Peter Gabriel and Stability AI Announce #DiffuseTogether AI Animation Challenge Winners
Six-time Grammy winner invited AI animators to experiment with his latest releases and classics using AI
Stability AI, the world’s leading open source artificial intelligence company, together with music legend Peter Gabriel, is proud to announce the success if its inaugural #DiffuseTogether challenge. The groundbreaking competition received hundreds of entries from artists invited to create AI-generated animations inspired by and set to the music of Peter Gabriel. Winners included a double first-place finish from AI artists Junie Lau and Lamson, who chose to create videos for the songs The Court and Panopticon, both taken from Gabriel’s new album i/o.
“There’s so much talent on display throughout this whole competition and these winners we have to watch in the future – it’s like watching the film directors emerge in the sixties that you know are going to dominate culture in years to come,” Gabriel said. “This technology is an equalizer that is going to give us all tools to express ourselves in a thousand different ways. To all the winners and all the participants, I’ve been completely blown away and thrilled to be part of this new world.”
Nearly all the entries in the four-week competition presented fast-moving surrealist imagery, often incorporating shifting images of young and older versions of Gabriel set against backdrops corresponding to accompanying lyrics.
They offered hyper-modern visual interpretations of the music of Gabriel, an artist famous for being at the forefront of visual and audio technology since his days with Genesis five decades ago. The video for his 1986 smash hit Sledgehammer incorporated the revolutionary use of stop-motion animation, pixilation and claymation and is the most viewed music video in MTV history.
“We at Stability AI have been delighted with the results of this exciting challenge that inspires creativity in the AI space. To do so while partnering with Peter Gabriel, a true icon in the music industry, has made the effort even more memorable for us and the incredibly talented artists who participated,” said Emad Mostaque, Stability AI CEO. “We cannot wait for the next #DiffuseTogether challenge to see what else is in store.”
The #DiffuseTogether animations incorporated Stability AI’s technology through Stable Diffusion, its industry-leading open source suite of imaging models, as well as applications like DreamStudio (photorealistic imaging), Stability for Blender (3D), and AnimAI (animation).
The top four finishers received cash prizes culminating with a commission from Gabriel’s Real World Productions and tickets to Gabriel’s tour, which is currently playing in Europe. They also received compute power donated by Stability AI in the form of 4090 GPUs and API credits.
This edition of #DiffuseTogether is the first in a series of AI animation challenges that will feature other popular musicians and modalities from different genres. The winners were announced on a live Twitch stream last Sunday, featuring the top 10 finalists and a lineup of judges that included Gabriel himself and Stability AI Head of Community Tasha Baxter. The entire stream can be viewed on this YouTube link.
Quotes and background from the winners:
Joint-first place winners:
Junie Lau: From China
An accomplished director and production designer, Junie’s artistic prowess has always shone through her captivating narratives across different mediums, from fashion films and music videos to advertising productions. Her art masterfully bridges East and West, and has been showcased in esteemed publications like British Vogue and at the iconic Royal Academy of Arts in London.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to you and your team for organizing this incredible event. I truly appreciate all the effort and hard work that went into making it a success. It was a truly amazing and life-changing experience for me.😭 ❤️ – Junie Lau
Lamson: From Vietnam
A reflective engineer with a love for stories, art, and music. Lamson’s journey to find his career path led him to the illuminating power of Stable Diffusion. Through the confluence of AI and artistic expression, he desires to voice his deepest emotions and narratives.
I am overwhelmed with happiness and a profound sense of gratitude. This journey has been an incredibly beautiful one for me. As I perused the entries posted in the Discord chat, I was struck by the sheer brilliance and talent displayed by fellow participants. It made me realize how much room there is for improvement and how many valuable lessons I can learn from everyone's work.
My entries are deeply rooted in my personal feelings, and while I acknowledge that some parts are messy or incomplete, I am genuinely delighted and grateful that you all took the time to watch and appreciate them. Your support means the world to me.
Moreover, witnessing the remarkable journeys of other participants has been an immense joy. Many of your works have truly blown my mind. It fills me with motivation and a newfound confidence to explore and learn more in this captivating realm of AI and art. The fusion of artistic expression and AI technology evokes such a profound emotional response within me, and I am eager to continue working in this field for as long as possible.
I sincerely hope that each and every one of you can maintain your passion and continue producing countless masterpieces. Let us inspire and uplift one another as we venture further into the boundless possibilities of this new AI-driven world.
Thank you all once again for your support and for embarking on this incredible journey. – Lamson
Second place winner:
Vnderworld: From Portland, Oregon.
Self-proclaimed Stable Diffusion purist, Vnderworld has been mastering Stable Diffusion since September 2022. With their work featuring at NFT NYC 23, they have an upcoming series releasing on 6/6, which includes Deforum videos and SD Inpainting pieces in the collection.
I was thrilled with the opportunity to create visuals for Panopticom. I created this video in 1 week utilizing Stable Diffusion Deforum via Automatic1111. After listening to interviews, reading the lyrics over and over, and having the song on repeat 1000 times, I started to form this world in my head. I am honored to be a part of this community and to know that we are the early pioneers blazing the trail for AI adoption and the use of AI in artistic expression and animation. So many talented individuals participated in this contest and I am forever grateful to be a part of this moment in time for the AI space. - Vnderworld
Third place winner:
Oranguerillatan: From North Wales, UK.
Oranguerillatan, a seasoned CG Supervisor with two decades of experience in VFX/Post-Production and 3D animation. After discovering AI last summer, he has been engrossed in generating imagery using tools like Deforum and WarpFusion. He keenly anticipates the evolution of the visual industry with AI as its backbone.
I am so humbled and proud to be part of this competition alongside such talented people and incredible artists from around the world. I have a huge amount of respect for everyone who entered and would like to thank the AI community for all their kind words (public and privately) since the results. I am always up for collaboration and knowledge sharing, so please do reach out if you’d like to work together in the future on any interesting projects. - Oranguerillatan
About Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel is best known as a musician. He started his solo work in 1975 after leaving his old school group, Genesis. He has released eleven studio albums, including film soundtracks for Alan Parker’s ‘Birdy’, Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ and Philip Noyce’s ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ as well as numerous live albums. His wider musical career has included multiple Grammy Awards, the world-renowned Real World Studios, the formation of the Real World Records label, and in 1980 the creation of WOMAD, the festival that has launched the careers of many artists from around the world and last year celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Peter Gabriel co-founded the human rights organization WITNESS (Witness.org) in 1992, the organization that pioneers the use of cameras and technology in human rights campaigning, and in 2007, alongside Sir Richard Branson, he founded The Elders (theelders.org) which was launched by Nelson Mandela. In 2006, Peter Gabriel was awarded the prestigious Man of Peace title by The Nobel Peace Laureates and in 2008 was also included in the Time 100 list. He has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice. He remains engaged in a wide variety of tech-based businesses throughout a variety of creative industries.
About Stability AI
Stability AI is the world’s leading open source generative artificial intelligence company, collaborating with public and private sector partners to bring next generation infrastructure to a global audience. Headquartered in London with developers across the globe, Stability AI’s open source ethos provides the definitive path for cutting-edge research in imaging, language, code, audio, video, 3D content, design, biotech, and other scientific studies. For more information, visit https://stability.ai.