The next step for DALL-E and Midjourney is animation — Quartz

New tools like DALL-E 2 and OpenAI’s Midjourney allow anyone to type in a series of prompts (“a bird sitting in a tree on a sunny day in the style of Rembrandt”, for example) and output an image which illustrates the text that the user enters.

The disruptive effect these tools have on graphic art is already fueling debate among mainstream artists about the impact this might have on the future of fine art. Logically, one of these potential short-term futures of technology are systems that then animate these artificially generated images.

“Many academic institutions are working on animations,” David Holz, founder and CEO of Midjourney told Quartz. “It’s a bit pricey and the quality isn’t there yet, but we’ll definitely see some crazy things over the next few years.”

AI Animation Could Disrupt the Entire Animation Industry

One of the first technological changes in hand-drawn animation was rotoscoping. It’s the process of tracing over live action footage and helped animators make character movements more realistic. Despite its use in classic Disney movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and innovative films like Ralph Bakshi’s animated film the Lord of the Rings and Richard Linklater waking lifesome animators still despise rotoscoping.

In recent years, motion capture has become one of the most popular ways to animate 3D character models to shorten production time and make animations more realistic. Some of the best examples of the technique are on display in Netflix Love, Death + Robots series.

Using art history to preview the future of AI art

Some compare the use of AI to generate art to that of an artist like Andy Warhol, whose workers produced silkscreen and lithograph images in his name, often based on pop culture references. and pre-existing photos that he did not take.

Strange Adario/Midjourney

An image created using Midjourney using the “Superman meets Spider-Man” prompt

“The reason I paint this way is because I want to be a machine,” Warhol said of his factory process. Sol LeWitt, a concept artist who gave detailed instructions to assistants on how to create a work, believed that when “all the planning and decisions are made in advance…the execution is a superficial affair”.

In this regard, automation in art has been a glimpse of the rise of AI in art, with code now replacing teams of assistants.

Motion capture has optimized animation production work, AI footage could be next

Even with industry skepticism, rotoscoping and motion capture were eventually widely adopted as acceptable tools of the animation business. However, in both cases, a human hand was always directly involved in the production of visuals. With AI-generated imagery, the animation process can scale to require only human input into the main algorithm and front-end prompts to dictate a scene.

Some see the use of AI art generation tools as a natural evolution of software like Photoshop and Procreate. Others see image-generating AI as a force that could displace thousands of humans who support their families as professional illustrators. In the case of animation, this change could eventually cost the jobs of more than 62,000 animators and special effects artists working in the United States.

Still, given the rapid progress of these AI art systems, it probably won’t be long before they’re powerful enough to produce some form of animated movies, essentially turning screenwriters into art directors and ushering in a strange new phase of animation. .

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