Pictures Come to Life: Deep Nostalgia


By Megan Lanham


Everyone has those old family photos hung up on the walls; plus, all those old photo albums of your grandparents and great grandparents you’d go through during family gatherings. Could you imagine what it would feel like to have those photos and pictures of your ancestors magically come to life in a Harry Potter-esque fashion? An AI-powered service released by online genealogy company MyHeritage uses an Artificial Intelligence called “Deep Nostalgia” to achieve just that effect.

The Israel-Based company licensed this sophisticated Live Portrait technology from another Israeli company, D-ID. Deep Nostalgia can take photos from any camera and bring them to “life”. Using pre-recorded driver videos of facial movements, the program applies the one that works best for the still photo used. 

Still Image of Bob Lanham turned video by Deep Nostalgia

As the name would imply, Deep Nostalgia’s intended purpose is to reanimate the faces of deceased relatives, breathing some life into old photos. The feature produces a short video animation of an individual face that can smile, blink and move. There is no audio element to prevent anyone from creating “deepfake” videos of living people. The FAQ on the site does not provide the photos to any third parties, and on its main pages a message reads “Photos uploaded without completing signup are automatically deleted to protect your privacy” 

The program is easy to use, and it’s free for up to five photo animations before being prompted to buy a subscription to create more. You’re required to sign up for a free Myheritage account in order to use the feature. Go to to get started. The actual process takes less than a minute.

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