Doesn't they say the same thing about photography when it was emerging? ;)
Agreed. This is just depressing and is a detriment to society. If this keeps advancing at its current rate, good art will be so trivial to generate that it won't be special anymore. Art will slowly morph into a banal distraction, with creating an original piece being as easy as applying an Instagram filter. The role of the human artist will change from a craftsperson to someone who picks a bunch of parameters, gives it to the AI, and chooses the best output. This type of technology is a threat to the very existence of art as a craft, will completely devalue artwork, and will make the journey of training to become an artist obsolete. I hate these researchers for what they're doing to a field that I love.
I disagree. There will always be demand for real artists. Like any other digital software, this is just a tool with the possibility to help artists create compelling worlds faster and add realism that would otherwise have taken days to make using other methods. As a 3D character artist, I would love to use this to create quick backdrops to place my characters in to enhance final renders.
BBC did a very nice report on Saya – a digital character from a small Japanese studio Telyuka, consisting of Yuka Ishikawa and Teruyuki Ishikawa. The original render of the model had been released almost a year ago. However, the digital artists spend the last 12 month perfecting their creation, resculpting and modeling her face. Now we have the newer version of the schoolgirl, which looks pretty much similar to the original.
The general look of Saya was inspired by girls around the area of Shibuya in Tokyo. The girls has ho specific age characteristics, but the artists tried to use the expressions a typical 17-year-old would use. At first, she was considered to be a character in a short movie, but the creators saw a lot of potential in it and promoted Saya to a separate project. The artists believe this model should work as a modern representation of kawaii. This character now takes most of the time of the Japanese 3d artists, since they’ve already quit their day jobs to devote their time to Saya.
The next step in bringing Saya to life was animation. The first animated version of the character was shown at CEATEC consumer electronics exhibition in Japan. Although BBC believes animation is not perfect, it does look pretty amazing to us. All the animations were captured with motion capture technologies. In the future, the artists want to develop Saya into a full-blown virtual human, whatever that means.
Make sure to check out Telyuka’s official website. It’s got a lot of very cool 3d models there (mostly character art).