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Show HN: Face Generator (xn--5ca.cc)
256 points by aljmyl 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 62 comments

This is a generative art tool I've made for plotter drawings.

The UI is not the most intuitive and variables has been named badly - sorry for that.

You may want to switch "randomize" off, so all variables are in use. Try out frepeatx and frepeaty, while randomization is on.

Funny thing, for some inexplicable reason playing around with the sliders made my feel agressive, not against something in particular but an overall feeling ( that's the best I can describe it ). At first I thought it was the unreal faces, but after reading about the randomness I figured out it was the jumping between completely unrelated faces.

After switching off randomness I immediately felt calmer due to the smoothly changing faces.

Very interesting! My immediate reaction/name for the feeling I had would be frustration. Your comment made me think about the possible connection between those two feeling and low and behold I quickly found this-


it made me angry too. i got the urge to jump on here and berate the creator for rationalised reasons. it's because the random flipping in response to your reasoned movement feels like an something between an insult and an assault

You should check out a talk about the myth of objective.

Love the faces your tool makes! So wonderfully weird. Reminds me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernoff_face

Reminds me of some of the characters from the old Moomins cartoon. https://www.dw.com/image/47520360_303.jpg

the first one it generated for me looked like Aunt Flo from Bod...

I'm curious, why not build the UI to be more intuitive to begin with? Is it really easier to name things y2, y3, etc. than even a simple descriptor?

Genuinely curious, I know it sounds like I'm demeaning. I really am not trying to!

I took a look at this and thought, wow, this would be great for generating plotter art. Good job!

I hope you realize the extreme effect the completely outrageous decision to have randomize on by default has on people. Turn it off before someone goes crazy for real.

Very cool. Just saw your old post asking about how to form a career around art and technology. I'm also interested in the same.

Got a contact?

Nope.. Lets team up.

"randomize" should be off by default. otherwise it simply looks like it's glitching when you touch any slider

Agreed. Otherwise it undermines the point of having controls.

If the random feature adjusted the settings then it might be a bit more acceptable but leaving them the same whilst drawing a dramatically different face breaks their "control" nature.

Once random is off, it's great fun!

Just came here to say the same thing. "randomize" should be off by default.

As did I!

Yep, I thought it was broken. Maybe a "randomize" button instead that you can press to randomize all variables would work better.

Consider submitting an article describing your algorithm to Seeds, submissions have been extended until next Friday 5th September. Seeds is a zine about generative software http://www.procjam.com/seeds/submit/

I've tried to make something like this as well, but I've probably aimed too high art-wise :) I really like the style of your generator.

Great tip - thank you!

Is it intended to be a Little My generator, or is it just me?

The resemblance with Moomin characters is not a coincidence. I'm a big fan of Tove Jansson's work!

I've have also made other kind of experiments with face generation: https://github.com/aleksimyllyoja/generative/blob/master/img...

I too, see Little My.

The domain is å.cc, nice

Kind of weird, but that's cool! Only problem is typing that by hand...

Just hold down your a key if you're on OS X. A menu will appear and you can either click on the å or press 7.

Oh ok, so further iphonification there. Sounds convenient in this case.

I think you mean opt-a

That works too, just not a scalable solution for all diacritic characters.

The former will work if you have not taken the effort to enable key repeat.

So the traditional behaviour of 'key repeat' has been replaced by 'long press context menu'?

My initial reaction was one of revulsion ("Why do they need to meddle with everything") but after taking a few moments to calm down I realised I could get used to that change.

I think to make it attractive, I would want a quick way to switch between behaviours when I need them. From what I can see, the change between 'long press' and 'key repeat' is effected by launching Terminal, making a configuration change and restarting the machine. I find this unappealing.


Both work, as far as I know? They certainly seem to here.

You have both behaviours simultaneously?

Great tip, thanks!

You can use the IDN punycode representation xn-5ca, as Hacker News has done above.

Phishers love this feature.

The majority of people on Earth who use languages that aren't covered by ASCII may also appreciate it, I'm guessing.

Not the same thing, but this reminded me of forensic face drawing software like Identi-Kit. It's been many years since I experimented with such software, but I found it almost impossible to make a believable match to a known face. Working with a photo of Jennifer Aniston or Tom Cruise right beside me, I could not make a convincing match to either actor despite hours of effort with a guided UI. The tiniest shift in angles and proportions in a human face makes the difference between recognizable and unrecognizable.

I heard that they deliberately try to not make them too realistic, as it then over-fits. They aren’t sure, so a bit of abstraction helps to overlook where it doesn’t quite match.

This sure is awesome! https://i.imgur.com/255UjuN.png

I wish all the controls work with randomize on – so I can have random image with some parameters fixed. e.g., if I change some parameter, it stays fixed.

Do you have source code for the project?

Once again, it's awesome!

This is what powers thispersondoesnotexist.

Yes, they just use CycleGAN to go from diagram to photo.

This site lets you generate faces via neural net and tweak many parameters interactively: http://www.artbreeder.com/

this is actually a really cool, really fast-feedback way to see what tiny changes to the shape or positioning of a mouth or nose gives a dramatically different visual cue. People who've been drawing for years probably know all the little tweaks to make characters look differently, but as someone who isn't, I learnt a something new. Nice!

This is why I love drawing faces. Such a subtle change can make such a big difference to the end drawing. It's really interesting. I guess that's because our brains are so hard wired to process faces.

It's an interesting concept. Seems to have some issues in firefox with changing numbers. It looks like many of the numbers go to a random number after changing rather than the one you set it to.

A lot of the faces it makes remind me of Toffle from the Moomins


Thank you all for the comments - I made few improvements: * Randomize is not on by default * Added more options for adjusting jaw/chin shape * Better ranges for some variables

Kinda like if Nintendo Miis were made out of vectors. Fun stuff.

This site hacks the back button. If the author is here, please fix it.

I'm here, but I don't know what you mean. Could you elaborate?

I wonder if it could be a cool replacement for police facial composites.

Very frustrating on mobile!

Wtf is this.

A Face Generator

The only issue I see: during changing "scale" face should NOT be regenerated!

Still better than Oblivion.

Plug this into the deep face stuff and this will be really cool.

Thank god, atleast some "face" related project that does not use 100s of gpu.

I was just going to suggest piping this into a pix2pix / CycleGAN trained on face edges for some creepy looking results.

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