The Secret Manual to Creating Deep Forgeries

Blog / The Secret Manual to Creating Deep Forgeries

This guide will get you started with @DeepForger (a Twitter bot by @alexjc) that paints your photos using techniques from famous artists. It’s still alpha and we’re aiming to make this process as smooth as possible, but you’ll still need to supervise and sometimes help guide the process…

  1. First, look at the best forgeries so far by browsing through favorites (these are manually curated), and see what combinations work for you.
  2. To create a forgery, send a Tweet directly to @DeepForger and *attach* your photo. By default, the bot will try to surprise you with a semi-random style!
  3. There’s a queue but you can get a priority boost by Following the bot, or posting another Tweet linking to your original submission (aka. “Quote RT”).

IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that the artistic process is often based on iteration and incremental improvement, so it may take you 2 or 3 attempts to get what you want!

1. Tags:   #

TL;DR: Add single-word tags with the hash prefix to your request, e.g. #portrait #landscape.

The bot is still learning to understand photos and paintings — let’s not even mention Art — so you can help get better results by tagging your submission. Here are some of the most useful and common tags:

  • #portrait — A human face makes up most of the photo.
  • #people — There are humans standing in the picture.
  • #landscape — The photo includes hills, mountains, trees, grass, villages.
  • #buildings — The picture includes close buildings.
  • #funny — If it’s a meme picture or something new/weird for entertainment.
  • #nsfw — Tasteful material that’s not safe for work. No porn allowed!

The tags are used as hints to help with automatic setting of the remaining parameters. As we integrate other forms of machine learning into the system, the need to use tags should disappear! (Also, if you don’t include the #nsfw tag when appropriate or submit pornography or close-up photos of genitals, you’ll get blocked.)

2. Re-Submitting…

TL;DR: Type the exact word resubmit (sent to @DeepForger, of course) as a reply to your original request Tweet to try again with new parameters.

There are two ways re-submission operates, depending what message you reply to:

  1. Randomize — If you reply resubmit to your first & original submission, then the bot will re-run the algorithm that matches paintings and come up with a completely new one.
  2. Experiment — If you reply to an existing forgery with resubmit, the bot will pick the exact same painting and try again with the new settings.

You will most likely need to use both types of re-submission to get the results you want.

3. Commands:   /

TL;DR: Use exclamation marks to make commands to the bot and request a /sketch or /abstract forgery.

Commands are simplified requests that will set all the other filters and parameters appropriately. Here are the ones currently available:

  • /sketch — Request the use of pencil, pen, ink, chalk or charcoal on almost any medium.
  • /abstract — Make something more abstract as an interpretation of the current photo!
  • ... — We’re still working on adding more to this list. Suggestions welcome.

4. Filters:   + or –

TL;DR: Use specific single-word ±keyword filters to request painters like +Picasso or media like +pencil.

  • +Lautrec — Only include matching artists like Toulouse-Lautrec.
  • +watercolor — Only include paintings whose medium matches watercolor.
  • -Gogh — Exclude artists whose name match, specifically Vincent van Gogh.
  • -ink -pencil — Exclude all paintings whose medium match either ink or pencil.

NOTE: While author names are often correct in the database, the medium isn’t always perfect and this may cause a small subset of paintings to match and occasionally incorrect. You can combine any number of filter, and the bot will tell you when it doesn’t find a match.