In the rapidly evolving landscape of game development, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked both excitement and uneasiness among artists. The use of AI in art creation has gained traction with projects like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DALL-E 2 making it possible. However, the fear of losing creative control has led some studios to ban AI-generated art. Despite these concerns, there's a compelling case for game artists to embrace AI tools in their creative process.
AI art involves compiling images to use as source materials and generating a piece of artwork. This can range from character designs, landscapes, heads-up displays (HUD) and more. This has raised copyright concerns, as the AI might inadvertently use copyrighted content without proper authorisation, leading to hesitation in some studios due to potential legal troubles. However, there are solutions to address copyright issues. Modifications can be made to ensure compliance with copyright protection regulations. By using AI-generated art as inspiration or a starting point and adjusting the design, studios can harness its potential without infringing on copyrights.
AI art tools can further support the early design stages by using the studio’s own artwork as source material, generating alternative versions of their design concepts, and speeding up the creative process. This collaboration between humans and AI allows for the efficient exploration of various concepts and styles, potentially leading to more innovative and polished final products.
Interestingly, freelance digital artists can also benefit from AI art platforms. Platforms such as Adobe Firefly and TurboSquid enable artists to upload their own work as source material for AI art generation, allowing them to earn royalties. This relationship not only allows artists to generate income but tackles copyright issues by providing source material that can be used commercially.
Finally, whilst AI generally excels in creating certain art styles, such as anime and cyberpunk, it tends to struggle with more niche aesthetics. Many believe true art encompasses human experiences, emotions, and intentions, which machines cannot replicate. AI cannot currently replace unique artistic vision; therefore, artists should consider it as a tool that complements their creative process rather than replacing it.
The uneasiness surrounding AI-generated art is not without merit, however, artists should not fear these technological advancements. By making modifications and utilising it as a collaborative tool, studios can harness its full potential. Freelance artists can also capitalise on it, contributing their work while earning royalties. Currently, AI cannot replace the essence of true art, deeply rooted in human intention and emotion, and should be viewed as an ally, enhancing the creative journey rather than diminishing it. Nonetheless, we should be careful to limit its use to the early stages for exploration/drawing inspiration and leave the true artwork to the artists.