This free MyHeritage deepfake tool lets you animate old family photos

Step into the uncanny valley with MyNostalgia's DeepNostalgia feature

MyHeritage Deep Nostalgia
(Image credit: MyNostalgia)

If you've got old pictures lying around of family members, then are you going to have a whale of a time with MyNostalgia's new feature that lets you bring photos to life, using deepfake-esque technology.

In a nutshell, you can bring your ancestors to life by uploading their photo to the website, but you'll need to create an account to take advantage of the novelty. If you're already paying for a free subscription, you can upload as many photos as you like, but if you don't want to pay for anything, you can upload "several" photos for free, regardless of how many faces have been crammed in there. 

This brand makes one of the best DNA testing kits around (head to T3's MyHeritage review for more of what we think of the main service). So how well does it do at this new feature? The animated photos skirt around the uncanny valley, and personally, I think they look creepy. Of course there's also the issue of 'bringing someone to life' who's had no say in the matter, and the technology doesn't sit well with everyone when we see it in mainstream movies and ads, but with the proliferation of apps like Reface, MyHeritage will no doubt enjoy an influx of people making new accounts to see what grandma would look like if her head moved a few degrees to the left.     

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Israeli-based D-ID developed the facial animation feature; the subject's facial features are mapped onto a driver video to create the live portraits. While it undoubtedly looks creepy, the tech can be utilised in places like museums, or even teaching, to animate historical figures. You can check out an animated Rosalin Franklin above, and check out that Twitter thread for more examples in action. 

As TechCrunch points out, MyHeritage doesn't have the best track record with data, suffering a breach in 2018 that saw the data end up for sale on the dark web. On a separate occasion, the company's T&Cs were found to be “incomprehensible” by the Norwegian Consumer Council, so before you start handing over your data to jump on the latest social media trend, we'd advise treading carefully.    

Shabana Arif
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's Tech and Gaming News Editor, and has been writing about (and playing) video games for years. Her pile of shame is huge, but only because there are so many games, and so little time; she prefers to think of it as video game tapas, which explains a lot. She loves RPGs and zombie games, and exhaustively researches romance options. For science.