The Prisma app, which transforms regular pictures into fantastic images that attempt to reproduce the human artistic touch, is officially a hit.
First launched back in June in the Apple App Store; the app has quickly been adopted by countless of users publishing Prisma-enhanced images to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram.
However unlike some apps that simply apply color and light filters to images, Prisma asserts to utilize a unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) to take the art styles/designs of well-known artists and integrates them with your photos to develop stunning brand-new images.
Prisma Labs Inc develops a mobile as well as online applications that transform your images into masterpieces utilizing the styles of famous artists: Van Gogh, Picasso, Edvard Munch, and Andy Warhol etc., along with world traditional ornaments and pattern. The totally free app, which is now offered after a short beta period, provides a great deal of filters for that just-right arty appearance.
Prisma has released just a few weeks ago but has already amassed some 1.6 million downloads, CEO, and co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov informs. The secret to this early development is clearly the app’s prominently positioned social share function, which triggers users to publish to Social Media
sites as quickly as they get their processed shot.
And just this week the Facebook-owned photo-sharing leviathan (Instagram) revealed it had more than doubled its regular monthly active users over the previous 2 years — reaching a tremendous 500 million MAUs. So that’s a great deal of attire, selfies, lunches and adorable family pet shots being shared on Instagram every day. Undoubtedly, some 95 million videos and images are shared on the platform on a typical day.
Magic Hashtag #prisma
The size of Instagram’s network is apparently developing an enormous pull for fresh content. Pull that Prisma has seemingly had the ability to take advantage of by providing a brand-new set of filters for the starving Insta-hoards. Prisma-using Instagram users have obviously been badging their art filtered shots with a #Prisma hashtag. “A great deal of people share images with a hashtag. I have no idea how they discover our hashtag — it’s magic, I believe,” jokes Moiseenkov. “For one day, the very first day of launch, we develop about 30,000 images in Instagram. And it was like in a boom! And after this day the hashtag was ours.”
To use Prisma, snap a photo, or select an existing image on your phone and then apply a filter, it’s as simple as that. You can personalize the filter by sliding your finger to the left or right on the image to amplify or soften the result. Prisma utilizes AI to turn your images into a unique graphic and works its algorithmic magic — returning your stylized image immediately.
The app allows you to adjust your image with cropping software, making it much easier to publish your creations on social media networks like Instagram and Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Telegram.
So if you’ve ever desired your bedroom to look like a rotoscope animation, or your selfie to have tones of manga, or your helpless sketching skills not to keep back your yearning to develop a webcomic, then Prisma is certainly the app for you.
Prisma is providing around 20 art filters inside the app at this moment, with a few of the art/graphical starting points consisting of Go for Baroque by Roy Lichtenstein, The Scream by Edvard Munch, a DC comic graphic plus abstract art works like Transverse Line by Wassily Kandinsky.
More filter alternatives are being added all the time, with Moiseenkov stating the intention is to add two more each day at this point.
“After a month we will have about 40 styles/designs,” he states.
The goal, presumably, is to try to avoid its stylized looks feeling stale. Novelty, after all, can lose its shine of exciting newness practically as quickly as it got hold of people’s interest in the very first place. However, Prisma is very much in the honeymoon stage right now.
While you can’t see the real-time result of a Prisma filter, given you need to wait a little while for each shot to be processed, it’s fast enough that it does not feel strenuous. On the smartphone, the complex calculations would take for too long. That’s why all processing is performed in the cloud on the group’s servers, instead of on the phone. But Moiseenkov notes they are not retaining or parsing users’ original images. “We are not saving the [original] images. We have no idea who sent pictures; we don’t know the photo itself due to the fact that it’s in a non-readable format for us. We only save the result for some time because if the network is dreadful, we want to reconnect and give the result to the phone,” he says.
Although it can also be incredibly addicting as you wind up attempting more and more filters on the exact same image just to see what they’re going to look like. Which might not scale so well once there are 40 choices in the application.
Outcomes will vary depending upon your subject matter and lighting conditions, obviously, with certain filters producing much better results than others for each shot. However in our experience testing the app it hardly ever returned an outcome that looked like an art work gone wrong (darker lighting conditions did in some cases confuse some of the filters).
The majority of the time the processed images returns looking impressively professional. Or moodily atmospheric at very least. And the processing time was practically always never more than a couple of seconds. If they continue to scale up their user-base, they’ll need to beef up their servers to keep up, albeit.
Concerning the core tech, Moiseenkov states the team is using neural network/deep learning algorithms to process the images.
