prompt/response #001: the AI & creativity newsletter
A weekly missive on creating & curating with AI tools (formerly the DALL·Ery SUMM·Ary)
Hello, welcome, and thank you to the 1000 of you who’ve signed up to this newsletter in the past three weeks. Now we’ve all gathered, I’ll invite you to take your seats (avocado-shaped, naturally) - do let me know what you do and don’t find useful in this newsletter, and what you’d like to see in the future – just smash that reply button, I’ll read every message!
Meanwhile if you (or perhaps your employer’s budget for trade press and subscriptions?) would like to invest in applied research into creative AI tools – don’t be shy, become a paid subscriber! It’s going to be a wild year of discovery, and quite frankly, we’re going to need a lot of prompts…
* Confused? This newsletter was originally named the DALL·Ery SUMM·Ary, but, on account of the interesting things happening across the space, I’m going for something more platform-agnostic! You might have found this via the DALL·E Prompt Book I made.
This week on the DALL·Ery GALL·Ery
🛠 12 free & fabulous tools to use with DALL·E 9 minute read
How to fix wonky faces, animate characters, turn 2D images ‘3D’, and more – all with free & freemium consumer apps. Lots of extra stuff to play with!
🔮 What’s next for DALL·E? 20 minute read
How can DALL·E make the leap from a transformative AI tech demo to a daily need-to-use product? 18 ideas for product improvements to DALL·E, from the trivial to tremendous. (Plus: does OpenAI really want that many users?)
📚 13 inspiring prompt resources to bookmark 7 minute read
From the DALL·E Dictionary to Google's Arts & Culture Hub, here are some sites worth saving for when you’re trying to conjure up distinctive artistic styles.
Updates from the world of AI & creativity
New tools, projects, and experiments powered by artificial intelligence.
🎨 Midjourney v3 has been released: the most painterly of AI apps has just received a major internal upgrade, with much better support for generating faces, amongst other tweaks. (It’s now in open beta, so you can try it right away!) It’s gorgeous, and in-my-opinion slightly overlooked: look out for a deep-dive into the pros and cons of MidJourney from me later this week!
🆕 Stable Diffusion starts testing: a new DALL·E-like tool appears! It’s currently being alpha-tested with 150 users, and like Midjourney, exists only as a Discord bot. (1 x 500px image per prompt, since you ask.) Developed by a small team in London, the initial outputs are already turning heads, and according to founder Emad Mostaque, it’s only a fraction of the final model. There’s also a suggestion that the current version could become efficient enough to run on a user’s home computer – which would be a game-changing product vs. pay-per-prompt models. Sign up for the beta - it looks like they’re about to invite tens of thousands of users imminently!
📈 Craiyon (née ‘DALL·E mini’) is fine-tuning: edgy memes from the free image generator will be a little less deeply-fried this week, as the model gets an incremental glow-up. See the current before/after.
🤖 ArtBreeder’s Collage Mode: sketch out a scene, and let ArtBreeder turn it into an image. A little rough and ready – but kind of fun!
🤖 Meta’s Make-A-Scene: this unreleased text-to-image model from Meta also lets users prompt with a doodle, allowing you to define the overall composition for complex images. Looks really fun - check out the video! (You can try it out at a distance by replying to this tweet, but don’t forget to include a sketch – something that has so far eluded 100% of commenters.)
⚙️ CogVideo text-to-video model available to try out: this one’s still pretty early and trippy (and slow! the alternate version on replicate.com takes 30 minutes per prompt) - see what people are making on Twitter. (I like ‘"Stereotypical Italians make Italian gestures because they are angry" 🤌)
✍️ Can AI write good novels? The Verge enquires. “Everything’s just a copy of something else – the problem is, that’s what readers like.”
🏛 AI Art Is Challenging the Boundaries of Curation: an interesting take from Raphaël Millière in Wired, positioning AI use as curating, albeit in the sense of curation still being a creative act. This rings true to me, as it does feel like calling-in existing artworks from an alternate universe rather than ‘making them’ - well-crafted prompts are written exactly like this!
👹 DALL·E shows some character consistency across made-up names: Prompt for a ‘Butcjin monster’ or a ‘Burklfradram creature’, and DALL·E is somewhat more likely to show similar designs across prompts, especially if the visual context remains the same, according to some initial tests from Fabian Mosele. See a little more in this Twitter thread.
