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Update January 6, 2022:

Nvidia has updated Canvas with GauGan2: The AI painting tool now offers higher-quality backgrounds and four times the resolution, according to Nvidia. There are also nine new drawing materials.

The beta of Canvas is available as a free download.

Original article from June 24, 2021:

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Nvidia Canvas supports artists with AI: Turning simple sketches into full-fledged drawings.

In March 2019, Nvidia introduced the AI model GauGAN: It was trained with millions of landscape images and learned to compose new landscapes based on the training material.

To do this, the AI model only needs a rudimentary idea of the landscape to be drawn as input: a spot marked in blue instead of the sky, white spots in it if clouds are to pass through the image, and a gray spot for a mountain massif that juts into the sky.

GauGAN also learned visual contexts and common features in landscapes from the training material, such as that a large blue area at the top of the image corresponds to the sky and water at the bottom.

The painting AI can also reproduce and automatically add details such as reflections in a still lake or different color worlds according to the season. If you sketch a pond, for example, the AI adds trees or stones. In addition, the styles of individual famous artists can be applied to an already generated painting.

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At the Siggraph 2019 computer graphics trade show, GauGAN won awards for best app of the show and crowd favorite.

Nvidia turns GauGAN into drawing software

Based on GauGAN, Nvidia is now introducing the new Canvas app: The app has a much improved interface compared to the first browser versions. It runs on any computer with a current RTX Nvidia graphics card and Windows 10.

Artists are supposed to use GauGAN for faster implementation of more drawing ideas, also to test whether a visual idea manifests itself on the image as intended. The canvas AI enables the rapid production of many visual prototypes.

If the AI drawing matches the ideas, it can be exported to Photoshop and refined or combined with other graphics. Nvidia offers Canvas in a beta version as a free download.

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At the end of 2020, Google introduced “Chimera Painter”, a similar AI painting tool. Google trained the GAN network with fancy animal creatures instead of landscapes.

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Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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