In my last post I gave you a sneak peak at what the Midjourney AI has been giving me for an imaginary 1975 Studebaker Avanti. Yes, I know that you could buy an Avanti II in 1975. My purpose here is to see if the AI can propose what a mid-Seventies Avanti might have looked like if Studebaker had stayed in business and had the resources to design a second or third generation. And as far as that goes, have one thing to say:
Midjourney knows some stuff, but it doesn’t have the deep automotive history knowledge of the typical CC reader. The more obscure the car, the less likely it is that the AI will understand what I’m asking for and give us an interesting imaginary car, but not something we’d call an Avanti. On top of that, it’s only as good as the prompts that I give it.
For example, here’s one of my first attempts. Why does it look so much like a Maserati?
Is it because I described it as a “sports car” in my prompt?
Was it because I had Italian food on the brain?
No, it was because I mistyped “Studebaker” and “Studebsker” in my prompt. As we say in the computer business: Garbage in, garbage out.
Okay, with the name of the car spelled correctly, we’re not in Italy anymore.
But where exactly are we? Someplace that looks like the inspiration for the second-generation Camaro?
We’re getting closer. It’s got the usual GM flavor that Midjourney seems to favor with these, but at least we’re getting side windows evocative of an Avanti.
The AI is certainly giving me a lot of grilles, though. The clean nose of the Avanti is one of its distinctive features.
Maybe that deep rear bumper can withstand a 5-mph impact, but those front bumpers have certainly not been up to snuff.
Let’s remove the phrase “sports car” and replace it with “updated with 5-mph bumpers.” The car is definitely more upright, but those bumpers aren’t right.
Hey, they eventually made an Avanti sedan, right? It’s definitely not 1975, but I can imagine this as a mid-Sixties line expansion.
I see some Avanti family resemblance here despite the wild paint job.
A similar idea but the AI decided on quad headlights.
Pretty, but not 1975.
Maybe the front end is elastomeric? Hard to say. We’re getting awfully close to personal luxury car territory, though.
The bumpers are wrong for 1975, but I have to admit this is my personal favorite. It may or may not be an Avanti, but it sure is pretty.
Let’s try to get those bumpers right. This was my first shot at trying to use reference images of cars from the era to push the AI into giving me something more 1975. Close, but no cigar. Also, those doors are going to be a challenge in any parking lot.
Now we’re talking. We’re getting too close to Chevy Monza territory, but the front end looks right for the decade.
Less Monza, more sports car!
A credible elastomeric nose, if oddly painted.
Shifting to the “journalism style” images got me very European-looing results, I think.
Way too small.
Sure, this is interesting, but check out the tiny wheels on that RV. Are they selling some off-brand Charles Chips? Also, don’t look too closely at the physiognomy of the people.
Are we back in Italy? What’s that green car in the background that photobombed us?
Not quite a shooting brake.
These concept sketch images were done before I started focusing on the bumpers. I think the roofline would support a four-seater.
Not so much this one. Also, those wheels?
We’ve lost the script.
The headlights work for me here.
It’s attractive, but it doesn’t scream “Avanti.”
This doesn’t fit the Seventies at all, but I like it as a 2024 Camaro. I think the angles fit the Chevy design language, as seen on the current Blazer.
Let’s close out this post with a few imaginary Avantis in the mixed-media style.
We’re kind of in the ballpark, maybe, but that style of headlight always says “Ferrari” or “Z-car” to me.
The maw on this one notwithstanding, I like of like this a a version of the Avanti round-headlights face.
More of a muscle car, I think.
Maybe I’m being overly critical, but I don’t think many of these really fit the bill. To be sure, a lot of them are interesting and even attractive. And some pranksters among us might enjoy using these pictures on April 1st. But in this case I think I’ve pushed the limits of what the Midjourney AI knows about Studebakers. To go further than I have with reference images would be using it more like a drawing tool to create what I imagine a1975 Studebaker to be rather than testing what it knows.
