Up Close and Personal: Rendering the Human Form using AI

James Dow

Rethinking Advertising: Body Image

One of the most remarkable aspects of AI is its ability to render the human form, but creating faces and body parts that feel authentic demands patience and precision. Even the slightest deviation from realism can evoke an eerie sense of the uncanny. We know immediately when something is off, which distracts us from what could otherwise be a great ad. We wanted to explore how to get the best results with a process of creative reiteration.

The Creative Challenge

What’s up with those 7 fingered AI images? AI often struggles with rendering hands and fingers accurately, and here's why:

Hands are a small part of images. In most photographs, hands aren't the main focus, leading to less detailed data for AI to learn from. In addition, AI can't comprehend the concept of a hand like a human can. It only recognises the various two-dimensional appearances hands can have in images, such as waving, holding objects, or posing with hands that are partially hidden. AI is still limited in how it perceives the three-dimensional world, making it challenging to accurately replicate the diverse and complex appearances of hands in its generated images.

We wanted to test out AI’s ability to render detailed elements of the human form, from hands to hair to lips and skin.

The Outcome

Some of the best results were produced by bringing out the details in the human form. By drawing attention to intricate details, we were able to breathe life into the models. Highlights and flyaway strands in our model’s hair add movement to the image, while freckles or a glossy sheen over lips adds realism. Even with AI’s limitations in depicting hands, we were able to produce some images that pass the eye tes

The Methodology

To produce great product photography for luxury items - particularly diamond jewelry - it's crucial to create a striking contrast between the bright white stones and the background. Achieving this effect requires the deft use of lighting that can capture the reflection and refraction of the stones in all their splendor. To make the images pop, we aim to give them a warm, luxurious feel that wouldn't be out of place in a high-end fashion ad - think Vogue and other glossy magazines. 

Hands are notoriously hard to create with current models for the reasons mentioned above, but if you produce enough variations you tend to find a few that pass the eye test.

Prompt: A luxury, editorial product photo, macro close-up shot of a black woman's hand showcasing a diamond ring, with intricate skin details, beautiful lighting creating warm tones, and captivating reflections and refractions, 8k, shot from magazine editorial, professional color grading, epic volumetric lighting, sharp focus, film grain, atmosphere, luxury product, detailed craftsmanship, exquisite beauty

Context and framing: A luxury, editorial product photo, macro close-up shot

Subject: Black woman's hand, diamond ring

Art Direction: intricate skin details, beautiful lighting, warm tones, reflections and refractions

Tags: 8k, editorial, professional color grading, volumetric lighting, sharp focus, film grain

We are setting up this product photoshoot for headphones to appeal to a millennial audience. The use of macro photography and studio lighting creates a visually striking image that is both modern and reminiscent of Beats by Dre or other brands. The choice of pink and pale green lighting adds a touch of playfulness to the overall aesthetic, while also mirroring the colourway of the headphones. 

Prompt: a macro photo of the side of a mans head. he is wearing headphones. millennial product photography, studio shot, 2 colour lighting, pink and pale green

Context and framing: millennial product photography, studio shot, macro

Subject: man’s head, wearing headphones

Art Direction: 2 colour lighting, pink and pale green

This shot demonstrates how gen AI can create realistic body parts up close. By focusing on the skin texture and realistic positioning of the hands and stomach, the shot looks authentic and relatable.

Prompt: a macro close-up of a woman's stomach with her hands resting on it. product editorial shot for a gut health brand. studio background space, pink sports bra and leggings.

Context and framing: a macro close-up

Subject: woman's stomach with her hands resting on it

Scene: product editorial shot for a gut health brand

Art Direction: studio background space, pink sports bra and leggings

Let’s create an image focused on beautifully, high-detailed hair. Terms like "professional studio photography," "macro-close up," "volumetric lighting," and "gradient background studio" help in creating a believable and professional-looking scene that is likely to capture the viewer's attention. Additionally, the mention of an "8k" resolution ensures that the image quality is top-notch and the black bottle with a dispenser in the background adds depth and context to the image. Overall, these prompts have helped me create a clear art direction for the image that is likely to resonate well with the target audience.

Prompt: highly detailed editorial product shot, professional studio photography, macro-close up of long wavy, shiny blonde hair, background black bottle with a dispenser, 8k, volumetric lighting, gradient background studio

Lovely detailed skin with lots of character and details for a foaming skin health product. Close-up shots highlight the small details of the skin and hair, and a light amber and dark beige color scheme will create a visually appealing composition.

Prompt: product still life shoot, a female person of colour, profile shot with foam across her face, in the style of minimalistic objects, delicate markings, close-up shots, light amber and dark beige, 8k, volumetric lighting

The Conclusion

It's clear that leveraging AI to advertise beauty products and accessories, from luxurious jewellery to trendy headphones and chic sunglasses, holds immense creative potential. The iterative nature of AI allows for continuous refinement and customisation, allowing marketers to fine-tune each visual. Whether you're unveiling a new lipstick shade or the latest headphones, harnessing the creative power of AI is a savvy choice for elevating your brand's visual storytelling.