Stabilized, interpolated video footage from the 1900s gives more realistic look at the past


posted Friday, April 19, 2013 at 6:45 PM EDT

Whenever you see movie footage from the early days of film, it always comes across as sped up and extremely jerky, thanks to the hand-cranked cameras that were the technology of the day. With significantly slower frame rates than we're used to, when run through modern cinema equipment, they seem overly fast and jumpy. But with modern video techniques, one person has managed to update some of this old film to make it look a lot more like we're used to seeing in modern video.

According to the YouTube uploader, this video of footage from London and Cork has been run through a number of improvements:

"This video has been dramatically enhanced in quality, using modern video editing tools. The film has been motion stabilized and the speed has been slowed down to correct speed (from 18 fps to 24 fps) using special frame interpolation software that re-creates missing frames. Upscaling to HD quality was done using video enhancer software."

It's not exactly clear where the footage was originally sourced. You can see some of it here, and around 1:30 in that video coincides with around 2:30 in the edited version. There's some discussion that much of it may have come from the Mitchell and Kenyon collection.

It's incredible to see footage that so often seems to put the past into another world, updated to make it look more true to life. The enhancements aren't always perfect, and occasionally they make things look a bit bizarre, but it's still an impressive effort.

Video from the early 1900s, edited to make it more stable and to match modern frame rates.

(via Metafilter)