19/12/2013

USC develops restoration software

The University of Southern California (USC) hosts the Shoah Foundation and it's video testimonial archive (set-up by Steven Spielberg).

The archive has video testimonials of 52,000 survivors (including my father's testimonial which was so long it was in two parts which can be seen here and here), unfortunately around 5% of these had degraded audio and/or video due to errors in the recording equipment in use at the time (Betamax SP video cameras which is 20 year old technology).

Ryan Fenton-Strauss, video archive and post-production manager at ITS was takes with the restoration project. He worked out that the videos could be broken down into sequences of individual frames and used Google's Picasso which could do facial recognition and then duplicate previous good frames into where a frame was corrupt.

The system now uses Nation Instruments Vision Builder to automate the process which now requires almost no manual intervention and Ryan hopes to go into production with this system early next year.

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