Greetings! Behold, Part II of the Classic Pirates multi-part
saga series exploring the implications of AI Art on LEGO Pirate creations.
Throughout Part I we probed the particulars of AI art and the ramifications it has thrust upon the creative industry, along with observing general pirate-themed artworks spawned by various AI generators.
Part II’s focus shall delve into Vanestream’s efforts of tapping text-based prompts into Stable Diffusion and critiquing how effectively this machine monstrosity magics up LEGO Pirate creations.
Here be the grand index:
- Part I: An Introduction to AI Generated Art & its Consequences on Society.
- Part II: Vanestream’s experimentation with the Stable Diffusion Generator. (← You are here)
- Part III: Mister Phes’ experimentation with a variety of generators.
- Part IV: And if YOU, the reader would like to participate, we’ll cover some of your own AI Generated LEGO Pirate creations.
So without delay, bookmark this page today because we’ll be updating the above index with links to the other posts as soon as they’re published!
Recently I stumbled upon the trend of AI generated images, which seem to be all the rage at the moment. I thought I’d try it out with Lego pirate prompts to see what would happen. I found it interesting and lots of fun, so I thought I’d share some of the images.
Of course the images are far away from any official Lego and the MOCs wouldn’t actually work, what with unexisting pieces or just plain weird conglomerates of Lego shapes. Nevertheless I found it very interesting and inspiring.
To try it out yourself, go to https://stablediffusionweb.com and add your prompt, wait a couple seconds and AI will generate images. Perhaps this can be a thread for anyone to share AI generated pirate pictures. I’d love to see what happens!
Let’s keep it simple at first, with a simple prompt:
Prompt: Lego pirate
Notice the prompt be lacking any plural, yet we’re served three minfigs… and perhaps the arm of a fourth, albeit concealed by the rather un-piratey imposter, wearing the sombrero – or be that the brim of a gargantuan baseball cap?
The two figures towards the left are a reasonable depiction, but the faces appear a tad “drawn” as though scrawled with a felt tip pen… an el cheapo one at that! Definitely not pen forged with the craftsmanship of prestigious repute, such as a Sharpie!
Prompt: lego kraken pirate impressionist
Vanestream notes this prompt generated a minifigure which bares a resemblance to Jack Sparrow.
While the minifig itself isn’t too bad (minus the double-left hand), the accessories appear to be rather malformed. The hat appears to have been bested by a meat grinder… and is that supposed to be a telescope in his right hand? Looks more useful as a bludgeoning baton. Not a hint of kraken about him, though.
Prompt: Lego pirate ship black pearl
Stable Diffusion takes the “lego” aspect of the prompt rather literally and generates an entirely brick-built ship, granted that’s not an uncommon practice these days. Even The LEGO Group has explored this trend with release of the 31109 Creator 3 in 1 Pirate Ship which included brick-built sails, opposed to the traditional clothe sails of all previous LEGO Pirate Ships.
Sails aside, this Black Pearl has one too many colours and the stern is somewhat deflated in comparison to its robust bow.
And what be that black line shooting up from the truncated centre mast? Was it once rigging attached to the top section of the mast… then suddenly wrenched away and flung into the heavens by a hurricane?
Prompt: Lego pirate dystopia dark
Are these pirates? These lads combine elements of modern sailors with a sprinkle of yesteryear’s WWF fashioned.
Prompt: lego pirate dystopian dark acrylic blackbeard
This barely resembles a LEGO Pirates set but it successfully captures the atmosphere of a set with a “dark dystopian” theme.
Could it be that Stable Diffusion interpreted “dystopia dark” as Dark Knight? I.e. something akin to a Batman set?
But what compelled it to generate box art without a prompt specifying it?
Prompt: lego pirate dystopian dark acrylic blackbeard moc
Not too shabby! This be a fine depiction of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, sans the hat, a tad underwhelming in comparison to hats Stable Diffusion has churned out.
The rendering of the minfig itself is photogenic while the “acrylic” prompt has been interpreted as brush strokes in the facial features.
Prompt: lego kraken pirate impressionist
Do you get the impression that Stable Diffusion lacks awareness of krakens?
This generated image be a ship run aground upon a spit of land.
It be interesting to observe Stable Diffusion has taken a crack (pun intended) at material sails, albeit poorly rigged.
Including “impressionist” in the prompt consistently produces a simulated picture frame, rather than apply the impressionist artistic style.
Impressionism was a 19th-century artistic movement characterised by diminutive, sleek, yet defined brush strokes, and open composition. With an emphasis on accurately depicting light in its varying qualities, peculiar visual angles, and the inclusion of movement. Does that accurately describe how Stable Diffusion has been generating images under that namesake?
Ok, let’s try again!
