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Marvel's AI-Made Secret Invasion Opening Prompts Response From Studio After Backlash

So about that Secret Invasion intro.


Marvel's Secret Invasion television series premiered this week and the biggest takeaway from it is the fact that the studio, known for its artistic legacy, used AI technology to make the intro for it. Show director Ali Selim said that they purposefully reached out to AI vendors for it. "When we reached out to the AI vendors, that was part of just came right out of the shape-shifting, Skrull world identity, you know? Who did this? Who is this?"

The backlash was felt immediately with artists and creators tearing the intro apart. Many brought up the irony of Marvel having a plethora of artists available, such as Kagan McLeod, the artist who provided the She-Hulk outro paintings--and David Mack who did the Winter Solider ending credits back in 2014. Method Studios, the producer of the credits, has worked with Marvel in the past with such shows as Moon Knight and Loki, and addressed concerns after the show debuted.

"AI is just one tool among the array of tool sets our artists used. No artists' jobs were replaced by incorporating these new tools; instead, they complemented and assisted our creative teams," reads a statement from Method to The Hollywood Reporter, saying it was still all in-house.

"Working on Secret Invasion, a captivating show exploring the infiltration of aliens into human society, provided an exceptional opportunity to delve into the intriguing realm of AI, specifically for creating unique character attributes and movements," they continued. "Utilizing a custom AI tool for this particular element perfectly aligned with the project's overall theme and the desired aesthetic."

In a now-deleted Instagram post, artists involved with the production called it "groundbreaking" and how it was an "honor to be part of this journey." The same artist, going by Sagans, has a large body of Stable Diffusion work. If Marvel or Disney used that program in the intro, it can be traced back to the Laion Database. The Laion is being sued by a photographer that wanted to opt out and is also being sued by Getty and a class-action case. So it might be difficult to prove that "no artist's job was taken" unless they fed the program their own work, something Selim called "Skrull cubism."

The statement concluded with more reassurance of their process. "Method Studios' team of designers skillfully leveraged the power of both existing and custom AI technologies to apply the otherworldly and alien look. The entire process, guided by expert art direction, encompassed the initial storyboard phase, illustration, AI generation, 2D/3D animation, and culminated in the final compositing stage."

The first episode of Secret Invasion is now available on Disney+, with new episodes airing Wednesday morning.

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