Jason Fletcher
Motion Designer
PACK ⬕ Machine Landscapes
- This pack contains 46 VJ loops (70 GB)

What would it look like to see the land change through the eons? After learning that any StyleGAN3 model can be used as a starting point for re-training, I started searching for models which people had freely shared for experimentation. I stumbled across an excellent model by Justin Pinkney which was trained on 90,000 images of natural landscapes. I knew that I would want very slow motion for the landscapes to evolve, so I set the w-frames to a high number to ensure that there were plenty of frames between each seed keyframe. I also had to render out many thousands of seeds images so that I could curate only the best seeds and then arrange the ideal sequence of landscapes.

Due to the model being trained at 256x256, I decided against using it for re-training purposes and instead just render out the videos without changes. Although I almost skipped over it due to the very low resolution until I realized that I could uprez the renders using the Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI software. And then another challenge was that the uprezzed video looked a bit too soft, so I aimed to make it look like an old degraded TV through the use of the Zaebects Signal plugin. Having to jump through these hoops forced me to carefully consider my options and resulted in this feeling that we’re watching an epic timelapse via a shitty security camera feed.

I also found some models which were shared by Lucid Layers Studios. They had the interesting idea of training SG3 using a bunch of images created by another machine learning framework. Love it.

But the timelapse feeling wasn’t enough, so why not also apply a slitscan effect too? It’s as if a literal wave of time is passing in front of your eyes. Now that’s my kind of weirdness.

Released June 2022