Well now, that ship have the sleekest of hulls – perhaps better suited to the Black Pearl. The sails appear agreeable but the minifig in the foreground is amiss… has he been made to tightrope walk along an extremely narrow plank?
Prompt: lego pirate dystopian dark acrylic blackbeard moc fort
Apparently, forts are also beyond Stable Diffusion’s comprehension, or at least when the word is tacked onto the end of the prompt.
Nonetheless, it generated a quite solid pirate minifigure with a unique beard piece and hat we’ve never seen officially released by The LEGO Group.
Odd choice of accessories though – it looks like he’s about to plant some sprouts! Is it possible to grow a fort?
Prompt: lego kraken pirate
Well, ain’t a bad interpretation for a “kraken pirate“, Stable Diffusion struck a fine balance between minifig and mystical beastie.
But a minuscule ship for a hat be an interesting choice! And be that a LEGO Necronomicon dangling from the minifig’s side?
Could Stable Diffusion have somehow confused “kraken” with H.P. Lovecraft’s “Cthulhu” and included the infamous book as an accessory?
Prompt: lego pirate ship 1970s
This be how a LEGO Pirate ship set may have been constructed, had it be released during the 1970s? During an era which preceded elements like fabric sails and such components be built entirely from bricks?
The brick-built hull isn’t too fancifully constructed but the sails and upper masts be rather dubious… the “crows nest” of the main mast is floating! And is that suppose to be a crane attached to the foremast? Or is it meant to be a tensegrity structure?
Nonetheless, Stable Diffusion appears to have made an attempt at generating Fabuland figures. Not very effectively, mind you… but at least it’s taking a stab towards period accurate figures.
Prompt: Lego pirate dystopia dark acrylic
This must be the next evolution of Brickheadsz which now gloat hats and detailed facial features.
But note what appears to be a signature or logo in the lower-left corner, reminding us this generated piece is perhaps a remix of existing artworks, rather than an entirely unique composition.
Prompt: Vanestream Can’t remember
What ever the prompt be, the resulted is a dapper minifigure with a magnificent hat! Stable Diffusion has also stumbled upon a nifty technique for beards – entwine rigging string around the minifig’s gob.
Now wait one darn second! What be happening among the background? Don’t tell us that corrugated wall behind the minifig is a garage roller door! Well, is IT?
And be him in the process of Force grabbing a light saber?
Prompt: lego bluecoat fort caribbean sea
Blue roof building more like it! But in all fairness Stable Diffusion has made an effort to produce a fort-like structure overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
One aspect that does not lie in disrepute, is the software’s craftiness at seamlessly blending photographic and computer generated imagery together. Those possessing photo editing and 3D modelling experience, sometimes gruel at the tedium of a seamlessly compositing a background image with a photo or 3D object. Upon occasion, it be extraordinary painful align perspectives of the different elements, match the lighting and incorporate other environmental phenomena. So it would be fantastic if AI can alleviate that future struggle.
Prompt: Lego pirate dystopia dark acrylic
Holy Toledo! For an acrylic depiction of a pirate minifigure Stable Diffusion has nailed it!
The minifigure is well proportioned without scatterings of strange, abstract accessories scattered – the presentation be neat!
What’s In Store for Part III?
Are yer excited for another generous helping of algorithmically assembled masterpieces? Nay? Well too bad! Another shipment is being dispatched… eventually.
For Part III, Mister Phes seizes the helm to steer us through various different Text-to-Image AI generators, along with tweaking their settings. They’re also fed visual stimulus in the form of photos of actual LEGO Pirates and page scans from LEGO catalogs to improve their offerings.
But does this piratical education help the machines to learn and generate better LEGO Pirate imagery? Well, you better read Part III to be amazed… or disappointed… one of them two.
VaneStream is somewhat of a celebrity yer know? Ok, that might be a wee exaggeration but he is a prestigious member of the LEGO Pirates Forums, much attributed to his creative output fired into various brick film projects. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing the Being Pirates series, subscribe to his YouTube Channel at once and let the binge watching commence!
Yer can also find regular project updates and jaw dropping dioramic MOCs smattered throughout his Instagram and Flickr profiles. And if yer lack his creative prowess, he’s even made building instructions available via his ReBrickable account. He occasionally outputs the more modest creations, the Ol’ Pelican be a quick read if yer interest lies within smaller ships.
And while yer at it, take a peak at his official website, vanestream.wordpress.com.
What Do Yer Think?
Do AI Art Generators pose a threat to LEGO Pirate MOC building? Or are these musings little more than hyperbolic nonsense to entice you to read articles about the matter?
Have you attempted to use an AI Art Generator to create LEGO Pirate imagery? If so, how did it turn out? Were you pleased with the results?