AI as a commercial production tool

Posted By Lindsey Robbins on June 26, 2024 10:19 am | Permalink

Generative AI's ability to act as a power multiplier is amazing, making light work of previous heavy lifting. But as sci-fi has taught us, it matters quite a lot who is driving that mech suit. The more skilled the artist at the helm, the greater the effect is. We've developed ways to give creative control back to our artists while using our in-house GenAI and Adobe's Firefly, moving away from the slot-machine-like randomness that makes it so hard to use in a production environment.

One of the ways we've been using AI is to create deep background assets for commercials, such as for Continental Tire and Genesis. With our artist's ability to quickly create layers of city that would match the client's look and iterate skies, we were able to generate an expansive and vibrant cityscape with limited reference from the client, and offer them more options than we would have previously in the same amount of time. We can use the same techniques during postvis to quickly iterate set extensions or paint fixes. 

We've also been able to bring on illustrators in ways we have never been able to before, as they can work loosely to capture the image, and the AI can assist in getting it to a far more finished result in less time, while the illustrator can correct and refine on top. This has allowed us to offer an entirely new set of visual styles to our clients, leading to several 2.5D pitch projects, with more to come. 

We do our own training and fine tuning of AI models in-house, allowing us to add our client's characters or environments to the base models that are available, or generate a constant look that multiple artists can use as needed. Because the AI space is still so new, it's up to us to put our own guide rails in place to make sure we're using it responsibly. As an example, we never use outside artist's names in our prompts, or train on art that isn't ours or our clients'. 

Ultimately, generative AI is a fantastic and evolving new tool, and we are committed to keeping artists at the helm as we evolve with it.

Lindsey Robbins is Lead VAD Artist at Halon Entertainment (