Erika Wishes You A Happy Pride Month

To celebrate the beginning of Pride Month, here’s Erika from Pokemon, made in Stable Diffusion. The implications of which way she goes are nothing but a massive coincidence (I don’t think mid-1990s Japanese developers were even aware of the implications, and don’t know how solidified the rainbow symbol was). But still: All-female gym, and she gives the Rainbow badge.

I’ll just say that I haven’t been the only one to make that headcanon connection. Happy Pride Month!

Ly Rachany Brought To Life

One of the most beautiful things about AI art generators is that it’s given me the change to take characters that I could see in my mind and bring them to life. With this in mind, I was especially delighted to create one of the main characters in The Sure Bet King. Behold Ly Rachany, CEO of Parilor, and lover of bunkers and security systems.

Seleucian Special Forces APC

Stable Diffusion gave me a chance to make something I’ve long imagined: A truck-APC belonging to a Seleucian (one of my OPFOR countries) Motorized Special Forces unit. First, the picture itself.

There are many existing heavy-duty pickup conversions like this: An armored pickup with the bed replaced by a capsule that’s even more fortified.

(You get the idea)

Now for their organization: Seleucia’s large “Special Forces” components are motorized to varying degrees. The quotation marks are because few of them are what NATO would consider “special forces”, with many being simply conventional troops with better training and motivation than the other ragged masses of that country’s huge army. Still, Seleucian motorized SF have shown their capability.

A Seleucian motorized SOF battalion is similar to a light infantry one, only with armored personnel carriers. As the mere “transport” capacity is prioritized, motorized SOF often ride in older and/or cheaper vehicles-like armored pickup trucks. APCs frequently hide after dropping off their dismounts. A common defensive tactic for Seleucian commandos is to drive close to an ambush site, conduct the ambush on foot, then scramble back to their carrier and move to another one later on.

However, it is not uncommon for Seleucian motorized SOF to accompany heavy units of tanks and SPGs in conventional operations. Here they fight similarly to Stryker/BTR style infantry in faster wheeled APCs of other countries. In conventional defensive operations, motorized SOF have a somewhat unusual role as mobile antitank detachments. Thanks to their skill, mobility, and flexible organization, SOF battalions with large amounts of of anti-armor weapons can be used similarly to the tank destroyers of other nations.

The Saxon and BTR-152 are examples of the basic style of APCs frequently found in Seleucian motor SOF units. Tracked vehicles, mostly basic ones like M113s and MTLBs, are rarer but not unheard of, especially where the terrain suits them.

AI Undertale Portraits

Some Stable Diffusion pseudo-photographs of the Undertale main humans. Chara is the black and white one with the single stripe, Frisk the color one with the two stripes. (The black and white one is partially because I made it in inspiration from a fanfic where Chara fell in 1926, so I chose one that fit the time period.)

Amin Hayatov Official Portrait

One of the things I like about AI art is the ability to translate my words and mental images into pictures. This is a recent Stable Diffusion “portrait” of Amin Hayatov, president of the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics in All Union’s present. The original picture had facial hair and something in his pocket that was inpainted out, and the Sovereign Union flag lapel pin was added in externally and then smoothed out through mild AI runs.

Sovereign Union flag for comparison

A Soviet Romanian War Photo

Had too much fun making this “recon aircraft photo” of wrecked armored vehicles in a field in Stable Diffusion. I actually found it was easier to just make the field and then inpaint in the wrecks. And if it’s a high altitude, somewhat blurry photo, that makes the imprecision regarding tanks and the like less important.

A common sight in September 1998 and after. Soviet air supremacy led to fields full of destroyed and abandoned Romanian vehicles throughout the country.

How Computers Destroyed (And Could Save) Cover Art

I just found this great article called “When Movie Artwork Was Great.” Long story short, the cover was an important part of advertising, and thus was worth the expense even for otherwise low-budget productions. A combination of computer tools making it easy to do a basic cover (Ie, it’s not like “you have to hand-draw it anyway…), and lower production values as the industry got squeezed meant that generic photoshopped mush took over.

It felt very familiar to me because the exact same thing happened concerning book covers for exactly the same reasons. Weirdly enough, otherwise high-profile books tended to have minimalist covers from the get-go. But trashy pulps that couldn’t even keep the main character’s name consistent (I’m not joking) would have spectacular covers from the likes of Gil Cohen and Ken Barr.

Now it’s just-look at the book section of a grocery store and you’ll know.

I mentioned the ability to improve book covers at very little cost as one of the upsides of AI art. Now that I’ve gotten more into it, I can say even more comfortably that something quickly makeable with the least controversial models (closed source, public domain only, etc…) and only small amounts of manual tweaking could leave most contemporary covers in its dust.

So yeah, shed a tear for the running silhouettes and clunkily shopped-in muscle men. I know we’ll all miss them so much.