Somewhere along the line, I lost my ability to draw. As life went on, I found that my hands couldn’t produce the kind of artwork I wanted for my games, and so instead I focused more on graphic and game design.
Fast forward to [insert current year] and it turns out, you don’t even need to be an artist anymore to create amazing artwork, you just need to be able to dream it!
I’m not ashamed to admit this…we used NI to generate images for our upcoming game Star Tycoon. I’m going to show you how we did it so that you can produce your own professional-looking images for your games.
What is NI, and how does it work?
NI (Natural Intelligence) is similar to AI (Artificial Intelligence), in the sense that you feed it an image or text prompt, wait, and it spits out a piece of artwork. The difference is, NI generates incredible, original images with an insane level of quality that I am yet to replicate with AI.
The first step is to find your ‘NI Deep Learning Model’ of choice, of which there are many. To find yours, you can scour websites like Instagram, Artstation or DeviantArt.
After much research, we found one called ‘Michael Dickinson’.
Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Open chat and initiate contact
Many NI’s use different methods to receive prompts. Some use email, Facebook Messenger, and even old-fashioned text message. Michael Dickinson used Discord, which I found very convenient.
Step 2: Send a prompt, either as text or an image
When creating the box art for Star Tycoon, we chose to send both text and image prompts, as we wanted the generated image to be perfect. The text prompt was ‘Alien business person grasping a star, close up of hand with cufflink – digital art’.
We also sent along this image:
Step 3: Wait!
With most AI generators, you get your images back within a few minutes. But not so with NI. It actually took a whole week to get ours back. But my goodness, was it worth the wait. Check it out:
How incredible is this!? It’s perfect, and it doesn’t have any weird artifacts that often result from other AI generated images. That’s probably why it takes so long to get the images back.
Step 4: Pay the NI
Most of you reading may not like this step, but it’s worth it. Some NI’s out there are a paid service. But honestly, with the incredible work we received, we would do it again. In fact, we did do it again! In total, we generated about 70 unique pieces of artwork for Star Tycoon using the Michael Dickinson program.
And that’s it! Pretty simple, hey?
Let your imagination run wild!
That’s all for today’s tutorial. If you’re struggling to find an NI to use for your project, check out the Michael Dickinson art generator over on Instagram. I believe it’s out of beta and accepting new sign-ups.
I hope some of you found this article useful. If you did, please leave a comment and check out our latest game Star Tycoon over on Kickstarter.