Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A Norman Rockwell Halloween

Norman Rockwell illustrated great Halloween scenes for many Saturday Evening Post covers.  I wanted to see if Midjourney could produce similar images.  My instruction to the program was simply as follows: "Halloween in the style of Norman Rockwell."  For some strange reason, Midjourney inserted grotesque imps into its Rockwell-like tableaus.  

Midjourney now has a "Vary Region" option that allows aspects of an image to be changed.  I used this option to replace the imps with something more appealing.  So, in this case, an imp was replaced with a cute dog.  

Here, an imp was replaced with a stack of oranges.  

Begone, demon!

I was unhappy with the face of one of these children.  

This new face was, perhaps, too modelesque.  

This one was better.  

Here are two more face replacement operations.  

This was an easier solution.

I found the cats in this image to be ugly.  

So, I selected the cats and submitted the following instruction: "Replace with cute kittens."  I got this image, which was an improvement.  

But I also got this disturbing image.

Another Midjourney member, Plus Ultra, got better Rockwellesque Halloween images with the following prompt: "vintage art halloween jack-o-lantern vintage illustration on orange cardstock paper 1940s normal rockwell magazine cover art --s 250 --chaos 20."  

Rockwell's illustrations were generally sunny and wholesome.  They are utterly alien to our modern world.  The contrast is obvious in this reimagining of Rockwell by kalli-six30.  

A much darker version of a Rockwell Halloween was also produced by kalli-six30.  

ActionJackson was able to reveal a sunnier Rockwell future. 

A Midjourney member, lululeia1, had a simple idea - a small boy is shocked to find a Santa Claus suit in his father's waredrobe.  But Midjourney did not understand lululeia1's prompt.  The program fixated on the word "shocked," assuming the user wanted a scary Christmas scene.  It produced images of the boy tormented by an evil Santa Claus.  

I fooled around with the idea in hope of getting something better.  But, no, I was unable to get the more happy and humorous image that I wanted.  I got a small boy tormented by demonic dolls.  I cannot explain it. 

Midjourney often drifts to dark things.  ArtGeneration entered the following prompt: "friendly jolly fat clown."  This is what he got. 

I assembled these and other images into a slideshow.

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