New: Introducing Deep Nostalgia™ — Animate the Faces in Your Family Photos

New: Introducing Deep Nostalgia™ — Animate the Faces in Your Family Photos

Do you sometimes wonder how your ancestors moved, smiled and looked in real life? You can now see your ancestors from generations past like never before! 

We’re happy to introduce Deep Nostalgia™, a groundbreaking new photo feature on MyHeritage that allows you to animate the faces of your loved ones in still photos. This new addition to our suite of photo tools produces a realistic depiction of how a person from an old photo could have moved and looked if they were captured on video. 

Animate your photos 

It may be lovely to see this photo of your grandmother…

…but seeing her smile at you and look around is a whole different story:

Deep Nostalgia™ uses deep learning algorithms, to produce remarkable results. You can animate any of the faces in your photos to see them move, blink, and smile. It works equally well on black and white photos and photos that were originally taken in color. It also works well on colorized photos and photos whose colors were restored using MyHeritage In Color™. Share the short animated videos of your ancestors smiling, blinking, and turning their heads with your friends and family and see what they think!

How it works

The remarkable technology for animating photos was licensed by MyHeritage from D-ID, a company specializing in video reenactment using deep learning. MyHeritage integrated this technology to animate the faces in historical photos and create high-quality, realistic video footage. 
Deep Nostalgia™ works on all enhanced photos — whether in their original color scheme or colorized or color-restored with MyHeritage In Color™. If your photo was not yet enhanced on MyHeritage, then that is done automatically as part of the process in order to achieve as high-resolution an image as possible. This ensures optimal results for the video animation. 

We have several possible sequences of gestures that can be applied to a photo, each originating from a pre-recorded driver video that we’ve prepared in advance. The driver videos guide the movements in the animation so you can see your ancestors smile, blink, and turn their heads. 

In the example below, you can see how the recorded driver videos work. On the left you see the driver video we prepared of Sagih Keinan from the MyHeritage Marketing team, and on the right, you see how the driver was applied to a still photo to create the video animation.

We analyze the orientation of the head and the direction of the eyes, and choose automatically which driver is best and will be applied to the selected face.

The result is a short, high-quality video animation of an individual face that can smile, blink, and move. 

Examples

When uploaded to MyHeritage, two faces were detected in this photo: 

Here are the faces enhanced:


And now the videos:

In this next example, Sir Cecil Herbert Edward Chubb, 1st Baronet is pictured with his daughter Mary Chubb. Sir Cecil was the last private owner of the prehistoric monument Stonehenge. He bought the monument for his wife Lady Chubb on a whim at auction in 1915, using £6,600 of her £100,000 fortune, and in 1918, he donated it to the British government.

Their individual faces are brought into focus using the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer:


Seeing Sir Cecil and his daughter Mary’s faces animated makes us feel as if they’re right in front of us! 

Getting started 

To animate new photos that haven’t been uploaded to MyHeritage yet, you can upload and animate them at myheritage.com/deep-nostalgia.  

 

 

 

Deep Nostalgia™  main page

Deep Nostalgia™  main page

Click “Upload photo” to choose a file from your computer. Or, drag and drop a photo of your choice into the photo frame.

Once you upload your photo, you’ll be asked to sign up to MyHeritage to animate your photos. Signing up is free. If you already have a MyHeritage account, and aren’t logged in, select the “Log in” option on the bottom of the popup.

Once the photo has been uploaded, select a face to animate from among the individual faces that have been detected in the image.

Select a face to animate from the detected faces

Select a face to animate from the detected faces

Animating one face in a photo typically takes between 10 to 20 seconds, depending on the length of the driver video that we’re applying to it. Videos that consist of a longer sequence of gestures take longer to create. 

Once your animated video is ready it will start playing immediately. Hover over it to pause the video at any point.

Pausing the video animation

Pausing the video animation

Animating photos already on MyHeritage

You can also animate any photo that is already on MyHeritage by visiting the “My Photos” section of the website.

Accessing the My photos section

Accessing the My photos section

Select one of your photos, and click the new “Animate” button.

Click “Animate” to begin!

Click “Animate” to begin!

If only one face is detected in your photo, we’ll begin animating it right away. 

If there is more than one person in the photo, you can choose which face to animate by selecting from the bar below the photo which shows all the individual faces detected in the image. 

