That ‘AI-Generated’ Anime Is Pissing Off Professional Animators

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That ‘AI-Generated’ Anime Is Pissing Off Professional Animators

Screenshot: Corridor Digital / Kotaku

Recently, machine learning “AI” technologies have crept into artistic fields in ways that are both entertaining and harmful. While some AI content creators only make videos for harmless fun, others, like the creators of a recent AI-generated animated short, mistakenly believe they’ve democratized video. animation industry when they actually just came up with a more technologically demanding method. to plagiarize other artists.

Earlier this week, Digital Corridor, a Los Angeles-based production studio that creates pop culture YouTube videos, uploaded a video titled “Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Written and directed by Niko Pueringer and Sam Gorski, it revolves around two twins vying for the throne vacated by their recently deceased father. Their battlefield? A game of stone, paper, “twin blade”. By leveraging the Stable Diffusion text-to-image machine learning model, Corridor Digital has given camera footage shot in front of a green screen a dramatic anime-like appearance. It’s basically an AI-assisted rotoscoping. You can watch the video below.

Digital Corridor

Learn more: Netflix’s AI Anime Roasted For Crediting Artist As ‘Human’

“It’s part of our humanity to try to visualize things that don’t exist. Like, let’s talk about traditional 2D animation. Cartoons, the most creatively liberating medium, are also the least democratized. It takes incredibly skilled people to draw every frame of your film to make it happen,” Pueringer said in a separate YouTube video, titled “Did We Just Change Animation Forever?” “But I think we’ve found a new way to animate. A way to turn reality into a cartoon and that’s one step closer to real creative freedom where we can easily create whatever we want.

In a comment pinned below, Pueringer wrote that their AI-based animation production technique is not meant to replace human animators, but as a way to bring visual ideas to life without the “mountain almost insurmountable workload” that a big animation studio with a big budget would be needed to do the job.

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

In an email with Kotaku, Peuringer said that although someone can train an AI model to learn the styles of many artists, it’s incorrect to assume that is the technology’s sole use case.

“Through this experiment, we’re figuring out how we can use [our] own art with these tools to speed up the process. ‘Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors’ is the first step of our experiments [in] figure out how it all works in the first place,” Pueringer said.

Feeding data into an AI model is not creating art

Although the AI ​​behind ‘Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors’ may seem appealing to Corridor Digital fans, the group’s AI-powered anime is another nefarious innovation in the animation industry, as it steals real artists in a way that looks little different from the perspective of other machine learning technologies copy and sell voice actors without their consent.

Unlike the stunning Dragon Ball Z fan movie, Dragon Ball: Legends– which took indie studio Stray Dog four years to complete – Corridor Digital’s attempt to recreate the passion and energy displayed in early anime also proves violently hokey and embarrassing because it’s a soulless recreation of techniques of animation scattered randomly without any technical skill or artistic value.

While acknowledging the fact that anime is all about tying visual language to a story through stylized metaphors and art direction, Pueringer revealed that Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors’ visual style has been created by feeding their Stable Diffusion AI model and the character images they had taken. the first fantasy animated film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

“We tried to capture images of different people, face shots, torso shots, full body shots, hands, hair, even abstract things like flowers because with all these different objects , each image being effectively a different object and a different character – when we train the model, it won’t learn any particular subject, instead it will learn the style in which all those subjects were drawn,” said Pueringer.

In the end, the trained Corridor Digital model spat out a Filter-like TikTok in which exaggerated shadow effects are constantly cut through character models, despite their tech’s best attempts to prevent any kind of weird valley flicker you’d see in an anime-filtered Snapchat video. Claiming that you understand the visual language that anime studios strive to represent while blatantly copying the art style of anime studio Madhouse’s work literally frame by frame is not “democratizing” creation. of anime. It’s just a hack.

Corridor Crew

While many of Corridor Digital’s YouTube commenters see Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors as a way to make content creation more accessible, other viewers thought the video was an insult to human animators.

“It just seems like a way for techs to push their way into the circle of artists while simultaneously stealing the work of real artists to use for their AI to learn. They should show that to real animators who visit them. , I wonder how they would react. Superrussian YouTube Commentator wrote in response to “Did We Just Change Animation Forever?” of Corridor Digital. video.

Many animation industry workers hate it

Unlike many of Corridor Digital’s social media fans, fellow YouTuber animator Ross O’Donovan thinks Corridor Digital’s anime AI is walking on thin ice with professional animators. O’Donovan advised Corridor Digital to find “a first aid kit” to prepare for the talk that would transpire if he were talking to an actual group of animation industry professionals. He specifically suggested that Corridor Digital sit down with the likes of the team behind Netflix’s Castlevania series to hear what they think of the process of creating Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors.

It turns out that Corridor won’t need to hit Castlevania director Samuel Deats’ line, because he’s already made his opinion known to the public. Deats disagreed with Corridor Digital’s claim that their artificial intelligence tool was “a step towards true creative freedom”, which would democratize the animation industry. Instead, Deats tweeted that Corridor Digital was just “lazy thieves spitting on a whole art form.”

“When the AI ​​guys say ‘democratize’ they just mean ‘steal’ and ‘exploit'” Deats replied in a Twitter thread.

Deats wasn’t the only one to express his feelings towards Corridor Digital’s advocacy for machine learning models in the animation industry. “That absolutely sucks, hope that helps,” Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco wrote in a tweet. Ralph Bakshi, the legendary underground animator behind Fritz the Cat and the 1978 animated film The Lord of the Rings has not honored Corridor Digital’s claim with a response. Instead, Bakshi just answered “no comment” in response to a tweet encouraging Corridor Digital’s “amazing” AI-powered anime.

Despite the online backlash Corridor Digital has received from people in the animation industry, Pueringer believes that Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors is no less ethical than the other. YouTube related to pop culture 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 a scary thing, “especially if you feel like your passion or livelihood is at stake,” Corridor Digital is exploring use cases for its AI model. as a way “to help shed light on the fog for all” wanting to bring their imaginations to life.

“I see potential for tools like these to allow an animator to let this process easily spread their ink and color through [an] entire plan, for example. It’s such potential that excites me about this technology and why we’re doing these experiments in the first place,” Pueringer told Kotaku.

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Article source https://kotaku.com/anime-rock-paper-scissors-corridor-digital-ai-animation-1850186624

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