AI offers a fun upgrade to video game characters from the 90s


AI image generators have been responsible for a lot in the past few months. Hardly a day goes by without us discovering some new experiences, whether it’s reviving late celebrities or creating a tool so we can turn anyone into a Pokémon. Now someone has used them to enhance what 30 years ago was the latest in video game graphics.

An artist has fed ’90s Sega fighting game Virtua Fighter characters with an AI image generator, turning original 3D polygon graphics into (well, roughly) photorealistic ones. To see how this technology works, take a look at our article HOW TO USE DALL-E 2 (Opens in a new tab).

Virtua Fighter

(Image credit: Sega/Colin Williamson via Twitter)

Virtua Fighter was a revolution when it was released in 1993. It is generally considered to be the first fighter with fully 3D graphics, and the graphics have been improved in several sequels. But how would it look up-to-date by today’s standards in graphics? Well, tech artist Colin Williamson (Opens in a new tab) I decided to find out with some help from image-to-image contrast of the technology’s open source AI model to Image Stable Diffusion. The results are impressive and entertaining.

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