Friday, February 3, 2023

Mega Distraction: MidJourney

I have discovered MidJourney, the AI art generator. One of my favorite hobbies is to use GIMP to create imagery -- or try to. MJ makes the process a joy because I never know what I'm gonna get. And I get to PAINT WITH WORDS! I went through my 25 freebie generations in two days. By that time I was hooked, so I subscribed. 

Once I studied up on tutorials and learned the commands, I started generating ideas for book covers. The goal is to release new editions of past works on multiple platforms instead of just on Amazon Kindle. After several terrible results, MJ finally got what I was talking about and produced a glowing white lute for Sanjen's stories, and a dramatic battle ground with standing stones for the Falcons Saga, and a stylized image of a woman in the Sahara for my WIP.

But my prompts are definitely pushing MJ's limits. It has a real problem with birds. I want it to create images of falcons, right? "Falcons" is prominent in the prompt, but MJ is giving me hawks, eagles, birds with hawk bodies and pigeon heads, birds with funky-shaped talons, sometimes with three feet, or two feet with six twisty toes, sometimes a bird with one wing, or a bird with one gorgeous wing and one weird half-wing. It's been hilarious and frustrating. An otherwise gorgeous usable image will be ruined by one bizarre detail like this.

The latest fiasco (and most bizarre yet) was a gorgeous elven castle surrounded by fantastical trees (I was trying to get MJ to create Avidan Wood for a new cover for Blood of the Falcon), and the otherwise gorgeous image was ruined when MJ decided to put big block letters right in the middle of picture! This caused me to think it referenced someone else's promo image elsewhere on the web and arranged random letters in the same place. (see below)

No, no, no, you silly AI.

Point is, trying to create the perfect cover image by choosing the right words has been a glorious challenge, and I haven't written much on my WIP in the past week. Plus, now I've got a new LegendFire contest to work on, so MJ will have to go on the back burner.

Here are some of the bizarre results MJ gave me:

Why the nonsense letters in the middle, MJ??? This was perfect!

What is up with the bird on the left? Creepy eye and an irradiated left talon... tsk tsk.

Yet another attempt at bird anatomy. The falcon on the left is perfect, but for that weird right foot. While the bird on the right is somehow aloft with only half wing, and again with the random funky feet. I think there's an extra disembodied foot there somewhere...