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Art reveals after minting
Diamond Smart Contract
Individually Titled Unique Art
Hidden Traits & Reference
Builders of Titania is a drop style mint (you can mint up to 5 tokens and the art will reveal after they have been minted) on Ethereum with an ERC2535 Diamond Contract using DropKit by NiftyKit. Individual tokens will be ERC721A for high gas efficiency. You can mint here with the new connect wallet widget or on the NiftyKit website for Builders of Titania.
After you mint, check out Builders of Titania Unlocked to download free phone and laptop wallpapers made just for collectors. These feature brand new unseen Builders of Titania artwork that is only available for holders of BoT tokens, so you must have one or more in your wallet to access the files.
I have an Official Builders of Titania Secondary Marketplace set up through the Rarible Community Marketplaces if you would like to see the other tokens minted, list yours for sale, or buy others. It's a great way to see the rest of the collection.
Builders of Titania was created with multiple AI art tools and image manipulation apps through a process refined over 5 months of intensely focused work and experimentation. If you'd like to learn more, my process is outlined here.
The Builders of Titania Lore
Was it just a long lost directive of the humans embedded deep in their minds? Is it more for inherently selfish reasons and gratification? Do they hope to achieve something big and lasting that might even outlive the humans who put them on Titania in the first place? The story weaves between each image of this collection and above all of it, being told silently to anyone who digs in.
Titania is the most massive moon of the ringed ice giant Uranus comprised of mostly rock and ice. It was terraformed ages ago by humanity into a habitable environment featuring a vibrant ecosystem of plant life. Humans colonized and inhabited Titania for centuries before leaving abruptly. The only proof of their existence the massive architectural structures scattered through Titania and the Builders that fulfilled humanity's vision.
The complete cosmic history of humanity's short stint as tenants of Titania and the reason for their disappearance from the solar system has been lost to time, but the Builders remain. They're still here, working away all gm and gn. They don't sleep, they don't eat, and yet they build.
Our story takes place amidst the mysteries of this world and seeks to document the hard work of the Builders as they toil away without rest. They passionately strive to rebuild in the harshest of landscapes, inside the machines with unknown purpose, above and below the fantastic surface of the moon. Something deep within them compels them to build, but ultimately they don't know why. They just know they need to build.
Origin of the Art
These images made in August of 2022 were the primary inspiration for what eventually became Builders of Titania. The first few images started out as me just making interesting textures for phone backgrounds (shown below). That's the DNA of this project and why it's so focused on texture and framed in a 2:3 image aspect ratio.
As the project evolved through October 2022 I found some beautiful expressions of femininity in the latent space and and that was the start of my Paint Drop project. Keep an eye out for Paint Drop this Spring/Summer featuring a cool new custom smart contract from my dev partners at Manifold.xyz. Other iterations of this Art will be released as 1/1 and editions through my JeffJag smart contracts. You can find out more by following @jeffjag
Since custom smart contract development takes time, and what I do with time is make more art, I began to further iterate through December 2022 on the concepts and themes with a more technological and dystopian grunge aspect. This series below is the direct parent of Builders of Titania, a project I was calling Glass Paint Tech (GPT *wink wink*). Moving back away from faces toward pure texture, lots of distressing grunge and all highly detailed and intricate. In reference to this work I like to describe it as "Detail Maxi" or "Anti-Minimalist," which is a theme carried through from my earliest abstract works featuring highly complex fluid shapes and colors.
Finally there were tiny people. A suggestion from my good friend and Smart Contracts for Artists co-host @QuantumVariant turned the evolution of this work on it's head. It spurred me to create a whole narrative for the images that begs the viewer to dig into the details and examine their world. It changes the context of the images from small to massive and inspires the viewer to imagine the fantastical spaces they inhabit by zooming in and viewing full screen. It also brings a lot of nostalgic feelings to mind referencing games, books, and movies like Lemmings, Where's Waldo, and the first part of Wall-e before the Eve and the Humans show up.
