Editing my A.I. artwork was something that I just stumbled upon, but I find myself doing it more often now, and sometimes with surprisingly good results!
I never dreamed I could edit my A.I. artwork.
I thought proper editing would take a lot of learning on my part. But I've found out that I can do a very basic job of it, and then have the Deep Dream Generator do the rest for me!
Here is the story of how I learned it, and some eXamples of what I've done, (so far).
My "Happy Monday" picture was the first Deep Dreams image that I edited. I loved the look and feel of the piece when I first saw it, but then I noticed those hands and my heart sank. Then I looked up at the gentleman's mouth, and I knew the image was a 'throw away'.
The amount of points I'd have to spend to try and evolve it would likely be huge, and then I'd also probably lose some things that I really loved about the picture, with no guarantee I'd actually be successful in fiXing it at all. I lost all hope!
Deformed hands, deformed mouths.
A Deep Dreams Specialty!
Don't give up and toss it away.
Some simple editing can save your art!
Then it suddenly dawned on me that since the image was in black and white, I could simply use a black paint brush and scribble out the eXtra teeth with an editing program. To be clear, I have less than stellar editing skills, but hey, even I could do that!
I scribbled out his annoying middle row of chompers, and even did some work on her teeth. GREAT! Now what to do with those things that DDG calls hands? I simply cut out the globe without them and pasted it over top of them. Then I used my black paintbrush to clean it all up.
Now the image looked way better and was suitable for public viewing. So I went back to Deep Dreams with it, uploaded it as a base image, used the eXact same prompt I created the original with, put the effect strength down to 1%, and the second image was generated by the A.I., I was ready to make it public.
If you look closely you'll notice that I lost a bit of the detail in the process, but I think it was well worth the trade off, and I'm positive I spent a lot less points and got better results than I would have by trying to fiX it all at DDG.
I was happy, they were happy, and I seem to somehow remember that it was a Monday...
This was the second image I fiddled with. Had I not done the Happy Monday piece above, it wouldn't have even occurred to me to try my luck on this piece.
I was thrilled when I first saw the following render. The image was great, especially the blue eyes on an otherwise black and white picture. But as I was scrutinizing it, I started to think those eyes looked rather dull and lifeless. What to do, what to do?
Well, all I did with this image was add new dark pupils to the eyes, then I added some new brighter light refleXions onto the new pupils and original irises. A simple fiX that gave the boys more realism and life.
They were Blue, but I most certainly was not!
I did a few minor fiXes on some other pieces. Usually just removing an unwanted signature or watermark. For the most part I am fine with my Deep Dreams artwork just the way it is. I don't try to edit a piece unless I find it eXceptional and something about it drives me nuts. Enter the Magic Red Skirt.
Once again I was delighted with the image I generated, and once again I found something I couldn't stand about it. It was her indeX finger. Just look at that thing! The DDG couldn't decide where it should end, so it split it in two and let it end in two places!
A deformed finger got me to try editing a colour picture for the very first time.
I fiXed the finger, then the buttons, then the other hand, then the collar, then the button holes, then....
To be honest, I found the idea of trying to edit a colour image quite terrifying. Black and white was fine because it was quite easy to try and match the shades, but trying to match a colour, well that was another story! But that irritating eXtra digit gave me the will to at least try it.
I started by cutting out a small area of colour between the thumb and finger, then I pasted it right over the protruding eXtra finger tip. To my delight, it was hardly noticable at all! Then I saved the image and decided to continue to see if I was able to fiX some other things in the image that I had noticed.
I kept doing this for a while. I'd change something and when it looked half decent I'd save it again. Change, save, change, save. Before I knew it, I had done a ton of editing.
I had fiXed her finger, but I also moved her other hand up and taken out some shading, I fiXed the line of her jacket above that hand, I removed some buttons and added some others, I moved and added button holes, I fiXed her collar and removed a weird looking silver thing under it. I went crazy on the image until there was nothing left that was irritating to me.
Still now, when I look at this image, I can hardly believe what I was able to accomplish with it! Apparently I CAN edit a coloured image, and the beauty of it all is when you take the edited image back to Deep Dreams, the A.I. cleans up the sloppy areas for you!
It's just like her skirt. MAGIC!
"The Day I met a Mountain Man" has become one of my all time favorite A.I. art creations, and it never could have happened without me editing it.
I had to be quite creative to accomplish it, and spent a small fortune of energy points in all the renders I made along the way.
It was started from a source image, something I usually try to avoid for originality purposes, but the end result is so different from the source material that I think I can safely call it my own!
Here are some of the most important steps I took to accomplish it...
My first render (2) was a disaster, but I could see that my prompt worked well with the source image, so I wanted to continue on with the project to see if I could salvage something from it.
So I cut and pasted new pieces of beard over the seriously messed up areas (3). I think the issue was that the A.I. couldn't understand that there was a lip in the source image (1), so it just winged it!
I tried to cover up the obvious rectangle shapes from the pasting by hand drawing in hairs (4) and did another render (5), but it still came out all screwed up with a strange pattern going on on his chin. But I finally got a mouth!
I decided to give up and start all over, and I made a new render from the source (6). This time I got a face that I really liked, but his mouth was growing hair out of his lips! This was beyond my editing skills, so I just cut the mouth out that I liked from (5) and pasted it onto the new render with the great face (7). Then I got all artistic and drew in the hairs again to try and hide the obvious rectangle.
I used pieces from 2 separate renders to finally come up with an image I liked.
Finally I took my heavily edited image back to Deep Dreams, used it as the source image, and the A.I. cleaned it all up beautifully! I probably should have put his mouth a little higher, but I actually don't mind it where it is, as it adds drama to his eXpression.
I know that editing isn't everyone's cup of tea. Heck, it wasn't mine either until I actually tried to save a few images. But it's really quite amazing what can be done by someone like me, who has no editing skills, while using a cheap and basic editing tool.
To me, it's just another way to communicate to the A.I. and tell it what you want it to do for you, but instead of just using words, I'm using a picture as well!
I'm sure any editing tool will do. I just use a program called IRFANVIEW. It's a free program I've used for years, mostly just to resize images or change their eXtensions. It's very basic, but if you don't have an editing program and want to try it, I recommend this easy to use freebie!
Editing can save a throw away image and make it into something that's worth publishing. It can also be used throughout the creation process itself, giving the artist a hands on eXperience that really adds to the making of a piece.
The A.I. is a powerful tool indeed, but you've got to admit, sometimes it just needs that little 'eXtra hand' (pun intended) to get an image just right! I've found out that just some very basic editing can really do the trick.
If you're not doing it already, go ahead and try it. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain if you do.
Good Luck & Have Fun!
July 4th, 2023