Netflix, through its Netflix Anime Creators Base program, has teamed up with WIT Studio to create an anime short titled The Dog and The Boy. Said anime short also experiments with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create the background scenes.
While the type of AI art software hasn’t been specified, director Ryotaro Makihara (Vampire in the Garden, The Empire of Corpses, Hal) explains that through this project, they learn to focus more on the portrayal of humans in anime, while having AI assist in creating other media assets needed in the anime. “By combining tools and hand-drawn techniques, I realized that I could focus on what only humans can do and thus broaden my range of expression,” he said.
Koji Tanaka, who served as the anime’s photography director, also echoes Makihara’s sentiments, saying that it lessens the burden of what animators have to work through when creating frames for a scene. “Many creators are working on multiple productions at the same time, making it difficult for them to focus on one work at a time. We wanted to figure out a way to give creators more time to be creative,” Tanaka said.
The use of AI art in the anime community has been largely frowned upon, with many critics citing the art generator’s use of media to train its AI model. Both open-access and copyrighted art is used, often without the consent of the original creators.
A more recent controversy revolving around this was AI art generated in the style of popular Korean illustrator Kim Jung Gi, days after it was reported he died due to a heart attack. While the original uploader said it was a “tribute” to said artist, others said it is disrespectful for the creator of the AI art, citing it was a “theft” of the artist’s style.
Source: Netflix Japan
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