Check out my friend Dave’s quick intro to this easy-to-use (and free-to-download) tech:
For more detail, here’s a deeper dive:
Check out my friend Dave’s quick intro to this easy-to-use (and free-to-download) tech:
For more detail, here’s a deeper dive:
The technology’s ability not only to synthesize new content, but to match it to context, blows my mind. Check out this thread showing the results of filling in the gap in a simple cat drawing via various prompts. Some of my favorites are below:
Also, look at what it can build out around just a small sample image plus a text prompt (a chef in a sushi restaurant); just look at it!
What a time to be alive…
Hard on the heels of OpenAI revealing DALL•E 2 last month, Google has announced Imagen, promising “unprecedented photorealism × deep level of language understanding.” Unlike DALL•E, it’s not yet available via a demo, but the sample images (below) are impressive.
I’m slightly amused to see Google flexing on DALL•E by highlighting Imagen’s strengths in figuring out spatial arrangements & coherent text (places where DALL•E sometimes currently struggles). The site claims that human evaluators rate Imagen output more highly than what comes from competitors (e.g. MidJourney).
I couldn’t be more excited about these developments—most particularly to figure out how such systems can enable amazing things in concert with Adobe tools & users.
What a time to be alive…
Check out all the new goods!
It’s not new to this release, but I’d somehow missed it: support for perspective lines looks very cool.
Last year I took my then-11yo son Henry (aka my astromech droid) on a 2000-mile “Miodyssey” down Route 66 in my dad’s vintage Miata. It was a great way to see the country (see more pics & posts than you might ever want), and despite the tight quarters we managed not to kill one another—or to get slain by Anton Chigurh in an especially murdery Texas town (but that’s another story!).
In any event, we were especially charmed to see the Goog celebrate the Mother Road in this doodle:
Heh—I love this kind of silly mashup. (And now I want to see what kind of things DALL•E would dream up for prompts like “medieval grotesque Burger King logo.”)
Driving through the Southwest in 2020, we came across this dark & haunting mural showing the nearby Navajo Generation Station:
Now I see that the station has been largely demolished, as shown in this striking drone clip:
There’s no way this is real, is there?! I think it must use NFW technology (No F’ing Way), augmented with a side of LOL WTAF. 😛
Here’s an NYT video showing the system in action:
The NYT article offers a concise, approachable description of how the approach works:
A neural network learns skills by analyzing large amounts of data. By pinpointing patterns in thousands of avocado photos, for example, it can learn to recognize an avocado. DALL-E looks for patterns as it analyzes millions of digital images as well as text captions that describe what each image depicts. In this way, it learns to recognize the links between the images and the words.
When someone describes an image for DALL-E, it generates a set of key features that this image might include. One feature might be the line at the edge of a trumpet. Another might be the curve at the top of a teddy bear’s ear.
Then, a second neural network, called a diffusion model, creates the image and generates the pixels needed to realize these features. The latest version of DALL-E, unveiled on Wednesday with a new research paper describing the system, generates high-resolution images that in many cases look like photos.
Though DALL-E often fails to understand what someone has described and sometimes mangles the image it produces, OpenAI continues to improve the technology. Researchers can often refine the skills of a neural network by feeding it even larger amounts of data.
I can’t wait to try it out.
I’m not sure who captured this image (conservationist Beverly Joubert, maybe?), or whether it’s indeed the National Geographic Picture of The Year, but it’s stunning no matter what. Take a close look:
Elsewhere I love this compilation of work from “Shadowologist & filmmaker” Vincent Bal:
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Speaking of Substance, here’s a fun speed run through the kinds of immersive worlds artists are helping create using it:
Illustrator David Plunkert made a chilling distillation of history’s echoes for the cover of the New Yorker:
“Look at it this way,” my son noted, “At least the tracks suggest that it’s retreating.” God, let it be so.
Elsewhere, I don’t know the origin of this image, but it’s hard to think of a case where a simple Desaturate command was so powerful.
I swear to God, stuff like this makes me legitimately feel like I’m having a stroke:
And that example, curiously, seems way more technically & aesthetically sophisticated than the bulk of what I see coming from the “NFT art” world. I really enjoyed this explication of why so much of such content seems like cynical horseshit—sometimes even literally:
Love this. Per Colossal,
Forty months in the making, “Pass the Ball” is a delightful and eccentric example of the creative possibilities of collaboration […] Each scenario was created by one of 40 animators around the world, who, as the title suggests, “pass the ball” to the next person, resulting in a varied display of styles and techniques from stop-motion to digital.
Researchers at NVIDIA & Case Western Reserve University have developed an algorithm that can distinguish different painters’ brush strokes “at the bristle level”:
Extracting topographical data from a surface with an optical profiler, the researchers scanned 12 paintings of the same scene, painted with identical materials, but by four different artists. Sampling small square patches of the art, approximately 5 to 15 mm, the optical profiler detects and logs minute changes on a surface, which can be attributed to how someone holds and uses a paintbrush.
