AI software turns simple sketches into photorealistic images in seconds

Whoa

A line turns into a waterfall. A shaky circle becomes a jagged
boulder. Layers of colors are suddenly a sunset. Just
wait—computer drawings are about to get a whole lot more
photorealistic.

Visual computing company Nvidia recently showed off a new piece
of software called GauGAN (get it?) that can turn crude sketches
into artfully crafted digital paintings.
TechCrunch
describes it as “MS Paint for the AI age,” and
that’s pretty much accurate.

Using neural networks that have been trained on millions of
stock landscape images, the software is able to interpret the
intent of an abstract shape and turn it into a real-world scene. To
be fair, the computer has a little help. Users first choose a
category, whether it’s “sky,” “plant,” or “mountain;”
and when they scrawl a simple shape, that sketch will transform
into a much more impressive image generated by GauGAN.

What does this mean for art? What does this mean for
architecture? At the moment, not much. The software is still in its
development stage, but Nvidia’s computer scientists say that it
could be used to create synthetic rendering images for architects
on the fly. “It’s much easier to brainstorm designs with simple
sketches, and this technology is able to convert sketches into
highly realistic images,”
said Bryan Catanzaro
, vice president of applied deep learning
research at NVIDIA

It does make you wonder how automated, generative software might
be used by future creators to not just augment people’s work, but
to make wholesale decisions about form and style.

Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
AI software turns simple sketches into photorealistic images in seconds