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1860 Photo of Samurai Practicing Archery

GrumpyGuy_MOD_GrumpyGuy_MOD_ Moderator
People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
- Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Comments

  • That is a really good quality, color photo.  Why am I skeptical about them having that technology back in the 1860's.

    If the politicians treat people this poorly when they're armed to the teeth,

    just imagine what they'll be willing to do once they've disarmed everyone.

  • GrumpyGuy_MOD_GrumpyGuy_MOD_ Moderator
    edited March 20
    They didn't.  It's an example of photo colourization.  There were hand-colouring processes in existence 100 years ago and the art has only advanced since then (digital colourization started back in the 70s).

    How it's done in film (I assume photos are the same or similar):

    Computerized colorization began in the 1970s with a process developed by Wilson Markle. Movies colorized using early techniques have soft contrast and fairly pale, flat, washed-out color; however, the technology has improved since the 1980s.

    To perform digital colorization, a digitized copy of the best monochrome film print available is needed. Technicians, with the aid of computer software, associate a range of gray levels to each object, and indicate to the computer any movement of the objects within a shot. The software also is capable of sensing variations in the light level from frame to frame and correcting it if necessary. The technician selects a color for each object based on (1) common "memory" colors such as blue sky, white clouds, flesh tones and green grass, and (2) based on any known information about the movie. For example, if there are color publicity photos or props from the movie available to examine, authentic colors may be applied. (3) In the absence of any better information, the technician chooses a color that fits the gray level and that the technician feels is consistent with what a director might have chosen for the scene. The computer software then associates a variation of the basic color with each gray level in the object, while keeping intensity levels the same as in the monochrome original. The software then follows each object from frame to frame, applying the same color until the object leaves the frame. As new objects come into the frame, the technician must associate colors to each new object in the same way as described above.[5] This technique was patented in 1991.[6]

    A major difficulty with this process is its labor-intensiveness. For example, in order to colorize a still image an artist typically begins by dividing the image into regions, and then assigning a color to each region. This approach, also known as the segmentation method, is time consuming, as the process of dividing the picture into correct segments is painstaking. This problem occurs mainly because there have been no fully automatic algorithms to identify fuzzy or complex region boundaries, such as between a subject's hair and face. Colorization of moving images also requires tracking regions as movement occurs from one frame to the next (motion compensation). There are several companies which claim to have produced automatic region-tracking algorithms.



    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
  • A few interesting examples:














    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    Some of those are downright masterful
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • GrumpyGuy_MOD_GrumpyGuy_MOD_ Moderator
    edited March 20
    I think the simplest explanation is that the artists take standard colours for things like sky, grass and so on and apply them based on the specific shade of grey the object they are colouring has in the B&W photo.  For skin, they again use the shade of grey and the visible characteristics of the person (race for example). 

    For things they don't know they check historical records to find out the most likely colours for the given objects (the Samurai's archery getups for example) and then, based on the shades of grey of those objects in the B&W photo, select the most appropriate colour and shade.

    It seems like a ton of work and is really a form of art more than it is anything else.  It probably isn't 100% accurate, but close enough to 100% that we can get a decent idea of how things looked.

    Certainly impresses me every time I see it.
    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
  • GrumpyGuy_MOD_GrumpyGuy_MOD_ Moderator
    edited March 20
    Some of those are downright masterful
    No argument here.  Perhaps I'll start a little project to put together a nice gallery of colourized historical photos for the site.
    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    I remember doing some of this stuff... about 15 years ago now that I think of it, lol
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Do you still have any examples saved?

    One more:


    People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment.
    - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    I think so, but on an old iomega hard disk that I used for the PowerMac G3 we did much of our work on. I think I probably tossed the drive out, or it's been misplaced by time.
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
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