They then trained an ensemble of convolutional neural networks to find patterns in the small patches, sampling between 160 to 1,440 patches for each of the artists. Using NVIDIA GPUs with cuDNN-accelerated deep learning frameworks, the algorithm matches the samples back to a single painter.
The team tested the algorithm against 180 patches of an artist’s painting, matching the samples back to a painter at about 95% accuracy.
Man, I’d have so loved having features like this in my Flash days:
This looks gripping:
Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner FLEE tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan.
Rather than needing to draw out every element of an imagined scene, users can enter a brief phrase to quickly generate the key features and theme of an image, such as a snow-capped mountain range. This starting point can then be customized with sketches to make a specific mountain taller or add a couple trees in the foreground, or clouds in the sky.
It doesn’t just create realistic images — artists can also use the demo to depict otherworldly landscapes.
Here’s a 30-second demo:
And here’s a glimpse at Tatooine:
Cool to see the latest performance-capture tech coming to Adobe’s 2D animation app:
Let’s start Monday with some moments of Zen. 😌
Perhaps a bit shockingly, I’ve somehow been only glancingly familiar with the artist’s career, and I really enjoyed this segment—including a quick visual tour spanning his first daily creation through the 2-minute piece he made before going to the hospital for the birth of his child (!), to the work he sold on Tuesday for nearly $30 million (!!).
Type the name of something (e.g. “beautiful flowers”), then use a brush to specify where you want it applied. Here, just watch this demo:
The project is open source, complements of the creators of ArtBreeder.
Today we are introducing Pet Portraits, a way for your dog, cat, fish, bird, reptile, horse, or rabbit to discover their very own art doubles among tens of thousands of works from partner institutions around the world. Your animal companion could be matched with ancient Egyptian figurines, vibrant Mexican street art, serene Chinese watercolors, and more. Just open the rainbow camera tab in the free Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS to get started and find out if your pet’s look-alikes are as fun as some of our favorite animal companions and their matches.
Check out my man Seamus:
Sure, face swapping and pose manipulation on humans is cool and all, but our industry’s next challenge must be beak swapping and wing manipulation. 😅🐦
By analyzing various artists’ distinctive treatment of facial geometry, researchers in Israel devised a way to render images with both their painterly styles (brush strokes, texture, palette, etc.) and shape. Here’s a great six-minute overview:
10 years ago we put a totally gratuitous (but fun!) 3D view of the layers stack into Photoshop Touch. You couldn’t actually edit in that mode, but people loved seeing their 2D layers with 3D parallax.
More recently apps are endeavoring to turn 2D photos into 3D canvases via depth analysis (see recent Adobe research), object segmentation, etc. That is, of course, an extension of what we had in mind when adding 3D to Photoshop back in 2007 (!)—but depth capture & extrapolation weren’t widely available, and it proved too difficult to shoehorn everything into the PS editing model.
Now Mental Canvas promises to enable some truly deep expressivity:
I do wonder how many people could put it to good use. (Drawing well is hard; drawing well in 3D…?) I Want To Believe… It’ll be cool to see where this goes.
I plan to highlight several of the individual technologies & try to add whatever interesting context I can. In the meantime, if you want the whole shebang, have at it!
I kinda can’t believe it, but the team has gotten the old gal (plus Illustrator) running right in Web browsers!
VP of design Eric Snowden writes,
Extending Illustrator and Photoshop to the web (beta) will help you share creative work from the Illustrator and Photoshop desktop and iPad apps for commenting. Your collaborators can open and view your work in the browser and provide feedback. You’ll also be able to make basic edits without having to download or launch the apps.
Creative Cloud Spaces (beta) are a shared place that brings content and context together, where everyone on your team can access and organize files, libraries, and links in a centralized location.
Creative Cloud Canvas (beta) is a new surface where you and your team can display and visualize creative work to review with collaborators and explore ideas together, all in real-time and in the browser.
From the FAQ:
Adobe extends Photoshop to the web for sharing, reviewing, and light editing of Photoshop cloud documents (.psdc). Collaborators can open and view your work in the browser, provide feedback, and make basic edits without downloading the app.
Photoshop on the web beta features are now available for testing and feedback. For help, please visit the Adobe Photoshop beta community.
So, what do you think?
Things the internet loves:
Let’s do this:
Elsewhere, I told my son that I finally agree with his strong view that the live-action Lion King (which I haven’t seen) does look pretty effed up. 🙃
Let’s say you dig AR but want to, y’know, actually create instead of just painting by numbers (just yielding whatever some filter maker deigns to provide). In that case, my friend, you’ll want to check out this guidance from animator/designer/musician/Renaissance man Dave Werner.
