Creator Spotlight: 3D•AI Creativity with Ben Desai
“AI is a paradigm shift and revolution. I embrace it out of the passion side and I think it’s super interesting,” says XR creator Ben Desai. “But even if you’re scared of it, you have no choice but to embrace it. It is the future.”
We’ve been blown away by what Ben has been able to create. Ben is a talented UX designer and video editor who has made a name for himself in the AR/VR community. The Los Angeles native got his start in graphic and web design, and started working as a UX designer after a move to Munich in 2012. During this time, he developed a keen interest in UI and user research.
Growing up, Ben was always crafty and would constantly build things, and draw up plans and ideas with his friends. In college, he studied fine arts and specialized in painting. Nonetheless, when creating with the Lume Pad 2 he is “AI everything” and doesn’t do original sketching. He does miss drawing however, and will most likely start doing it again.
A self proclaimed creative “idea guy,” Ben was recruited by a social media company to come up with ideas for content that would trend online. He then began focusing more on video editing, which led him to start experimenting with AR/VR filters. Ben learned 3D to create his own filters using Lens Studio by Snap Inc. by watching tutorials on Instagram. In his words, “I was impatient and didn’t want to wait for someone else to come up with it.”
When he first received the LP2, Ben was surprised that he was so surprised by its capabilities even though he already heard so much about it.
He has a digital art piece of a dragon with big puffy clouds that he showcased on it. The model rotated and Leia’s 3D•AI technology made the clouds look like they were coming out of the screen. He’s amazed by how quickly AI technology is changing.
Ben does 80% of his model creation in Gravity Sketch and then exports the file to make additional edits in Blender. From there, he downloads it and opens it in the Lume Pad 2. He also opens VR sketches that he made on Sketch Tab in Lume Pad.
Ben loves collaborative work with other artists, especially since he works remotely and lives alone. Most of his social media posts are now collaborative posts. He has met many people in the XR community this way. On one VR project, he worked with 15 other digital artists. One of his favorite things about the digital art space is being a first-mover and showing people new technology. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and conducts AR/VR workshops that often give people their first VR experience. With the Lume Pad 2, he can do real-time creating and showing without the need for a headset, which makes it a natural solution for showing 3D creations. “Lume Pad 2 is the first design to ship with stable diffusion and is the most comfortable way to use it,” he says.
Ben foresees a class where everyone does sketches and then displays them on the LP2. As he puts it, “The LP2 has sketchpad integration, and the user process has been very comfortable. The concept of gaming and watching videos in this way is also really exciting to non-creators.”
The Future of AI and What it Means for Us
According to Ben, where this technology will take us in 10 years is difficult to answer. There are advancements that have launched in the past year that Ben wasn’t sure would be around in his lifetime. Ben thinks 3D displays in public spaces will become more popular, creating a hologram-like feel for a shared experience.
He predicts that generative content creation will also be on the rise. We’ve seen glimpses of it in the last few months, with AI creating versions of songs with a different artist’s voice. “People will be able to tell AI to create more seasons of Friends.”
In some ways, the idea of AI can be threatening to everyone’s job. Not just to artists, but doctors and lawyers as well. While AI is empowering, Ben thinks that we will always want to attribute value to people. According to Ben, “your art has value because you created it, and AI could make art made by hand even more valuable. We still want to celebrate the artist and it’s the human connection and story behind it that makes it unique.”
Right now, Ben is enjoying the Lume Pad 2 as a showcase for his art. Keep up with Ben’s latest creations and follow him on Instagram at @benfluencer! For more inspiration, check out our creator spotlight on Ashley Zelinksie.