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Show HN: Get a Professional Headshot in Minutes with AI (virtualface.app)
147 points by peteralaoui 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 143 comments
After playing with AI Avatars (like many of us I guess around here), I started to wonder if we could instead bring real value to people by producing affordable professional head-shots using a combination of Dreambooth and ControlNet.

Obviously it's only the beginning and there are still many imperfections, but the foundational tech behind this (Dreambooth and ControlNet) are only respectively 6 months and 1.5 month old, and already delivers pretty amazing results.

I came up with this little service "Virtual Face" and I'm looking for feedback if some of you are willing to try it (you can use the HUNTER50 coupon to get 50% off, can't make it free to try yet since the running costs are still non-negligible).

Cheers, Pierre

I usually hate dumping on Show HNs, but given the societal impacts of this, I feel the need to be blunt. Call me old fashioned, call me a luddite, whatever, but I hate this.

So now even our profile pictures aren't really us, but just some pseudo-reality version of who we think we are. And I know I know, people will argue that makeup/airbrushing/photoshop/facetune has been going on forever, but at some point I feel like we cross the line where it's no longer "reality with some touchups", but instead it's "complete fantasy made to mimic reality".

I just feel like AI is shooting us head first down this state where reality and fantasy are evermore difficult to differentiate, and I don't like the implications.

I get the concern here, and emotionally I share it. Half of my contacts now have very strange AI avatars as their profile pictures and I still recoil a little every time I see them (the avatars). I think it's a slippery slope and I don't like where it seems to be going.

However, rationally, it's not like humanity has had picture perfect representations of themselves for very long. For most of our evolution, we relied on paintings & sculptures, which it was up to the artist (or the commissioner) to decide on how 'real' they were, and they were almost always "complete fantasy made to mimic reality".

From this lens, the use of unedited real photos of you was the strange period of time, not this AI age we seem to be headed into.

Maybe that helps put your mind a little at ease, maybe it just confuses you more (definitely the latter for me)

My primary point is that I think it's fine to use an obviously generated "cartoon image" as an avatar, but what I think is dangerous is when reality and fantasy blur so much that people (including, especially, the subjects themselves!) get lost with respect to which is which.

It's a similar concern to the updated TikTok "makeup filter" that made the rounds recently, which basically is extremely difficult to detect as a filter. I thought especially poignant was a photographer who was saying she gets these beautiful women in to do portraits, and then when they look behind the camera to view their untouched portraits, they're aghast at how "ugly" they are, because the "filtered" version of themselves has started competing with the real version in their own head.

This shit just fucks with everyone's brain long term, in an unhelpful way, in my opinion.

You realize what you described isn't a new phenomena. Paintings that were done followed a similar principle but often even more extreme. Men would make themselves look taller, hide physical deformities, etc... They would imagine themselves being greater than they actually are.

I feel like you missed the point of my response. Nobody is confusing a painting for the real thing. People understand they are idealized.

Professional photography for LinkedIn headshots is also an example of it being idealized. And my team's photo is not one of me having a beer on the beach for a reason.

This is just at my desk without being worried about if I've shaved since I can tell the AI (maybe not this one) to remove my facial stubble.

> For most of our evolution, we relied on paintings & sculptures

For most of our evolution we relied on a little thing known as "real life". The idea of the masses routinely representing their identity through imagery is firmly an artifact of the internet age. The UK didn't even have photos on driver's licenses until 1998.

Professional headshots have been both taken under unrealistic conditions and heavily edited for a long time. This is true for most selfies nowadays too. This doesn’t seem significantly different to me.

It's not the first time that I hear that, thanks for your radical candor :) and to be frank too, I was also sharing that feeling of a fantasy made to mimic reality when I started this project.

It all started when we started to argue with my family members on which avatars looked more like me. It made me realize that we were much more sensitive than I thought about our self-image. Me and my partner would pick different pictures in a set of 10 samples ^^ as if we had two slightly different perceptions of reality.

Now, I changed my mind slightly and tend to see these models as an another type of compression of information. Almost like a new censor of data.

