The Role of Creative Professionals in the Age of AIJan 18, 2024
Is AI coming for creatives?
Will creatives be rendered useless?
Can all creative production be handled by AI alone?
If these questions have been ping-ponging around in your head, Lucien Harriot has some thoughts to share. As president of Mechanism Digital, an NYC-based VFX animation and next-gen video production agency, Lucien has a lot of experience using AI in the video production process.
First things first: will AI Replace Creatives?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is still no.
“We think AI raises production value as opposed to taking jobs away.” – Lucien Harriot
Many think that AI decreases creativity, but we have noticed what AI takes over is the monkey work—the detailed, repetitive tasks that aren’t creative and that no one really wants to do. These tasks have always been a necessary evil (such as the painstakingly slow rotoscoping), and now creatives can pass this role on to AI, allowing them to work faster and produce better work.
So what is the role of Marketers & Creatives?
Your role is to understand the client, their brand, their product, and how to market these. You are the one who must craft the strategy and guide AI to help you produce the components comprising your message.
“We are going to have to rely on our experience, expertise, and understanding of the strategy and what the client needs.” – Lucien Harriot
How can your creative team leverage AI?
“It’s going to shift around where creatives work and how they work.” – Lucien Harriot
Here’s how Lucien’s team leverages AI to help them optimize video production in the various stages of development.
Use AI at the beginning of a project to help you generate ideas and create mood boards for the client.
“We are not going to use AI images directly, but images are used to help us elevate the conversation so we’re all talking about the same thing.” – Lucien Harriot
2. Audio clean up
Use AI to generate scratch tracks, and possibly even full voiceovers. Now you don’t have to re-record or edit in post-production if you change one word. You can choose the style of voice, the emotion, and even have one voice speak in multiple languages! You can also generate music and use AI to eliminate unwanted noises that would take hours to comb through manually. This is especially useful when editing interviews. Goodbye, “um”s and “uh”s!
3. 3D textures
AI can help create and extend backgrounds, such as brick walls, cityscapes, and forests.
Compositing, rotoscoping, color correction—all the boring stuff that no one wants to do? You can now have AI do this. Want a scene to be colored like in the Joker film? Just tell AI. It’ll handle it.
“Every software company out there is adding AI into the workflow.” – Lucien Harriot
Keeping up with AI Joneses
“It’s a full-time job just trying to keep up with AI!” – Lucien Harriot
New AI tools are released daily. At Mechanism Digital, Lucien’s team meets every Friday to talk about new tech and how to use it.
To stay in the know, Lucien recommends:
Blogs: Dan B Goldman’s daily Substack on Generative Media.
LinkedIn: Follow people in the field (like Lucien!) and hashtags such as #AIArt, #AIGenerativeArt.
YouTube: Search for topics like “The greatest things in AI this week.”
“Our job is to understand all of the AI tools and how to bring them together.”
Here are some of Lucien’s favorite AI tools
Stable Diffusion creates images and videos.
Dall-E creates images and video, and you can converse with it to tell it what to change.
Ideogram is great at generating text.
Topaz Labs can enhance images, remove noise, and stabilize footage.
Runwayml is good for video creation and greenscreen.
Lensa is your go-to photo app and can create professional headshots.
Adobe Premiere has great audio cleanup tools.
Mage.space is wonderful for diffusion and control. You can add other images to finesse results.
Eleven Labs is an audio AI where you can input one language and generate output in another language with the same voice.
Move lets you record people moving with your phone and converts the movement to a 3D character.
Find the intersection between your expertise and AI—those who have AI in their toolset will do more and produce better work.
- AI helps creatives with busy work
- Creatives are needed for strategy and oversight
- Keep up with AI trends and incorporate them into your workflow
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