This “AI-generated” anime upsets professional animators

A screenshot from Corridor Digital's AI-generated anime shows two twins fighting in an intense game of rock, paper and scissors.

screenshot: Corridor Digital / Kotaku

Recently, “AI” machine learning technologies have wormed their way into the artistic realms in both fun and harmful ways. While some AI content creators just make videos for harmless fun, others, like the creators of a recent AI-generated anime short, mistakenly believe that they’ve democratized the animation industry when they really just created a more technologically sophisticated way to do it than other artists to plagiarize.

earlier this week, corridor digitala Los Angeles-based production studio that creates YouTube videos related to pop culture created a video titled “Anime rock, paper, scissorsWritten and directed by Niko Pueringer and Sam Gorski, it centers on two twins vying for the throne vacated by their recently deceased father. your battlefield? A game of stone, paper, “Twin Blade”. Leveraging the machine-learning text-to-image model, Stable Diffusion, Corridor Digital Camera footage filmed in front of a green screen a dramatic anime-like appearance. It’s basically AI-assisted rotoscoping. You can watch the video below.

corridor digital

Continue reading: Netflix’s AI anime gets a roast for calling the artist a ‘human’

“It’s part of our humanity to visualize things that don’t exist. Let’s talk about traditional 2D animation. Cartoons, the most creatively liberating medium, is also the least democratized. It takes incredibly skilled people drawing every single frame of your film to make it happen,” Pueringer said a separate YouTube video, titled “Have we just changed animation forever?” “But I think we’ve come up with a new way to animate. A way to turn reality into one cartoon and it’s another step towards true creative freedom, where we can easily create anything we want.”

In a comment pinned underneath, Pueringer wrote that their AI-driven animation production technique is not intended to replace human animators, but rather as a means of bringing visual ideas to life without the “nearly insurmountable mountain of work” that a major animation studio requires A large budget would be required to get the job done.

“Imagine a person or a bunch of friends bringing their crazy ideas to life. Imagine if a traditional animator could have their drawings colored and colored automatically. Imagine eliminating the scary valley on CGI faces. These tools have the potential to do that. We try to find out how and share our journey. If we want community-controlled AI tools, we must develop them as a community, otherwise they become proprietary tools locked behind a company,” Pueringer wrote.

In an email with kotakuPeuringer said that while someone can train an AI model to learn the styles of many artists, it’s wrong to assume that’s the technology’s only use case.

“Through this experiment, we find out how we can use it [our] own art with these tools to speed up the process. ‘Anime rock, paper, scissors‘ is the first step in our experiments [in] figuring out how any of this even works,” Pueringer said.

Feeding an AI model with data does not create art

Despite how engaging the AI ​​behind it is ‘anime rock, paper, scissors’ It may seem like Corridor Digital fans, but the group’s AI-powered anime is another pernicious innovation in the animation industry because it steals from real artists in a way little different from the prospect of other machine learning technologies Copying and selling actors’ voices without consent.

Contrasted with the breathtaking Dragon Ball Z fan film, Dragon Ball: Legends– which took indie studio Stray Dog four years to create – Corridor Digital’s attempt to recreate the passion and energy expressed in early anime comes off as grossly cheesy and awkward because it’s a soulless recreation of animation techniques, which are scattered haphazardly without any technical skill or artistic merit.

Although Pueringer acknowledges the fact that anime is about tying the visual language to a story through stylized metaphors and art direction, Pueringer revealed this Anime rock, paper, scissorsThe visual style was created by overlaying the Stable Diffusion AI model with background art and character images that they took from the early fantasy anime film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

“We tried to take pictures of different people, some face shots, some upper body shots, full body shots, hands, hair, even some abstract things like flowers, because with all these different objects – where each picture is effectively a different object and a different character – if we train the model, it will not learn a single topic. Instead, it will learn the style in which all of these subjects were drawn,” Pueringer said.

Ultimately, Corridor Digital’s trained model gave a shit TikTok filter mess in which over-the-top shadow effects constantly cut through character models, despite their technologies’ best attempts to prevent any sort of eerie valley flickering you’d see in an anime-filtered Snapchat video. Claiming that you understand the visual language that anime studios aim to portray while literally copying the art style of anime studio Madhouse’s work frame by frame is not “democratizing” anime creation. This is just a hack.

corridor crew

While many of the Corridor Digital YouTube commenters watch Anime rock, paper, scissors To make content creation more accessible, other viewers felt the video was an insult to human animators.

“This just seems like a way for technicians to intrude into the circle of artists while stealing the work of actual artists for their AI to learn from. They should show this to the actual animators visiting, I wonder how they would react.” YouTube commentator SouperRussian wrote in response to Corridor Digital’s “Did We Just Change Animation Forever?” video.

Many workers in the animation industry hate it

Contrary to many of Corridor Digital’s social media fans, YouTuber-animator Ross O’Donovan feels Corridor Digital’s AI anime is treading on thin ice with professional animators. O’Donovan advised Corridor Digital to find “a first aid kit.” to prepare for the discourse that would ensue when speaking to an actual group of animation industry professionals. He specifically suggested Corridor Digital sit down with the likes of the team behind Netflix Castlevania series to hear what they think about the process of making Anime rock, paper, scissors.

Turns out Corridor doesn’t need to be hit Castlevania Director Samuel Deats“, because he has already made his opinion public. deats contradicted Corridor Digital’s claim that their AI tool was “a step toward true creative freedom” that would democratize the animation industry. Instead Deats tweeted that Corridor Digital are just “lazy thieves spitting on an entire art form”.

“When AI guys say ‘democratize,’ they just mean ‘steal’ and ‘exploit’.” deats replied in a twitter thread.

deats wasn’t the only one who was very positive about Corridor Digital’s endorsement of machine learning models in the animation industry. “This absolutely sucks, I hope this helps,” Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco wrote in a tweet. Ralph Bakshi, the legendary underground animator behind it Fritz the cat and that 1978 Lord of the rings The animated film didn’t honor Corridor Digital’s claim with a response. Bakshi instead simply answered “No comment” in reply to a cheerleading tweet from Corridor Digital’s “amazing” AI-powered anime.

Despite the online backlash Corridor Digital has received from people in the animation industry, Pueringer believes so Anime rock, paper, scissors is no less ethical than the other pop culture related YouTube Videos they uploaded to their channel “to tell their story”.

In a post on the r/Corridor subredditPeuringer noted that while sudden change can be scary, “especially when it feels like your passion or your livelihood is at stake,” Corridor Digital explores the use cases of their AI model to “shed some light.” the fog for everyone” want to bring their fantasies to life.

“I see potential for tools like this to allow an animator to easily transfer their ink and color to this process [an] whole setting, for example. It’s this potential that excites me about this technology and why we’re doing these experiments in the first place,” said Pueringer kotaku. This “AI-generated” anime upsets professional animators

Curtis Crabtree

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