Finally finding the Empress, and what are my next steps?
Hello again, and welcome to a mega post full of culling images. This is more for me, than it is probably for you, but there is an incomprehensible number of images in this post. They're all AI generated, of course, which means that I will be culling a whole bunch of images because there's poor quality hands and poor quality other bits and pieces.
Let me begin.
For the following image, I think this has the potential to be final canditate. I like the pose, I like the objects that are added into the image, and importantly, with a little bit of work, I feel as though other details can be fleshed out using in painting and some creative use of Photoshop. This is the first image that comes close to me saying "this is the the one", which is promising as it is the very first image in this post.
But, it certainly won't (and isn't) the last image in the post. I think I've found my first short-lister!
So then, in comparison, this is an image I'd flick right by without a second thought, and that's exactly what I am going to do, but not before making a comment about the beautiful background, deformed foot, and interesting candle or sparkle on the corner of the chaise lounge that is depicted with truly bizarre industrial design.
The next image, below; is a great composition, a natural vingette, but is let down by the quality of rendering in the arms and face. There's also a curious case of a missing leg which probably would need to otherwise be worked on, meaning this one is another one of those images that gets put into the category of not likely to be ever gazed upon again. Unless I print it and put it on my desk, which I am not going to do.
The final image from this sequence has a very Pre-Raphaelite feeling to it. The character looks innocent and youthful, and she's calm. The hands are holding a miniature tree, which is a symbolic analogue of her youth, but in the grand scheme of trying to represent an Empress, she doesn't quite do it./ If I was depicting the daughter or the next in line, then perhaps, sure'; it would be suitable, but it is simply not what I am looking for today.
This brings me to the next set of thumbnails, carried to my eyes via the file explorer of my operating system. There are certainly a few here that catch my eye. Which will they be?
I love this image until I get to the shins of the main character. Sure, the hands have little coherence, but what is better than a single halo around a character's head? TWO HALOS. Below the shins, the representation certainly seems to start to fall apart, and this feels eerie and ... strange. It's a cool looking image though, perhaps if it was cropped in a square and the facial coherence was of a higher level.
Next up, we have a woman character who kind of looks like snow white. The background is an interesting mixture of textured clouds and stars, and that's about all I have to say about this image, because it is certainly not what I was looking for.
So now, I must confront myself with yet another series of thumbnails, to see if I have anything interesting or better than the very first full size image from this post.
This is cupid. This is not an empress, but somehow, it fails at being each of those things. I love the black, purple and yellow colour theme that is happening in the image - it brings a synth wave aesthetic to a fantasy image, and that's something my brain is not entirely prepared for at any time. Again, it is not the Empress.
Now here is a regal figure. This image may require some cropping to be pulled off as an "Empress" (the two limbs on theleft hand side of the frame feel completely out of place); but the hands, the seat, the facial expression (though not very coherent) are all very calm, poised, regal, and a slight bit challenging. Could be in the short list, but I'm leaning at looking at other images.
This is a dream-like image, with an interesting character pose - but she's missing an arm and has a disfigured hand. I didn't like the strong outlines in this image when looking at it full size, so now that I've established this fact in my mind, it is time to move onto something else.
A somewhat queenly image greets me next. There's a mixture of robe colours, a dramatic moon, and that elusive halo behind the head of the character that makes so much sense in so much historical art style that makes me want to like the image based on this fact alone. Unfortunately, the other pictorial elements are missing, and that means I'll have to move onto another set of images in search for something that is better than the first image in the post.
Now that I've reviewed those thumbnails, time to look at the ones I thought the most interesting, starting with the image below. This reminds me of the Australian outback, with the iron coloured ground, leading to a light blue night sky. The character depiction is pretty good, but again, lacks facial coherence. Onto the next one.
An interesting pose to follow, and a levitating sceptre in the background. I like the fact that this gives an eerie, ominous tone to the image, with the character unaware. I feel as though The Empress would need to be aware of her surroundings at all times, which discounts the image below as a possibility to make the cut as the final rendering of the card.
This image again, reminds me of something photographed on a camera with a bizarre aperture; it looks like F/1.2, but at the same time has incredibly sharp elements in both the foreground and background. It reminds me further of a pre-raphaelite painting, which beside being my favoured genre of painting for its representational qualities and use of symbolism, strangely lacks any deep symbolism.
This final image from this group of images actually looks like the sort of thing that you'd expect to see and find in a deck of Tarot cards. The hand is posed elegantly, but the fingers are mangled, a tell tale sign of the issues inherent with the MidJourney model version I was using at the time these images were produced. Still, I long to use the first image that wasn't a thumbnail in this post, but I have many more to look through, and not a great deal of time this evening to get through them, so I must continue my frenetic search.
Another set of thumbnails to ponder upon, and there's a few decent images here.
This is a colour scheme I had not considered at all. It is an intense, glowing landscape, but the image overall lacks coherence. As a thumbnail it was a striking composition; as a full image, it leaves less to be desired even if the image is thick with narrative and drama.
This looked better as a thumbnail. As a complete image, it isn't suitable. I really like the background. These background elements are really done quite exceptionally well.
Ah! A throne dweller, albeit, with poor composition and even poorer bodily proportions.
This one again looks like something you would tend to find on an actual Tarot card; and strangely, the four hands emerging from a single figure here do not look out of place. This feels more like a ritualistic priestess representation, however; or someone that meddles with time. An interesting concept; but one that I will need to move on from.
The purple couch in the image below is very interesting. How did it get into the forest? Why is she sitting upon it? The papal crown is a strange element that sits uncomfortably upon the character's head, but the background; again; is absolutely equisite, and blends beautifully with the striking colour of the couch. I still don't think this is the Empress, though.
This figure looks Grecian, very comfortable, and her sceptre having elements appearing to move in the breeze adds to the feeling tha tthis is a snapshot. I quite like this particular image, and I feel as though it could make the short list overall, but it would need a lot of work to fix the hand holding the sceptre. As I've learned; this is not an easy process, so I will continue to look at the other images in the set.
Here is an image with a somewhat inviting pose, and a commanding figure. However, it is missing many o the pictorial elements that would otherwise make up the Empress, which one of which is the sceptre in hand. It also marks one of the final images in the folder, which leads me to a new conclusion... the first image in this post is the one I am deciding upon.
And here it is, again; to remind myself of what I want to polish and produce:
After nearly one and a half thousand rambling, frenzied words (yes, I watch my word count!) I will need to plan what fixes I want to make to the final variation of the Empress image.
This feels like a pretty normal list of fixes for an AI generated image, but here we go.
- Fix both the hands
- Upscale the raw image
- Add more detail to the face.
- Make some minor lighting changes in Photoshop to enhance contrast and direct the viewer's eye around the image
Feels good to be approaching the end of this individual card!
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