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PIXIE DUST: An Urban Fairy Tale On Acid

By December 28, 2023June 25th, 2024No Comments

The buzz around the release of MidJourney 6.0 Alpha is palpable, with users eagerly anticipating an unparalleled visual experience that promises to redefine the meaning of photorealism in the generative AI realm.

Pushing Photorealism to the Extreme
In this new blog post my focus has been on taking the tool’s level of photorealism to entirely new heights, aiming at creating a very specific film aesthetic I had in mind for a story I’ve been wanting to tell for a while. I delved into the intricate details of extreme light conditions, experimented with anamorphic lenses, and a filmmaking style that embraces the glow of neon lights and complex lighting setups. The intentional casting of an African-American ensemble played a pivotal role, as I aimed to explore the nuances of illuminating diverse subjects and dark skin tones with vibrant lights and garments/pigments, resulting in a visually striking and intentionally hyper saturated aesthetic.

Crafting Cinematic Atmosphere
Beyond the characters and settings, I sought to emulate a specific camera style, one that leverages anamorphic lenses, wide aperture, longer exposure and shallow depth of field, pushing the subjects further apart. Playing with aperture settings and exposure levels added depth and dimension to each frame, creating a dynamic interplay of light and shadow. Additionally, my exploration of key colors and light spill, carefully controlled to enhance the mood, added an extra layer of “simulated authenticity” to the cinematic atmosphere.

Exploring Diverse Realms
I also wanted to test textures like fur, scales, and anthropomorphized animal features, exploring the synergy of humans with non-humans as well as humans transforming into non-humans, and weaving together elements of “dirty south HIP HOP” and pop-neon noir with the surrealism and influences from Afro-Caribbean and South African film directors. The result is a visually rich tapestry that purposely breaks the mold and defies convention.

A Modern Urban Fairy Tale on Acid
At the core of this latest exploration is the ambition to present a modern urban fairy tale on acid that blends fantasy, horror, film noir and surrealism. “Pixie Dust” is a cocktail of influences that range from Spike Lee, Neil Blomkamp, and Takashi Miike, to True Blood, Alice in Wonderland, and Spirited Away, to depict the outskirts of New Orleans like you’ve never seen them before. The end result left me genuinely thrilled and exceeded my expectations.

MidJourney V6.0 alpha represents more than just a software upgrade, and even though much work is still needed in terms of control and understanding of the input syntax (MJ 5.2 was a giant leap forward), this being an Alpha release can only be indicative of the new standard for photorealistic output the full upcoming release will deliver.

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