A look behind the scenes at the AI generated images that were not used for the book, "If Animals Had Jobs" and which one, ultimately, was selected. All images were generated with the assistance of DALLE-2.
A Gorilla Fitness Instructor
This one was easy to pick. First image is way creepy, being some sort of gorilla/human hybrid. Hard pass. The second image isn't bad, but the balancing of the barbell on a table (or whatever Kong is doing there), is strange. So is his weird coloring. Is that a hat above his bandana or did he dye his hair brown to change things up a bit? The third image is fine but looks too much like what a typical gorilla might do (you know, if he was into weights and such). The one selected for the book, below, hits all the right notes. Clearly a gorilla. Clearly a gorilla with some human characteristics with those red shorts, and clearly a gorilla doing an overhead press. Nice form.
Working at the Nut Factory
Unlike Mighty Joe Young above, picking the right "squirrel working at a nut factory" image wasn't as easy. You could make a case for any of the rejected ones as being the best image. The first one captured the "packing nuts at a factory" aspect of the job well. However, the squirrel looked more like a chipmunk. I like the second image, as again, it captures the "packing nuts at a factory" aspect well, but the feel of the squirrel left me flat. The third image is pleasant but didn't quite convey the job like I wanted. The one selected had it all. Mr. Squirrel is definitely working in some sort of factory packing nuts, he looks like a squirrel, and his expression of, "Man, I love this job!" is priceless.
An Intense General
Like the weightlifting, fitness instructing gorilla, the baboon general was pretty easy to dial in. Right off the bat, image two was rejected. He does have medals pinned to his jacket, but the little top hat is an odd choice. I don't think I've ever seen a general with such an accoutrement. And there's a lot of red going on there. The third image looks like this general just rolled out of bed and went to work in his pajamas. The first image is close to the selected one, but I didn't like his expression, nor did I like his pool ball jacket buttons. The book image is perfect. Slightly raised head, shoulders back, arms at attention, closed eyes, and an all-business mouth expression. Plus, there was room to add text across his body. Winner.
The Zebra Detective
Let's get this out of the way. That first image is one freaky looking zebra. He's all head! Plus, he's very round. The third image is OK, but I didn't like the hands-on hips posture or that his hat and notebook are on the ground (or floating in the air, if you see it that way). And his coat has the amazing ability to dissolve into his arms. Perhaps that's good for a zebra detective? I do like the second image, but there wasn't enough contrast in it. Actually, looking at it now, the zebra is wearing a zebra-striped jacket. Hopefully that's a faux zebra jacket. The selected image captures the zebra detective vibe. And he has some tasty grass growing from his hat to munch on during one of those long steak outs.
A Penguin Crossing Guard
This one was for the cover and it was a pretty easy pick. All three of the rejected images have our penguin crossing guard as some kind of giant. I know emperor penguins are the largest of all extant penguins, and they look to be emperor penguins, but these birds are ginormous! Plus, I didn't like any of the backgrounds or colors. The selected image, below, combines an approachable penguin with a colorful background and enough space to add the title and credits without having to make edits. I also like the position of the traffic light and the penguin crossing guard uniform. Her right hand is a little odd, but that's OK. Adds some character and uniqueness to everything.
So, there you have it. A look at all the rejected images from, "If Animals Had Jobs" as well as the ones that made it in. If you haven't yet, check out Part I and Part II. I think for the next post, I'll talk about some of the positive and negative feedback received concerning the book's AI illustrations. One thing is for sure, AI artwork can be quite divisive.
See you next time!
About the Book
"If Animals Had Jobs" is the first children's picture book written by a human with art generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Available in paperback and as a free PDF. Get it from our downloads page.