I'd love a version of this tool that alters my face enough to avoid it being useful for facial recognition. I don't really want to publish my face on linked in and other sites as I'm not keen on it getting indexed in some future facial recognition tool.

@xupybd, cool idea, it could maybe capture the essence of you while still injecting some perturbations into the final rendering to break facial recognition.

If you want to experiment thatwith your photos I'm available on DM: twitter.com/_dulacp

I really like your point about compression. I have never thought about it this way. BTW, I am curious how much storage the "essence" of one's face take in relation to the ten images required by your service?

No doubt there is that ... and, oh yeah, the money.

I agree with all of this.

Further… I think this is much more akin to those silly “make an anime avatar of yourself” apps than anything remotely resembling a headshot taken by a photographer.

For example, there is an example of a woman with medium length brown hair and the example “headshots” are… not good. It looks like her eye color is different in every picture, the black and white example looks kind of rotoscoped, and the example in the rotation immediately after the black and white has incredibly messed up eyes. One of her irises is all wonky and non-human looking. It’s a great example of why it’s important for a human to supervise and correct SD generated things like faces.

I've been using an AI generated profile image which looks maybe 90% like me for quite a while in some places. I can't think of any obvious negative impacts. I've been totally upfront about it with my friends, but nobody's ever even mentioned it otherwise.

People have made their profile pictures a "pseudo-reality version" of who they think they are since the dawn of profile pictures IMHO.

The negative impact is the shock and horror on people’s faces when seeing the subject in person after having interacted with the avatar for some time. Some people may call that positive impact though

That happens with any self-selected picture already. Angles, lighting, a good night’s sleep…

There's a negative externality of "punishing" anyone not engaging in this AI faux-reality and as with fashion magazines, altering the perception of what people should look like, leading to psychological damage when we don't live up to the expectation.

Alternative view, the heavy handed photoshopping was more impactful because it was labor intensive, costs money and not too common for the majority of photos. Now that everyone can get the super model magazine cover photo treatment our minds will build a callus. No longer will photographs be evidence or aspirational but just a representation of a projected reality. After you see a magic trick a couple of times that awe and shock wears off quickly.

Photo and video’s honeymoon is over.

If I am forced to use a picture, I use one from 20 years ago. :)

Another step closer to The Great Logging Off.

Amen. I've been having a growing sense of an existential crisis over the past few months, and while a lot of it is due to the general fear of "will AI put me out of a job in the next 5 years", more of it has to do with fact that I'm just uneasy about where tech is headed. I spent my entire career diving head first into technology, and for the first half of it I was supremely optimistic about it. Things have obviously soured over the past decade as I've seen the negative impacts the internet has on our public discourse, mental health (including my own), etc.

But now, seeing what AI has on the horizon, I'm honestly just like "I need to go for a fucking walk, upon which I will throw my phone into the river."

I feel I could have written this exact reply myself.

Perhaps this is the first time I’ve been properly challenged by a new wave of technology straight from go and perhaps a sign of age. However, I still have misgivings about some of the tech of the last decade and its lasting negative impacts.

It makes me want to step away from tech and do something closer to the physical world.

Very relatable. Also feeling the dread re. AI, but more so because I really enjoy programming and have no other marketable skills (and I have no interest in retraining). I think it's a decade or two away but I can see programming as a job changing so much as to be uninteresting to me. Hell, Agile has made it barely tolerable now.

I'm also almost done with the web. I remember listening to the dialup modem with excitement, browsing the web, downloading things and just being generally enthralled with everything the web had to offer. Now it feels like a mall with 3 chain stores in it. Being mostly a web dev, I'm in a kind of weird spot mentally about what I do with 80%+ of my time (i.e. program for the web, browse the web).

Same here. The kind of programming I love to do is now a hobby only. (It's a good thing, I think, because the machines will write bug-free code, but I'm wistful. And the money sure was nice!)

I'm going to build toy computers for people like us who just like computers (something like Nand-to-Tetris, eh? Or Ben Eater's great kits.) but I'm not kidding myself that that's going to make a lot of money (not like programming used to.)

