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Simulated Realism and Art

I’ve been thinking about imaginative artists (like me) and AI art, and what we have to do if we want outdo simulated realism. By this, I mean the highly rendered, semi-real, semi-oil painted look AI can whip up.

I say simulated reality, because photo real is a thing artists have dabbled in for generations. That’s not what’s at issue. As artists, we want to make art that is profound, or pops off the page, or communicates great meaning or emotion. That’s not photo realism, necessarily. A good photographer can capture those things, so it’s not about medium.

I’m spitballing here, getting my head together. I don’t want to be rendered obsolete by technology. Maybe it’s inevitable, maybe not, but I don’t want to be second best to a machine. The human touch has to count for something.

So, besides being able to draw and compose well, what I see that I need to focus on is:

1) Depth of field, or aerial perspective, or loss of line in the distance

2) The color and qualities of different light and its effects on local color

3) Reflected light, core shadows and core lights, and the desaturation of shadow.

That’s a big wish list, I know. I’ve played around with all three of these in different work, but mastered none.

It’s a strange time. Photography dealt a blow to our forbearers, then 3D art in the recent past, now generative AI. There should be a path for the traditional artist to compete in.

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