A.I. STORYTELLING

Picture created using Midjourney/Story written by Chat GPT

So many pictures I generate with Midjourney inspire me to write a story based on that one picture. I of course end up generating more images to visually tell the story. This time, I decide as and experiment to rather than writing a story and making other images, I’d let Chat GPT write the story.

Here’s what I told it and the story it wrote:

Me:

Visiting her grandmother on vacation, one day Sherry, a 10 year old girl, goes up in her grandmother’s attic to see what she can find. She puts on an old beat up wide brimmed hat and sits on a old dusty rocker and looks at an old photo album she found. What does she learn about her grandmother and what other treasures does she find in the attic?

Chat GPT:

As Sherry flips through the worn-out pages of the old photo album, she discovers a treasure trove of memories from her grandmother’s past. Each photograph tells a unique story and provides glimpses into her grandmother’s life before Sherry was even born.

The first few pages are filled with black-and-white images of a young and vibrant woman with a mischievous smile. Sherry realizes with awe that the woman in the photographs is her grandmother. She had never seen her so young and full of life before. As she continues to explore, she finds pictures of her grandmother participating in various activities. There are snapshots of her playing soccer, riding a bicycle, and even performing in a play.

Sherry is fascinated by the stories behind the photos. She carefully reads the handwritten notes beside each picture, which describe the moments captured in time. Through these stories, Sherry learns that her grandmother was an adventurous and independent spirit. She discovers that her grandmother loved to travel and had visited several countries around the world. There are photos of her standing in front of famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the pyramids of Egypt. Sherry is amazed at her grandmother’s bravery and zest for life.

As Sherry continues to explore the attic, she uncovers more treasures hidden amidst the dust and old trinkets. There’s a dusty chest filled with letters tied together with ribbons, revealing a long-distance romance her grandmother had before she met Sherry’s grandfather. The letters contain heartfelt expressions of love and longing, along with tales of their experiences during a time when technology wasn’t as advanced.

Next to the chest, Sherry finds a collection of vintage dresses, neatly packed away. She holds them up one by one, marveling at the elegant designs and vibrant colors. It dawns on her that these dresses must have been her grandmother’s cherished possessions, worn on special occasions or simply to feel beautiful.

In a corner of the attic, Sherry stumbles upon a stack of journals, filled with her grandmother’s handwritten thoughts and reflections. Leafing through the pages, she discovers her grandmother’s dreams, aspirations, and personal struggles. It’s a poignant reminder that her grandmother, too, had faced challenges and overcome obstacles in her life.

Deeply moved by what she has learned, Sherry realizes that her grandmother’s attic is more than just a dusty space filled with forgotten belongings. It is a treasure trove of her family’s history, a window into her grandmother’s past, and a source of inspiration for her own future. She makes a mental note to spend more time with her grandmother, to listen to her stories, and to learn from her experiences.

Pictures that beg for a story

This PDF contains 22 new images—and potentially 22 new stories, but I thought I’d let you imagine the stories. First, my prompts usually contain the basis for a potential story. But what do you see in the image that speaks to you? You can let your imagination develop the story, or you can write a description of the image and then ask Chat GPT to write a story based on your description and what you’d like to see developed in the story.

Let me get you started here:

1–2. Both images were created with the same prompt about an aspiring Hollywood actress working in a diner hoping to be discovered. In the first image the woman definitely looks like it’s the late 1930’s or early 40’s based on her hair, makeup and clothes. Sounds like a potential rags to riches Hollywood fairytale, maybe even a musical.

Though the second image came from the same prompt, she looks a bit more modern. Forget the Hollywood story, this woman is working in her parents diner to help them out in a small town. She’s back after several years away, and a guy she used to date still seems to be in love with her… wait, I’ve been watching to many Hallmark movies lately! Scratch that story!

3–9. All are sci-fi oriented about a spaceship that crashed on a desolate planet. They could work together in a story, or not. Your call. Why did they crash? Do they have a chance of a rescue? And what is that thing approaching in image 9?

  1. Is he an old clock maker making a special time piece for an important person, or has he finally, after many years of experimenting, figured out how to build a time machine?

11–13. Historical events are a great jumping off point for a story. These 3 images are about the Dust Bowl in Kansas in 1935. Or is image 12 a massive rain storm coming to save the ranch from the long, hot, dry spell.

14–22. Individual images that you have to figure out the story on your own. Or see what Chat GPT comes up with for a story! Have fun!!!

[Images created in Midjourney. Some cleanup and other modifications in Photoshop 2024.]

The Cave Dwellers

What sparks an idea? Sometimes it takes a great deal of soul searching, or looking at images to inspire that first spark. I had a quick thought about a huge cave filled with bioluminescent stalactites and stalagmites. As usual, I turn to Midjourney to quickly see what that might look like. It was those first images that immediately inspired this short story. Who might live in this cave? How could they survive? Who would discover them? It all came together.