I dont mind my job being replaced due to AI, I mind that I won't be able to pay my bills because of the replacement.

i.e. I'm not worried about AI, I'm worried about how capitalism will weild it against me.

I do understand the sentiment. I think it might be better if it was framed more as a touch-up service, like this: take a headshot of your own, against a neutral background. We will touch it up so that the lighting looks good, the background is good, etc. But it's just a touch up -- we won't fundamentally alter the shot.

It turns into a "noob trap", where people (at first) see a bunch of perfect profiles and get discouraged, only finding the cracks in the facade if they stick around.

What if the cracks were imperceptible in the next iteration or two? Would you still say it's a noob trap? _Genuinely interested in your feedback_

The authenticity cycle, as I understand it, goes:

- honest signal (good-looking profile pics!)

- the signal starts becoming cheaper to create (AI filters)

- users of the signal look for subtler signs of authenticity (technical cues like blur around the edges, overly-softened features, lighting is wrong, or social cues like profile information doesn't match quality of image)

- signal becomes effortless to fake, information content is wiped out entirely

- retreat to authenticity / burn everything down and start over in a new game

There's tons of value to be had in that middle area, where people assume the honest signal but it becomes possible to fake. That's what TV, for example, is all about. Take regular people, add white teeth, makeup, and flattering angles, and they become 10x as compelling as Joe from down the street (without having to be 10x as good!).

And this is all armchair philosophy, parroting stuff from ACX and Ribbonfarm. The product concept itself is fantastic (if it works!), and I'm sure tons of people will pay for it.

I think most users will want to slip under the radar, and have it not be obvious that they're using the service.

Nothing is really us. We're wearing masks all day, every day. This stuff just lets us have more control and more fun with the masks we get for online use.

Who cares if it's fantasy? We crossed that line _long_ ago with the examples you already brought up. The only difference is that this is new.

My profile picture has never once been me. When I see other people's profile pictures - the time it is them it is often a heavily edited photograph - either professional or through the use of app filters or digital editing software. The pictures that people present of themselves so rarely are representative of what they look like in normal situations and day-to-day life. I am completely unphased by this. Then again, my profile picture for the longest time was a picture of three pairs of thigh high socks. So maybe I don't give the same weight to someone's profile picture or chosen avatar as other people seem to do.

I have similar thoughts, and wrote an article called "death of reality"[0] (a bit dramatic I know). More and more of our identity is on the cyber space however all the tools allow more and more fakeness so we just make our own "digital persona", I don't think people are talking about this or noticing it enough. The last straw was with Samsung, unbelievable.


Photos are just some pseudo-reality version of who we think we are, even without filters. You choose the angle, the lighting, whatever, all with a specific goal in representing yourself.

Oh, you also add choosing the clothes, the hair style and your posture/facial expression to the mix.

It (the genre of image we're talking about)'s all unnatural and meant to portray people in a light somebody wants to portray them in. In fact that's most of "photography" is.

Is it really that different from an avatar if we reach a point where we all recognize them as avatars? Seems like the danger is in not knowing where the line is between "real" and "tuned" - the more tuned, the easier that line is to see. I don't think this is really that different than people Photoshopping their photos - it's been a plague for dating apps for like, what, two decades?

What is even reality, and how do you even define real? We wear special clothes on special occasions, is that fake? because we don't wear those clothes normally. Why waste time and money on "real" professional head-shots when we can get them done for much cheaper price.

For jobs for which your appearance has no bearing on your value, I don't think anyone should care.

Just so that we all understand what photoshop can do:


It does look a little plastique, but it is also (deliberately an extreme case).

I use a drawing of myself as my “head shot”. Doesn’t get more fantasy than that. It’s not really me, it’s a drawing. The Wall Street Journal has used “not-them” drawings as profile pictures forever.

I feel this. I'm lucky I got a free professional headshot at a conference I went to a while back. I like it much more than the AI generated look.

As long as someone seeing only my AI headshot can still recognize me for a first time coffee meeting, then the photo passes the reality test for me.

