Resource: Using Waifu2x to Upscale Japanese Prints

In my spare time I’ve been working on a database of Japanese prints for a little over 3.5 years now. I’m fully aware that I’ve never actually written about this, personally very important, project on my blog — until now. Unfortunately this isn’t a post explaining that project. I do still hope to write more about the intricacies of it, some day, but until that time you can watch this talk I gave at OpenVisConf 2014 about the site and the tech behind it.

I’ve been doing a lot of work exploring different computer vision, and machine learning, algorithms to see how they might apply to the world of art history study. I’m especially interested in finding novel uses of technology that could greatly benefit art historians in their work and also help individuals better appreciate art.

One tool that I came across yesterday is called Waifu2x. It’s a convolutional neural network (CNN) that is designed to optimally “upscale” images (taking small images and generating a larger image). The creator of this tool built it to better upscale poorly-sized Anime images and video. This is an effort that I can massively cheer on – while I’m not a purveyor of Anime, I love applying algorithmic overkill to non-tech hobbies.


Source: Using Waifu2x to Upscale Japanese Prints