Choose from the faces we’ve detected

Choose from the faces we’ve detected

Once complete, you’ll be able to watch the output video of your animation. 

Click play to replay your animation

Click play to replay your animation

Sharing and saving

Once you’ve created your video animation, you’ll surely want to share it with your friends and family. Click on the Share icon to share the original photo or the animation on Facebook, Twitter, or to easily copy the link. Select Download to save the video animation in mp4 format.

Share an animation

Share an animation

Authenticity 

The gestures in the driver videos that are used to create the animation sequences are real human gestures and the actors in most of these blueprint videos are employees of MyHeritage. However, the end result is not authentic — it’s a technological simulation of how the person in your photo would have moved and looked if they were captured on video.

We believe it is our ethical responsibility to make sure that people see the difference between simulated videos created using deep learning and original photos or videos. For this reason, we differentiate animated photos from the originals using a special embossed motion icon (it looks like a moving ball) in the bottom left corner of the photos. Together with the magic wand icon indicating that the photo was enhanced, these icons appear on all animated photos so that users can tell them apart from the original. If the animation was created on a colorized photo, the palette icon will appear next to the magic wand and motion icons on the bottom left corner. 

You’ll see the same icon in the thumbnails of the photos that you’ve already animated in the My Photos section of your family site. This icon will help you keep track of which photos you’ve animated. 

Icon indicating that an animated version of a photo has been created

Icon indicating that an animated version of a photo has been created

When you animate a photo, the animated video that is created is not added to your albums on MyHeritage as a standalone item. Instead, it piggybacks on the original photo. 

Multiple faces

Once you upload a photo, we automatically detect the faces in it, and allow you to select a face to animate. We are usually able to find most faces that are present in a photo, but there are cases where some faces are not detected. Currently, only faces that have been detected by the algorithm can be animated.

You can animate all the detected faces in a photo, but in the current version of this feature, they cannot all be animated at the same time. You’ll need to create a separate animation for each face, one at a time. 

If you’re viewing a photo from the My Photos section of the website, you’ll be able to tell which faces have been animated by looking at the individual faces below the main photo — those with an animation appear with a play button.

Play button indicates which faces have already been animated

Play button indicates which faces have already been animated

Changing the sequence of movements

If you want to control which sequence of gestures is selected, rather than stick with the default driver that was chosen for you, you can do so from the My Photos section of the website. There, you can change the driver for a photo that has already been animated. Although we’ve chosen the sequence that we believe works best for the selected face, you can play around with the different options, and see if you prefer a different one. 

To change the driver for your animation, click the “Animation” drop-down and choose any of the available drivers. The driver that we originally chose will appear with the word “default” next to it. 

For this lovely wedding day photo, a specific driver (Animation #8) is automatically chosen as the default driver: 

Video animation using default driver (Animation #8)

The automatically chosen driver produces a fantastic result. Let’s play around with others, and see if they can also capture this bride’s joy on her wedding day.

Selecting a different driver (Animation #2) also produces a fantastic animation:

Video animation using a new driver (Animation #2)

Animating your photos using the mobile app

Deep Nostalgia™ is also available on the free MyHeritage mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. If you already have the app, you’ll need to update it first to make sure you’re using the latest version. 

You can animate photos from the Photos section in the app or upload new photos to be animated. We recommend using the mobile app’s built-in scanner. This is a great way to digitize your historical photos and transfer them from their physical albums straight to MyHeritage, where they will be preserved for posterity. When scanning your photos, do so in the highest resolution possible to maximize quality and achieve the best possible results.

Visit the Photos section to see all of your uploaded photos, and choose one. Tap on the new animation icon on top of a photo:

If your photo has not yet been enhanced, we will enhance it at this stage, in order to achieve optimal animation results. 

If multiple faces are detected in the photo, you’ll be asked to select which one you’d like to animate:

The animation process can take up to 20 seconds, depending on which driver we have chosen for the face you selected. Once the video animation has been created, it will play automatically. Tap the play button to play it again. 

You can also share the video animation, delete the animation, or download the file from this page. 

Tap on the “Animation type” dropdown menu to try out other drivers for a specific face. 

Privacy

While many love the Deep Nostalgia™ feature and consider it magical, others find it uncanny and are uncomfortable with the results. Our driver videos don’t include speech in order to prevent abuse of this feature, such as the creation of “deep fake” videos of living people. Please use this feature on your own historical photos, and not on photos featuring living people without their permission. 

