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Deep Dream: Painting Picard


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25 February 2023page first published

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©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

In a previous article, I wrote about trying to get the Deep Dream image-making AI to 'paint' a Vietnam War miniature. (Well, to 'color' a photo of a mini.)

The results were not inspiring – as 79thPA Supporting Member of TMP commented:

I think the Vietnam attempts look like the SEAL has 40K weaponry.

The AI draws its knowledge from a large database of art and images, but from my experience, its knowledge of history is rather spotty. For example, when I gave the AI the simple prompt of 'Vietnam War', it produced this image:

Vietnam War

Apparently, it thinks the war was a riverine action involving some dodgy-looking rivercraft and random things on fire. And getting more specific didn't help. I asked for "Huey gunship firing on landing strip" and got this:

Huey gunships

The AI did its best. There are some odd-looking choppers (one of which is missing a rotor!) approaching a settlement or base, something is firing into the air, and there's a giant star embedded in a roadway.

So if the AI doesn't know the Vietnam War, what does it know? I decided to try Star Trek. Specifically, the character of Picard, since he's familiar both from Star Trek: The Next Generation and the current Star Trek: Picard series.

Picard

And here is our starting point: a picture of the Modiphius Picard figure, recently released as a 3Dprintable mini.

Picard

As you may recall by now, with Deep Dream Generator, you can pass it a photo, a text prompt, and a filter strength setting from 10% to 90%. Higher filter settings allow more changes from the original. Above, we've tried 60% filter strength (using the Cyperspace AI model), and we've managed to get flesh tones. The photo has also been blown up to almost twice original size.

Picard

At 70% strength, not much color.

Picard

At 80% strength, color is beginning to show up.

Picard

At 90% strength, we finally have plenty of color, but not much resemblance to the original figure. There's a hint of Next Generation uniform red, but the colors are definitely unorthodox. And his legs are quite stretched.

So I thought: If it knows Star Trek, does it need a base photo at all? What if I just ask for "Jean-Luc Picard on the bridge, in the style of Star Trek"?

Picard on the bridge

OK, that looks somewhat like Picard, the uniform is vaguely like the traditional uniform, and he is on a bridge! grin

Picard on the bridge

Now I've changed the prompt to be "Jean-Luc Picard on the bridge of the starship Enterprise," and you see the result above.

Picard on the bridge

This time, I've added to the prompt "in the style of Star Trek Next Generation." Getting closer, but those are some freaky hands!

Picard on the bridge

This time, I've switched from Cyberspace model to Artistic model.

My conclusion is that Deep Dream knows more about Star Trek than the Vietnam War, but is still not capable of giving us the proper coloration.