Relax, it will blow over. It started from twitter, soon these AI pics will look cringe (they already are imho) and people will be shunned for them

Meh. You just run a genetic algorithm which adjusts the hyperparameters used to train the model, so that it's constantly being updated to pass as real.

My counterpoint is that people who make judgements about the professionalism of candidates based on their Linked In headshot deserve to be duped.

That's not more wrong than people who keep a 10 years old picture as their profile picture.

Sounds great tbh, reality fucking sucks and maybe fantasy won't be such a fundamentally broken shit show. Here's hoping.

The idea that "reality sucks" implies a comparison to a fantasy world. If the fantasy world gets better, and reality stays the same, any relative perception that "reality sucks" will get worse.

If you compare reality today to reality at any other time, reality is pretty great.

It does not imply that. Reality can suck irrespective of all other things.

Too expensive for something with no previews or samples. Interesting idea but I wish there was more to demonstrate the results before purchasing.

If I was dedicated I think there are some free solutions for training a model on your own face out there but you might have an edge in convenience. Ten dollars seems too steep for that though.

Thanks, interesting because I thought that the styles pictures (available after clicking on the call to action) would serve as samples but I guess I should put them on the homepage directly. I will try that tomorrow (European timezone ^^)

My problem with it is you only show results for 2 people, for which a solid ~third of the "real life" ones look kinda bad (not even getting into the animated versions).

It reads to me like you cherrypicked the two best examples and even those aren't great, whether that's true or not.

Edit: Woof, I didn't realize you could get bigger versions of the examples. They were mostly fine as thumbnails but blown up to ~500x500 the the eyes and mouth are rough.

>They were mostly fine as thumbnails but blown up to ~500x500 the the eyes and mouth are rough.

That's the result of automated training. If you want good results you need to properly label your dataset (15 or more images of yourself) and then use a proper upscaling solution for it. Dreambooth-based images usually need some manual fine-tuning (and sometimes inpainting) to look presentable at higher resolutions. You can use latent upscaling for adding details but it'd require some manual supervision to weed out the bad generations. Using upscalers like Lanczos is usually foolproof.

yes definitely home page. it’s the first thing i looked for, didn’t immediately see, hit the back button.

i would also consider a trial pic for free tied to email.

I think if you showed a full example (including the 15 inputs and the outputs) it would be more clear what I might be able to expect.

Here is free coupon to use head-shot for hackers (open for the first 50 users).

We kindly request that you share your satisfaction with the results on your social media platforms and complete a feedback form to aid us in enhancing our services.

Coupon code: 777 Cost: 0.0$ - FREE!

https://www.metuktakim.co.il/ or in english: https://www.metuktakim.co.il/upload_images-eng

Notice- Please follow the instructing carefully to increase the quality of the output!

Why not let people see all the results for free and watermark them? Then you can purchase only the ones you like?

Because they'll just use another AI tool to remove the watermark.

This is hardly an "advanced algorithm", anyone can do this on a free colab instance. You need a few images of yourself for training on, and you can make a LORA for Stable Diffusion, and use it for anything you wish. The pricing is only for the ease of usage. People have made LORAs for anime characters, celebs, etc and they work pretty well. See Civitai, it has a large collection of models / LORAs / text embeddings.

These days you don't even need to suss out the negative prompts, you can use a negative text embedding (bad-hands, easynegative) to get good quality images.

Dreambooth is practically ancient now. You don't need to lug around huge converged models trained on a few images and a few tags. You can download a much smaller LORA and include it in your prompt and it just werks.

Peak HN comment right here.

Most programmers have never made a LORA and have never used Stable Diffusion. For 99.9% of people outside the programmer class, this is absolutely an "advanced algorithm."

Just because you understand what it's doing under the hood, and just because it can be abstracted into a handful of discrete steps, doesn't mean it isn't advanced.

If that comment is Peak HN, then this is a great example of why I love HN. Brutal technical analysis, combined with the hacker spirit of teaching others (thanks for the links in the sibling comment GP!)