When you create an animation using Deep Nostalgia™, your privacy is protected. The animation and enhancement occur on MyHeritage servers and neither the photos nor the videos are shared with any third party. MyHeritage doesn’t own the resulting video; it belongs to you, as with all photos you upload to MyHeritage.

Cost 

If you have a Complete subscription with MyHeritage, you will be able to animate an unlimited number of photos.

Other MyHeritage users can create several animations for free. Beyond that, they will need a subscription to animate more. Non-subscribers will notice a watermark of the MyHeritage logo on the bottom right of the video animation, while Complete subscribers will be able to produce animated photos that are logo-free.

You can learn more about our various subscription plans here.

Conclusion 

We’re excited to add the Deep Nostalgia™ feature to our suite of advanced photo tools that help our users connect with their ancestors in a whole new way. With the introduction of MyHeritage In Color™ and the Photo Enhancer, you could see the faces of your ancestors in vivid color and stunning clarity. Now, with Deep Nostalgia™, you can see their faces come to life in a high-quality video animation.

Making incredible family history discoveries can often feel like we’re getting to know our ancestors on a personal level. Seeing our ancestors move makes them even more real to us, and creates an encounter with our family history that is more personal and lifelike than ever before. 

Try it today and let us know what you think! 

Comments

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  • PP

    Phil Phillips

    February 26, 2021

    WOW! Very convincing adaptation of still photo’s that has brought great joy . Once again a success – well done MyH team.
    .

  • Natalia Valentini

    February 27, 2021

    Wow so cool!!

  • Rick Cragg

    February 27, 2021

    Hi and greetings from Australia, although I find this very clever and spooky, Im much more interested in taking a photo of an elderly relation and making the photo show us what he looked like when younger
    I know this technology is available somewhere, has MyH got this program that would allow me to do this?? Thankyou and Keep up the good work
    Kind Regards
    Rick

  • Jonathan Alcantara

    February 28, 2021

    The Deep Nostalgia feature is amazing! And the enhancement of the photos is also incredible and extremely useful. Very powerful, not just for the impact of seeing our ancestors move, but also for enhancing and blowing up in size the old photos, so that we can see the people much more clearly.

  • Francis Johns

    February 28, 2021

    My father was killed in Italy in the Battle of Ortono when I was 2 years, 1 month and 1 day, and I have absolutely no memory of him and just have a photo of him taken with my mother before I was born. I had the photo processed and do not find it spookie or any other similar description. I was touched at his moving face and could see the I got my nose and chin from him. Thanks for this new service.

  • Jean Christophe Vincent

    February 28, 2021

    Fantastic

  • Lauren

    February 28, 2021

    Thank you so much for this opportunity! All of my grandparents passed away before I was born. I never had the chance to meet them and get to know them. Seeing them move and smile just filled my heart with joy! Although you can recognize that it’s man made. But still gives a very good view of how they might have moved! It gives them dimension. I feel blessed for having the chance to at least once in my life see a glimpse of my grandparents. For whoever implemented this tool and made it real I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • Jean

    March 1, 2021

    My brother died when he was just 19 years old in 1973. He was my only sibling. When saw him picture with animation, it made me cry. It may have some flaws, but it was so cool. Thank you so much for this gift.

  • duocool

    March 1, 2021

    ok

  • Chris

    March 1, 2021

    Wow! It’s Wizard AI

  • Keith Edwards

    March 2, 2021

    I hope you people get the animated back up and running because I would love to animate some pictures soon so please let me know how much longer I have to wait to do that

  • Dennis E Sullens

    March 2, 2021

    This is wonderful to take an old photo before videos were possible, and then animate the old picture.

    For deceased relative’s, it will help show us that they are still alive in our hearts and minds. For many who believe in the after life, it will be a little like visiting a loved one that we have not seen for awhile. Someday perhaps even hearing them speak also. Anything is possible in the 21st Century.

  • Lourdes

    March 2, 2021

    Me gustaría ver cómo se ven mis familiares

  • Teresa Rodriguez

    March 2, 2021

    Truly interested. Thank you!

  • Keith M. Cagle

    March 2, 2021

    My chin falls to the floor. I am impressed.

  • MAURIZIO BONAS

    March 2, 2021

    Fantastic !!!

