Sam Hart Original image generated in Gen Craft digitally overpainted in Sketchbook Pro

Latest News

BBC captures students' embrace of AI in creative practice

BBC journalists visited the Arts University Plymouth campus to learn more about the impact of generative AI and its effect on the creative industries.
<p dir="ltr">BBC journalists have recently spent time at Arts University Plymouth to learn more about how art, design and media students are impacted by the rise of generative AI and how advancements in technology are likely to influence careers in the creative industries.<br /></p>
BBC journalist Hattie M with Sam Hart and Joseff Jones

BBC journalist Hattie McCann interviews student Joseff Jones

<p dir="ltr"><a href="">BA (Hons) Animation &amp; Games</a> and <a href="">BA (Hons) Fashion Media &amp; Marketing</a> students and lecturers <a href="">met with Hattie McCann from the BBC</a> to discuss the possibilities, risks and opportunities of AI to enhance their creative practices and transform the future of their industries.</p> <p dir="ltr">Third-year BA (Hons) Fashion Media &amp; Marketing student Maddie Franklin has employed AI to investigate the adaptation of sustainable biomaterials within the luxury shoe sector. Biomaterials in the fashion industry are hoped to replace unsustainable animal-based textiles and non-degradable materials with biodegradable materials. Maddie has successfully used generative AI to illustrate the process of comprehending and enhancing her concept-driven understanding of how biomaterials can be formed to bring her design ideas to life.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="">Kirsty Smith</a>, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Media &amp; Marketing, said: “Maddie’s AI-generated designs visualise a practical real-world dimension to her research, enhancing the project's potential for reshaping the luxury market. The use of AI has provided Maddie with opportunities to question the relevancy of sustainability within her chosen sector. By exploring trends and understanding the unique features of luxury sustainable shoes, Maddie has used AI to bring to life her ideas with the intent of later developing physical prototypes.”<br /></p>
Maddie Richards 2024 image generated in Midjourney Cropped

Maddie Franklin, 2024. image generated in Midjourney.

<p dir="ltr">Second-year BA (Hons) Animation &amp; Games student Joseff Jones said: “During my studies at Arts University Plymouth I’ve tried out using Stable Diffusion and other forms of AI to help me with visual idea generation, video generation, general writing and concept art. When you have an idea that you’re struggling to visualise, generative AI can be an amazing help for ideation. I want to take the time now to learn how to best implement AI and understand the ethics around it before using it as a tool in future projects.”<br /></p>
Joseff Jones Image generated in Stable Diffusion

Joseff Jones, 2024. Image generated in Stable Diffusion.

<p dir="ltr">Second-year BA (Hons) Animation &amp; Games student <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sam Hart</a> is an artist and visual storyteller whose creative practice focuses on character and environment design. With a large body of character design work already and a number of freelance clients commissioning design and illustration from him, Sam focused his use of AI to create textures that would be impractical and overly time-consuming to design manually, as well as trialling its use to integrate realistic elements of nature into his fantastical environments and painting over images that were first generated by AI.<br /></p>
Screenshot 2024 02 15 at 14 55 41

BBC Spotlight 15 February 2024 (copyright BBC)

<p dir="ltr">Sam said: “Before trialling the use of AI at university I wasn’t sure how it could fit into my workflow and the idea felt soulless, so I avoided it. When we investigated AI as part of our studies I found it useful to create textures, namely intricate Celtic knotwork and similar dense patterns. For years I’ve taken photos and cut and pasted sections into my work, and I found that I could also successfully do this with AI-generated images.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ve found that AI can help me to take different directions and stylistic choices with my work. Seeing the way that it inspires me to make different decisions and trial new choices, I believe that AI will lead to a new generation of interesting premises in games and films. Personally, I’m still in a position where it feels like I have less authorship when I integrate AI into my work, even on pieces that are 85% my own original creations, so for now they feel like something separate to my main workstream. I’ll continue to experiment however and use AI for textures and inspiration. AI is a useful tool to add to my skill set and one that I’m sure will become more relevant over time.”<br /></p>
Sam Hart Original image generated in Gen Craft digitally overpainted in Sketchbook Pro

Sam Hart, 2024. Original image generated in GenCraft; artist enhanced in Sketchbook Pro.

<p dir="ltr">Second-year BA (Hons) Fashion Media &amp; Marketing student Chloe Quinn has trialled a range of different uses for AI in her practice, from creating animated storyboards to plan speculative fashion films, to mocking up augmented reality (AR) stage designs that demonstrated how her plans would look in 3D.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chloe said: “One of the most constructive uses that I’ve found for AI so far has been to create digital set designs and use AI to experiment virtually with lighting, camera settings and set composition before shooting. Having this new way to bring my visions to life in pre-production and then share with collaborators has really helped me to communicate what I have in my mind. This ease of communication is invaluable, allowing me to plan and prepare to create these physical projects much more accurately, leading to a better final product.”<br /></p>
Storyboard by Chloe Quinn

AI generated storyboard by Chloe Quinn using Canvas Magic Media AI, Runway AI and Adobe Premiere Pro.

<p dir="ltr">First-year BA (Hons) Fashion Media &amp; Marketing student Lily Waterman said: “I use AI to help to share a personalised touch, allowing me to adapt and customise designs based on prompts instead of relying on generic images from the web. I used the images in a presentation which now serves as a template for group discussions, acting as a launchpad for further idea development within my team. I like to use AI to help me to communicate my ideas in detail, instead of drawing my set designs, for example.”<br /></p>
Screenshot 2024 02 15 at 14 55 56

BBC Spotlight 15 February 2024 (copyright BBC)

<p dir="ltr"><a href="">Associate Professor Stephanie Owens</a>, Dean of Arts, Design and Media at Arts University Plymouth, said: “I am encouraged by the cautious but willing approach our students are taking to understand both the challenges and potential of using generative AI tools in their creative process. I believe they understand fully that there has long been an advantage of employing predictive tools and filters in creative software, but are beginning to see, with the increased sophistication of software like ChatGPT and Midjourney, that they are now confronted with the question of how much of their authorship they want to extend to these programmes and how much they desire to retain for themselves.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In taking steps to support their agency in navigating this divide, the university has recently developed and adopted new policies around the submission of art and design work that utilises AI. The policy permits the use of AI provided that students appropriately attribute its use in crediting their work. As a creative community, we have taken this supportive approach because we realise that we cannot understand the full impact of generative AI on creative practice unless we allow our students to embrace it. Once they have an understanding of how it functions technically, socially and culturally, they will be empowered to decide whether or not it is a meaningful augmentation of their ideas.”<br /></p>