Next up: Before we get to Champions and Hawks, we’ll take a break and look at a blooper reel of the weird cars I got when I first started using the AI to make pictures.
These cars look pretty good to me.
Nice renditions! I see different parts 65 Tbird, Lamborghini, Maserati, Corvette, and even Datsun Z. The sexy rear flanks on the early 2 door are so appealing. The big 3 are cause for so much lost good competition, hrumph!
Agree. Looks like the cars you mentioned. Johnny Cash stole the parts over 20 years, hence the results
Ha! Ha! “One Piece At A Time”. That was a funny song from the 70s IIRC?
The green car in the background of the “car show”-looking pic is an alternate-universe 1969ish Valiant from a dimension where the 1960 model’s styling clicked with the public and made it an instant Greatest Hit.
A few of these, like the one that was “updated with 5mph bumpers” look a bit Citroen SM.
Nearly all of these have rearward-jutting grilles and headlamp surrounds (or half-and-half bent in the middle), but few have the defining forward-jutting front panel with no conventional grille.
Closest real-life car to an Avanti is the Mazda RX-8. The rear half especially always looked Avanti-esque to me.
These posts are fascinating. Before I had scrolled all the way through, the one you chose as your personal favorite was mine as well – lots of Avanti flavor, but with the wrong bumpers, as you pointed out.
I wonder if the correct bumpers on that particular design would have the same effect as the big bumpers had on the ’74 Matador coupe. (For the record, the Matador bumpers are not objectionable to me.)
I think the Matador bumpers are very clever. I should have thought of it for a reference image, but then I wasn’t looking for cars with prominent grilles. But the headlights…
Fantastic work, I do like a good Baroque GT!
I see 61 T-Bird, Corvair, Camaro, Buick Riviera, all beautiful cars.
I agree on your favorite. I’d say it looks like an Avanti with a touch of Dick Teague, and losing that non-symmetric details that Loewy was so fond of. Let’s say it’s a 70 which has not yet had its bumpers “upgraded”. As for my second best….the Avanti Colonnade sedan. I like it.
A lot of them could easily be passed off as the Australian versions or several American cars, not necessarily Avantis. While not a particular fan of the real Avanti which to me kind of looks like an AI generated result itself (how’s that for cognitive dissonance) a lot of the early ones are very Firebird-esque with as you say some Maserati or maybe Iso Grifo etc mixed in.
And then all of a sudden there seems to be some Matra influence as well as with the green car that has the tiny-wheeled RV behind it and the white one after it. If you had just posted that green car picture with a caption asking to identify it as a separate post all by itself, labeling it as a random vacation picture, the responses would perhaps be very interesting with lots of hours wasted by lots of people 🙂
I am quite blown away. Some of the earlier AI posts here were more amusing than serious, but you’re starting to get some really terrific work out of it. If someone posted these a year or two ago and said that these were “found” renderings from various design studios that never quite made it into production, with maybe a couple of exceptions, you’d believe it, no? I would.
Most of these are very attractive and compelling; many could easily have made it to production, and some are better than certain cars that did make it into production.
I recently read an article that some architects are using a similar program to allow them to explore ideas that they couldn’t quite see themselves internally. In other words, they are using AI to be more creative then they are, and then they analyze the various concepts for their possibilities in real life. I can see the same thing happening with car design, and it would not surprise me that it’s already being used to some extent in such a way.
We are on the edge of a new era in visual design. I’ve been talking for years about wanting to learn Photoshop, but what I really want now is to learn how to control this to make specific changes on older cars. I wonder if that’s possible yet?
Speaking for “found renderings” I’ve had it in the back of my mind to see if I can use the AI to create “vintage” images of the classic CoronoroC in action.
I’ve always been a car doodler, and it could be interesting to see if it can take my scribbles as reference images and translate them into believable sketches. And then maybe use the sketches as references to create realistic renderings. Hmmm…
I find 1st & 18th pix have a 61-63 T-Bird vibe to them, particularly the sloping hood, headlights, & center grill.
