Genealogy company MyHeritage has added a new instant Photo Repair tool to its collection of photo enhancement options. Photo Repair detects scratches and blemishes on old photographs and uses AI software to correct them with just a single click.
The software was developed by DeOlidify, the same company that developed an earlier photo feature on MyHeritage that enabled users to colourise old black and white photos using AI technology as well as restore colour photographs that had faded over time.
“The new Photo Repair feature is an important addition to our toolbox,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Scratches and other damage often characterise one’s oldest and most cherished photos. If you have a rare photo of your great-grandparents, it is likely to be damaged, and you will be delighted when you see how MyHeritage repairs it instantly before your very eyes. On MyHeritage, precious family memories can now be effortlessly restored and preserved for posterity.”
The Photo Repair feature joins other MyHeritage tools for historical photographs including their popular Deep Nostalgia feature which animates photographs and has been used 90 million times since its launch in early April 2021.
Launched as a ‘freemium’ product users have a limited number of photographs that can be repaired for free. Beyond that, continued use requires a subscription. At the time of launch we were not told how many photographs users can repair for free before they need to subscribe.
The feature will also be available to use via the MyHeritage mobile app for iOS and Android.
Do you want to know how to clean, store and display your family photographs? Don’t miss our handy guide!
Does MyHeritage Photo Repair tool work?
We decided to give the MyHeritage Photo Repair tool a trial run. After registering with the site and choosing the ‘Photos’ option in the top bar, it is straightforward to upload an image (just click ‘upload’ and ‘drop’ a photograph onto the page). The first photograph we uploaded was only partially damaged.
Interestingly, the software did not detect that this photograph was damaged, which meant that the ‘Repair’ option did not appear among the choices offered (the other options are ‘Enhance’, ‘Restore Colors’ and ‘Animate’). However, if you click on the three dots (the vertical ellipsis) above the image it gives you the option to add ‘Repair’. After that, you just click on the button and wait a few seconds while the AI-software does its magic.
The end result is pretty impressive! However, we then moved to a much more damaged photograph showing Second World War soldiers posing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This photograph had clearly done some travelling!
With such a damaged photograph, the AI understandably struggled. By clicking on the ‘cog’ you can try both ‘Gentle repair’ and ‘Extensive repair’. We tried both and the image below is the result of ‘Extensive repair’.
Clearly the scratches across the faces was not something that this new tool could easily fix but for simple repairs we were really impressed by it. Why not go to MyHeritage and give it a go yourself?
Sarah Williams is the editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine