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An AI artist explains his workflow

How it works — and why it takes a surprisingly long time to make something good.

Phil Edwards is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

How does an AI artist maintain consistency with a recurring character? While AI art may appear to involve just a few clicks, it can be quite time-consuming.

The video above demonstrates the abridged workflow of the anonymous creator behind “Stelfie” — a time-traveling selfie-taker. The artist’s process involves custom 3D-generated heads, initial sketches, and extensive toggling between Photoshop and the AI program Stable Diffusion to achieve the ideal appearance.

Throughout this process, the artist employs typical AI art tools such as inpainting (modifying specific image areas), outpainting (extending beyond the frame), and denoising (controlling image alterations). AI art can be as labor-intensive as traditional art, but its distinct outcomes make the final product unique.

You can find this video and the entire library of Vox’s videos on YouTube.

Additionally, you can watch more about the ins, outs, and struggles of AI from language models like ChatGPT to AI used in the World Cup series. Watch the playlist on YouTube.

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