Hard to believe that it’s been almost seven years since my team shipped Halloweenify face painting at Google, and hard to believe how far things have come since then. For this Halloween you can use GANs to apply & animate all kinds of fun style transfers, like this:
I dunno, but it’s got me feeling kinda Zucked up…
Literally! I love this kind of minimal yet visually rich work.
Okay, I still don’t understand the math here—but I feel closer now! Freya Holmér has done a beautiful job of visualizing the core workings of what’s a core ingredient in myriad creative applications:
FaceMix offers a rather cool way to create a face by mixing together up to four individually editable images, which you can upload or select from a set of presets. The 30-second tour:
Here’s a more detailed look into how it works:
The New York Public Library has shared some astronomical drawings by E.L. Trouvelot done in the 1870s, comparing them to contemporary NASA images. They write,
Trouvelot was a French immigrant to the US in the 1800s, and his job was to create sketches of astronomical observations at Harvard College’s observatory. Building off of this sketch work, Trouvelot decided to do large pastel drawings of “the celestial phenomena as they appear…through the great modern telescopes.”
Going back seven years or so, when we were working on a Halloween face painting feature for Google Photos (sort of ur-AR), I’ve been occasionally updating a Pinterest board full of interesting augmentations done to human faces. I’ve particularly admired the work of Yulia Brodskaya, a master of paper quilling. Here’s a quick look into her world:
Heh—my Adobe video eng teammate Eric Sanders passed along this fun poster (artist unknown):
It reminds me of a silly thing I made years ago when our then-little kids had a weird fixation on light fixtures. Oddly enough, this remains the one & presumably only piece of art I’ll ever get to show Matt Groening, as I got to meet him at dinner with Lynda Weinman back then. (Forgive the name drop; I have so few!)
I’m a huge & longtime fan of Chop Shop’s beautiful space-tech illustrations, so I’m excited to see them kicking off a new Kickstarter campaign:
Right at the start of my career, I had the chance to draw some simple Peanuts animations for MetLife banner ads. The cool thing is that back then, Charles Schulz himself had to approve each use of his characters—and I’m happy to say he approved mine. 😌 (For the record, as I recall it feature Linus’s hair flying up as he was surprised.)
In any event, here’s a fun tutorial commissioned by Apple:
As Kottke notes, “They’ve even included a PDF of drawing references to make it easier.” Fortunately you don’t have to do the whole thing in 35 seconds, a la Schulz himself:
Generative artist Glenn Marshall has used CLIP + VQGAN to send Radiohead down a rather Lovecraftian rabbit hole:
This is the super chill content I needed right now. 😌
“Viewfinder” is a charming animation about exploring the outdoors from the Seoul-based studio VCRWORKS. The second episode in the recently launched Rhythmens series, the peaceful short follows a central character on a hike in a springtime forest and frames their whimsically rendered finds through the lens of a camera.
You can find another installment on their Vimeo page.
“A nuclear-powered pencil”: that’s how someone recently described ArtBreeder, and the phrase comes to mind for NVIDIA Canvas, a new prototype app you can download (provided you have Windows & beefy GPU) and use to draw in some trippy new ways:
Paint simple shapes and lines with a palette of real world materials, like grass or clouds. Then, in real-time, our revolutionary AI model fills the screen with show-stopping results.
Don’t like what you see? Swap a material, changing snow to grass, and watch as the entire image changes from a winter wonderland to a tropical paradise. The creative possibilities are endless.
What an incredible labor of love this must have been to stitch & animate:
Our most ridiculously labor-intensive animation ever! The traditional Passover folk song rendered in embroidermation by Nina Paley and Theodore Gray. These very same embroidered matzoh covers are available for purchase here.
[Via Christa Mrgan]
As I noted last year,
I’ve always been part of that weird little slice of the Adobe user population that gets really hyped about offbeat painting tools—from stretching vectors along splines & spraying out fish in Illustrator (yes, they’re both in your copy right now; no, you’ve never used them).
In that vein, I dig what Erik Natzke & co. have explored:
This one’s even trippier:
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make your own brush via Adobe Capture:
And here are the multicolor brushes added to Adobe Fresco last year:
On an epic dog walk this morning, Old Man Nack™ took his son through the long & winding history of Intel vs. Motorola, x86 vs. PPC, CISC vs. RISC, toasted bunny suits, the shock of Apple’s move to Intel (Marklar!), and my lasting pride in delivering the Photoshop CS3 public beta to give Mac users native performance six months early.
As luck would have it, Adobe has some happy news to share about the latest hardware evolution:
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Illustrator and InDesign will run natively on Apple Silicon devices. While users have been able to continue to use the tool on M1 Macs during this period, today’s development means a considerable boost in speed and performance. Overall, Illustrator users will see a 65 percent increase in performance on an M1 Mac, versus Intel builds — InDesign users will see similar gains, with a 59 percent improvement on overall performance on Apple Silicon. […]
These releases will start to roll out to customers starting today and will be available to all customers across the globe soon.
Check out the post for full details.