GP isn't saying "this product would never work" (which is reminiscent of the classic Dropbox comment), GP is saying "this isn't 'advanced' and you can do it yourself" which is really helpful and exactly the sort of thing I love to see on HN.

>Peak HN comment right here.

Where do you think we are?

>this is absolutely an "advanced algorithm."

When someone puts that on his product's page, it's assumed that he developed said algorithm, or at least had a hand in it. Instead, here the real product is the pipeline and not the "algorithm". The product would do better if it was honest about what it did.

And like I mentioned, Dreambooth is pretty "old" now. The service could probably be much cheaper if the OP moved to using LORAs, and it would give better results, because it wouldn't clash with the tokens in the underlying model, and could be used with any model.

Guide to LORA:



Dreambooth gives better results than LORA. Especially if you can train on Dreambooth with EMA enabled, which you need around 20GB of VRAM for.

Though, I agree with you that the real product here is the pipeline. The parent comment is also correct though in that the majority of people aren't in a place where they can train their own models yet despite it being possible for them. This product is taking advantage of the current arbitrage opportunity.

Step 2: draw the rest of the fucking owl

Reminds me of the dropbox comment many years ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9224

Getting LoRa/Dreambooth to work reliably without human intervention is HARD, and Dreambooth still works better than LoRa in most situations.

Sure it’s "easy" to do it by hand, on a few persons, tweaking the parameters. Doing it at scale at good quality is still a challenge.

I see people spend HUNDREDS of dollars for a professional headshot. I would totally pay $9.95 if I was fairly confident the results would be worth the time.

I wonder how much AI is going to change online dating apps. “Hey Stable Diffusion, generate a photo of me shaking hands with Tom Hanks” and I have a cool profile photo.

Bots can do the same: “generate a photo of me holding my driver’s license, I need it for Tinder verification”.

On Tinder and other dating apps, I see lots of women using very obvious filters that just make them look sort of blurry and pale and I always swipe left. I just question why they would go for filters that are so obviously filters. Everyone knows that's not what you look like, and it doesn't even look good. But now TikTok has these new video filters that can add makeup and look very realistic [0]. Can make women go from ordinary looking to supermodel. Follows the person's movement flawlessly.

Unfortunately, when technology like that becomes more common, people are definitely going to be tricked, and feel tricked. It's going to be awkward going on a date and the person looks nothing like what you expected... Awkward on both ends.

At some point... The online reality might become so fake, with disinformation generated by bots, generated images and videos, fake dating profiles (that are actually also just bots)... I wonder if it's going to spur some kind of reactionary movement. A movement to disconnect from the internet completely, or at least so socialize more in real life. Maybe some bars and pubs where you have to check in your cellphone at the door. Offline cafes.

[0] The new TikTok makeup filters in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw2euJzOk60

I don't really see how it's that bad. When meeting in-person, women spend the time to put on all that makeup -- it's not different, that's why it feels so "realistic." Why is it so bad that a filter can do that without all the work that is normally required?

In reality I don't believe that over-optimizing your online dating profile by lying is a major issue. If your objective is to use your profile to find dates, it's important to avoid misrepresenting yourself as it only delays the rejection from the online stage to the in-person stage, which is a more time-consuming and expensive process. Additionally there is limited benefit to exaggerating your profile because your matches will eventually meet the true version of yourself anyway. I think it's best to aim to present an authentic and positive portrayal of yourself in your profile. Ultimately honesty is key as it will lead to more genuine and compatible matches.

I'm confused by why so many people are worried about disinformation at this level. Sure, it's going to be difficult to have authority and trust at the state level and that's a governmental issue, but at a personal level, all this means is that the face to face conversation is going to carry more weight. I don't really make much of people's social media profiles, it's all just nonsense.

I like the idea. I am surprised by the negative comments. Getting a professional headshot is both time-consuming and expensive, so if this service works as promised it definitely will be useful, and I would be willing to pay for it. So why haven't I already signed up? A few things made me nervous:

1. The "contact us" link is broken, which doesn't inspire confidence.

2. It's important to me that you don't leak or retain my data, and while I know you say you don't retain it, I will just have to take that on faith and I'm not sure I'm willing to do that.

