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Transform your best old photos into an animation in a few seconds

AI to animate photos

Deep Nostalgia site lets you animate old photos in seconds. This is a service offered by the online genealogy company MyHeritage. For this, the company obtained a license for the photo animation technology from D-ID, a company specialized in the video reconstruction using deep learning.

The site incorporated this technology to animate faces in photos and create high-quality, realistic video images.. The Deep Nostalgia feature uses various model videos prepared for this purpose. Each model video consists of a fixed sequence of movements and gestures. The model clip guides the movements in the animation so that you can see the ancestors’ faces turn their heads, blink and smile, as explained on the official page. To test this tool you must enter here.

This tool is free to access, just enter the site, create an account or profile and upload the image you want to animate. To apply the animation the photo is required to be in high resolution. As old images tend to lack definition, the system first does it repair the image by increasing the resolution and focusing the photos. Once this is done, the animated video is produced.

How do you choose the gestures that the video will have? The system automatically decides which sequence to apply to a specific face based on its orientation. “If you want to select another sequence of gestures, instead of sticking with the default sequence, visit the My Photos section of the website. After animating a photo from there, you can click on “Animation” and in the drop-down menu you can choose any of the available sequences and apply it, “it is explained on the site.

The system works on both color and black-and-white images and takes just 10-20 seconds to create the animation. Animated photos have a movement icon in the lower left margin to differentiate it from the original photo.

Photos are reconstructed to improve quality and then animation is generated
Photos are reconstructed to improve quality and then animation is generated

Other technology to apply to photographs

In recent times, several proposals have arisen that allow you to edit the photos to turn them into works of art, anime or even to create deep fakes.

Face swapping

Add years, change aesthetics and more

One of the best known applications to modify the face with different variants is FaceApp. The tool allows you to change your hairstyle, add or subtract years, as well as add smiles to your photos. It was developed by the Russian company Wireless Lab and launched in 2017.


The website, developed by the IBM Watson artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT, trained the system with 45,000 paintings by iconic painters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt or Giovanni Boldini, among others.


NCSoft, for its part, developed an artificial intelligence that transform people’s faces into anime characters and the face of pets changes it to that of another animal.

The software with which was made is open source based on antagonistic generative networks. An attention mapping code was added to the GAN model, where an image is divided into layers to highlight the most important elements, a procedure known as class activation mapping or CAM. The tool Is available in GitHub and it’s free.


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