How to Use AI to Edit and Generate Stunning Photos

Hello!welcome home About Technology: AIa pop-up newsletter about artificial intelligence, how it works, and how to use it.

In last week’s newsletter, we shared the golden prompts for getting the most helpful answers from chatbots like ChatGPT, Bing, and Bard. Now that you understand the general principle of building relationships with AI: the more specific and detailed instructions you give, the better the results, let’s move on to a slightly different area.

A lot of the hype and concerns about generative AI have been about text. But the systems that can generate images are also developing rapidly and dramatically. Often these share a similar structure to text-based generative AI, but can also be weirder and lend themselves to highly enjoyable creative pursuits.

Image generators have been trained on billions of images, allowing them to create new works once reserved for painters and other artists. In some cases, an expert may not be able to tell the difference between his AI-generated image and a real photo (this situation fosters a fun piece of work plus a dangerous misinformation campaign). . And these tools are already changing the way creative professionals work.

Compared to products such as ChatGPT, image generation AI tools are less developed. You have to go through a few more hurdles and it may cost you some money. But if you’re interested in learning the tricks, now’s the perfect time to start.

Last week, Adobe added generative AI capabilities to the beta version of Photoshop, the company’s iconic graphics software, and creators of social networks like TikTok and Instagram have been talking about the feature ever since.

I have a fair amount of experience with Photoshop. When I tested a new feature called Generative Fill, I was impressed with how quickly and competently the AI ​​performed a task that would have taken me at least an hour to do by myself. In less than 5 minutes and with just a few clicks, I was able to use this feature to remove objects, add objects, and replace backgrounds.

(To try these tools for yourself, first sign up for a free trial. Adobe Creative Suite. Next, install the new Adobe Photoshop Beta, which includes generated fills. )

After installing Photoshop Beta, import your photos and try the following tricks.

  • To change the background, click the Object Selection icon (box with an arrow), and on the Selection menu, click Invert to select a background. Then click the Generate Fill box and enter your prompt. Or leave it blank and let Photoshop come up with a new background concept.

    I edited a photo of Max the Corgi using the steps below. I typed “kennel” in the prompt and clicked “generate” to replace the background. Here is the before (left) and after.

The New York Times photo editors do not manipulate or alter photos or use artificial intelligence to generate images. But after testing Generative Her Phil, my first thought was that photo editors working in other areas, such as marketing, could quickly lose their jobs. When I shared this He shared the theory with Ely Greenfield, chief technology officer at Adobe, who said this could make photo editing more accessible, but was optimistic that humans would still need it. rice field.

“I can make very pretty images with it, but to be honest, I still make boring images,” he said. “If you compare the content that artists create when they put it in their hands and the content that I create, their content is much more interesting because they know how to tell a story. .”

To be honest, what I’ve done with Generative Fill is a lot less exciting than what other people have posted on social media. Tweeting about AI, Lorenzo Green said, Posted a collage of famous album covers, such as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” enhanced with generative fill and Adele’s “21”. The results were very interesting.

(Note: If you find Photoshop installation difficult, an easier way to test Adobe’s AI is to Adobe Firefly website. There you can open the generated fill tool, upload an image, and click the “add” tool to trace around a subject, such as a dog. Then click on “Background” and enter a prompt such as “Beach”. )

Tools like DALL-E and Midjourney can create entirely new images in seconds. These work similarly to chatbots. Enter the text prompt. The more specific, the better.

To create a quality prompt, start with the media you want to emulate, followed by a subject line and additional details. For example, type “picture of a cat in a sweater in a bright room.” DALL-E prompt box will produce something like:

Owned by Open AI, the makers of ChatGPT, DALL-E is one of the first widely available AI image generators that is easy for people to use. Get 115 credits for $15. You can generate a set of 4 images using 1 credit.

Another popular image generator, Midjourney, is still in development, so the user experience isn’t as polished. The service costs $10 a month and requires you to join Discord, another messaging app, so filling in the prompts can be a little complicated. Nevertheless, the project allows you to create high-quality, realistic images.

To use it, After joining Discord Request an invite to the Midjourney server. After joining the server, type “/imagine” inside the chat box, after which you will be prompted. Typing in “/imagine a cartoon cover with a corgi in a ninja turtle costume” generated a compelling series of images.

It’s fine to enter basic requests, but some people have found obscure prompts that produce exceptional results (tech blog Beebom says: list of examples). At Columbia University, Lance Weiler teaches students how to use AI, including Midjourney, to create artwork.

Whatever tool you use, keep in mind that you are responsible for using this technology responsibly. Engineers warn that image-generating tools could increase the spread of deepfakes and misinformation. However, the tool can also be used in positive and constructive ways, such as making family photos look better or brainstorming artistic concepts.

Next week, we’ll share some tips on how you can use AI to speed up different aspects of office work, like creating talking points and creating presentation slides.

In case you’re wondering, the delightfully insane image at the top of this newsletter was created by a human: an illustrator. Charles Desmarais — not by AI

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