19 February 2024

First Adventures in AI Comics

Last week's Monday post was the last in a series of six posts in an experiment using the 'AI Comic' software. The six posts each featured an image picturing part of the story, corresponding to one page in the comic. The six images are reproduced below.

A Chess Village and Its Wizard

The six posts corresponding to each page/image are linked here:-

Having spent some time manipulating the comic software, I've made plenty of observations on its possibilities and its limitations. One of the first observations was that the dialog balloons, e.g. the 2nd & 3rd pages' UR panel (upper right), contain gibberish text that can't be changed easily. They might look nice, but that's the whole story.

The 2 x 2 format of each page is somewhat monotonous. The free version of the software, which is the version I've been using, offers four different formats of which 2 x 2 is the simplest. Since they can be interchanged easily, I could experiment with the other formats, but there's a significant constraint. There is no control over what part of the story is shown in the individual panels -- four panels in the example of the 2 x 2 format -- that make up the page.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the lack of built-in continuity for the individual elements and characters of the comic. The Wizard sort of looks the same on each page, but there are significant differences that a real artist would not have allowed. The color of the Wizard's hat, for example, changes constantly.

In the 4th page's LL panel (lower left), there are two wizards. In the 5th page's LL panel, the Wizard's assistant is wearing the hat. In the 6th page's LR panel, there are two assistants, both with the same color hair as his girlfriend. And so on.

For each of the six posts I produced many images on the theme of the post and chose the one that I liked the best. I could have copied the best panels from different trials and pasted them into a new 2 x 2 format, but that would have required more time than I wanted to spend on the experiment. My main objective was to produce relevant artwork that I'm unable to do myself, and this is what happened. Sometimes the AI software gave me an idea that I hadn't thought of myself, which might be the most valuable contribution of the software.

These first six pages are an introduction to the themes that I would like to use in subsequent stories. I'm curious to see where the series will take me.

(*) Images: AI Comic Factory (aicomicfactory.com)

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