Deep Dreaming Better

Deep Dreaming Better

For the last couple months I have been feeling very inspired by the deep dream tool.

When I first began using the deep dream generator, since I am a painter, I really liked the idea of having the algorithm “paint” images in my style. I really like how it took the things I liked most about my paintings, mainly the textures, and expanded upon them in a way that I can’t right now. It made my ripples and peaks even more defined and took my splatter style and made shapes out of it that would be hard for me to replicate in real life. I am not very good at drawing figures since I prefer abstract or geometric art, and it felt exciting to see people made in my style.

Then, as further research, I asked some friends of mine if I could use their photos as experiments. I noticed that on the front of the deep dream page, the most popular images were faces and cats. I really honed in my techniques, deep dream has many settings and not all of them come out correctly. Some people call me out for just “using an app” to make art, to them I would say that is like saying all a DJ does is press play on songs.

The next phase of my deep dream work is going to turn into making custom pieces for people. I am inspired by the idea of taking an image that is meaningful of someone and then using the algorithm to paint the image in a style that is significant to them. For example, I could make an image of a person in the style of their favorite artist, or I could make someone into sunflowers because sunflowers is their favorite flowers, recently I made a friends image into circuit boards because he is a data scientist. Stuff like that.

My friend Lucille really enjoys the artwork of Gustav Klimt, and her orange bus is something that is really important to her. So I am currently experimenting with the idea of doing this photo of her and her bus in Gustav’s style. Here is the first step that I took using deep dream.

I began with this inital image of my friend

I then input this image of one of Klimt’s paintings and set the deep dream algorithm to “paint” her image in his style.

The resulting image was this

For the face, I used the original image of Lucille and then did a deep dream of her in the style of a painting by Lucien Freud to get her face really well defined. Even though the finished piece was meant to reflect a piece in the style of Klimt, if you use deep dream with Klimt’s style, you’ll get facial features that are more abstract and not as well defined as I would have preferred.

I used photoshop to make a composite image of the multiple deep dreams that I created in different styles. The result is a custom Klimt-ified image!