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Nvidia's mind-blowing new Canvas app turns your doodles into masterpieces

If you've ever been frustrated that your landscape drawings don't look quite the same on paper as they did in your head, Nvidia's new app could be for you. The free tool uses AI to convert doodles into photorealistic landscapes, and the results are seriously impressive. 

Canvas uses the company's GauGAN tech to transform rough brushstrokes into lifelike images. The deep machine learning can turn blobs into rocks and squiggles into clouds, and we can see it becoming one of the most useful examples of 3D modelling software for digital artists. 

Nvidia Canvas

Spot the difference (Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia says Canvas "lets creators paint by material rather than colour, using AI to turn brushstrokes into lifelike images." And artists don't have to wait to see the finished result, Canvas will display it in real time. This means a tiny change can have a dramatic impact on the finished result – for example, "changing snow to grass, and the entire image changes from a winter wonderland to a tropical paradise."

Nvidia says the creative possibilities with Canvas are endless. The app is designed to help artists rapidly ideate – "a daunting task at the beginning of a project when faced with a blank canvas". And the tool is already seriously impressing users. "OMG is the first word that came out of my mouth seeing this!" one YouTuber comments,  while another adds, "This is definitely a game-changer."

There's just one catch – in order to use Canvas, you'll need to be using a machine running a NVIDIA RTX GPU. The company just announced a bunch of new, affordable RTX Studio laptops,  which means the tech is more accessible than ever.

Of course, some artists may scoff at the idea of pre-populating a canvas using AI, but we can see the benefits, especially in those early stages when an idea is germinating. And if nothing else, Canvas serves as an impressive demo of the potential of AI in art. It's certainly less terrifying than Facebook's recent AI revelation.

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Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an 'iSheep', but he's fine with this. It doesn't bother him at all. Why would it? They're just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.