Pix2Pix is a web tool for sketching where you can use their simple drawing tools, line and eraser, to draw an outline of a portrait or a scribble and it renders it into a realistic drawing. Apart from these tools, you have two buttons underneath your drawing area, named ‘undo’ and ‘clear’. Self explanatory from their names, you use this tool by drawing inside the sketch area, which is a little empty box, and when you are done, clicking the ‘process’ button. You get a ‘Lara Rense’ version of whatever you drew. It does take some time to render out the image, depending how much detail you added to your sketch, but the results are very interesting.
This artificial Intelligence system was created by the Dutch Public Broadcaster, NPO. A great use of neural network image translation system at play here.
There are different version of Pix2Pix out there, the original being the human face generator also known as the Fotogenerator. How it works is, that it uses neural networks to map out images and predict a real life picture. NPO used countless images of their reporter and presenter Lara Rense, as a source material to build a knowledge base for the AI system. The Fotogenerator uses this data set of Lara’s face to predict what new images would look like.
You can get pretty amazing results depending on the sketch.
Since the data set is of a human face, cartoon sketches turn out extra horrific and hilarious. Especially the hairlines, but the human sketch faces turn out pretty amazing. Depending on your ability as an artist, the results are a blend of horrifically-interesting to hilarious images. The more detail you add to your sketch, the more accurate it gets.
On the side note, what it does with adding color and texture to a plain pencil sketch is also astonishing. It renders out real colours, different lighting settings and even the fabric texture from a mere scribble. You wont believe it till you see it.
Unfortunately, the human version is no more, but you can most definitely try out other versions like the cat doodle edge2cats, shoe doodle edge2shoes, handbag doodle edge2handbags and building doodle facades. All of these versions are available to try on an interactive website built by Christopher Hesse, who used TesnorFlow, Google’s machine learning technology, to create these versions of Pix2Pix. Like the Fotogenerator the images also take time to render, but creating demented cats is some fun you wouldn’t wanna miss.
You can also create your own version of this crazy face maker. It’s all up there on github.
If this one doesn’t do it for you, here are five Pix2Pix alternatives that you can try. Oh and a heads up, the clear button is fatal. Once you press it, your sketch will be lost and there is no ‘Undo-ing’ it. If you are a good at sketching and can actually create human like sketches, stay away from the clear button unless you want to start fresh.
Drawing Cartoon 2
If you are a stick men fan, then you will have a great time playing around with this one. You can create your characters from scratch or use some of the pre-loaded set of different stick men characters, meme faces, a wide range of various backgrounds and much more. It’s not a simple click and drag tool. It really gives you a lot of control over the orientation and different angels on your characters.
You can also create videos and add audio to them, which is where this tool really shines. You won’t know it till you try it. Go on and create a mini cartoon clip and have a blast.
Available on: Android
AutoDraw is a machine learning web-based tool to help you draw. In a nutshell, this tool makes pretty accurate guesses and shows us suggestions of related images of what we draw.
It is based on the same technology as QuickDraw. Before you go all critical on the analysis, know this first that this is an experimental tool by Google. There are two main tools to draw with, a simple pencil tool named ‘draw’ and the AI-powered ‘Auto draw’ tool. The auto draw tool is what you wanna use if you wish to test out the machine learning capabilities.
As always, Google loves taking in inputs, there is an added option for users to submit their designs to Google, any doodle artists out there?
Dot 2 Dot
Dot 2 Dot is a puzzle game with a drawing touch. There are 1000s of dots and you connect them by the numbering and create cool images. Choose from different categories like animals, famous places, sports, famous art pieces, people and much more and connect away.
It’s a good game for a relaxing stress-free time and especially if you want to draw but aren’t any good at sketching. You can share your finished images on Facebook and Instagram and even download them on your phone.
It has simpler puzzle version for kids as well, so no one is left out from the Dot 2 Dot experience.
A very cool drawing app for kids. This falls more in the teaching kids how to draw category. It’s a basic trace and draw app with colouring. It has two main options for that.
One, Kids can draw by tracing on the character with their finger on the screen of the phone.
Two, (and my favorite), Kids can draw with the camera. You place your phone on top of some cup or any object that elevates the phone from the drawing surface. Place it so that you can clearly see the paper you are drawing on through the camera. Then match or ‘TRACE’ whatever you see on the screen onto the paper.
Sounds more complicated than it actually is but It’s pretty addictive.
Available on: Android
This one is from ‘hand sketches tool on whiteboard’ app family. What you do with this is, create your own whiteboard or black-board animations. You render out video format files of the sketches you make in here. It has a pre-built library of animations, scenes, characters and even sound, which are further divided into various categories as well.
You can use the pre-built props or create your own, add your own fonts or sounds. It has a very easy to understand user interface. At the bottom, you will find ‘the classic’ video editing timeline with sound controls which makes it easier to manipulate the animations.
There is a side panel with ‘live view’ option, so you can see how your sketch pans out while you draw. The best feature, that’s missing in other similar sketch tools, is the reveal path tool.
By default, if you use a character, the hand will just scribble it while drawing. With this tool, you can trace out the prop edges and lines and have the hand draw it like you normally would. It feels more natural.
Of course, you can control the speed and delay duration of the animations. A very simple tool with great features.
Available for Windows and Mac: Website