Over the past week I’ve been having some fun generating bizarre digital art with AI via a couple of websites. You generate the art by simply giving the AI a text prompt, such as “castles in the sky” and, after a couple of minutes, out pops the AI’s somewhat abstract but interesting interpretation:
Castles in the Sky
Since the results are rather abstract, it helps to use words that lack specific forms, such as clouds and landscapes. If you ask for an animal or human, you’re probably not going to get anything that actually resembles their shape, but rather only some abstract colors and textures that resemble them. For instance, here is “dolphins eating sandwiches”:
Dolphins Eating Sandwiches
It also helps to give the AI some hints as to what the result should look like. For instance, the exact prompt for “castles in the sky” above was actually: “An enormous castle floats in the sky beautiful artwork”. Adding the tags “beautiful artwork” help give it a more painterly look.
The art is also limited in resolution; the AI just takes too much memory for larger pics, so the smaller resolutions are the norm.
I’ve been using two websites to create such art:
- NightCafe Studio’s AI Art Generator. The site features a very nice user interface, lets you set some optional settings, and allows you to save and share your work while exploring the works of others. It does make you create an account and limits how much you can create with it using a credit system. You can buy credits or earn some. You can check out my profile here: https://creator.nightcafe.studio/u/Seanthebest
- NeuralBlender has no user interface or options, but does not seem to limit use. You do have to wait for the AI to finish its current image before starting a new one if you want to see it in your browser.
I have not yet tried it, but if you do a bit of Googling, you can find resources on how to set up your own AI art generator without having to use one of the websites above; the tech is called VQGAN+CLIP and is available to all. A “GAN” is a generative adversial network … and I have no idea what the other acronyms stand for (obviously you can Google that too). So I’m not sure how long the above websites will stay in service considering the tech is not proprietary, nor do I think the AI produces artwork of enough controllable quality to be of widespread use beyond offering an amusing spectacle.
Still, it’s fun to play with. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve generated so far:
The Sky Is Cracked
Blue Sky at Night
Scott · August 9, 2021 at 4:42 AM
This is actually pretty cool. I might have to keep these in mind for when I need cover art for my book… that is, if my book materializes. I’m stuck in 4 places right now, and I’m less than a fifth of the way through the story.
The artwork it seems to produce might be oddly perfect to match the story. Let’s hope the technology doesn’t improve significantly in several years to infinity that it’ll take me to finish this book at the rate I’m going… lol.
S P Hannifin · August 9, 2021 at 3:07 PM
I was actually thinking the same thing for a couple of sci-fi novels I’ve been wanting to write. (Which I won’t get around to anytime soon, if ever.) Or use them as album art. My only fear is, since the resolutions are necessarily low (due to limited computing power and diminishing returns for larger resolutions), the images would likely look fuzzier in print, or at least need some fine tuning. Perhaps some AI-based texturized upscaling method, if I can find a good one…
Mary M · August 10, 2021 at 2:26 PM
That is really interesting!
AI generated images are getting better! – The New Blather · April 29, 2022 at 2:46 AM
[…] year I posted about creating AI art. The website I mentioned, NightCafe, is still around and has added interesting new features, but […]