A sci-fi series whose images are entirely generated by AI

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Artificial intelligence (AI) undoubtedly marks a new era in our technological evolution, especially thanks to its great versatility and its prowess of use, from which the field of art does not escape. AI image generation technologies are once again making the world dream by being used to produce a science fiction series, directed by a German entrepreneur. Thanks to existing tools such as DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, the director has demonstrated that the field of filmmaking is more than ever accessible to the general public, without the need for specific training in the arts or in AI.

AI has now become a real artistic tool, in particular thanks to tools such as Midjourney or DALLE-2. With simple textual descriptions, these AI-based programs are able to bring the user’s idea to life.

Fabian Stelzer, a German entrepreneur with a basic training in neuroscience, who has never had any special training in the arts or AI. Still, he created high-quality images for his series thanks to Midjourney and other similar programs such as Stable Diffusion and DALL-E 2.

Sequences produced in record time

It all started with a simple image that Stelzer tried to create that depicted some sort of fictional alien world in a 70s style. To create the image, he entered simple texts such as ” still from 1980s sci-fi film, screen capture from film, photograph, 35mm, grainy, VHS distortion, cinematic lighting”.

In view of the quality of the images generated, he then decided to go further by realizing a real story that he baptized “Salt”. Each two-minute chapter — which he called “story seeds” — was completed in just 2 hours on average.

The icing on the cake, he didn’t need to hire someone for the “voice off and -in”. They are all entirely generated by an AI called Murf, except that of Stelzer. ” We are on the verge of a new era, really “says the director. ” For me, it’s as important as the invention of photography, and to be honest, maybe as important as the invention of writing. “, he adds.

However, image-generating AI systems are still unable to animate them. The series is therefore produced with still images only. For the motion effects, the director therefore relied on editing effects and other mini-software to animate the faces of the characters.

A “free” art

The story of Salt is about a mysterious harmful substance, similar to salt, exploited by a mining base and said to be of extraterrestrial origin. What sets Salt apart from traditional films is that it’s the audience who chooses how the story continues after each chapter airs. The latter, for example, poses a plot: should one of the characters follow orders, disobey, or take a small sample of the salt-like substance before loading it into the containers for shipment? For the continuation of the story, Stelzer plans to make several endings in order to satisfy several groups of people at the same time.

A chapter of Salt posted on Twitter.

I really want to have a ‘director’s cut’ at some point, or a ‘community’s cut’, but the real goal is to transcend the medium of film into something new “, he says. ” This would allow everyone in the community to eventually use a template that would allow them to write their own stories “, he concludes.

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