3. Your examples include novelty shots like "pharaoh" and "superman" etc. This branding is confusing. If you're targeting people who want professional shots for their LinkedIn etc then why would you offer jokey picture styles?

If you can solve these issues then you can count me in as a customer.

The examples look like cartoons, have artefacts and are quite obviously the output of AI to anyone who has ever seen it, which at this point is a lot of people. Even someone who never saw stable diffusion generations is going to be wondering about why you have weird blobs in your eyes.

Refresh a few times— there are several examples and some are better than others. I expect that part of the point of giving you a selection to choose from is that not all of them will be winners; as the final human in the loop, you can pick which ones you feel truly look like you.

Could probably add GFPGan to my pipeline to remove these eyes artifacts. Thanks for the candid feedback :) I will double down on that

It's entirely good enough for a small-ass avatar. Also, what blob? The catch-light?

Hey Pierre, there's no information about who's behind the website (not a single name), and your terms page has not yet filled in the placeholders

> Questions about these Terms should be sent to the Company at [insert company email or contact information].

I liked the app but wouldn't use it for professional profile pictures since it generally gets facial features (particularly eyes) wrong. However, it helped me discover interesting dress styles that work with my face, which could be another potential use for this technology. I think exploring 250 or so clothing styles in a few minutes would be very interesting.

I'd appreciate it if the app allowed users to input height/weight for accuracy, didn't generate very high contrast images for some styles (like the hacker), and let users add training data to their profile over time. Finally, producing 20 images of each style in one go might not be very cost-effective on your side. I think the Dall-E and Midjourney approach where they generate one image and let you generate more variations could make this more economical for you.

This might not fully address what you describe here, but I built https://www.try-it-on.com to do something similar, would love for you to check it out!

> However, it helped me discover interesting dress styles that work with my face, which could be another potential use for this technology

There are many caveats with that usage (not everyone built same) but I would agree this is an interesting idea and definetly should be explored.

I don’t know if this is what you were already thinking with the movie costume headshots but if this doesn’t work for the business industry you could probably pivot this and aim it at the casting industry so they can get a feel for what actors would look like in costume.

Thanks! Great idea. I will probably experiment something.

Allowing some flexibility in the types of costumes might be tricky though (today it's easy because I only allow for a few outfits for "business" looks).

> With just 15 photos of you

That’s a hard ask if you’re a photophobic person.

Indeed, and I consider myself part of that group! Thanks for the feedback.

I can probably lower this requirement to a minimum of 5, while mentioning to the user that the more pictures the merrier for the model

I wonder if you could change this to allow a video input via prompts to turn your head in various angels, like registering for facial recognition. Then it might not trigger the distaste for photos AND you could get better data for face placement.

It's a cool idea to simplify the input as you said, though as @dorkwood pointed out this would lead to bad results with a lot of overfitting, this model needs a lot of variation to only register your facial features as "you", and disentangle that from the surroundings or even from your clothes.

(this is due to how this model learns, maybe a future model will alleviate that)

I'm only just getting into this space, but immediately my thought process based on what I've learned so far would be to set up the pipeline such that It would split the video into keyframes with ffmpeg, and then use the clipseg to generate a mask of the person/background and use that to randomize the backgrounds with img2img! It could probably be done for the clothes as well...

Similar tools I’ve tried seem to want photographs taken under different lighting scenarios in different environments. Photos all taken in the same room, apparently, produce worse results.

That seems like a good idea.

Here is an Hebrew version with a human in the loop QA (and much cheaper pipeline ;-))


Here an English version to use the service: https://www.metuktakim.co.il/upload_images-eng

or (Google translated) https://www-metuktakim-co-il.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sl=iw&_x_...

Thanks for sharing! But why in Hebrew :O From the showcase photos, looks promising and high quality output.

Definitely going to try it in the weekend!