This is also an exercise in experimenting. What do I have to prompt to get what I have in mind? If I’m not getting what I want with the prompt, what do I need to change to make it work better? But also if MJ isn’t giving me what I want, would a different program do it better?

There would, of course, be bats on the ceiling of the cave near the entrance, but MJ was producing hanging blobs. I added “folded wings” to the prompt and “fruit bats” to give a specific animal. Still unacceptable; but we do have other tools. Firefly was a logical choice since it uses Adobe stock for reference. Got the bats I wanted, but not as many as I wanted, so a little Photoshop compositing was needed.

I had a specific notion of what I wanted the cave dwellers to look like. Got partial good results in some images and partial desired results in others. Rather than turn to Photoshop, I decided to try the MJ Blend tool and immediately got what I wanted. Further explanations about using Blend to get my main characters are in the comments below.

Finally, Photoshop Beta came out a couple days ago and I was able to use it extensively on several of these images. When I generated images of the three teen characters in MJ I’d get different clothes each time. With Photoshop Beta I was able to change the color of the clothing of each of the teens so they more closely matched from scene to scene. I also changed some poses and expressions with it. I silhouetted the kids in first frame and generated the background in Photoshop Beta. The great thing is, all changes come in on their own masked layers!

I’m not saying everything is perfect and consistent between images, but I think the story I wanted to tell is told visually and is at least a good storyboard of what I had in mind.

USING SONG LYRICS AS PROMPTS

This video was created using images generated by MidJourney using the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkels “Sound of Silence” as prompts. Rather than line by line, I used each of 4 verses as individual prompts. I selected this particular song because of the poetic nature of the lyrics to see if MidJourney would interpret them in an appropriate way illustrating the meaning of the words. I have checked “Fair Use” copyright regulations on both ASCAP and YouTube before posting this. My purpose here is strictly educational and I’m not selling this video. Therefore, to the best of my knowledge, this doesn’t infringe on copyright I did purchase the recording on iTunes. This has also been cleared by YouTube.

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

Basil Rathbone starred as Sherlock Holmes in 12 feature films that were made between 1941 and 1944 for release until 1947, all of which co-starred Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Robert Downey Jr. starred in the 2009 movie of Sherlock Holmes with Jude Law as Dr. Watson where Downey won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Sherlock.

But my personal favorite Sherlock was Benedict Cumberbatch. He gained wide recognition for portraying Sherlock Holmes in the series Sherlock from 2010 to 2017, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. In an interesting twist, Lucy Liu played Dr. Watson.

I tried out a number of AI programs to see which would give me the best results for the story I wanted to tell and though a number gave good likenesses of Cumberbatch, there was only one that knew what the famous Sherlock Beefeaters hat looked like— Dall-E 3—which got it perfectly right down to the bow on the top of the hat.

I used Microsoft Bing powered by Dall-E 3 for the images which gave me a chance to try conversational prompting. When I first asked the program to give me starting image for my Sherlock story staring Benedict Cumberbatch of an alley with homeless men sleeping on a rainy, foggy night, it told me, there were no episodes from the TV series that started that way. I then explained that I was writing a new Sherlock Holmes story to which it responded, “That sounds like fun!” It then proceed to make suggestions on what to consider writing the story.

What I liked best was that I could tell it exactly what I wanted in the picture in detail and it gave me multiple images including these images that were right on target! I did do a bit of editing of some of the images with Photoshop 2024.

TIME TRAVEL ON ROUTE 66

As the song says, “If you ever plan to motor to the west, travel my way, take the highway that’s the best. Get your kicks on Route 66!”

So come travel my way with me as we not only get our kicks on Route 66, but do so back in time before President Eisenhower instigated the interstate highway system. Let’s take the highway that’s the best back in the 1950s.

We’ll travel though small towns, eat at highway diners, sleep in small motels, and visit a wide variety of roadside tourist attractions.

Prompt: [subject] along Route 66 in the 1950s –ar 16:9

EASTER BREAKING NEWS

Sometimes it’s just fun to put a story together for a few laughs. Taking a photo from MSNBC’s site of Katy Tur. I decided to do a Breaking News story about Easter in Manhattan and all the bizarre things that were happening in the streets—all created in Midjourney! Also got a photo of Tucker Carlson from Fox News (before he was fired.)

WE’RE SO DIVIDED ON EVERYTHING?

I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of how divided our country is! People get so angry! They refuse to even listen to other people’s point of view or feel they have a right to it if they don’t agree with them on everything!I don’t know what we can do —except point out how absurd this whole thing is!

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