NVIDIA's Canvas app turns doodles into AI-generated 'photos'

The app gives everyone free access to NVIDIA's GauGAN AI.


NVIDIA has launched a new app you can use to paint life-like landscape images — even if you have zero artistic skills and a first grader can draw better than you. The new application is called Canvas, and it can turn childlike doodles and sketches into photorealistic landscape images in real time. It's now available for download as a free beta, though you can only use it if your machine is equipped with an NVIDIA RTX GPU.

Canvas is powered by the GauGAN AI painting tool, which NVIDIA Research developed and trained using 5 million images. When the company first introduced GauGAN to the world, NVIDIA VP Bryan Catanzaro, described its technology as a "smart paintbrush." It will give you a way to paint using materials rather than colors, after all, allowing you to see the final product right away. You can simply draw lines and shapes on the virtual canvas, and the app will automatically turn every brushstroke into the material you want, such as grass, rocks and clouds. The beta version of the app has 15 materials you can play with.

GauGAN's AI will make the final product as realistic as possible. If you draw in a body of water, for instance, the nearby rocks and trees will be reflected in the water. You'll even be able to replace whole segments of materials — you can, say, swap a field of grass with snow — to change the whole photo or to quickly generate images of the same landscape during different seasons. And in case you want to mimic the style of a particular painter, you can use one of the nine style filters available. You can then save your work as a PSD file and open it on Adobe Photoshop for further edits if needed.


Today's list of NVIDIA Studio announcements also includes updates for Adobe's Substance 3D Collection, which is comprised of several apps meant to create 3D artwork. It now comes with new versions for Substance 3D Painter, Designer and Sampler, as well as a brand new application called Substance 3D Stager. The new app allows you to place and adjust 3D objects in photorealistic scenes in real time. Interactive ray tracing then renders accurate lighting and shadows for you. Finally, the Substance 3D Collection now also comes with a whole new library of assets including models, parametric materials and lighting.

You can watch the GauGAN deep learning model in action below, if you want to know more about how the Cavas app will work.

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