Begone, polygons: 1993’s Virtua Fighter gets smoothed out by AI

Enlarge / “Sarah” from Virtua Fighter will get an AI makeover thanks to Steady Diffusion and a fan named Colin Williamson.

In 1993, Sega’s Virtua Fighter arcade game broke new ground with fully 3D polygonal graphics, a initially for a battling game. Thanks to a Twitter thread from an artist named Colin Williamson, we can consider a glance at what all those original boxy figures could seem like with their angles smoothed out.

To build the visuals, Williamson took vintage Virtua Fighter sport graphics and fed them by an “img2img” mode of the Stable Diffusion graphic synthesis product, which requires an input picture as a prompt, combines it with a published description, and synthesizes an output picture. (In particular, Williamson utilized the “Computerized1111” release, which arrives with a pleasant world-wide-web-based person interface.)

Steady Diffusion isn’t going to function magically, so it can get some demo and mistake and a keen eye to figure out prompting to get worthwhile outcomes. Still, Williamson liked the procedure. “Just describe the character, and img2img does its best,” Williamson informed Ars. “Although the toughest aspect was simply just figuring out how to explain the characters’ clothing.”

“Once I identified a very good prompt, I would do a batch of all around 50 and cherry-select the funniest kinds,” provides Williamson. “I tried this detail termed ‘negative prompting,’ wherever you inform the AI things like ‘please really don’t draw messed-up-searching fingers,’ which does an outstanding position in that now your figures have only six fingers alternatively of 7.”

Previous month, we documented on an MS-DOS activity fan that made use of a very similar strategy to “up grade” EGA graphics into additional specific representations. In both conditions, we have observed that the artists carrying out these AI makeovers are nevertheless fans of the unique graphics, and the remakes are all in very good fun—not an try to change or overwrite historical past. Just after all, you can see how the Virtua Fighter figures glimpse “smoothed out” in later on games.

“I am satisfied to stand on the backs of giants and harness millions of dollars’ value of AI exploration to make some dumb images that make people today chuckle,” suggests Williamson. “I have to have to fire up the Sega Saturn and see what else I can come across.”

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