While there is plenty of academics undergarment wadding over AI generative text (and please stop referring to it all as ChatGPT), I was first interested and still in the generation of images (a year ago Craiyon was the leading edge, now it looks like a sad nub of burnt sienna).

Get ready for everything to get upturned with Adobe Photoshop’s Generative Fill, now in beta. I spotted it and some jaw dropping examples in PetaPixel’s Photoshop’s New ‘Generative Fill’ Uses AI to Expand or Change Photos but was drawn in more by a followup post on So, Who Owns a Photo Expanded by Adobe Generative Fill? This gets into even more muddy, messy, and also interesting (time curse like?) waters.

That latter article has some really fabulous pieces of ?? Extended Album Covers found originally in the twitter stream of  Alexander Dobrokotov. I’d post the tweets here for you to see, but twitter broke the capabilty to embed tweets.

The concept is rather DS106-ish a central image of an actual album cover is embedded into a much larger imagined scene (see the Petapixel post for the examples) where all the imagery around was created with this new Adobe Photoshop beta feature.

I have seen this many times with AI, you see these jaw dropping examples that imply someone just typed a phrase in a box, clicked the magic bean button, and it popped out. Most of the time, if you can find where the “making” of is shared, you will find it took hours of prompt bashing and more likely, extra post processing in regular Photoshop.

Hence why my attempts usually look awful (?)

Now I could just share say image (like the Katy Perry cover of her sleeping in soft material that turns out to be a giant cat) and say, this is cool! But I always want to try things myself. So I downloaded (overnight) the beta version of Photoshop.

The way it works is you use the crop tool to create space around a source image. This fills with just white. But then you select all that blank space along with an edge portion of the seed photo, and watch something emerge. In many ways it’s impressive.

I started with my iconic Felix photo, the one I took on his first days with me in 2016, the one I use often as an icon.

2016/366/98 "Did Someone Say Go for a Ride?"
2016/366/98 “Did Someone Say Go for a Ride?” flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

In Photoshop Beta, I enlarged the Canvas to the left a lot, and a little above, and let the magic go to work. Perhaps this is not the best example, since my truck in the background is blurred from depth of field effect.

Not quite magic.

Generated fill attempt 1 (click to see full size)

That’s a rather awkward vehicle there. And since AI has no concept of a porch rail, it would likely extend those posts Felix is peeking through into the stratosphere.

I decided to try again, and added a prompt to the generative gizmo saying “Red truck towing a camper”

Generative fill 2 attempt with prompt of “red truck towing camper” (click for full image)

Well, that looks awkwarder too. But it generates something.

I took another stab, thinking how it might take on extending a wide landscape that is well known. This is tricky because if one knows something of Geology, they canyon to either side extends to a broad plateau.

2018/365/80 Grand is an Understatement
2018/365/80 Grand is an Understatement flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

I did one first where I went about 50% wider on each side

Grand Canyon Generative Fill 1 (click for full size)

It certainly continues the pattern, and is not all that weird. You do get 3 variations, this one is about the same:

Grand Canyon Generative Fill 2 (click for full size)

It’s odd, but not really too far from pseudo reality. I riffed off of this version, adding again another chunk of empty space on either side. Now its getting the geology pretty messed up and messy.

Grand Canyon Generative Fill of a Generative Fill

These are just quick plays, and there are also the other features in the mix to add and remove elements.

This definitely is going to change up a lot things for photographers and digital artist, and what is real and what is generated is getting so inter-tangled that thinking you can separate them is as wise as teetering off that canyon edge.

But getting back to the Petapixel leading headline, “So, Who Owns a Photo Expanded by Adobe Generative Fill?” oh my is ownership, copyright, and licensing going to get mashed up too. So all of those creative album cover expansions? It’s starting with copyrighted material. But the algorithmic extension, is that so far changed to raise a fair use flag? Heck, I have no idea.

At least if you start with an open license image, you stand on slightly less squishy ground.

I’m going back to my shed to tinker (that’s for Martin).


Featured Image: 100% free of AI!

Fill 'er Up
Fill ‘er Up flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so)

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