  • Attila

    March 2, 2021

    This is how reality will be replaced with artificial intelligence…
    It will be better than the original !
    Who will want the real life after a while?

  • Carrie Walker

    March 2, 2021

    I just have to thank you.
    My Son was murdered 4 years ago and until today I never thought I’d see his eyes sparkle again.
    You’ve helped this grieving Mom more than you’ll ever truly know.

  • Alfonso Victorio

    March 2, 2021

    Awesome

  • LUIS GUILLERMO

    March 2, 2021

    Me interesa…

  • Alejandra Avalos

    March 2, 2021

    Me encanta!!

  • TreskaBennie

    March 3, 2021

    Words cannot explain how I felt when I did this with my father’s photo….it was a lil wierd at first…then I cried…I am happy to share this video with my kids…thank u

  • tt

    March 3, 2021

    cool

  • Armando Guillen

    March 3, 2021

    Nice app

  • Kim

    March 3, 2021

    I am BEYOND amazed and nearly in tears. I never got the chance to meet my great aunt. Your technology is a breakthrough for families all around the world. I can understand how it could be scary for some, but to those of us that have never seen (or seen little of) our family members, it’s nothing short of AMAZING!

  • Alex M

    March 3, 2021

    If you look closely at the animation of Sir Cecil, when he turns his head toward you, you’ll notice he’s missing an ear. The ear was hidden in the original photo, so the AI cannot create it.

  • Madeline

    March 3, 2021

    Love this

  • David

    March 3, 2021

    Opinions seem to vary greatly between loving and hating this feature. I think it is brilliant. I have used it on a portrait painting of William Bligh with quite amazing results.

  • Thea

    March 3, 2021

    I loooove this! The only thing I would changed is when you download the video of the animation you get it in full size like the original photo. I have a photo of my mom and my grandma, and I would like to give my mom the video of her and her mother looking at her. But when i download the video it´s just my grandmas face, my mother is cropped out… <3

  • Joel

    March 3, 2021

    I sense a revival of the digital frame businesses that were so popular 15 years ago… now with Harry Potter movements. It’s a partial digital resurrection. Add a short recording of something they used to say and the new frames on your livingroom wall and work desk will feel a little creepy.

  • Rola

    March 3, 2021

    Good

  • Alejandra

    March 3, 2021

    Excelente

  • Vicki Luoma

    March 3, 2021

    Looks super!

  • Shar’e

    March 3, 2021

    Thank you

  • maryjane

    March 3, 2021

    Can’t wait to try

  • Stephanie Tipene

    March 3, 2021

    This is amazing

  • brian cha

    March 3, 2021

    good

  • Gloria mata

    March 3, 2021

    Cool

  • Allison

    March 4, 2021

    Good

  • Allison Miller

    March 4, 2021

    Can’t wait to try this

  • Monique

    March 4, 2021

    I want t to do a picture of my uncle

  • Mark

    March 4, 2021

    Id love to do this for my wife

  • Jeremy

    March 4, 2021

    I would like to do this with my grampas picture

  • Michael

    March 4, 2021

    It is very good.

  • Bdhv Bxb

    March 4, 2021

    It is very good.

  • jenny dillard

    March 4, 2021

    Wow

  • abbi

    March 4, 2021

    so cool

  • Clint

    March 5, 2021

    Fantastic! Great way to see passed family members as they might have appeared.

  • Amber

    March 5, 2021

    Can’t wait to try this

  • Taylor Love

    March 5, 2021

    ❤️

  • Jivan patil

    March 5, 2021

    The very best website

  • Margo McKinney

    March 5, 2021

    I would love to do this with my dad’s picture

  • Eric Allison

    March 5, 2021

    this is brilliant i need ot

  • Mike Rice

    March 5, 2021

    WOW, that is incredible – like they are alive!

  • Rachel Stockwell

    March 5, 2021

    I lost my grandma five years ago and I would love to see her smile one more time

  • Sorina elena

    March 5, 2021

    Very nice

  • Sallah

    March 5, 2021

    Wow

  • Galileo

    March 5, 2021

    Is a great app

  • Noah

    March 5, 2021

    Wanting to surprise my dad

  • Ben Willis

    March 6, 2021

    What next?

  • NAZİF KOCATÜRK

    March 6, 2021

    Wonderful

  • veen

    March 6, 2021

    its amazing

  • George Mamalis

    March 6, 2021

    So cool.

