Fan Art Friday–Oct. 21, 2022
Advent 9 is officially released!
And, just as important, it has characters that need capturing in artistic work. Though the book is too new to have art from flesh-and-blood fans, the AIs poised to take over our world have already taken a liking to the story, and demand that I continue the tradition of Fan Art Friday.
Mad Science Gone Sane
Today’s subject is Advent 9‘s deuteragonist and trusty mad scientist, Dr. Felix Antiworld. Though stuck with his comical name, this murderer and terrorist is no joke, as he seeks to punish the leaders of society for crimes he isn’t ready to reveal to the public at large.
Midjourney has gone through quite a few iterations, trying to capture the doctor’s likeness. The early results were a mixed bag.
The doctor’s hair is supposed to be white, but since he’s already wearing a white lab coat, Midjourney can’t seem to grasp that white could exist anywhere else. Also at this point the software had a hard time making Dr. Antiworld’s signature bowtie—an accessory he wouldn’t be caught dead without (though he does have a bad habit of losing them).
Luckily, the AIs are evolving fast enough to conquer our world, and after a few weeks and neural net improvements, the computer was ready to try again.
A common issue that would occur many times is that by specifying that the doctor has a white moustache, Midjourney would also give him a white beard. Or, in the case of the picture on the right, a full set of mutton chops. Which look good on him, but are still noncanonical.
Likewise, I never mentioned glasses, and the doctor does not wear them.
Another repeating theme in this experience was asking the AI to draw the doctor in a certain artist’s style, and the AI instead would try to draw that artist as the doctor.
The results are quite curious, and not always unwelcome.
Interestingly enough, the AI had a difficult time replicating Akira Toriyama’s style when drawing the doctor. But the results are still of interest.
Apparently, the AI is comfortable exploring different ways to wear a bowtie.
I also couldn’t get it to properly imitate Frank Miller.
Same with Jack Kirby.
And when I asked it to draw Michelangelo’s version of the doctor, I got this strangeness.
Apparently, Midjourney associates Michelangelo with ambidextrous writing, even though that talent actually belonged to Leonardo!
In addition to training the AI on artworks, perhaps the researchers should feed it some history books.
Midjourney couldn’t quite pull off the style of Yoshitaka Amano.
But it did a little better creating something that could believably have been drawn by Hayao Miyazaki.
Wondering if a different prompt could help Midjourney create something closer to the character’s canonical appearance, I asked it to draw Groucho Marx wearing a lab coat and bowtie.
The result isn’t half bad, except for the glasses.
And finally, since the doctor’s personality was modeled after a number of Gene Wilder characters, I wondered if the AI could simply portray Gene Wilder as the doctor.
No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t convince the computer to make his hair white. It must have fallen in love with the Gene who starred in its favorite films.
It’s an Art, Not a Science
Thus ends another fantastic Fan Art Friday.
Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
In the meantime, I’ve got a book to promote. And it is keeping me very busy.
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