It still looks like AI so people may think I'm a fake person

Fair point :) I feel at this stage only early adopters might try it, but with the next iteration or two I'm feeling this gap will be closed

It would also help credibility if you showed a bunch of real, untouched input/output examples — not just outputs by themselves.

Cool idea and I think it has serious uses but these aren't professional headshots, these are borderline emoji's of ourselves.

It would be great if you could adapt the output to be more realistic.

I'm personally not a fan of beautifying our pictures.

Thanks, feedback well received! I do have a new pipeline that I'm experimenting with and it's much more realistic (hopefully realistic enough to end this emoji feeling).

If you are interested in trying, we can talk in DM: twitter.com/_dulacp

I do think that it's a good feature for perhaps more informal images on gaming sites, avatars etc

> Are my uploaded photos private?

> Yes. All your images are yours and we are deleting them 7 days after your processing. We are keeping them 7 days in case you lose the link to download them (contact us in that case).

It's not about whether you delete the files after processing. What is your infra? Where do you store the files? How do you transmit the files there? Do you use proper encryption? How secure are your servers? How secure are your (if) cloud-related keys?

See OpenAI prompts leaking. Good example of what can go wrong.

What guarantees my photos (or even visual model) won't get leaked into another user's account?

It's a valid point, but do you know of any companies which meet this standard?

Perhaps if they were dealing with highly sensitive information then it makes sense to make those kinds of disclosures, but for novelty headshot generator app? I'm not sure it makes sense to require that level of detail or expect it.

But to your point, I hate uploading anything private or personal anywhere for this exact reason. Even if you trust the company has good intentions, you also have to trust every employee at the company with privileged access, that their cyber security is adequate, and that all of their infrastructure providers can all be trusted. And given that you basically have to assume your information could be misused regardless of the company's intent.

>Perhaps if they were dealing with highly sensitive information then it makes sense to make those kinds of disclosures, but for novelty headshot generator app?

Such a model can be used to generate nudes of you.

Good god people would go blind if they did that to me.

It’s photos of your face. Billions of people upload billions of selfies every day. No one cares. If you don’t want your face to be seen, wear a mask and don’t leave the house.

Then why advertise privacy in the first place? I'm not an overzealous person in this regard but if a product tries to get ahead by stating it's better in privacy aspect, then it is a right to question it.

Billions of people do not upload selfies as well. Billions of people accept cookies and billions do not.

You don’t get to ask those questions for $9.95.

Here I am worrying about launching stuff without getting all the legal things sorted, not screwing up somehow, afraid of doing some financial illegality, or get into any trouble with the system, and others don't even put their company info on their product's website, and just "Questions about these Terms should be sent to the Company at [insert company email or contact information].", and "By uploading pictures, users grant the Platform a non-exclusive, royalty-free right to use them".

I need to see more examples, as it stands the example photos look soulless. It's the eyes, they don't seem to be focused on a particular target like the camera. And a few seem like each eye isn't looking at the same spot.

In my area, real estate agents regularly will use headshots from at least a decade ago, in a sad attempt to look younger. I find that at least as distasteful as this - if you are in a public facing capacity, just be yourself. The whole point is an accurate depiction of your visage so people can identify you in a business context; it's not America's Next Top Model. I have to do new photos at least every 18 month for different marketing campaigns - the cost is not outlandish.

If you like writing your own prompts and experimenting, https://astria.ai can do this kind of thing too.

Astria is a great service, but doesn't have ControlNet integrated to the best of my knowledge.

So, if you really want to reproduce this on your own without using a service like ours, I would advise to: i) train a model with Astria, ii) download the model checkpoint from Astria, iii) install Automatic1111 UI with the ControlNet extension and now you will have a local setup that is very close to what we have, the only missing piece is that we have a custom model optimize for faces.

What are you using ControlNet for? In my experience it’s trivial to get headshot-framed images.

We use it to get consistent results, otherwise only 30% of the generated images have the right composition.

For example, Astria has its own trick to increase the number of headshot in frame, if you download the checkpoint and run it locally you will see that it doesn't handle well negative prompts (which, IMHO, is usually a side effect observed on fine-tuned style models with dreambooth). With this trick you can get up to 70% of headshots in frame but won't reach 100% without risking a loss of prior knowledge. This is my experience so far, maybe you have another opinion based on your experience.