🖊 Designing logos with Midjourney: can AI understand negative space logos? Kind of!
💡 DALL·E as an AR Assistant, concept video: neat video from five years (five months?) in the future, as a voice-activated DALL·E rabbit helps our protagonist design a kick-ass creature for the inevitable Metaverse.
🔎 Prompterest - search for DALL·E generations by keyword.
🤑 Promptbase - a cheeky attempt at monetising ‘prompt knowledge’ that I don’t think will work that well in practice (there are too many free alternatives, and essentially, it’s pretty easy to guess what the prompt would be from the concept!) but you gotta respect the hustle. (Note: you don’t, in fact, have to respect the hustle.)
🍿 A (very) short film created entirely with AI art tools!
🥛 The Multiglass: visual experiment, combining DALL·E stop motion with moving video!
🎨 A dark comic, partly illustrated with DALL·E mini.
🃏 Pokemon cards through the ages, by XKCD’s Randall Munroe.
🏚 Forbidden Airbnb: cursed cabins from the latent space. No word on the cleaning fees.
👨🏾🍳 Weird AI Chef: DALL-E culinary creations, from the mouthwatering to the absurd.
🏃🏻♂️ AI-edited parkour video: automatically matching the athlete with a frame from the archive.
␡DALL·E watermark remover: I mean, it just chops the bottom 20 pixels off a DALL·E image. OK then!
🔢 AI Excel Formula Bot: Turns text queries into Excel formulas, e.g: ‘The median value in Column B for rows where Column A contains 'capybara', as a percentage of the median value in Column B for rows where Column A contains 'Darth Vader'.’ = =MEDIAN(IF(A:A="capybara",B:B))/MEDIAN(IF(A:A="Darth Vader",B:B))
👩🏽💻 AI text to RegEx: get a RegEx query to extract things from text. e.g: ‘match any two-word phrase where both words start with a capital letter’ = /\b[A-Z][a-z]+\s+[A-Z][a-z]+\b/
👨🏻🔬 Prompt hacks & tricks
Recently revealed techniques for robot whispering.
“Adding the term VFX or VFX simulation can help you get some much more abstract results. And adding the operator “color blocking” can really help give you a restrained palette. This also works really well with “fluid simulation” “smoke simulation”, “particle simulation” and “point cloud” - reidk01, Discord
Or, for a vector-y, modern illustration, try modifiers like ‘pixta.jp’, ‘dribbble.com’, Kurzgesagt, or ‘corporate memphis’. – Garf Fieldman, Discord
Trying to create a surreal photograph, but ending up with something too ‘realistic’? Merzmench explains step-by-step how you can combine a photography request with a noted illustrator: “A cat driving a bicycle, an illustration by Michael Sowa, but as photography.”
Not just big, but SCARY big: “I wanted to make a photo of someone looking up at a large statues and I couldn’t get anything to come out right. Then I tried typing in “megalophobia” and these were the results…” - danwashere, Discord
The almighty prompt “Candid photo of [SUBJECT], photographed by Annie Leibovitz” (and variations thereof) seems to be the definitive prompt for bringing a fictional character into something resembling reality, from the Cyclops to Shrek. Enormous fun! As revealed by Ted Underwood and Stephen Young.
From my notes app
Idea: generate images to illustrate unshot scripts from the Blacklist
This before/after comparison of 200 prompts for the Craiyon update, published by the creator, is a nice bit of transparency – I feel like every tool should have a running list of 100-or-so illustrative prompts, update-by-update, if only to head-off the ‘it ain’t as good as it used to be!’ conspiracy theories.
Help: can anyone find that awesome video (I think it was on Twitter?) that was made with DALL-E images, and purported to show a 1970s CIA/psychological/hypnosis/hallucinogenic research facility? My search skills are failing me!
Anyway: this just all just THE MOST EXCITING THING?! Follow along on Twitter and Instagram – this week I’ll be investigating the curious prompt-space of ‘hybrid artists’, going deeper on Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, and curating the best of DALL·E powered video for an upcoming article. Let me know what you’d like to see in upcoming issues. Until next time!
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