I upscaled this video twice- the first was
at the normal resolution. That one looked like this. I didn’t like what it did to
his face. I think it detected it as one, and applied it to some 3D mask of sorts, but it
looked kind of like he was wearing another person’s face and that just isn’t cool.
So I halved the resolution, which gave his face a smoother result, which I saw as being
better- but the rest of the image looked worse. So I combined the two results to get the best
of both worlds- the higher resolution upscale for most of the image, and the lower resolution
one for the face, which makes him only look slightly creepy!
And then I converted it from the original 15 fps to 60, using DAIN. This uses AI and
depth perception to smooth video animations without so many of the usual bugs and artifacts.
Down-side of this is that it’s incredibly slow. At full HD it can take about a minute
per FRAME! Luckily the video’s resolution was still quite low at this point, so it didn’t
take quite so long. I then upscaled it again. Just to be sure.
Through numerous upscales and conversions the colours had all shifted a bit- his red
jacket had turned orange. So I needed to colour-correct it back to the original. This made his face
brown so I had to colour correct the rest of the image separately and like EVERY SINGLE
project I attempt these days, it turned into a horrible mess that I quickly rendered and
uploaded it and then deleted, before it turned into another sprawling nightmare on my already-cluttered
hard-drives. It’s very tempting to go over-the-top with
these upscales- to really ruin it with gaudy filters and so on. But the beauty is in its
apparent simplicity- it’s Youtube’s first video, but upscaled and at a smooth 60 fps.
I’m happy with this choice. It DOES look fake. His hair and jacket look
good, but the elephants are terrible, and his face stuck somewhere down uncanny valley.
These are the limitations of the tools I’m using- and of course, my ability to use them.
I expect it to improve with time and it will be interesting to return to this technology
to see how it’s improved. But maybe not for a while because I’m sure you’re all
sick of me releasing these kinds of videos. Right now it is still incredibly intensive
on my PC to achieve these effects. One day I expect it could all be done to a high standard
in real-time… at which point maybe it will become a standard feature on Youtube to enhance
older videos, and to reduce the bitrate required to stream videos. Google would love that.
Nice hair. Check out my upscaling project here for more stuff.