Motionographer® AI for Good | “Life Is Plastic”

Editor’s Notice:

On this article we discuss to Diederik Jeangout, artistic companion at Fledge, who reveals how synthetic intelligence (AI) drove their newest challenge targeted on plastic air pollution. By instruments akin to Midjourney and Runway Gen 2, the workforce overcame technological challenges and leveraged artistic freedom to generate wonderful outcomes. Diederik highlights the transformative potential of AI in promoting, providing an optimistic imaginative and prescient for the way forward for creativity within the digital age.

 

Are you able to clarify your background and what allow you to to be a artistic companion Fledge?

I’ve been working for a few decade as a artistic in promoting companies, dealing with each the copywriting and the artwork route, however my love has all the time been to find core ideas – the spark of an concept if you’ll. There’s magic in having a Phrase doc with lots of of strains of random concepts till one grabs your consideration, and also you simply realize it’s the one.

I bought to some extent the place I had finished many alternative campaigns, had the possibility to work with completely different groups and inventive administrators, all shaping me into the artistic particular person I’m at present. I felt it was time to take that have and form a artistic firm of my very own. My brother Roeland had a manufacturing firm that was up till that time primarily targeted on social content material, however wished to evolve right into a full-fledged manufacturing firm targeted on high-level execution but additionally creating in-house movies for good causes too.

As children we entered a neighborhood youth artwork competitors with a brief movie we’ve made, along with a buddy of Roeland, and we gained. So, in hindsight it was the primary style of what we might accomplish, being very completely different personalities however due to this fact additionally a powerful complementary duo.

Inform us slightly bit about your challenge and the way utilizing AI was completely different from earlier one. 

It began out with a single post-it is hanging on my wall saying ‘A child consists of 75% water and 0.0001% plastic’. I doubt these numbers are scientifically appropriate (the concept is) but this little yellow post-it was a relentless reminder of this terrible undeniable fact that nanoplastics are already present in fetuses contained in the womb.

 

 

I’d all the time envisioned this story being a vignette movie that began with a extra sociocritical strategy however would evolve into an emotional story with the punch or reveal on the finish. However it additionally needed to be visually charming, plastics being this bizarre contradiction of being horrible for the atmosphere but additionally trying vibrant and taking the type of so many objects we crave and love.

Realistically it was by no means going to be potential to understand this movie with stay motion footage and VFX, with the various visible concepts I had in thoughts. So the challenge bought shelved for some time. After which all of the sudden Runway Gen 2 got here out, and we knew it was solely a matter of time earlier than we might begin creating this movie.

Inform us about your course of. How lengthy did it take? What strategies did you employ? What packages do you employ?

In essence it’s an very simple workflow. Over the course of some months we’ve prompted about 1300 Midjourney pictures, looking for that excellent nonetheless – a thumbnail if you’ll. We typically fed unsatisfactory Midjourney outcomes into Photoshop, making an attempt to refine them into the concepts we wished but we couldn’t get Midjourney to supply. After all, Photoshop’s AI characteristic got here in extraordinarily useful for this. After which we fed them again into Midjourney, till we bought the photographs we wished.

We then took these stills and ran them by way of Runway Gen 2, rendering out about 1100 clips in complete. All through the 2-3 months we have been engaged on this movie (on and off within the evenings, weekends and the odd empty days within the schedule) we skilled how Runway Gen 2 was getting higher and likewise the way it bought extra options that basically helped us making an attempt to realize what we wished.

In the long run I used solely about 46 clips within the closing edit, so a variety of rushes have been thrown away. We edited in Premiere Professional, including just some inventory photographs on the finish as a result of I wished the foetus to look 100% real looking and scientifically appropriate.

 

 

Had been there every other issues?

The NGO we have been working with, Plastic Soup Basis, liked the idea and primary movie concept and gave us just about 100% artistic freedom to inform the story as we supposed. I believe that was actually key on this course of, working with the AI instruments we needed to our disposal. As the important thing factor on this course of was to embrace the restrictions, we have been working with but additionally welcoming the sudden surprises AI gave us.

As an example, within the opening sequence there’s a shot with a hand lined in plastic, but it feels fairly oily as properly, as for those who’re seeing plastic and oil on the similar time. That wasn’t the intention, however it served as an ideal transition shot going from the oil sequence in direction of the plastic sequence.

And naturally, getting into this challenge not realizing what to anticipate means you must be snug throwing a variety of hours away. There was one single shot that took about 3 hours to make, from Midjourney to Photoshop and again and into Runway Gen 2, solely to scrap it in the long run. And it was by far the one one.

How did you go about storyboarding? Did you must use AI? We’d like to see some preliminary frames.

The truth that we’re a small workforce, and our shopper gave us their complete belief in telling the story, meant that we didn’t use storyboards. We began out with a completed script, realizing the completely different chapters and first visible concepts, however we saved tons of psychological house whereas executing the factor – all the pieces was nonetheless potential.

We began out chronologically and as soon as we had the primary sequence completed, we began hopping forwards and backwards between chapters within the movie, primarily based on our temper and time we had that day. (Some components wanted far more consideration and work than different segments).

