You’ll never know that AI drew this beautiful comic series

You'll never know that AI drew this beautiful comic series

You might expect the comic book series featuring art created entirely by artificial intelligence technology to be filled with surreal images that make you tilt your head trying to understand what kind of madness changes the feeling you look at.

Not so with the photos in The Bestiary Chronicles, Free 3-part comedy series From Campfire Entertainment, an award-winning New York-based production company focused on creative storytelling.

In the lesson, the teacher tells the students about the monsters that destroyed their planet. The team behind the storyboard used the phrase “Hitchcock Blonde” to describe the heroine of the AI ​​art creation tool Midjourney, “most often appearing as Grace Kelly,” says writer Steve Coulson.

Camp Fire, Midjourney

The visuals in the trilogy – believed to be the first animated series made of art with the help of artificial intelligence – are stunning. It’s also stunningly accurate, as if it came straight from the hand of an experienced digital artist with a very specific story and style in mind.

“Deep Earth, the last remnants of humanity gather to learn about the monsters that destroyed their planet,” reads the lesson description, the third visually rich and futuristic comic in the trilogy. All three are now available for download at Campfire websiteIt also comes in paperback and hardcover printed selections.

Although the visual art created by AI can lean toward the extreme absurd, the real-life humans in The Bestiary Chronicles don’t have prominent facial features or extremities at odd angles. The monsters – with their glowing eyes and amazingly bad teeth – seem to love the children of Godzilla and Vagabond and can be mistaken for anything other than monsters full of rage.

This algorithm-assisted art looks tailored to the dark dystopian tale, which is based on metaphors from the 1960’s science fiction horror movie. damn village And from THX 11381971, George Lucas’ first feature film.

“We are seeing the emergence of an entirely new visualization tool that will fundamentally change the storytelling process in both the comics and entertainment industry in general,” said Steve Coulson, writer of the trilogy and creative director of Campfire. Fan experiences for shows including Ted Lasso, Westworld, and Watchmen. Its founders thought of The Blair Witch Project.

For The Bestiary Chronicles, Coulson turned to Midjourney, a service that quickly converts short phrases of text or “claims” into images by scanning a giant database trained in human visual art. artificial intelligence tools like her, D-E And the stable spread be Capture the Internet’s imagination Because it allows anyone to show images from text in intriguing and sometimes disturbing ways.

The Bestiary Chronicles is a 114-page science fiction epic about monsters born of human technological arrogance. But it also showcases the remarkable progress of products like Midjourney, which are producing increasingly more sophisticated and refined images.

“By the New Year, perhaps not even a trained eye will be able to perceive the AI ​​generation than any other,” Coulson said. “It’s exciting and scary at the same time. But you can’t put a genie back in the bottle, so we’re embracing the future as fast as we can.”

He adds that AI image generation is progressing so rapidly, that the lesson, released on November 1, is a clear visual step up from the first comic in the trilogy, Summer Island, a popular horror story in the spirit of midsummer released in August. During those three months, Midjourney went through two updates.

Sepia toned apocalypse scene from comic lessonSepia toned apocalypse scene from comic lesson

AI art creator Midjourney has done an impressive job capturing a grim, post-apocalyptic scene for The Lesson, the third in a trilogy of comics from production house Campfire.

Camp Fire, Midjourney

AI, Partner in Art

Thomas B. said: Campbell, director and CEO of the Museums of Fine Arts in San Francisco, “Technology is changing our world, with artificial intelligence representing a new frontier of possibilities but also a worrisome development.” Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence It opened in 2020 to explore the expanding space where humans and artificial intelligence meet.

Creating visual art with artificial intelligence, compose songs And the Even writing poetry Movie scripts are causing some of this anxiety Ethical and copyright concerns Among artists and even lawyers. AI art is not created in a vacuum. It works by absorbing and reconstructing existing art created by humans. As machine-made art improves, will these humans – actual graphic designers, painters, composers, and photographers – find themselves out of work?

When an AI-generated image won an art award in September, some The artists weren’t happy about it. One Twitter user wrote: “We’re watching the death of art unfold before our eyes.”

Coulson, an avid comics reader since the age of five, is among those pondering the complex questions raised by AI art, but he doesn’t think tools like Midjourney will replace the comic artists he’s long loved. “These geniuses have an interest in dramatic composition and dynamic narrative that I highly doubt that machine learning will be able to match,” he wrote in closing to Summer Island. “But as a visualization tool for non-artists like me, it’s a hell of a fun-filled way.”

Dragons with open mouths and sharp teeth look like something from the house of the dragonDragons with open mouths and sharp teeth look like something from the house of the dragon

Was Midjourney watching House of the Dragon?

Camp Fire, Midjourney

However, he sees Midjourney as his real assistant in The Bestiary Chronicles, even giving him author credit. Where a cartoonist can visualize a story and then create art to illustrate it, AI-powered images have the potential to more actively direct the story, or even change its direction, thus completely redefining the creative workflow. Coulson likens this man-machine duo to the improvement of jazz.

“I would never ask a human artist to ‘paint 100 simple pages and maybe pick the best one’, but Medjourney would happily spit it out 24/7,” Coulson says. “Then after we review the photos, we begin to piece together the story, almost like a collector’s work, filling in the gaps along the way.”

AI art is the star here, but humans have had the decisive hand with the images making the ultimate version of each story. They’ve experimented with the text prompts and carefully chosen their final images from Midjourney’s multiple renderings, tweaking Photoshop here and there, but mostly leaving out the machine-made work.

For example, the Campfire team liked the rich effect of the vector style “printing olive green, brown, and teal tritons on watercolor paper,” so they often used this to give images a graphic effect. As for the lesson, the phrase “future underground bunker in style JC LindekerHe got the perfect post-apocalyptic getaway.

We also used the phrase ‘Hitchcock Blonde’ to describe our heroine, often looking like she Grace Kelly‘ said Coulson. That’s pretty well known Grace Kelly, without misplaced ears or a dog’s nose.

“Advances in AI image generation over the past few months have been massive and amazing, and this technology will get better — faster than we can imagine,” Coulson said.

Page from The Exodus, showing missiles pointing upwardsPage from The Exodus, showing missiles pointing upwards

Exodus, the second comic in the trilogy, chronicles humanity’s last attempt to save itself from monsters that roam the planet.

Camp Fire, Midjourney


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