohen. MyHeritage In Color quickly became a viral sensation with more than 16 million photos colorized since its release. You can read more on our blog about our launch of this feature, how it went viral, and the colorization settings we added for it.
Throughout the year, Jason and Dana continued to work hard to improve colorization even further, as they are, in their own words, obsessively pursuing the perfection of colorization using deep learning. We are now happy to release the fruits of their continued efforts — a new colorization model, which produces even better results when colorizing black and white photos. Going forward, we will use the new colorization model as the default option when you colorize your photos. So, you need not take any action to take advantage of the new model, just continue to colorize your photos on MyHeritage.
Why colorize your black & white photos?
Photos provide a unique view into the lives of our ancestors and relatives, but viewing them in black and white places them at a certain distance. Viewing the same images in color brings them to life like nothing else can. Colorized historical photos can spark interest in the past, and help us relate more personally to events and people from times gone by. It allows us to view these photographs in an entirely new way, giving us new perspectives on the people and places who made us who we are today.
Imagine seeing your grandparents’ wedding photo in color for the first time, or noticing the small details portraying life on the streets of New York a hundred years ago. When you view the colorized images next to the original black and white photos, you’ll be amazed by the difference. Colorization does not modify your original photo, it creates a new copy, and it marks it with a special symbol in the bottom left corner to inform others that the colors are simulated and are not authentic.
Here are several examples that show how the new colorization model (which we’ll call November 2020) achieves better results than the former model (February 2020):
The person marked with an X is Shmuel Isaacson, MyHeritage founder’s maternal grandfather.
The person on the left is Dr. Menachem Oren (Chwojnik), MyHeritage founder’s grandmother’s brother. In this photo, he is playing in Israel’s team against Paul Keres of the USSR team in the 11th Chess Olympiad in Amsterdam, 1954.
In the above example, the colors of the clothes are greatly improved using the new colorization model.
In the above photo, the new model overcomes most of the “zombie skin” problem.
Changing the colorization model
All newly colorized photos will use the new colorization model, but photos you’ve already colorized before, will not be automatically modified. If you wish to apply the new model to a photo you have colorized previously, which is recommended only if you were not pleased with the previous results, visit the photo page on MyHeritage and click the cogwheel icon in the top left corner to open the Colorization Settings.
The settings panel will appear on the right side of the screen, with the colorization models listed at the bottom:
You can use the settings to apply a different model to the photo, preview the result, and save it if you are satisfied.
The new model gives better colorization results for most photos, but there are quite a few cases where in fact one of the two older models provides superior results. In many cases, the differences are so minor that most people won’t be able to tell the difference. If you colorize a photo and are not pleased with the result or want to seek perfection, you can toggle between the three different colorization models in the settings to see which one produces optimal results for your photo.
MyHeritage in Color allows anyone to colorize up to 10 photos for free. Beyond that, it is a paid feature and requires the Complete plan on MyHeritage. Learn more about our different plans here. The new colorization model is now available to subscribers as well as all other users.
The new colorization model will give many of our users better results when colorizing black and white photos. However, this kind of technology is never perfect, and with our friends at DeOldify we will continue to work hard to improve it further.
We welcome our users to continue to enjoy this fantastic feature and share the results with their family and friends.
Colorize your black and white photos at www.myheritage.com/incolor today!
Source: My Heritage