Sep 12, 2022
here's a lot of buzz about so called AI generated art at the moment using programs like Dall-E, Neural blender, Dream studio lite and so on. People use text prompts, i.e. “flying clockwork fish balloon” and the AI generates “art” based upon that. It usually does this by using actual art and photography created by real people, and visually mixing them to create a new image. Some results are much better than others.
Topics and Show Notes
The main issue with the approach is that the AI like all AI is dumb: it has no awareness, no understanding, it can't think, it can only serve up the most superficial interpretation of the prompt text. 100% of the “meaning” or “art” a viewer sees in that image is their own imagining, this in itself is never a good indication of art. But this also means that the AI has no capacity to understand the visual language it's speaking so it just provides you with a poor facsimile of art, which is all it can ever do due to inherent limitations.
For example, ask it to create a pirate image based on certain parameters. All it will be able to do is create a pastiche of already created images on the subject, like a bad deviant art image by a poor artist. A good human artist would think about the subject in terms of the ethnicity of the pirates, the type of vessel they use, how ratty or decorated their clothes are due to their time at sea, the body hair, tattoos, piercings and injuries on the pirates, the time of day and where the light comes from, the style of clothes and weapons due to the period, geography, and culture of the pirates etc. All that means something and will have a significant influence on the image (you can apply this to any other scenario too), while AI can only produce generic pretend art.
Unfortunately people don't understand these significant limitations and expect AI to do more than it can, (in all fields, not just art). AI is a useful tool when used correctly and when you properly understand its limitations, but when you don't it creates havoc. Which is why AI assisted systems tend to be so shit- like auto-correct spellcheckers, Google search algorithms, Facebook and Instagram image checkers, YouTube copyright checkers, “smart” chat-bots that big companies use as help systems etc. If we have people mistakenly thinking AI can replace artists or graphic designers, then we're in for a tsunami of boring, generic, meaningless design and the world will be a blander place because of it.
Try not to be fooled by the “idea” of art, when you see an AI generated image remember there was no thought behind it, no meaning to the placement of figures, style of clothes, body posture, mistakes etc, and the stylistic choices are simply stolen from human artists. It's a system that specialises in creating pointless parody pastiches.
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Brittany Hyperstyle - Bouncy, pop bubblegum bubbles of light and joy floating, rising and falling in sweet smelling convection currents. This sound is pink and powder blue with a sheen of iridescence. Synth electronica that’s fun, light and happy!
Topics and shownotes
Forum discussion that inspired the topic - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/179155/?page=1#latest/
Dream studio lite - https://beta.dreamstudio.ai/dream/
Vast as the Night - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/sep/06/featured-comic-vast-as-the-night/
Brittany Hyperstyle - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Brittany_Hyperstyle/ - by Shampoo Venom, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
PitFace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
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Aug 15, 2022
Leaders are not born, they're created… literally in the case of fiction, created by creators of comics, books, movies, and other media! For this Quackcast I was inspired by two things: a video on Leader Characters by the satirical YouTube channel Terrible Writing Advice, and the Disney movie Lightyear, in which the lone wolf classical hero figure learns how to lead.
Jul 31, 2022
The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.
Jul 18, 2022
History is happening faster now. With the growth of universal high speed communication and cheap world travel, culture and technology move at unprecedented speeds. Because of these factors the rate of change is different to what it was at any time in the past. This is an objective and verifiable truth rather than subjective perception: the current speed and quality of global communication has never been possible before and that has ramifications for how the world changes.
Jul 4, 2022
I wanted to do an easy and fun one this week and just chat about our fave superhero movies, starting with our firsts! For me and Banes it was Superman with Christopher Reeve. It's a real classic, full of positivity, hope, and optimism, all with bright colours and classic iconic imagery… In that way it's a bit like many of the Marvel films and the more popular DC offerings like Aquaman and WonderWoman, but without the overbuilt and over-defined muscles!
Jun 20, 2022
Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.
Jun 6, 2022
How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.
May 23, 2022
We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.