AI-Generated Virtual Locations for Amazing Fashion Campaigns

In a groundbreaking move, XPLOR, based at Production Park in West Yorkshire, has pioneered the use of AI-generated virtual locations in fashion campaigns. This innovative approach was used in collaboration with fashion house MKI to launch their latest collection.

AI-Generated Virtual Locations: A New Era in Fashion

The campaign featured a series of virtual environments that depicted a sunlit marble quarry. The shoot was conducted in XPLOR’s virtual production Studio 004 at Production Park. The team created an imaginary Mediterranean backdrop using generative AI, which was displayed on a 12m x 4m LED volume composed of over 250 LED panels.

The decision to use AI to create the virtual production background was driven by the desire to create a realistic backdrop without the need to dispatch a photography crew to a marble quarry. Richard Blair, head of production services at XPLOR, explained that the use of AI allowed them to tailor the environment to the client’s brief. Additionally, it significantly reduced the cost of entry for virtual production.

Balancing AI and Human Elements in Virtual Production

While AI played a crucial role in creating the backdrop, Blair emphasized that XPLOR remains committed to utilizing human production crews. He stated, “We don’t want to go down the route where absolutely everything is in the virtual. For this case, it was the ideal way for us to create a series of backgrounds without having to spend ages going and sourcing locations.”

Blair further added that while they are exploring the potential of AI, they are not looking to eliminate the human element. He believes that blending AI with virtual production could be valuable for the future. However, they have no intention of doing everything in AI. He is confident that this blend will result in better storytelling and improved projects.

The Role of Kubrick in Generating Virtual Backgrounds

For generating the background, XPLOR chose to use Kubrick due to its direct links with disguise, the media server element they use to display content on the LED screen. Blair praised Kubrick for its excellence in creating landscapes and their ability to modify elements in the scene after an image has been generated.

The team preferred Kubrick as it allowed them to use both positive and negative prompting. For this project, the positive prompts were ‘European white marble quarry’ and ‘cinematic 4K photoreal’. Negative prompts included terms like ‘cartoon’ or ‘animation’ to ensure the image did not resemble a cartoon or an Unreal Engine creation.

Future Plans: Moving Towards Proprietary Systems and Moving Images

Blair revealed that XPLOR is currently collaborating with the Alan Turing Institute to develop its own model. This will enable the team to use a proprietary system in the future instead of an off-the-shelf model.

While the background for the MKI project was static, Blair is optimistic about the potential of AI to create moving backgrounds. This is made possible by the launch of OpenAI’s text-to-video tool, Sora. He expressed interest in the concept of text-to-video, as most of their work in virtual production involves shooting video content rather than stills. He believes that moving images will be part of their plans.

How can fashion brands benefit from AI-generated backgrounds?

AI-Generated Virtual Locations

Fashion brands can reap numerous benefits from AI-generated backgrounds:

  1. Cost-Effective: AI-generated backgrounds eliminate the need for location scouting, set construction, and travel, significantly reducing production costs.
  2. Versatility: AI allows for the creation of any environment, from a sun-drenched marble quarry to a bustling cityscape, providing limitless possibilities for creative direction.
  3. Efficiency: AI-generated backgrounds can be created quickly and adjusted in real time, allowing for more efficient photoshoots and less downtime.
  4. Sustainability: By reducing the need for physical travel and set materials, AI-generated backgrounds are a more environmentally friendly option.
  5. Control: AI provides complete control over every aspect of the background, from lighting to texture, ensuring the perfect backdrop for every piece in a collection.
  6. Innovation: Using AI-generated backgrounds positions a brand as a forward-thinking innovator, potentially attracting a tech-savvy audience.
  7. Safety: In times of global crises or travel restrictions, AI-generated backgrounds ensure that production can continue safely and without interruption.

By integrating AI into their production process, fashion brands can revolutionize their campaigns, creating visually stunning and unique backdrops that enhance their collections and captivate their audience. It’s a blend of technology and creativity that could shape the future of fashion advertising.