This is insanity

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Desler
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This is insanity

Post by Desler »

I looked this up today and immediately thought of StarCraft campaigns. This technology is unreal:

https://replicastudios.com/

Try it out.

If this existed 24 years ago...
JoelS
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Re: This is insanity

Post by JoelS »

If that existed 24 years ago...

...players would have been spared a few regrettable voice performances by yours truly!

It really is impressive tech, and would be seriously useful to anyone wanting to add variety to the NPC cast of any game project. On the other hand, it does pose a bit of an existential threat to human voice actors. Or, it will eventually. The same could be said about the virtual instruments I use to compose with, and really that damage has played out to some extent. There are fewer orchestras operating today with live musicians. Of course, access to live human musicians is also more available through sites like Fiverr and remote/home recording. The landscape keeps changing. Generative AI music composition is a growing field, too.

If you really want to blow your mind, this is all machine-learning generated AI art:
https://www.midjourney.com/showcase/

So, I can spend twenty plus years learning and maintaining skills plus eight to ten hours or more to create a piece of art, or I can... type a line of text into an algorithm and get something that looks like professional art from a card game or fantasy novel or whatever.

The creative intention of the performer will always bring something unique to a role or instrumental performance. Budgets are the real enemy, though. These AI and algo driven options are an inevitable evolution that bring a lot of questions, a lot of change, some chaos, and are as ripe for abuse as they are exciting.

Next step: an algo AI that you type in 'RTS mixed with space shooter in retro pixel style and the characters are ducks' and it outputs a whole game for you.
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IskatuMesk
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Re: This is insanity

Post by IskatuMesk »

Meh. I'll always trust myself to perform better than anything I'll find on the internet. Personally I am unimpressed by deepfakes and AI generated stuff. I think it has a very, very long ways to go. It's starting to flood various marketplaces and while it could be useful I'd never pay a dime for it.

By the way, Joel, your stuff is pretty good and I'm definitely going to find a use for it in my game.
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Re: This is insanity

Post by JoelS »

Thanks, I appreciate it! I do hope the music and other stuff I make is useful to people and at least presently offers something that an AI can't.

The real use case I see right now for AI voice services like that isn't lead dramatic roles, bur rather in filling out the extra cast of NPCs or unit voices in a way that easily adds variety to the end product. They're suitable for 'boring' material like narrating tutorials, too.

If I was looking at it in a positive light, I'd say that if someone was trying to budget a fully voiced project, they could afford to pay more for high quality lead actors and fill out incidental roles cheaply with AI.

It'll get really interesting when we reach the point that voice synthesis is good enough to deliver convincing performances from text in a variety of voices that are physically modeled on actors, without having to render it in .wav files - just delivering it on the fly.
Desler
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Re: This is insanity

Post by Desler »

Sure is a far cry from just a few years ago when artificial voices consisted of mechanical sounding computer generated voices. Now you can actually fool people and get a little bit of personality out of it to boot. Some of them still suffer from that defect, but it's real impressive just how many do not. I think it's pretty cool - one of the things we always suffered from in our campaigning days was finding good voice actors to the roles who not only wanted to voice, but also wanted to stick around. I remember when both Sharandar and Razorclaw X were done voicing their roles. I knew we wouldn't find others quite like them. Hard to keep people around when you don't have any resources.

I loaned my own voice to a role and hired some actors for a campaign creations contest in my late 20's. That was absolutely a blast. I think of all the fun we had here just creating stories with the resources of teenage kids, it really was incredible to be a part of. Kids these days who might find something similar will have even more resources available to them to create wondrous things.
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IskatuMesk
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Re: This is insanity

Post by IskatuMesk »

I've been using AI upscalers/denoisers for years to process stuff I find on the internet for D&D and more and more people in my circles are getting into AI generators for images in particular. It's definitely a very, very far cry from "feed it a line and end up with production worthy material". You can and will often spend days if not weeks on extremely powerful hardware trying to find that one magic seed and one magic combination of words that gets you something you can then post-process into your target goal. They're just tools - maybe useful tools (very helpful in the case of the denoisers) but really they're just brute force math applied to terabytes upon terabytes of source material and that source material is what makes them powerful not necessarily some magic sauce. It's going to be a while before joe sixpack can do much with it in a timely manner unless he wants to fork out a lot of cash to a third party service and a ton of time. That will probably change in a couple years as it matures but I don't think it will ever crowd out real artists.

Starcraft, particularly CC/SA, are/were standout in being the only communities in all of gaming I've been able to find people looking for voice acting related stuff in much less actual voice actors. Most of the people out there making mods/campaigns won't even think to use AI because they never intended to use voice acting to begin with. Nowadays most people are opposed to even having custom graphics or unit behaviors.

I think other than UntamedLoli and RCX I'm the only one in the entire community left that is doing customs stuff.
Desler
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Re: This is insanity

Post by Desler »

Oh these voices woulda been just fine for me back in the day. You should of heard a lot of the auditions. A lot of these are a lot stronger. And besides, we were all kids back then Quality to us was just what we could manage with our efforts.

I still don't have any strong standards though I'm quite certain my storytelling has evolved in the last 12 years since I last made my final entry into the series. I don't really have any medium on this world that I'm rushing to tell it on though - StarCraft was so majestically easy and I'm not an advanced person by any means. WarCraft 3 followed suit in that theatre. I'd use these voices, and I'd be happy to hear them a little off. I think it's cool. It doesn't have to be perfect, for me. You do you tho. It was always a struggle to find voice actors and I always felt weird putting Joel in every role.

Joel on the other hand has continued to grow down the same areas and I do agree his stuff sounds pretty awesome.
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IskatuMesk
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Re: This is insanity

Post by IskatuMesk »

I feel stronger about my first digital-only VA attempts 22 years ago than I do about most modern games released in the market today. I feel that standards are super important and everything in all walks of life should be held to them.

I've had to train a few people to get voiced roles in my projects done. I'm prepared to do it again if my current work reaches a stage I feel comfortable sourcing VA for it. I can handle most of the roles myself, though.
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Re: This is insanity

Post by UntamedLoli »

AI has been interesting to keep an eye on for the last few years between GPT and now Stable Diffusion. I don't really like that anyone calls them AI though. They're just crunching numbers through a model built on large datasets. There's no awareness going on despite what crackpots at Google and other places are trying to convince anyone otherwise. Yes, that model you put the Terminator and other apocalyptic settings into means it's going to reference them when you ask your loaded questions. Upscalers, denoisers and other single purpose things like VA are where they seem to do a lot better.

When you give Stable Diffusion a prompt for something basic with a standard amount of features. You're going to get varying amounts of usually mangled limbs/digits/etc most of the time. It gets even worse when you try to play on it's supposed strengths of mixing shit together. GPT, even with the new methods, still has a really hard time with coherency unless you hold it's hand at every point. Issues that are from the original datasets not being sanitized properly will keep rearing it's ugly head on a regular basis. Especially when most of it is just scraped off the internet. It's funny seeing developers try to use GPT for game dialogue in real time. Maybe it works a little better with a more focused model.

As far as toasters stealing the jerbs. Maybe for people that don't care about the quality of the output. Unless you're looking for some form of abstract art, you're still going to need some degree of skill to fix the output. The amount of malding from artists over Stable Diffusion alone is highly amusing. They never tried it and don't know how poorly it works most of the time. Everyone sane just sees another tool.

Don't forget to thank Nvidia for cornering the market with more proprietary bullshit as far as GPU use goes. Your only option with AMD is to run a linux install for ROCm.

/e

There's also been some interesting AI things related to 3d animation and rigging. As well as the problem that is linear skin weighting.
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