This Anime Does Not Exist was launched on January 19th 2021, showcasing almost a million images (n=900,000 at launch, now n=1,800,000 images), every single one of which was generated by Aydao‘s Stylegan2 model. For an in-depth write-up on the progression of the field of anime art generation as well as techniques, datasets, past attempts, and the machine learning details of the model used, please read Gwern’s post. This post is a more concise and visual post discussing the website itself, thisanimedoesnotexist.ai, including more images, videos, and statistics.
The Creativity Slider and Creativity Montage
Although the above two are among my favorite examples of creativity montages, many users found some other interesting things that increased creativity could do:
The best way to demonstrate the stunning potential of this model is to show some of the samples that users have enjoyed the most:
Incidentally, it also seems that users love sharing images that are not the most beautiful, but the weirdest as well. The below four were among the most popular images on the website during the first few hours, when there was only n=10,000 of each image:
Sometimes the result collapses enough to lead to an image that, although pretty, does not at all resemble the ideal target:
In many cases the model will produce writing which looks distinctly Japanese, however upon closer introspection, is not legible, with each character closely resembling distinct counterparts in Japnese scripts, however diverging just enough to produce confusion with a lingering feeling of otherworldlyness.
Videos and gifs
As it’s possible to produce any number of images from the model, we can also use these images to produce videos and animated gifs. The primary style of this is referred to as an interpolation video which is produced by iterating through the latent variables frame by frame, transitioning in between different samples seamlessly:
Additionally, I decided to make a few videos that used a constant image seed, but modified only the creativity value instead (instructions on how I did this are here):
Statistics and users
After the first day, the website had served over 100 million requests, using over 40TB of bandwidth:
At launch, the largest contributor to traffic by country was the United States, followed by Russia, but over the next two days this quickly shifted to Japan.
Compare to similarly-trafficed websites, thisanimedoesnotexist.ai was relatively cheap, thanks to not requiring server-side code (serving only static content):
- Domain ‘thisanimedoesnotexist.ai’: for two years from NameCheap: $110
- Cloudflare premium, although not required, improves image load time significantly via caching with their global CDN: $20
- Image generation: 1,800,000 images, 10,000 generated per hour with a batch size of 16 using a g4dn.xlarge instance, which has a single V100 GPU with 16GB of VRAM at $0.526 per hour on-demand: $95
- “Accidentally” hosting the website from AWS for the first day, resulting in over 10TB of non-cached bandwidth charges: >$1,000 (via credits)
Conclusions and the future
All in all, this was a fun project to put together and host, and I’m glad that hundreds of thousands of people have visited it, discussed it, and enjoyed this novel style of artwork.
If you want to read in-depth about the ML behind this model and everything related to it, please read Gwern’s post.
The field of AI artwork, content generation, and anything related is moving very quickly and I expect these results to be surpassed before the year is over, possibly even within a few months.
If you have a technical background and are looking for an area to specialize in, I cannot emphasize the extent that I’d strongly suggest machine learning/artificial intelligence: it will have the largest impact, it will affect the most fields, it will help the most people, it will pay the most, and it will cause you to be surrounded by the best and smartest people you could hope for.