Rodger Werkhoven's profile
DALL-E 2 DELFT BLUE STORMTROOPERS
my roles:
creating the concept creative director training the ai |
art direction curator storytelling all copywriting

DALL•E 2:
all images, 'sketched & rendered'


WHY THE FIRST EVER DALL•E 2 GENERATED DUTCH ART PIECES JUST HAD TO BE DELFT BLUE STORMTROOPERS? WHY THIS PROJECT IS AN IMPORTANT PROJECT IN THE HISTORY OF DUTCH ART IN GENERAL? 

THAT THIS IS MINE DOESN'T MATTER. I WAS JUST LUCKY TO BE THAT FIRST DUTCH ARTIST WHO WAS OFFERED THE CHANCE FEEDING THE REVOLUTIONARY DALL•E 2 AI MY CREATIVE CONCEPTS.




Above: I asked DALL-E 2 to sketch out how to position the helmets in their spaces, notice the subtle contours of an audience...



What in humanity's history made this DALL-E 2 project truly unique, was the fact that never before, a technology existed capable of doing what ai DALL-E 2 now could, so fast, just by communicating with humans in their natural language, following up on my art direction, achieving thát level of realism. Being the first person in the Netherlands ever to create art with this historically significant ai, felt to me like what it must have been, being the first Dutch artist ever using a printing press...

May 2022, OpenAI preselected a handful of creative professionals from all over the planet, to be the first to help them test, train and improve the DALL-E 2 ai they developed only a couple of weeks earlier. I am grateful being one of those first people pioneering in art by working with this amazing artificial intelligence creatively.

Aware of producing the first Dutch DALL-E 2 ai generated art ever, I felt obliged making it an ode to both American ingenuity and creativity - from which this tech spawned - as well as to Dutch artistic tradition, which I had the honor of representing, by setting these important steps into a completely new era of art creation ánd the democratization of it.

This mockumentary style ai-storytelling project will take you through the unreal production process of my Delft Blue Stormtroopers' busts, exploring how it diffuses borders between tangible and virtual art. At the same time merging the two completely different maker-traditions of Delftware production and generating digital objects. As well as introducing human craftsmanship to the artificial intelligent mind of DALL-E 2.











Above: I asked DALL-E 2 to render a Stormtrooper's Delftware bust in a Dutch botanical greenhouse. Below: I thought it would be fun to post-rationalize that 'photo' through a couple of ensuing watercolor sketches, done by the ai too:



experimenting with greenhouse backgrounds
  



Delftware is famous for its shades of blue, however, other colors are also common. This is referred to as 'Delft's Polychrome.' I didn't ask DALL-E 2 to also render polychromes. The ai did that on its own creative initiative...



I had DALL-E 2 render these 'faux' watercolors of Delft Blue patterns for - specifically - ON the Stormtroopers' busts and helmets. The ai was unruly enough though, to render these patterns also as 'wallpapers' BEHIND the busts... Which I actually really liked.


experimenting with Delft Blue patterns



DALL-E 2 masters many decorative styles and understands which belong to what periods in the history of art even. The designs below are the result of me asking the ai for 'Delft Blue designs' in 1920's 'Jugendstil' and 'Art Nouveau' styles:

(click images to enlarge)


'Delft Blue Stormtroopers' is one of my earliest creative projects with DALL-E 2. 
The mockumentary concept explores how creating art with ai will impact unique but conservatieve cultural traditions. The concept and storytelling are mine. Everything else you see here, including the 'exhibition spaces', are 100% generated bij the ai, taking it just a few seconds per image to complete. The whole proces took me just a fraction of the time it would have taken me using any other creational method known to humanity until now. Creating a multitude of generations of 'pieces' following a trial and error strategy, only takes minutes. 

Still; designing the prompts, curating the outcome, improving on the art direction and so on, took me days. The ai is not as intelligent as people might think. It made (and probably today still makes) many mistakes. But part of the task OpenAI invited me to help them with, was to help them improve and train their DALL-E 2 model during this research phase. Until the project would be ready to let in more people during a later beta phase.


(click images to enlarge)


The American epic Star Wars space-opera multimedia franchise which in 1977 was launched by George Lucas, quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. To that incredibly vast universe of art and other collectables, DALL-E 2 and I now added the ai generated 'Delftware Stormtrooper Busts' this universe was still lacking until now.




