Enhancement of old colour photographs using Generative Adversarial Networks

It’s almost Christmas, I haven’t posted anything in a while and I see that WordPress has an Image Compare feature, so let’s have some colourful fun.

When I’m not at the computer writing R code, I can often be found at the computer processing photographs. Or at the computer browsing Twitter, which is how I came across Stuart Humphryes, a digital artist who enhances autochromes. Autochromes are early colour photographs, generated using a process patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903. You can find and download many examples of them online. Stuart uses a variety of software tools to clean, enhance and balance the colours, resulting in bright vivid images that often have a contemporary feel, whilst at the same time retaining the somewhat “dreamy” quality of the original.

Having read that one of his tools uses neural networks, I was keen to discover how easy it is to achieve something similar using freely-available software found online. The answer is “quite easy” – although achieving results as good as Stuart’s is somewhat more difficult. Here’s how I went about it.

Continue reading

Nodalpoint: now in glorious stereophonic audio

Nodalpoint Conversations is, in Greg’s words, “Nodalpoint rebooted as a podcast”. Long-time readers will remember Nodalpoint, a bioinformatics community where many of us first came together.

In the “pilot” episode, Greg and I chat (via Skype between Leiden and Sydney) about all things bioinformatics. It was a new experience for me and one which I greatly enjoyed, despite being somewhat unsettled by the sound of my own recorded voice.

Check out Episode 1 of Nodalpoint Conversations. It’s as close to proof of my existence as you’ll get. Then follow nodalconv on Twitter.

Darwin 2009: multimedia and more

Good to see that the BBC are getting into the Darwin anniversary celebrations. Here’s their informative website with TV/radio shows and special features.

BBC Radio 4 also have a Darwin website. You could do a lot worse than start by listening to Melvyn Bragg’s 4-part Darwin series from the show “In Our Time”. It’s available via the iplayer or as a podcast.

Elsewhere in the UK there are Darwin 200 events organised by the Natural History Museum and the Wellcome Trust.

SciVee: first impressions

I’ve been busy the past few days and not paying full attention to the information stream from the web, but I kept seeing this word SciVee.

I can’t summarise it any better than Deepak: “SciVee provides scientists, especially authors with a platform to essentially set up video podcasts, or as they call them, PubCasts, around a publication.” It’s built in partnership with PLoS, amongst others and provides channels for several PLoS journals.

Just got around to watching the featured pubcast, Structural Evolution of the Protein Kinase–Like Superfamily and I’m really impressed with the concept. SciVee is also discussed by Bora, John and Frank and is tagged at del.icio.us and technorati.

Of course, some scientists might be a bit shy about appearing in a video. This conjures up amusing images of young, photogenic Ph.D. students hiding from the PI with a newfound enthusiasm for videocasts.