Have you ever sketched an idea for a new work of art and wondered what you could do to improve it? There's so many directions a piece can take and sadly, so few directions we can explore on a typical project. Time may even be your biggest obstacle if you have a busy day job like me...
Fortunately Snowpixel is here to save us!
I'll use a couple of examples from my past sketches and a new idea I'm still working on to demonstrate the power of the Similar and Structure models. Currently the Structure model just needs a text prompt and for the Similar model, I like to use the 'Low' settings to get the most variety out of the results.
Example 1: Greyscale / Value Studies
In the first example, I uploaded a messy sketch of an old image I never pursued. It was a pleasant surprise that the results followed in a similar greyscale style, but they have higher fidelity than my sketch!
Here's my input image:
The top 9 results (Similar model / Low):
Since it does not take as long to paint a single greyscale / value sketch, using Snowpixel in our workflow means we can get exponentially more ideas from a single sketch! Even if only 10 or so results were good, that's 10x the initial work; huge time savings in the long run.
You can run additional models on your favorite or paint over a little bit and upload a new version to get as many as you want.
Example 2: 3D Modeling to Character Concept Art
If you spend time on Artstation or following the workflow of concept artists, a common technique is to use 3D software like Daz Studio, Blender and/or Unreal Engine to generate a variety of concepts under different lighting conditions. It takes a lot of time to set up different poses and scenarios as well as requiring the assets and materials. Any way to get more milage out of a render is valuable.
As in our greyscale example, Snowpixel can take our initial render and create the variants for us overnight while we catch up on sleep.
Results (Similar model / Low):
Since Snowpixel does a good job at emulating the style of the input image, results from the Similar model based on 3D renders have the same vibe as the source image. It's easy to get stylized results based on realistic proportions when using Snowpixel in combinaition with 3D assets such as the Daz 3D characters.
Example 3: Illustration Brainstorming
The first 2 examples required decent input images created with an understanding of either sketching or 3D software for the best results.
Fortunately Snowpixel has other models which can be used before the Similar model to create the input images with text, so you don't need art skills to get awesome results! Currently the Structure model is the best option here.
For this example I wanted to paint either a vampire queen or a goddess like Nyx. Previously I had to do a lot of research on Pinterest and some studies to understand the subject and practice. Instead of all that we can simply use Snowpixel to create those ideas for us, or find half a dozen amazing inputs and use those to inspire new results.
Step 1 (structured model):
Prompt: Legend of the Cryptids vampire queen
Sometimes results of structure model end up too similar to my liking. It may be due to using too many words in the prompt. However the results look pretty awesome with a variety of portrait and full outfit designs!
Here's a 2nd prompt with Structure Model:
An ethereal sorceress casting black magic in front of a full moon by Ruan Jia
There was less variation in this prompt. It takes plenty of experimentation with prompts. I have the feeling 'sorceress of the full moon' would have generated more variety.
After generating those rough ideas, I used Photoshop to photobash some of the elements. 3 additional images of the portrait, debris and forest were used in the Photoshop compilation. They were each generated with Snowpixel as well, using the Similar model on my own art (top image/portrait) and some Artstation art (the other 2 used for background).
The process is a lot of fun and the best thing is you can upload these photoshopped versions to Snowpixel's Similar model get even more thumbnails. Combine them with different images to get different results!
Here's some more results using the Photoshopped image with the purple background along with other image inputs:
Features like the faces and hands can get distorted with Snowpixel, but that's something easy to fix in Photoshop. The lighting and composition ideas more than make up for those defects.
Hopefully you learned some new techniques for generating ideas and thumbnail sketches with the help of Snowpixel. If you have any old sketches tucked away, you might find a way of quickly reviving those ideas into amazing new pieces!
Best of luck with your art journey!