DoubleMRanch Design

December 14, 2023

A Brief foray into AI

Santa with glittering snowy background, AI image created in Adobe Firefly

As the holiday season approaches this graphic designer’s attention turns to the creation of holiday greetings of one kind or another. This year I decided to explore Adobe’s Artificial Intelligence offering Firefly and see what I could make with a holiday theme. AI has been much on the mind of content creators, positive and negative, hype and hyperbole.

Picture Prompts

The promise of text to image is of course incredible and without going into too much process detail, being able to type a few phrases that create an image is pure magic, in my opinion. The failures more interesting than the successes in some instances.

Santa in shiny aluminum futuristic sleigh, AI image created in Adobe Firefly

I began my AI exploration in early November and revisited my prompts over several sessions. I could see improvement in the AI over that time. One of my tropes was an image akin to a midcentury ad for festive food. As the images were created I added additional prompts working with the developing intelligence. Generally though the food wasn’t very appetizing looking and the visual vernacular was amiss. And sometimes the prompt produced a very odd or unsettling image. I’ve spared you those.

Shrimp platter, medieval, nativity, futuristic, train station. AI image created in Adobe Firefly

Close-up turkey dinner, jello shots, Hawaiian flowers, nativity background. AI image created in Adobe Firefly

The image making process using Firefly was in a word, amazing. I also felt a bit of concern about just how much time a person might spend revising prompts to create a perfect image. Because the intelligence is strong it compels you to push it, past your own earthly abilities, all the while feeding it new and refined information. As with many things discipline with economics of time is helpful. For a simple quick solution I think the tool will serve me best.


I feel confident when I say AI is not going to take over our jobs. At least not completely, not yet. As ever, creating a good quality, concept driven image takes work whether you are a human or an intelligence process. The minute I began creating prompts, I could see how the process could be a rabbit hole to infinity. The reeling in and refining to a viable final idea takes time and skill as always.

As a content creator I am concerned with image credentials and transparency of AI produced images. The Content Authenticity (CAI) was begun to address how to slow false imagery by offering tamper proof metadata. In the case of AI generated images it also gives the creator a place to present credentials, copyright and even process. This provenance will help to build public trust and also acknowledge how images were made and by whom.

As my father used to say to me “There are no free lunches.” AI costs, in the development and the usage of the process. Adobe has a generative credit system for using Firefly and the credits are consumed each time you hit Generate or Load More. As of this posting they had not begun charging. 100 credits go for about $5USD.


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