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Show HN: Fursona Editor (fursona.app)
104 points by arfafax 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

I never expected the day would come when an AI to generate furries would be the top entry on HN.

You underestimate the number of furries in tech.

It would have been wurst Edit: damn, edited

No kidding. How dare people have a kink that I don't approve of.


This redirects to https://colab.research.google.com/ - you are identified by your google account (if any).

Perhaps we could change the URL?

It redirects to there because colab can be used to run the model.

You can visit the url in a private window and download the notebook without using google.

Sit tight. Colab blocked the notebook without explanation for some reason. Working on updating the main URL to forward to the new notebook.

Here's a link to a working notebook: https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1O5XbpMRU9i83mLAiTrM...

HTTP status 569: Awoo Limit Exceeded

It's back up. Thankfully I used a domain to redirect to the notebook, so I can just swap it out with a working version if it breaks again.

Wish I knew why Google blocked the original notebook, though.

Not what I expected when I saw the title "Show HN: Fursona Editor". This is really cool. It kinda feels like sophisticated art theft in a way, but by that line of thinking you could argue that all creation of art is sophisticated art theft.

I think it's a transformative work (in both the literal and the figurative sense).

Notebook loading error There was an error loading this notebook. Ensure that the file is accessible and try again. Error loading https://apis.google.com/js/client.js

https://drive.google.com/drive/?action=locate&id=1h-y--ip8qr... Error loading https://apis.google.com/js/client.js Error: Error loading https://apis.google.com/js/client.js at HTMLScriptElement.k.onerror (https://colab.research.google.com/v2/external/gapi_loader.js...)

Is this anything but another "this face is not real" clone, i.e same model just different training set?

The "This Fursona Does Not Exist" site is such a clone, this is an interactive editor for exploring the latent space in that dataset.

Using the new Ganspace tool to find useful directions in said latent space, as well, rather than bootstrapping from linear variations or classifiers.

But 'just another generator' is a very "Dropbox is just rsync" sort of middlebrow HN dismissal. It takes a lot to make a model and site like TFDNE.

Here's just a very brief summary, skipping over lots of problems along the way. To make it, Arfa had to scrape all of e621. Then he had to hand-annotate several thousand images with the eyes/mouth/face bounding boxes to train a YOLO NN to detect faces, allowing him to crop them out of e621 as a whole. Because he did facial landmarks, he could align the eyes/mouth to the center of the image like FFHQ, throwing out weird faces. This data cleaning gives much higher face quality. Then with the cropped faces, he trained StyleGAN 2 to convergence on a TPU pod acquired through TFRC. (The StyleGAN 2 codebase does not remotely support TPUs, or TPU pods, but Shawn Presser had spent a month adding support and debugging it and setting up infrastructure letting Arfa iterate on S2.) After experimenting with various levels of data cleaning and attempting conditional StyleGANs, he picked a final model, and generated 100k images. These images were then upscaled with waifu2x (itself increasingly a challenge to install since it uses Torch - the original, not PyTorch). Also, about 10k were generated with different psi settings to create 'weird' faces, since we knew from TWDNE how very much people enjoy weird and failed faces. Then a Hetzner dedicated server had to be set up to host it (GCP cloud bandwidth being ruinously more expensive by a factor of ~100). Arfa reused These Waifus Do Not Exist, but worked with the original maintainer to improve scroll control and optimize depiction. That just gets you a static website, of course. But once launched, he had to deal with an onslaught of criticisms and falsified DMCAs or accusations of plagiarism. Fortunately, that's over. But how do you edit? You can't just use a raw StyleGAN model. To enable editing even in a Colab notebook, you have to figure out what combinations of latent vectors do what. That requires setting up Ganspace and exploring hundreds of combinations that Ganspace deduces, in order to find interesting ones and play with them until you figure out what it 'means' and can give it a human-meaningful label. Then all of this has to be cleaned up, hosted, and turned into a usable Colab notebook. But wait, there's more! Apparently Google Colab will just disable notebooks for no apparent reason! So now he has to change the domain to redirect to a new (working?) notebook... And so on.

So this generates cartoon character or something?

Something like that.

Why are they only animals?

Fursona refers to "furry persona", I guess, and furries are described here:


Oh, thanks. That's... something else.

I would like to know more about how the different options are selected. How do we know how to tune something like "fur color" in styleGAN? Can arbitrary options be added?

I'm very interested in all this, but still pretty new to machine learning in general.

> Click "Open in Playground" above (if you see that option)

I don't see any button?

You should be able to click Runtime > Run all, or Ctrl+F9

It says that's disabled for shared playbooks. I guess you can step through it, haven't tried.

I think I will forbear clicking any links on this page from work :)

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