In recent years, we seemed to have had all kinds of new technology and innovations thrown our way. From VR headsets, to NFTs and facial recognition, to self-driving cars. All of the things that futuristic films and TV shows (and Black Mirror is scarily uncanny) depicted 21st century tech to be like are starting to become a reality.
The latest innovation that seems to be picking up speed is AI technology, which has already been adopted and incorporated in lots of different ways by Google and Apple. More recently, new AI technology has been developed in order to create realistic images in place of real-life photography.
Canva has now become one of the latest design platforms to launch such a feature with their new text-to-image AI app, allowing users to bring their ideas to life in a new, and what would’ve once been considered futuristic, way. So, if you constantly find yourself scratching around for new photography to showcase your brand and keep things fresh and exciting, could Canva’s new AI feature be the answer to all of your brand imagery prayers?
Let’s face it, being able to just type in the image you want and have an AI tool produce it is a great way to save on photography, especially if you’re a small business that can’t afford to commission photoshoots every few months. However, in researching AI photography whilst putting this blog together, we found that there’s still a long way to go before AI can become a viable alternative option to real life photography.
Why? Well, as the technology is still in it’s early stages of development, there’s lots of room for improvement. On the one hand, whatever you type in, the technology is capable of generating whatever your imagination dreams up. On the other hand, it’s clear to see that the technology requires a lot of development work invested into it before we can produce realistic AI generated images that can’t be differentiated from real life photography.
We were intrigued by this new feature, so of course we had to try it out for some of our brands. Needless to say the results were quite interesting.
We embarked on a mission to test out the Canva text-to-image feature, which from the outset looks promising, offering you a choice of formats for your new artwork. You then just need to type in the kind of image you would like, choose whether you want illustration or photo format, and sit back and wait for Canva to do its thing.
We would have to say that it is great for producing quite straightforward images, but throws up issues most particularly when human beings are involved. See some of the results we got in our experiment…
It starts off well, with some sausages in ode to our client HECK… the fingers in the top-right are a bit weird, do we see 6 fingers there? But this on an additional crop could just about pass muster.
And then we wanted to depict someone doing some gardening in honour of our client Mr Fothergills This one certainly does have a strange hand, and those flowers look a little bit puny, and we have no idea what the variety is supposed to be!
Then, we tried some pruners for Darlac and, well…
Here’s someone applying some self-tan for St. Moriz. They say that too many cooks spoil the broth, but we’d also add that too many digits have the same effect when applying self-tan lotion. We also have no idea what the white stick is in this image.
Things just went from bad to worse when we tried to produce a happy couple for Stretton Manor Barn…
Anyway, we think this demonstrates our point that the technology is still very much in its early stages. It also demonstrates that if you are looking for faces and hands, then AI photo production isn’t quite up for the task just yet!
However, there’s masses of potential for some amazing imagery to be produced for brands, once the issues with human proportions are fixed…
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