Adding Post Thumbnails and Having Fun with DALL-E 2
Adding Post Thumbnails and Having Fun with DALL-E 2

I started off July with a very different project in mind for the month, but COVID-19 had other plans for me! I got the project to the 80% mark with time set aside to finish it off - then spent a week barely leaving bed with COVID-19. So here we are with something a bit different this month - playing with DALL-E 2 to create featured images for my blog!

I’ve always had a terrible track record with blogging and featured images. It’s something I’ve always wanted to be consistent about having but with limited artistic abilities combined with laziness, it’s always been a challenge. Some of my posts are a natural fit for having photos, but others require some creativity.

Now that the fantastic DALL-E 2 has arrived, it’s time to play with it! Casey Newton has been using DALL-E 2 to generate stunning images for his Platformer newsletter with excellent results.

Writing prompts is an art form

My first few attempts at DALL-E images were absolutely atrocious. There is such an art to writing these prompts. You need to be both specific and generic at the same time while giving it enough structure to figure out what you want. Sometimes you mess up your grammar a little bit, and instead of a specific painter’s style, you get photos of that painter painting the view. Some techniques seem to work better than others too. For example, making things look like a Studio Ghibli film works excellent! On the other hand, I had a hard time getting anything to look like a Pixar film.

In the end, I spent about 4 hours playing with DALL-E and generating hundreds of different images to get together the 20 or so images I needed for my blog posts. Some I absolutely love, and some were just the best I managed to do work.

DALL-E Painting but not Painting DALL-E Painting but not Painting DALL-E Painting but not Painting DALL-E Painting but not Painting

Text is hard

For my Adding YouTube Subscriptions to Plex post, I was trying to be lazy and just see what DALL-E could generate for me. Unfortunately, the results were underwhelming, to say the least. Text is almost always nonsensical, although you can tell that it has a general idea of what the YouTube logo looks like.

DALL-E YouTube and Plex DALL-E YouTube and Plex DALL-E YouTube and Plex DALL-E YouTube and Plex

Humans can be creepy

It was a friend’s birthday this week, so I attempted to generate some AI paintings of her with her dog. The dog turns out great in almost every single photo! On the other hand, people are almost always incredibly creepy. This is some serious uncanny valley stuff. Hopefully, in future updates, it will get better at creating realistic humans.

DALL-E Person and Dog DALL-E Person and Dog DALL-E Person and Dog

The results can be incredible

Now and then DALL-E 2 just absolutely knocks it out of the park and you get absolutely stunning results.

DALL-E Containerships

I’m looking forward to creating more DALL-E 2 art in the future! It is a blast to play with. I’ll be posting some of my favourite images I generate over on my Instagram.

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