See Upscaled, Colorized Footage Of New York City In 1911

Following the huge success of his upscaled classic short film, YouTuber Denis Shiryaev is back at it again as he has made millions of people happy by restoring yet another video. This time, he took a piece of well-known (and even viral at one point) footage of New York City in 1911 and, by using neural networks, upgraded it to 4K and increased the frame rate to 60 frames per second while also colorizing it. The result speaks for itself—it’s as if the beginning of the 20th century has been brought back to life.

More info: Youtube

YouTuber Denis Shiryaev, known for restoring vintage videos, has brought footage from 1911 New York to life

Image credits: Denis Shiryaev

The original 1911 footage was shot by a team of cameramen working for the Swedish film production company Svenska Biografteatern. The cameramen were sent around the globe to take pictures and videos of famous, well-known locations. Apart from New York City, the workers traveled to Paris, Venice, Niagara Falls, and other world-famous places.

The video shows Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Flatiron Building, and the New York Harbor

Image credits: Denis Shiryaev

Talking to Bored Panda, Denis told us that he spent 4 days working on the restoration of the footage. “I did some stabilization manually in After Effect, and then put a source video in a pipeline of 4 different neural networks,” he explains. “The first neural network did footage ‘clearing’ from digital artifacts, the second one is called ‘DeOldify’ [and] it [is] used for colorization, then I used a custom version of DAIN for FPS boosting, and then a custom version of ESRGAN trained on my own dataset. Then I just merged it in a result video,” Denis says.

The original footage was shot by a Swedish production company and was titled “A Trip Through New York City”

Image credits: Denis Shiryaev

Denis says that he had a lot of fun upscaling the video (and even has his favorite part of it—”this guy at 0:34, he looks so cute and looks like he doesn’t know how to behave on camera.”) However, the passion for it stemmed from his fondness of the Machine Learning technology field. “I [would] just look for neural networks on Github, run them and would share the results in my blog,” Denis revealed to Bored Panda. He says that the hobby of restoring old, vintage videos was merely a result of that passion.

The upscaled video was created using neural network-powered algorithms

Image credits: Denis Shiryaev

The choice of which videos he should restore next is a well-thought-out process for Denis. “I do some research when choosing videos,” he told Bored Panda. “To be honest, NYC video upscale was a result of my ‘grow hack,’ you can call it: I found all the popular BW footage on Youtube, then I sorted them by views and removed all ‘Non-documentaries’ videos from the results, and then I found this amazing documentary.” We’re sure glad he did, as it is mesmerizing and even eerie to see the Big Apple of the Edwardian era come alive right in front of our eyes.

Thus producing a colorized and sharper version of the original black and white footage

Image credits: Denis Shiryaev

Luckily for us, Denis has more tricks up in his sleeve—we’ll just have to be patient. However, “I do not want to share what will be next,” the Russian YouTuber teases. “It is a surprise.”

Watch the original, speed-corrected footage of “A Trip Through New York City”

Image credits: guy jones

To compare it with the one restored by Denis

Image credits: Denis Shiryaev

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