ah, hands!

Why Can’t Midjourney Make Realistic Hands?

Ah, hands… Drawing a realistic-looking hand can be difficult for even the most experienced human artist, but when it comes to our AI counterparts, it seems downright impossible. In fact, “Midjourney hands” has become such a big topic of conversation among the AI art community that it’s become an inside joke.

So, is it possible to prompt Midjourney to draw hands that don’t look like props from a Korean horror flick? In this post, we’ll try to find out.

Why Artists Struggle with Hands

There is a reason AI struggles with creating realistic hands – even the masters struggled with it.

frustrated davinci
A frustrated Leonardo Davinci paints a self portrait after struggling to draw a human hand

The human hand, with its intricate anatomy and vast range of motion, has long been a challenge for artists to depict accurately. This complexity arises from the hand’s unique structure, comprising 27 bones, numerous muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all working in harmony to enable dexterity and fine motor skills. This sophisticated framework results in a diverse array of gestures and postures, rendering the task of capturing hands in art both a perplexing and captivating endeavor.

The struggle artists face lies not only in the intricacy of the hand’s anatomy, but also in conveying the emotions and intentions behind these gestures, which adds another layer of difficulty to the process.

Master artists like Leonardo da Vinci, renowned for their exceptional skill in portraying the human form, undertook rigorous studies to unravel the secrets of the hand’s anatomy. Da Vinci’s meticulous approach involved dissecting cadavers to gain a profound understanding of the inner workings of the hand, from bones and muscles to blood vessels and nerves. By combining his scientific observations with artistic intuition, he was able to render hands with remarkable accuracy and expressive power.

AI Doesn’t Understand Anatomy

When it comes to portraying the human form, AI image generators like Midjourney might hold a candle to Picasso, but they’re certainly no da Vinci. Though capable of whipping up eye-catching visuals, they often miss a beat when tasked with rendering the intricacies of our bones and muscles.

You see, while human artists spend years perfecting their craft, studying anatomy and mastering the subtleties of skeletal and muscular systems, AI systems learn from a smorgasbord of images, leaving them a little lost in translation. They’re like eager art students who skipped anatomy class in favor of doodling in the cafeteria—enthusiastic but not quite there yet.

So, what’s the rub?

AI algorithms are great at spotting patterns but fail to capture the essence of the human form without understanding its foundations. This can lead to some rather odd-looking hands, peculiar facial features, and bizarre poses. It’s as if the AI is trying to bake a cake without knowing the ingredients!

To put it simply, AI-generated images can be visually stunning but lack the finesse that comes with anatomical expertise. However, don’t count these digital Picassos out just yet. Future advancements may well teach them the importance of bones and muscles, helping them create masterpieces that rival even the most skilled human artists. In the meantime, though, perhaps it’s best to let them stick to abstract art.

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Give Me Five, Midjourney V5!

Midjourney V5 has arrived with a helping hand, and it’s finally getting a grip on fingers (pun intended). The latest iteration of this AI image generator now delivers more believable hands, mostly equipped with a full set of five fingers, rather than those mangled multi-fingered monstrosities of yore. Released on March 16, Midjourney’s V5 has made great strides in eliminating one of the last giveaways that an image is AI-generated.

In the past, AI image generators were notoriously ham-fisted when it came to hands. From articles dissecting the issue to light-hearted jabs on Twitter, like @MNateShyamalan’s “Generative AI not being able to draw hands is the most relatable thing it has going for it,” the problem was inescapable. While V5 still occasionally conjures up anatomical absurdities, it has largely silenced the hand-related chatter.

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