Everyone can be a designer/architect/animator/cinematographer/…

Are you a creator? The answer is probably, in some way, yes.
Digital-oriented companies have brought us to the advent of simplified creatorship, a golden age of media production. Tools for media creation are older than humans themselves, think of a stone slab and some squished berries, BLAM, you’ve got yourself a drawing, not bad. Nowadays there are more refined tools such as the entirety of the Adobe family of software, ranging from video editing to drawing to even a dedicated program to design app interfaces. And it’s not just the software that has developed rapidly, hardware has grown in parallel ideating drawing tablets for animators, dedicated VR setups for architects, and cameras for every type of cinematography encounter. We could praise ourselves lucky with these products, though they do not constitute equal value in every user’s hand. I should therefore delineate what I mean by ‘simplified creatorship’.

Adobe XD, software to create app interfaces (Adobe)

Simplified creatorship is in my view the ability to make media content of ‘generally acceptable quality’ with little to no prior skill and only the basic assortment of digital devices such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Cases of simplified creatorship

Now that we have our definition its time to list off some examples, get the visuals in, make the blogpost a bit more easy on the eyes.
My first experience of online creation was Minecraft. This is a game where one can build anything they want, that is if they can imagine it.

Trailer from the game Minecraft (Minecraft)

Minecraft though a pioneer in letting anyone visualize digital media, is still a heavily skill-based medium. I won’t ever build the ‘Starry Night’ from Van Gogh in Minecraft, because I neither have the skill level nor desire to cultivate it to a degree that would be admissible.

Minecraft rendition of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ (Kotaku Australia)

We are thus missing the quality dimension of our definition. Jumping from the inception of Minecraft to now, a plethora of options emerged that fit the bill. I’d like to start with one I saw in a blog post of ‘n.ina’ called ‘Did you know about Plask’. Suppose you could make animations just by moving your body around, the computer provides the animation objects and translates those movements to fluid actions on screen. Or what about Dall-E, an AI model which will return paintings based on your textual requests? Finally, I propose Meta’s new text to video AI generator, write a scenario such as ‘kitten destroying eggplant with laser eyes’ and enjoy the unfolding madness.   

Trailer of animation software ‘Plask’ (Plask)

AI-generated video of a teddy bear painting a teddy bear, made by Meta AI (Meta AI)

Future media creation landscape

I hope to have convinced you of the simplified creatorship we can all partake in because now we need to nuance its true value. Crazy wonky prompts for animations/videos/paintings are of course very fun but is there more potential to these tools? Outside of this minor, I am a design engineering student. This means I am often required to make presentations for classes that need visuals of some sort. Usually, the timespan to create a slick presentation is little. I believe this is where the first use case of simplified tools lies, scrappy creation. One could quickly make an AI-generated video or animation that quickly gets the point across, without time pressuring the creation. Staying on the beat of education, schools could benefit from letting children experience creating media and expressing creativity without fussing over technicalities and program understanding. Crafting works of awe may still require hard work, sweat, and tears, but that does not have to stop you from becoming a creator, even if it’s just a simple one. What is the latest piece of digital media you have made (apart from the blog posts)?