Thomas MacaulaySenior reporter
Thomas is a senior reporter at TNW. He covers European tech, with a focus on deeptech, startups, and government policy. Thomas is a senior reporter at TNW. He covers European tech, with a focus on deeptech, startups, and government policy.
Fan art has flourished in the social media age, but not everyone is blessed with the skills to turn their ideas into spectacular — and disturbing — visual creations.
The worst offenders hang in galleries of horrors across Reddit and Twitter. Visit them if you dare, but be warned: these cursed images will be forever imprinted on your brain.
Fearful of joining these walls of shame, fan artists are turning to a new AI app for help. Known as Wombo Dream, the software converts text into computer-generated paintings.
The app was built by the company behind Wombo AI, the popular deepfake singing tool. To use it, all you need to do is type a prompt, like “Mortal Kombat’s Sub-Zero,” and pick an art style that you like. The AI will then bring your idea to life.
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The Wombo gang hasn’t said much about how the app works, but experts suspect it uses the VQGAN+CLIP architecture. We’ve asked the team for further details and will update this piece if we hear back.
Whatever powers the system, one thing remains apparent: it can produce some truly arresting images. Within days of its launch, fan artists had shared numerous striking characters from movies, bands, video games, and comic books.
Hulk art that I generated from Wombo Dream pic.twitter.com/81jy4QbalJ
— Hulk Archives (@hulkarchives) November 23, 2021
The system seems best-suited for fantastical characters. But it also works on realistic subjects, like my role model — Patrick Bateman:
Professionals have also been impressed by the tool. Saïna Seedorf, senior designer at TNW, could imagine artists using the app for assistance with colors, lines, shapes, and stylistic choices:
It’s very easy to use from a UX stand point; clean and simple interface. It can definitely help any creative when they’re lacking inspiration.
Indeed, the app can serve a medley of creative endeavors, from mimicking famous artists to generating landscapes. But it may prove most popular as a tool for producing fan art. And, hopefully, making the genre just slightly less cursed.
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