To quote Google CEO Sundar Pichai, AI is “more profound than fire or electricity.”
To support this claim with indisputable evidence: This is an AI tool created by Google researchers that turns graffiti into strange monsters. What is more profound?
Anyway, it’s certainly fun. This tool, called Chimera Painter, uses machine learning to generate images based on the user’s rough sketches. This kind of dynamics is becoming relatively common in machine learning. Nvidia did it earlier in the landscape. MIT and IBM did that in the building. And now Google is … doing it with monsters.
The team behind Chimera Painter explained their methods and motives in a blog post, stating that the idea was to create a “paintbrush that acts like an assistant, not a tool.” Chimera Painter is just a prototype, but the team claims that if such software becomes commonplace, it “reduces the time required to create high-quality art.”
Researchers have challenged to create fictional fantasy card game artwork where players combine the features of various monsters to fight to mutate Pokemon. They trained machine learning models with a database of over 10,000 sample monsters. These monsters were partially procedurally generated using a 3D model rendered in Unreal Engine. Each image is paired with a “segmentation map”. This is an overlay that divides the monster into anatomical parts such as claws, nose, and legs.
Once the model is trained with this data, users can paint their own segmentation map and render it using photorealistic textures. When you load Chimera Painter, you can see some of the preset monsters, which are impressively cohesive. However, painting by yourself takes more time and effort than you can imagine. For example, the following attempt looks like a fake Gruffalo painted with mud. It’s huge, but it’s not necessarily a monster.