The journey begins with the creation of landscape images using an AI image generator. Pika Labs yields better results with a reference image, so I adopted prompt: “top down shot landscape [subject], muted colors, drone aesthetic.”
This prompt is designed to produce bird’s eye view drone shots of landscapes. For my experiment, I chose the Great Barrier Reef, using the Mid Journey AI image generator, though any AI image generator would suffice.
Key Steps in Image Generation:
- Selecting the Subject: I focused on the Great Barrier Reef, but other environments like an Arctic Lake, the Amazon Rainforest, Victoria Falls, or Lake Tahoe are equally viable.
- Setting the Aspect Ratio: I used a wide image setting (16:9) to suit the landscape format.
- Choosing the Style: Opting for a ‘Raw’ style in Mid Journey helped maintain the realism of the landscapes.
Expanding the Horizon: Panoramic Shots
Beyond the standard drone shots, panoramic images offer a broader canvas. Using prompts like “panoramic shot [landscape], muted colors, Kodak Ektar 100,” I explored various landscapes, from the Great Wall of China to Panama Beach. The possibilities are endless, and experimenting with different locations and keywords can yield a rich array of landscapes.
Bringing Landscapes to Life: Animation in Pika Labs
With the static images ready, the next step was animation using Pika Labs. The process is straightforward:
- Upload the Image: I started with the Great Barrier Reef image.
- Add Camera Motions: This is crucial for cinematic effects. I used commands like
-camera pan up leftto create specific movements in the video.
Camera Motions and Effects:
- Zoom In/Out: To focus on or reveal more of the landscape.
- Pan Directions: Up, down, left, right, or combinations for dynamic perspectives.
- Rotation: Clockwise or counterclockwise, particularly effective for bird’s eye views.
- Water Effects: Pika Labs excels in depicting waves and reflective lighting with minimal distortion.
- 3D Structure Construction: The AI impressively understands and constructs the 3D structure of scenes, as seen in the clip of The Archers National Park.
Overcoming Challenges: Cloud Animation
One notable challenge was animating clouds. The AI struggled with this aspect, often leaving clouds static. However, using the keyword ‘steam’ surprisingly encouraged cloud movement in the videos. It’s a quirky workaround that highlights the unique word associations within Pika Labs.
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