nvidia canvas

Nvidia Canvas can turn a plain drawing into a real-looking photographic image

Ok, Nvidia — this is pretty cool.
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Do you know who’s bad at art? Me. My ability to translate an idea into something visually pleasing sits at about a 1 out of 10. Even my stick figures are ugly. This is why I found myself so intrigued by Nvidia Canvas, an app that, according to Engadget, can help you sketch something worth looking at “even if you have zero artistic skills and a first grader can draw better than you.” That is quite the promise, so I had to dig in and see how it works.

As Nvidia explains, Canvas is all about AI (artificial intelligence). Using the power of an RTX graphics card — which is required to run Nvidia Canvas — the app recognizes what you’re trying to draw based on the type of brush you’re using. There are special brushes for water, trees, rocks, and so forth. You paint what you want to paint, Nvidia Canvas performs some AI computing razzmatazz, and ta-da: you have an image that isn’t terrible.

Judging by the images below, Nvidia Canvas may just make a semi-decent artist out of me yet.

As you can see, the software seems to keep its word. On the left, you have almost embarrassingly bad sketches no soul would ever want to display on their refrigerator. On the right, you have what essentially look like photos I ripped off from National Geographic or something. These were extremely easy to put together. The software is fairly straightforward. Canvas is pulling off some wizard stuff here.

And Canvas and even does some additional things I wasn’t expecting. For instance, in that beach shot, it put sand underneath the water flowing into the sea. In the photo with the mountains, it added some splotches of brown dirt in with the grass, because that’s probably the type of thing you’d see next to large rocky formations. It adds these little details that make the resulting images a lot more convincing in the end — to me, anyway. The test is going to be whether or not I can fool some people with these “photos.” I’ll try that and report back at a later date.

All in all, I’m fairly impressed with what Nvidia Canvas is pulling off here. And at the cost of zero dollars — all you need, as mentioned, is an RTX graphics card — it’s worth downloading and playing with. Now I just need AI to step in and help me with talking, too. And maybe cooking. Nvidia, if you are working on apps in theseareas, please get in touch.