Delftware or Delft pottery, also known as Delft Blue - Delfts Blauw in Dutch - is a general term used for Dutch tin-glazed earthenware. Most of it is white and blue pottery, and the city of Delft in the Netherlands was the major centre of production. For the first time ever, for this project, Delft Blue earthenware is now produced in the mind of an artificial intelligence.




The Delftware style - originating from around 1600 - traditionally includes pottery objects of all descriptions, such as plates, vases, figurines and other ornamental forms, ánd tiles. Now, in 2022, DALL-E 2 and I, followed up on the tradition of my Dutch ancestors, adding items from the modern day pop-culture phenomenon 'Star Wars', with these Stormtroopers' cyber art busts.​​​​​​​



With designing the 'exhibition spaces', I further tested DALL-E 2's skills. I wondered how it would handle a request like 'painting shades of gold', in watercolors. Also notice how no 2 sketches are ever the same:

(click images to enlarge)



To make my Delft Blue Stormtroopers really 'pop out', DALL-E 2 and I also designed these 'kitsch' decors with lots of gold in them, contrasting nicely with the many shades of blue. This also shows us how DALL-E 2 understands the reflective behavior of different materials under the same lighting conditions, from the glossy Delftware enamel containing also yellow polychromes, to the soft silky shine of the 'gold paint'.





(click images to enlarge)


Through this project DALL-E 2 and I are fusing two globally famous, but completely opposing artistic traditions, at the same time merging the two completely different maker-traditions of baking pottery and coding (and training) neural networks. As well as introducing human craftsmanship and the artificial intelligent mind of DALL-E 2 to one another.


BELOW I POSTED THE IMAGES DALL-E 2 AND I MADE, ILLUSTRATING 'THE PRODUCTION PROCESS', NORMALLY TAKING MANY MONTHS...

From the first paper crafted, resin and plaster prototypes, to sculpting, glazing and painting the models, to the final baking of the unique art pieces in the pottery's furnaces; DALL-E 2 and I tried to be as complete as possible, visualizing every aspect of the labor-intensive process of creating the 'Delft Blue Stormtroopers' Busts'.

​​​​​​​
Below: lots of faux paper crafted, resin and plaster prototypes.

Amazing how DALL-E 2 knows to visualize the very subtle differences between materials, even though I had the ai render these images as 'black and white photographs'. No matter how many I would ask for, no two images came out the same. 

Prompting a word like 'workshop' had DALL-E 2 render the people' attending it!




Next: 'Sculpting' the Stormtroopers' heads and busts out of 'clay'.

Prompting words like 'pottery', 'sculpting', 'clay' and 'handmade', was enough for DALL-E 2 to also understand which backgrounds and working surfaces to render...



(click images to enlarge)



Next: 'Adding the human touch...' Grey and black cobalt oxide paints are artistically applied to turn into - during baking - those world renowned Dutch shades of blue from Delft ... and cyberspace.


BELOW YOU SEE HOW CREATING WITH DALL-E 2 ACTUALLY 'WORKS'. ALL IMAGES ARE MADE BY ME USING THE DALL-E 2 AI EXCLUSIVELY.

The left side image shows how 'painting' the Stormtroopers' parts actually was done by the ai and me: through my textual art direction. The right side image shows how a human artist 'would' paint Delftware, but also that image was ai-generated by DALL-E 2, in just seconds.



(click to enlarge)


Just by 'telling' DALL-E 2 how to treat the light intensity and how to position objects in a space, we can view these from all angles, under all preferred light conditions (click images to enlarge):




Finally: 'Baking Delftware' is done on temperatures of 1040°C (1904°F), melting the enamel into a transparent glass-like layer. The black paint underneath the surface turns into the typical blue Delftware color. 

What these images show us, is that DALL-E 2 'understands' what the atmosphere in a blazing hot furnace must be like. Also the fire is convincingly reflected in the busts' melting enamels...







Et Voila. Another set of 5 unique 'Delft Blue Stormtroopers' Busts' see the light of day... in cyberspace anyway.










Except for the concept and the storytelling (those are human made), everything in this project is ai-generated by DALL-E 2. 

No sketchers, no watercolorists, no painters, no sculptors, no decorators, no pottery bakers were involved in the realization of this project by Rodger Werkhoven.









DALL-E 2 DELFT BLUE STORMTROOPERS
18
498
3
Published:

DALL-E 2 DELFT BLUE STORMTROOPERS

18
498
3
Published: