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Iconic short film upscaled to 4K/60p, with impressive results

Iconic short film upscaled to ...
The classic silent film was upscaled to 4K/60p using algorithms available online
The classic silent film was upscaled to 4K/60p using algorithms available online
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The classic silent film was upscaled to 4K/60p using algorithms available online
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The classic silent film was upscaled to 4K/60p using algorithms available online

YouTuber Denis Shiryaev has upscaled a mid-1890s classic silent short to 4K/60p modern goodness using "several neural networks." And the result is nothing short of breathtaking.

L'arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat is less than a minute long and was the work of the Lumière Brothers. It shows a steam locomotive pulling into the station at La Ciotat in southeastern France and comprises one continuous shot in real-time from the same camera position. It was filmed using a combined film camera, projector and printer invented by the film-making brothers.

Legend has it that when it was first screened, the audience was so taken aback by the sight of a huge train apparently coming straight for them, that they retreated to the back of the room in terror. Shiryaev used the online version below as the jumping off point for his enhancement attempt.

L'Arrivée d'un train à La Ciotat (Louis Lumière, 1896)

To raise the resolution up to 4K, Gigapixel AI from Topaz Labs was used. And to increase the frames per second, DAIN. Both algorithms are available online. Some sound has also been added for a little extra realism. Shiryaev says the real credit for the impressive results should go to the authors of the code.

"Credit should go to DAIN, Topaz AI, ESRGAN, Waifu2x, DeOldify, Anime 4K and other developers who are part of the worldwide ML-community and contributing to humanity by making these algorithms publicly available," he commented.

The upscaled footage can be seen below.

[4k, 60 fps] Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (The Lumière Brothers, 1896)

7 comments
RobC
I had to put this up on my 4k TV to appreciate. Very impressive!
guzmanchinky
That is very cool. In another decade we will be able to stand there in VR.
JeffK
While the 4k version is exceptional, the un-enhanced video is very, very good for the time, particularly the smooth motion of the people; that is based on the "origianl" version not having been tweaked to start with.
CraigAllenCorson
It's always a bit weird to me to see an old film like that, and realize that every single one of those people is now dead.
IvanWashington
it felt sorta like a time machine. or like somebody with HD monochrome video equipment hopped into the WABAC machine to that time and place, and recorded it.
buzzclick
I love the interesting articles that New Atlas brings us. Now I know a little about the Lumiere Bros. Interestingly, these films may have been a novelty for maybe 10-15 years, and then fell to obscurity once the audiences became inured to the novelty. That is til much later when folks were more likely to appreciate the historical value of seeing life in the end of 19th century, and again til now when someone took the initiative to improve the footage to this remarkable quality.
kid-jensen
Very impressive, but during all those hot nights agonising over the resolution, frame rate, smoothing etc, didn't someone think to convert it to colour?