I like the idea a lot, but none of the sample images on the first page look like photos, they all look like graphics. I wonder if there's some tweaking you can do?

Thanks for the feedback, I do have a new pipeline in the making that aims at improving the photorealism just tested it today with a few users (if you want to try, I can run it manually you, DM me on Twitter @_dulacp)

Out of curiosity, which part of the image makes you say that?

I think it's the soft focus, the model's skin doesn't have any texture and looks overly airbrushed and cartoonish

One of the core component of such products is Dreambooth, which allows you to finetune text to image models (typically Stable Diffusion) to be able to create images of a specific person, object or style.

We are building a platform to speed up this process while reducing the cost (currently 3x the speed, 0.5x the cost of competition):


Looks promising. Obviously bad news for photographers.

What does the license imply? > Can I use my virtual faces for commercial use? > Yes. All images produced are released under the CreativeML Open RAIL-M license.

Does it mean someone else can use the picture freely (which wouldn’t be the case for traditional pictures)? I understand that you delete them after 7 days. But what about people who find that picture online?

For linkedin or Outlook profile type purposes that'll never be seen at higher than ~200x200 I surprisingly don't have a problem with this in theory. I've never seen a corporate headshot photo that doesn't suck anyway and it saves me putting on a suit and taking an awkward photo.

$10 for a "well, maybe the computer will generate something good enough that you like, sorry no refunds" is a big turnoff though.

Seeing examples from happy users might help?

Or a refund policy could seal the deal? :)

FYI, checkout doesn't seem to work (with no error message, except in console) if the user has an ad blocker (at least uBlock) installed.

Interesting application, but I'm confused on the licensing.

> All images produced are released under the CreativeML Open RAIL-M license.

How does this work, legally?

Are the rights to the likenesses of the person in these output images being licensed by someone under the CreativeML Open RAIL-M license?

If so, to whom is it licensed? And by whom?

Hmm to be honest I just reused the most restrictive license of the tools that compose the app.

I guess I should rephrase to something like "The rights of the images are transferred to the user who purchased the service" or hire a lawyer to have it rephrased properly.

Seems like someone else had the same idea: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=35242174

Ironically both of you launched on the same day.

How is this different / better than the other submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=35242174

What is the resolution? (Surely this should be part of the FAQ.)

Pay button doesn’t seem to work on mobile. Also, can’t remove photo once added on mobile.

Would you mind to share which mobile device you are using? Asking because it seems to work well on Android and iOS devices that I have at home.

It doesn't work on desktop too, Brave Browser. I got it to work turning shields off.

Web app won't let me actually pay. The pay button does nothing

edit: ah, ublock was blocking it

Good enough for small avatars, IMO. But, it's very similar to just Lensa...

This week in Hussle AI...

Still a little uncanny tbh.

Secta.ai is doing this with StableDiffusion.

If I see an obviously AI generated face (and these are pretty obvious), I'm going to assume the person is non-existent and whatever communication they've had with me is a scam.

And now they can generate nudes of you.

"Identity fraud as a service". What a disruptive and novel idea that will clearly make the world a better place.

Nice service idea. If you operate in the EU, the site definitely requires more legalese as this deals with real personal data : cookies popup, GDPR contact, site editor, company juridiction, the whole shebang.

Love the product

This is definitely the most stupid landing page I've ever seen.

No wonder we have designers, developers, marketers, product managers etc. Proves to show that you can have the best/most amazing product in the world BUT if you can't communicate what it does, it will always fail.

Ok. You don’t like it. What would you change?

what's wrong with it

You don't relate to the message? I'm curious to know what is the first thing you would change

Well I am 50% sorry for that message. I was on mobile and the first thing I saw was a FAQ about the license. Nothing about what the product does, no screenshots. Today I checked it out again on desktop and the message was a lot clearer.

The rest of 50% remains as per the poor mobile experience.

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