So, you’ve heard about artificial intelligence (AI) generated art? But do you know about ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI? ChatGPT is a text-generating AI system that can generate coherent conversations and stories in human-like language. I love to write and I’ve been playing with ChatGPT to see what it is capable of. Well, I discovered a few neat tricks that have already come in handy for the miniature painting hobby!
In this article, I share what I’ve learned about using ChatGPT, an interactive AI language tool, to augment my approach in miniature painting. You can try the tool for free on the Open AI website.
- ChatGPT provides personalized inspiration and techniques for miniature painting, catering to both beginners and experienced artists.
- Users must approach ChatGPT’s time-bound knowledge and pattern-based responses with a critical eye, applying their own judgment to its suggestions.
- Despite AI’s potential to enhance creativity, it cannot fully replicate the distinct human touch and individuality inherent in painting miniatures.
Read on to learn more about ChatGPT for painting miniatures, making art, and other creative hobbies.
Miniature Painting is a HUMAN Endeavor
I’m a hobby gamer. I paint miniatures, but I also play tabletop games like Warhammer 40k, Warmachine/Hordes, Dungeons & Dragons (DND), and many others.
A big part about gaming, of course, is that I enjoy the community of friends and new people I get to meet. While I’m not as free with my time as I used to be, e.g., getting on with other responsibilities as I get older, I still make time to create and engage with the hobby as much as I can.
And, what I’ve realized over the years is that the part of the gaming hobby that I’ve still held onto, is the art of the miniatures. I love working at fine scale, the kits, the painting, all of it. Into the late nights with a bit of background music, an audiobook, or even just a YouTube channel droning in the background, I’ll paint.
It’s a time to ruminate about whatever comes to mind. The process of painting miniatures allows my mind to “sort” out the thoughts into compartments. To the outside observer, it would look like I’m just painting little figures, but in reality, I’m engaging with a creative process that helps me replenish mentally.
AI FOR THE MASSES: What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a large language model created by OpenAI that’s designed to have conversations with humans. As a tool, it’s been invading every industry I can think of.
And for good reason: ChatGPT can understand and respond to a wide range of queries and topics. For many people, you can use ChatGPT to discuss any topic, write about something (or rewrite it), and even have a philosophical debate (e.g., “If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?”).
Of course, because it’s driven by a machine-learning model, ChatGPT is always learning and adapting. This means that over time, it will become even better at understanding us humans and engaging in meaningful conversations.
As someone who paints miniatures, I thought it would be interesting to see if ChatGPT could help me with my creative process. Suffice it to say, ChatGPT and art go hand-in-hand.
How to Use ChatGPT in the Miniature Painting Process
Using ChatGPT for miniature painting is relatively straightforward. All you need is a text-based prompt, and ChatGPT will generate a response based on its extensive knowledge base.
In my case, I’ve tried using ChatGPT in a ton of ways to help me understand its utility in the miniature painting hobby. To follow along, you can create an account and login into ChatGPT for free. There’s a ChatGPT plus version if you’re serious about getting the most out of the Chat API (application programming interface).
Here’s a Quick step-by-step guide for using ChatGPT in your miniature painting:
- Start with a prompt. For example, “I want to paint a fantasy miniature with a dark color scheme.”
- ChatGPT will generate a response based on your prompt, such as suggesting specific colors or techniques to use in your painting.
- Use ChatGPT’s suggestions to guide your painting process.
You can fine-tune your query by asking for further help and insight into each step that ChatGPT responds with. In this case, I may want help choosing the colors in my paint scheme.
Use ChatGPT to Teach You a New Miniature Painting Technique
While text-only tutorials may not be the best way to learn a new technique, as a video or photo tutorial could be more effective (including my tutorial), ChatGPT does provide a great way to learn new techniques that you might not have encountered elsewhere.
For example, if I’m looking to learn how to paint drybrush a model to add highlights, I can ask ChatGPT “How do I drybrush a model to add highlights?” and it will generate a response with tips on how to achieve the effect.
And, this isn’t all ChatGPT can do to help us with the miniature painting hobby. It can also help us find the perfect tools for our project. Digest tutorials and compare reviews to make informed decisions about any aspect of the hobby. See below for more useful ways to use AI with ChatGPT in the mini painting hobby.
10 Useful Ways to Use ChatGPT to Paint Miniatures
For fun, I’ve identified a few other ways you can use ChatGPT to paint your models. You may find these super helpful, maybe serving as inspiration, a kickstart or simply a starting point for a project you’ve been stuck on. I’ve been playing a lot with the interface, and I’ll say that it’s going to be a game-changer for some of you.
Here are a few other cool things ChatGPT can do to help us paint miniatures and models:
- Color Scheme Ideas: Energize your miniature painting projects with ChatGPT’s powerful ideas and color scheme suggestions. Offer a few keywords or themes to get started, and let the innovative AI-driven technology generate an inventive palette that perfectly fits your project!
- Technique Advice: ChatGPT offers invaluable insight into painting miniatures, from unique techniques to the most effective tricks of the trade. Simply inquire about whatever topics you’d like assistance with and gain access to expert advice!
- Product Recommendations: ChatGPT can recommend specific paints, brushes, and other products that are suitable for painting miniatures. You can ask it about specific products or for recommendations based on your needs.
- Troubleshooting: If you encounter problems while painting your miniatures, ChatGPT can provide troubleshooting advice. You can ask it about issues such as paint not sticking properly, brush strokes, or other common problems.