“On the server, we have something like 3 neural networks for today. And each performs a various job. It’s based upon something like extract the style/design from the art work and applies to the image and some techniques to accelerate the process.”
Neural networks are essential here due to the fact that Prisma’s art filters are not really filters, states Moiseenkov, but rather the imagery is being developed from a blank canvas — using the 2 data inputs to create a final image.
“We’re not simply overlaying like an Instagram filter. We design image from scratch. So there is no photo, we took your image, then perform some operations and give a brand-new image to you. So deep learning is like an artist, something like that.”
The initial concept for the app came after Moiseenkov saw a similar algorithm online that could process images in the style/design of art works. The issue was it was “extremely sluggish”. “Before our app, you sometimes needed like one hour in Photoshop or 2 hours in some website or service. And for now you’re just going outside in a park with your buddies and just create something sort of like art, and it’s fantastic. When I am on my mobile, I want the result now. I don’t wish to wait such a long time. And I think I can improve it. For about 2 months we were just polishing the concept of mathematics, and after that from the middle of April 2016 we just for two months develop the entire production code.”
They released the app in 6 countries at first. It’s now in about 25 to 30 countries and is getting around 300,000 installs across 10 of those markets daily. It’s made the most significant splash in Russia up until now, as you’d expect given the team comes from there — although they are preparing to relocate to San Francisco to keep developing Prisma.
Additional functions coming to the app in the short term will include it automatically recommending the very best filters for a particular shot, based upon the objects in the image. Which will definitely be one way to navigate much better having as many as 40 filters to select from.
They are also intending to work on more features to enhance user engagement, although the team has no illusions about aiming to build out their own network/platform off of a piece of cool tech.
“There are a lot of platforms, and we don’t need any other social networks for today,” agrees Moiseenkov, adding: “It is difficult for a simple app [to be sustainable on its own] and I think part of our success is its simplicity — it just takes photo, choose filter and get the result. And I believe that it’s an excellent way for the user to get the result and share your art work.”
The Prisma team has attracted some external investment supporting development. However, Moiseenkov isn’t able to reveal too many details at this stage.
One of the investors, Mail.ru/My.com Group, has previously announced it is putting money in, with Dmitry Grishin, chairman of the board, commenting in a statement that: “Artificial intelligence and neural network will bring a lot of change in all types of media content, and we are happy to support such startups. We will continue investments in this perspective trend even more.” The company is headquartered in Moscow, Russia.
The Prisma app is an entirely free download for now. Monetization, should they end up going down that route, might include providing sponsored filters — most likely way than pushing in-app purchases at users, reckons Moiseenkov. Take a look at Hyundai first attempt.
“I don’t know for now, but there is a lot of inquiries from large enterprises, and I have no time to talk with them all,” he adds.
We discussed this type of AI-powered image manipulation last year, but this new app makes it so simple to achieve excellent results that it’s easy to see why the app has actually quickly become popular.
Simulacra of genuine art. The simulacrum also disarranges the order of priority: that the image must be secondary to, or come after, its model.
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Let’s be clear; this app is not a replacement for the top-level work of professional illustrators and fine artists who operate not by the algorithm by human skill and inspiration. Nevertheless, the results of some of the images taken into the Prisma app are a remarkable simulacrum of genuine art.
How remarkable? We took a deep dive into a few of the photos tagged #prisma on Instagram in just the last 24 hours, and a few of the images are genuinely engaging, especially the portraits. In the art world, getting the spirit and emotion ingrained in the human face right is often perceived as a hallmark of visual merit. When it comes to Prisma, the app renders remarkably striking portraits, as you can see in the gallery listed below.
So with all that, you have sufficient awesomeness to occupy image sharing fans for the foreseeable future. That should be sufficient, right? Wrong. Here’s the kicker: Prisma is rolling out the app for video as we write. With Prisma plans for video, company is stating their processing strategy can still work rapidly enough for a mobile video scenario.
“Photos is only the start. We prepare to include something like the Boomerang app from Instagram. Like brief cycles. We plan to add them shortly — I think in July. And some sort of ingenious filters where the quality will be superb,” Moiseenkov adds.
That suggests cutting-edge films like A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life (both by director Richard Linklater), which utilized rotoscoping to use similarly surreal effects to the real world, will likely end up being typical in the very near future.
For the time being, the photo version of the app is currently iOS, and Android is now readily available on Google’s Play Store or Apple. But if you don’t have a smartphone, Prisma website offers the app that turns regular photos into art. However, it appears the app’s popularity caused some downloading issues on the site. Be patient. But for our phone try and on site we had no downtime whatsoever.
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