Doom Guy Goes From Pixelated Blob To High-Res Human Hero With AI Rendered Wizardry

PC gamers who have been around, or who have downloaded the original 1993 Doom, will remember the pixelated Doom guy avatar that was a hallmark of that game. I'd wager a bunch of players wondered at some point what that guy would look like in real life. The answer to that question is here with someone employing an AI-trained neural network and having it turn the Doom guy's pixelated likeness into a high-resolution photo.

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It's hard to see any details in those pixelated images from Doom, but somehow the high-resolution images produced by the neural network look exactly as you would expect them to look. As for how the image came to be, it's said to be the final product of several AI systems that improved on one another.

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Step one was to feed the original Doom sprite into the AI of photo-editing software including FaceApp, Waifu2x, and GIMP. After that software finished, the result was still a very pixelated face. The next step was to feed the resulting image into the StyleGAN NVIDIA AI. The result, after a second pass with StyleGAN, was a more realistic image. The proportions of Doom Guy are off, so the resulting image required some manual reshaping to get to the final version seen here.

One algorithm was unable to turn the heavily pixelated Doom guy into a realistic face. One of the images has real teeth edited into the Doom Guy sprite, that image forced the algorithms to churn out an image of a man smiling widely. We saw back in February that AI can generate very convincing looking human faces. AI also has several other uses; it's being used to try and figure out what causes the brief flashes of light on the surface of the Moon. Doom fans were happy this month when the Sigil Doom episode finally launched.