- Inspiration: ChatGPT can help you find inspiration for your miniature painting. You can ask it about different themes or styles, or for suggestions on where to find inspiration.
- Painting Tips for Specific Miniatures: If you have a specific miniature that you want to paint, you can ask ChatGPT for tips and techniques that are specific to that miniature. ChatGPT can help you with things like color choices, brush sizes, and more.
- Weathering and Effects: Let ChatGPT guide you in creating realistic weathering effects on your miniatures. With its instruction, you can learn to give them a battle-worn look with rust, dirt, blood and more.
- Kitbashing and Conversions: If you enjoy kitbashing or converting miniatures, ChatGPT can provide you with ideas and techniques for modifying your miniatures. You can ask it about things like adding extra details, swapping parts, or creating custom bases.
- Community Building: You can ask it for advice on where (or how) to find local painting groups or online communities, or for suggestions on how to organize your own painting events. You can also ask ChatGPT for advice on how to engage with other painters, share your work, and get feedback on your painting. Building a community can be a great way to learn new techniques, get inspired, and make new friends who share your passion for miniatures.
- Advanced Techniques: If you are an experienced miniature painter and want to learn advanced techniques, ChatGPT can provide you with guidance on things like layering, blending, and more. You can ask it about specific techniques or for general advice on how to take your painting skills to the next level.
Wait, Advanced Painting Techniques with ChatGPT?
Um, sort of.
Again, you’ll probably want specific tutorials with images or video to help you learn how to paint with some of the more advanced techniques, i.e., wet blending.
But, when it comes to getting started and some insights into the particulars of a miniature painting approach, ChatGPT can do some of the heavy lifting.
For example, one technique that’s pretty hard to explain is the use of Object Source Lighting (OSL) effect on a miniature. OSL is a special effect that creates a “Fake Light” source on your painted miniature (when no actual light is used).
In this case, ChatGPT can give you step-by-step guidance for painting with OSL.
Here is what I copied and pasted from ChatGPT:
Sure! Object Source Lighting (OSL) is a technique that involves painting the effect of light coming from a specific object or source onto the miniature.
Here are some specific tips and techniques for painting OSL:
- Choose Your Light Source: The first step in painting OSL is to choose your light source. This can be a torch, a glowing sword, or any other object that emits light. Once you have chosen your light source, you will need to decide which parts of the miniature will be affected by the light.
- Paint Your Miniature: Before you start painting the OSL effect, you will need to paint your miniature as you normally would. Use your chosen color scheme and make sure the miniature is fully base-coated and shaded.
- Apply the Base Light: Once you have chosen your light source and painted your miniature, it’s time to apply the base light. This is the color that represents the light itself. Apply the base light to the areas of the miniature that are closest to the light source. For example, if the light source is a torch, the areas closest to the torch should be the brightest.
- Add the Glow: Next, you will need to add the glow effect. This is the area around the light source that is affected by the light. Use a lighter shade of the base light color to create the glow effect. You can apply this color in a circular pattern around the light source, gradually getting lighter as you move away from the source.
- Blend the Colors: To create a realistic OSL effect, you will need to blend the base light color and the glow color together. Use a clean, damp brush to blend the colors together where they meet, creating a smooth transition between the two colors.
- Add Highlights: Finally, add highlights to the areas that are closest to the light source. Use a very light shade of the base light color to create these highlights, applying them sparingly to the edges of the area affected by the light.
Pretty useful? It’s kind of scary in that powerful, disruptive industry sort of way.
Limitations and Tips for Using ChatGPT
While ChatGPT can provide helpful guidance, it’s essential to remember that it’s only a tool. Here are some tips for using ChatGPT effectively to improve your miniature painting skills:
GPT is best used for basic information and guidance. For more advanced techniques, look to tutorials with images or video for a step-by-step guide.
Be patient and persistent when asking ChatGPT questions. It may take some trial and error before you get the answer you’re looking for.
Pay attention to the small details. ChatGPT is only as good as the questions you ask and the information you provide. Pay attention to detail when asking your questions, as ChatGPT will take this into account in its responses.
Converse with ChatGPT often to get the best results. The more you interact with it, the better its responses will become. Take notes on what did and didn’t work for future reference.
You need good prompts to get a good response. In other words, “bad in, bad out.” “Good in…” -well you get the picture.
And, there you have it!
Using ChatGPT for miniature painting is an exciting way to get ideas, inspiration, and guidance for your miniatures. ChatGPT can help take your miniature painting journey to new heights with its vast knowledge base and ability to provide tailored responses to your specific prompts.
Whether you’re an experienced artist or just starting with miniature painting, ChatGPT can offer you fresh perspectives on techniques, color schemes, and more. By exploring different prompts and techniques, you can unlock the full potential of ChatGPT and create unique and beautiful miniatures.
It’s important to keep in mind that ChatGPT is a machine learning model, and its knowledge is based on data from a specific time frame. Its responses are generated based on the patterns in the data it has been trained on. So while ChatGPT can be a helpful tool, it’s essential to approach its responses with a critical eye and use your own judgment when implementing its suggestions.
Overall, the rise of AI technology has opened up new possibilities for creativity. Experiment with different prompts, and see where ChatGPT can take your miniature painting journey.
Finally, remember that although ChatGPT can be a helpful tool, its weakness come from its generic nature–it’s built on an average all inputs–and it cannot replace the individual human touch and creativity that goes into painting miniatures.
Are you using AI yet? Have feedback, fears, ideas? I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
Until then, happy painting! 🙂