The first image is the best.
These are great. You’re really getting MidJourney to work well. I’d love to know more about what prompts you use. Another scenario I’ve always been interested in is, what if Pontiac had always had a version of the Corvette through the years?
Here are a few:
Studebaker Avanti updated with 5mph bumpers for 1975, cinematic, soft lighting, color grading, full body shot, daytime city scene, advertising illustration, cinematic light, professional color grading, realistic, ultra detailed, ultra lighting, 8k –v 4 –q 2 –ar 3:2 —s 300
jouralism photo of a Studebaker Avanti updated for 1975 with safety bumpers, street festival, wide shot, happy, dancing, action photo, historic, breaking news, dramatic, fog, cinematic, static, film burn, old kodak photo, grainy, film scratches, news archive photo, polaroid photo, Depth of Field, F/2.8, high Contrast, 8K, Cinematic Lighting, ethereal light, intricate details, extremely detailed, incredible details, wide shot, full colored, complex details, by Weta Digital, Photography, Photoshoot, Shot on 70mm, Depth of Field, DOF, 5D, Multiverse, Super-Resolution, ProPhoto RGB, Massive, Big, Spotlight, Frontlight, Halfrear Lighting, Backlight, Rim Lights, Rim Lighting, Natural Lighting, Moody Lighting, Cinematic Lighting, volumetric Light, Volumetric Lighting, Volumetric, Contre-Jour, Rembrandt Lighting,p Beautiful Lighting, Accent Lighting, Global Illumination, Ray Tracing Global Illumination, Optics, Materiality, Ambient Occlusion, Scattering, Glowing, Shadows, Rough, Shimmering, Ray Tracing Reflections, Chromatic Aberration, CGI, VFX, SFX, elegant, in the style of a drawing, digital painting, super detailed –v 4 –ar 3:2 –q 2
1975 Studebaker Avanti sports car, sleek simple styling, detailed concept art, detailed character design, line art, ballpoint pen, no color —ar 3:2
mixed media, pastel colours, 1975 Studebaker Avanti sports car, sleek simple styling, road, distance skyscrapers, ink dropped in water, droplets, splatters, drips, spirals, nature, fog, smoke, wispy, mesmerizing –q 2 –v 4 –ar 3:2
Thanks for all your work to produce this article. My favorites are the second and third images that do look like a Maserati. I think the Avanti would have evolved into something more like this, recall the Pantera, Mangusta and AMX 3.
Consider that the new Corvette has abandoned all of it’s past heritage in styling and chassis design. I don’t think that someone in the early 60’s would have seen it as the descendant of the original Sting Ray.
Even though I see many influences at work here, AI is doing a nice job today. HAL and I say thank you.Keep em` coming!
A lot of beautiful designs but if we’re talking 1975, yes they al need some big, ugly 5 mph bumpers!
So many fantastic renderings and every one of them superior to the original Avanti front end. How that Avanti front end ever made it past the drawing board has never made sense to me. Probably the all-time ugliest front end in history.
The 61 Rambler Ambassador holds that distinction with the`58 Edsel a close second place.
Excellent. All very realistic, and there is a visual link with an actual Studebaker prototype, the Sceptre (see below). If someone told me “those were all designed by the same person” I would not have doubted it for a second (well, maybe with some help from an Italian design studio).
You are talented and very much enjoy your concept images. Hope to see more in the future.
My elder brother was an automotive designer starting early ’70s’, graduated from Art Center. Before computers, auto designs drawn by hand and colored with airbrush. Technique similar to your last images that look hand-drawn.
Hmmm…consider me a fan..if I were to put an order in…let me know where. I’m all in favor of reviving this name. These cars say to me..” I made the upper ranks of performance” .Having helped restore a commander years ago in my teen age years let me know that what a dam shame such a huge part of history and automotive heritage just closed up. Dam fine automobiles!!