Fans and artists are tearing apart Amazon's 'AI art' for Fallout

Poster art for the Fallout TV series from Amazon Prime
(Image credit: Amazon)

AI art remains hugely controversial, so you might think a company with Amazon's resources would think twice about using it.... Or at least try to use it well. But fans are appalled that Prime Video's first teaser poster for the upcoming live-action series Fallout not only looks AI-generated but also looks like nobody bothered to fix the mistakes. 

There are lot of strange things going on in the illustration, if it is an illustration. There are deformed human figures, Escher-inspired cars, elements that don't line up. Many are convinced that it was made with an AI art generator, but not everyone agrees.

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Fallout is an upcoming Amazon Prime TV series based on the popular video game franchise of the same name. Set in an alternative retro-futurist 1950s-esque world in the wake of a nuclear war, it's due to be released in 2024 with Walton Goggins in the lead role.

Fans have been eager for an update after filming began this summer. But this early teaser is not what many were hoping for. It shows Vault Boy, the mascot of the Vault-Tec company in the Fallout universe, in an advert for Los Angeles with the familiar Hollywood font. But fans have been looking a little closer and finding some strange anomalies and artifacts in the imagery.

The car in the foreground appears to be going in the wrong direction or to have two fronts. Behind it, a windowless building and a tree have a line cutting through them as if parts of the image were generated in separate squares and weren't matched up. The top of the building to the right of that appears to feature the kind of nonsense text that gets produced by AI image generators.

And there's more. The sidewalk seems to be in the middle of the street and the woman walking down it appears to have no hands. Another woman at the bottom left appears to have three legs. Look further into the distance and it looks like there's some structure up in the hills.

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The internet is not impressed. Some fans and artists are furious at the idea that a company like Amazon has would use AI art at all. Some fear that the artwork may even have been made by an AI model trained on copyrighted Fallout art. Others are stunned that Amazon didn't at least try to use the technology well.

"An obscenely wealthy half-a-trillion-dollar company couldn't be arsed to pay an actual human artist to create promotional art for their Fallout announcement. Used AI to cheap out and thought they could get away with it," the fantasy artist Osias tweeted. "If y’all can’t be bothered to get an actual piece of art made for this, why would I bother watching?" the cinematographer Jason Coleman Apple wrote.

Some who have tried recreating the Fallout poster in AI generators think they managed to get a better result with just ten minutes of work.

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Is the Fallout poster AI art?

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So is it AI art? Amazon's Prime video hasn't responded. It's doesn't look good, but I don't think we can say for sure. Recently a real photo was rejected from a photography competition for looking AI-generated. Human artists can also make mistakes, especially when up against a deadline. Just think of all the Photoshop fails we've seen over the years.  

It's possible that some of the strange details people have noticed are intentional. The poster is designed to look like a billboard ad, and the misaligned building could be an attempt to mimic the look of when part of an advert gets pasted up out of line. Artists also use nonsense text sometimes when the letters are unimportant and so small they're not going to be read. 

As for the cars, the vehicles in Fallout were kind of odd, but they didn't look like this. These look more like normal 1950s cars messed up rather than the alt-world retro-futuristic cars of Fallout, which makes us wonder what the vehicles in the series will look like.

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It's not the first time that we've seen controversy over the use of AI art for a TV series. In the case of Marvel's Secret Invasion, Ali Selim confirmed that intentionally bad AI art was used for the intro credits, saying that it was used because it fit the show's theme. If the Fallout poster is AI art, Amazon could surely have edited it to correct some of these details. As many people have pointed out, AI generators can do a better job than this with a bit of patience. They should perhaps read our roundup of AI art tutorials.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.