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  • Writer's picturePaul Powers

Your guide to creating AI generated video with Runway.

Can I continue a 30-year Twin Peaks obsession with AI generated video?

Runway is a new app to me. Introduced to me today by a student of mine (Shout-out to Hani for sharing it with me.) Runway is a superior alternative to Pika - the app that we reviewed on the 3rd of January and recently republished the blog post to here.

As with Pika, Runway allows the user to create very short, animated videos from either text-prompts or from image uploads, or a combination of the two - See the example above for the wonderful AI-generated weirdness that can be achieved with a simple image, in this case the famous scene of Bob and Evil-Cooper, or Cooper's Doppelganger, (later referred to Mr C) laughing in the Black Lodge (or is it?) in the final episode of Season 2 of David Lynch's seminal work Twin Peaks.

(Twin Peaks aired between April 8th,1990, and June 10th, 1991, before "Fire Walk With Me" was released on August 28th, 1992, as a prequal movie focussing on the week leading up to Laura Palmer's murder. It later returned with Season 3, Twin Peaks: The Return, on May 21st, 2017, and concluded September 3rd, 2017. Fans hold out hope for more, but if you subscribe to theories from well-known YouTube creators such as, Twin Perfect, you know that it's impossible for more to be made due to Judy.)

To the right you can see the original image of the famous and disturbing scene. Runway has technology built in that takes any still image, applied image and animation manipulating algorithms to the image, processes it and then give us the video you should watch which is at the top of this page. Now how it does it is something that we will explore within this document. I tried multiple different images and amounts of movement within them to see what types of effects I could get, and some of them are brilliant, others underwhelming and all of them containing a level of weird worth of The Red Room itself.

About the Runway App:

RunwayML is an applied AI research company that develops tools for creativity and storytelling, using artificial intelligence. They offer a range of "AI Magic Tools" which enable users to generate videos and images using text, images, or video clips. Other features include expanding images infinitely with text prompts, reimagining any image, training custom AI models, removing elements from videos, and more. These tools are designed to assist in various creative processes, making them more accessible and efficient. For detailed information and specific functionalities, you can visit their website here.

I later went on to create a compilation of 4-second clips in Canva Pro and added a backing track for atmosphere as most of the images/videos are quite surreal and creepy. To watch the completed video, click play on the video below. If you find it interesting or odd, please share it as it really helps my channel and website to grow. I shared it with my friends and family, but they are as about as responsive to my endeavours as a clam is to its surroundings.

Review of Runway:

Ah, Runway, you say? Picture this: It's like stepping into one of those scenes where everything around you is moving at lightning speed, and there you are, in the middle of it all, the eye of the storm, calm and composed, with the world bending to your will. That's what diving into Runway feels like.

Now, imagine you're on a film set, right? And you've got this idea, a vision that's so wild, so out there, that it's almost impossible to bring to life with conventional means. That's where Runway steps in. It's like having an army of digital artists at your fingertips, ready to conjure up any image, effect, or world you can dream of. It's magic, pure and simple.

I've always been fascinated by technology that pushes boundaries, that takes us closer to the edge of what's possible. Runway does just that. It democratizes creativity, making it accessible to not just seasoned professionals but to anyone with a spark of imagination. Whether you're editing video, crafting images, or playing with the very fabric of AI, it's all there, waiting for you to take the reins.

But, as with any powerful tool, there's a responsibility to wield it with care. It reminds me of a line from one of my favourite movies, "With great power comes... a heck of a lot of fun." Or something along those lines. Runway is a testament to human ingenuity, a beacon of what's to come in the creative world. And I, for one, can't wait to see where this wild ride takes us next.

Keep on creating!

Paul Powers

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