See How Neural Networks Turned a Film From 1896 Into 4K and Added Color

Neural networks are one of the most exciting developments in the computing world, with a wide range of potential applications. This video shows what happens when a neural network is used to take footage from 1896 and upscale it to 4K, add a faster frame rate, and even add color.

Denis Shiryaev created this video by taking footage from "L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat" (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station), a short film made in 1895 and premiered in 1896 by the famous Lumière brothers. The film shows a train pulling into the station and people disembarking. The film is famous for the legend that early movie-goers fled the theater in terror at the sight of the approaching train. You can watch the original video above and the enhanced version below.

Shiryaev used Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI to upscale the original 4K, then used DAIN (Depth-Aware Video Frame Interpolation) to add additional frames to raise the rate to 60 fps. You can see a version that has been colorized by DeOldify Neural Network below.

Altogether, it looks to be quite the exciting application of the technology with a lot of future potential! 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I think the uprezzing is terrific. I use Topaz Gigapixel AI with good success for many older photos. The colorization is interesting to see but not quite as impressive as some colors "move" as the frames change.

If you like that, check out what Peter Jackson achieved with WWI footage in "They Shall Not Grow Old" -


I actually prefer the black and white...the colorization is not stable and doesn't look realistic enough to make it compelling. I see real people in the black and white footage.

I also like the BW version better, but impressed with the colorization. The original had the same shifts in the film that the colorized version is showing, just that the BW version would be expected and the colorized version highlights these shifts.

Still impressive with the colorization...., and actually I was impressed with the original BW and the quality of it. Hand cranked, large dynamic range of exposure required, long focus range... I give credit to the original DP....