This project made it's public debut in a 22 min looping clip featuring a selection of 136 of the images from the collection shown on beautiful 65" vertically mounted displays at ETH Denver 2023. I was honored to have my art featured at MJ Mansion party and to have taught workshops at Ant Life Gallery events held by W3B3THR33. The details are meant to be examined closely so seeing the images on huge screens really brought them to life. The magic of the Builders of Titania is the story and each image has it's own.
In Depth Art Process
I spent a massive amount of time on this. A common question might be "What's the prompt?" The answer is - there isn't just one prompt, and this art wasn't made with just one program. Overall AI Art isn't just one thing or one tool, and it's a lot more than just text prompting to get an image. The process of making the Builders of Titania evolved as I learned new tools and was refined over many months and varied from image to image as needed. TLDR: I do a bunch of stuff in Midjourney, edit it heavily in Photoshop, then run it through a refined process in Stable Diffusion with a model customized on SD 1.5.
I usually start with Midjourney for initial brainstorming and text-prompted image generation. I make heavy use of prompt weighting (ex: "computer circuits::2") along with variation, remix, and blending methods. As I mentioned in the Origins section, the project DNA started in August which was when Midjourney model V3 was the latest. This project evolved from V3 through the release of Stable Diffusion beta, 1.0 and 1.5 (from the official SD checkpoints through multiple custom models.
Since the source images are all based on differing prompts, there's hardly any consistency for what I prompt in Midjourney. I have go-to formulas for things I like, but I mostly try to prompt for sharp detail, good light/dark variation that creates the composition of the image, and interesting source color palette. I also love the look of the mj v3 detailed upscale and it works well with my process.
While Midjourney is my predominant source for image creation, I also use my own hand painted artwork, photographs, and have a couple special collaborations with other artists in this collection. I have some really fun plans (utility) for this collection that will be outlined closer to launch. I think those will be fun surprises for a lucky minter.
After generating in MJ and saving the best images to local folders, I take the images through an extensive process of image manipulation in Photoshop and sometimes Procreate. I use Camera Raw Plugin, Content Aware Fill, Object Selection Tool, Clone Stamp, Liquify and other common image manipulation tools to sharpen, color correct, and prep the raw images for the next step. One technique is to increase sharpness and detail in the source images beyond what I would normally do. It gives Stable Diffusion more reference detail to play with.
Next I use the img2img tab running locally in the Automatic1111 gui for Stable Diffusion. I've outlined my favorite knobs and dials in this twitter thread, but the real power in img2img is the Denoise Strength variable. My sweet spot is in the 0.42-0.48 range depending on how sharp the source is and what I'm going for.
It was early January that I cracked the code for my preferred settings and prompt combo in img2img and have been filling out with as many environments and scenes as I can. This has taken a LOT of A/B testing and trial and error. It's lot of time and practice to learn the ins and outs of these tools so I can bend them to my will, and I believe I've done that in this collection. I can control the parts I need to stay the same and that lets me change the parts that produce variation and uniqueness. This part of the process is super fun and exciting because I know the project is coming together. That point when you find your "special sauce" prompt or setting or tangent in latent space is a breakthrough moment for an AI Artist.
Curation and collection design becomes a big part of the process for creating a diverse series of images once the batching is complete. It takes a lot of time to sort through many thousands of generations to pick only the best ones that become part of the final collection. It doesn't sound like it would be that important, but since the art is essentially many 1/1 images, it's important to have an eye for what I like and a complete mastermind design for what I want to say with it.
Before (Midjourney plus Edits)
After (Stable Diffusion img2img)
Builders of Titania Merch is available through my JeffJag-eth RedBubble store. They make high quality products to order and ship directly to you. I earn a percentage of the final price after they subtract their costs. You can checkout with Amazon, they ship around the world, and it's open to everyone. I don't even know who orders the products, only see which products were ordered - fully anonymous to me. Half my wardrobe is my art on shirts from RB.