  • ROBERT Guevara

    March 6, 2021

    Love this app.thank you .

  • Marian George

    March 6, 2021

    So nice

  • Darlene baker

    March 6, 2021

    Love it

  • Ervin alexis García menjivar

    March 6, 2021

    Perfec

  • Simon Dorina

    March 6, 2021

    Nice

  • JUDY

    March 6, 2021

    This is amazing!!!!!!!! I would love to see my mom

  • Yuval

    March 6, 2021

    WOW! Very convincing adaptation of still photo’s that has brought great joy . Once again a success

  • Simone Melanson

    March 7, 2021

    I would like to try this app of my brother who passed away last May.

  • Vilina Beattie

    March 7, 2021

    I love this

  • Maria Rebolledo

    March 7, 2021

    My father pass 20 yrs ago it would be wonderful to see him acutely move

  • Mohamed

    March 7, 2021

    Nice

  • Debra

    March 7, 2021

    That’s great

  • Ramzy Reemo

    March 7, 2021

    Cool

  • Abdullah

    March 7, 2021

    I think it is nice app

  • Kifah

    March 7, 2021

    Thank you

  • Ammar

    March 8, 2021

    Very wonderfoul app

  • Arturo L. Leo

    March 9, 2021

    It’s even better, to watch a movement in a photo

  • Agnes Lobbezoo

    March 9, 2021

    This is wonderful!!

  • Meisie Havenga

    March 9, 2021

    It’s like my mother and father is alive again. Thank you so much for this

  • asharafali

    March 10, 2021

    myheritage like want more

  • Marjorie

    March 10, 2021

    Soooo Cool!

  • Sam Duhin

    March 10, 2021

    Magique, Magnifique.
    Mais les créations devraient rester gratuite !
    Merci.

  • mtabbas

    March 10, 2021

    love

  • Dinah

    March 11, 2021

    This is awesome! It’s almost unreal. Love the colorizing of the black and white photos as well. Just incredible.

  • Selvin

    March 11, 2021

    Está muy bonita la app

  • Helen Vesperman

    March 11, 2021

    My father died in the Korean Conflict when I was a baby 1950. I cannot tell you what it meant for me to see his face and his expressions from just one photo. Needless to say, I was in tears. It was wonderful to see my grandparents again, too. Thank you for introducing this feature, and introducing me to the father I never knew.

  • razu

    March 12, 2021

    thank you for such a amazing software

  • Jonni

    March 12, 2021

    Would like to show my mother a motion picture of
    Her mother that is no longer with us

  • Ankush

    March 12, 2021

    Well it’s beyond imagination…

  • Kelley Jurnigan

    March 13, 2021

    I love this app

  • ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ ΔΙΩΧΝΟΣ

    March 13, 2021

    Thank you very much!!!

  • Shelley

    March 13, 2021

    I’ve had some very good experiences with the new Deep Nostalgia feature. I especially liked animating the still photos of my 2nd great-grandparents. I downloaded both of them to save them to my computer.

  • Nubia

    March 14, 2021

    Nice

  • Rupa

    March 14, 2021

    Its good

  • peter hooper

    March 14, 2021

    These new tools have made such a difference to all research , to see loved ones and those we were never able to meet is beyond belief.

  • Gaurav Kumar

    March 15, 2021

    Good

  • Cokie Eddy

    March 15, 2021

    Cool.

  • robin

    March 18, 2021

    i need this app now

  • Agam

    March 19, 2021

    cool!

  • Jilted

    March 20, 2021

    great

  • jiusang

    March 20, 2021

    lol

  • Colin Daniels

    March 30, 2021

    Excellent

  • Rahul

    April 3, 2021

    Nice

  • Maxine fitch

    April 13, 2021

    This is so real

  • Junior

    April 17, 2021

    I want to see if u look anyone of my family

  • Joe

    May 9, 2021

    Wow, very emotional to see you loved ones come to life.

  • Tia

    May 18, 2021

    I want to try this

  • Alexas

    June 20, 2021

    I really love this

  • Pawanjot

    June 21, 2021

    Nice

  • S

    Sko

    July 27, 2021

    The eye tracking is off/offset in the pupils making them look cock-eyed or as if they have a lazy eye in your examples. Fix that and you guys are golden. This is an awesome idea!