 

 

What was your favourite second or the funniest a part of the challenge?

As with all artistic challenge there are ups and downs. Moments, you would like you by no means began and occasions your confidence within the challenge is peaking. For me essentially the most thrilling half was creating these very first photographs and realizing ‘Wait, this concept IS going to be potential!’. And though I used to be typically battling in opposition to an AI entity that wouldn’t need to make what I wished, I liked it when it shocked me.

As a result of most of my time was invested in creating the rushes, the enhancing didn’t take lengthy. And as such it felt thrilling, seeing all these photographs coming collectively and the story taking form with just some clicks and cuts.

What’s additionally attention-grabbing to notice is that this was a reasonably lonely course of, simply me behind the pc with the common suggestions from Roeland. So as soon as Chemistry Movie was onboard to grade the movie and Antoine Cerbère joined to do the sound if felt as an enormous enter in power. Getting their variations of the movie again with graded footage and sound was improbable and the very fact they have been so enthusiastic in regards to the movie reignited the preliminary enthusiasm we had when beginning this challenge. So an enormous shoutout to them!

 

 

Did you encounter any difficulties alongside the way in which? In that case, how did you overcome them?

I believe the principle problem was preserving an open thoughts of the restrictions of the expertise on the time of making the movie. I’ve spent many hours stubbornly making an attempt to create an actual picture in my thoughts, solely to scrap it in frustration after many hours of making an attempt and many alternative iterations. It was good to have the Ping-Pong with Roeland, who I despatched day by day updates of the photographs, as he was all the time strict in his suggestions, preserving the bar excessive.

So, a variety of darlings have been killed however in the long run, I believe it actually benefited the movie.

One factor that was an actual limitation is that Runway didn’t need to give me round motions. We actually wished so as to add a shot of a tire that was spinning, however there was no manner to take action as Runway Gen 2’s Movement Brush’s controls didn’t give me that possibility. So, it took a variety of time discovering an alternate for that tire shot, as a result of it was essential storytelling clever since as much as 28% and extra of microplastics come from tires that put on out. And I needed to scrap the entire concept of a turning washer full of garments (artificial textiles being washed one other main reason for microplastics) for the reason that AI instruments we used didn’t need to give us that.

Noticing that lots of your tasks concentrate on social messages finished with completely different budgets (Format/Flex) , might you inform us which earlier challenge you’d have undertaken with the assistance of AI?

After we can we dedicate our time and power to causes that want consideration. We’re making a number of good trigger movies every year, however we’re all the time making an attempt to beat the budgetary challenges. As so many our personal ideas are created with that in thoughts, discovering methods to creatively use inventory footage as a part of the concept.

There’s one challenge that we might’ve made 100% in AI as properly, if it had existed on the time and we have been acquainted with the packages or expertise, which is a challenge known as ’The Rhythm Of Death’ for PETA. It’s a collection of three social movies, every specializing in a selected animal and displaying footage of them in fast succession – the edit rhythm corresponding with the precise rhythm of these animals being slaughtered at this second. An virtually stay illustration of the animals being killed.

These images took a very long time to supply on free web sites and it took even longer to edit them, making an attempt to place the heads of the images in the identical place so it was watchable. For each the technology of these images and likewise the place of the animals’ heads we might undoubtedly use AI.

One other one is a movie known as ‘Everybody Influencer’, by which we present how one influencer taking a photograph in a fragile ecocystem akin to a poppy subject can lure hundreds and hundreds of different individuals to the identical areas, ruining them due to the overflow of tourists.

We search the entire web for precise individuals in poppy fields and though we sourced them from free web sites we manually pixelated their faces out of respect for his or her identification. If AI would’ve been accesible at that time, we might’ve simply generated let’s say 50 completely different influencers and the job would’ve been finished in a tenth of the time.

Do you’ve any recommendation for college students getting into the sector?

There are extra alternatives than ever to create tales. Ignore the overwhelming side of all of it and dive into one side of filmmaking. I’ve the tendency to look at tutorial after tutorial, making an attempt to comply with a construction or linear path in direction of understanding a 3D program or an AI platform or no matter. However I’d say to begin with the core of all of it: discovering the concept and the story after which discovering the form it might take type. It’ll be way more rewarding and attention-grabbing for those who can comply with tutorials to craft an precise piece as an alternative of constructing stuff that’s solely a illustration of your studying.

In brief: leap and determine it out when you go.

Lastly, what message would you give to the business for 2024 relating to AI?  

Whereas we’re determining learn how to defend the worth of human enter in these occasions of technological revolution there are simply so many alternatives to make issues extra environment friendly, logical or budget-friendly. Whether or not it’s within the precise visualization of a narrative or behind-the-scenes throughout the productional course of. Use the expertise for its good issues and belief in your personal capabilities and in these of others. Individuals will all the time have added worth on all points of filmmaking however for us this opens way more alternatives. We’re not fearing what’s on the horizon however excited for what it helps us to grow to be and to create.