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The Habitat: Using Bing’s Image Creator to visualise a novella

Queen Astrid of Norway

Happy Sunday, everyone. Today started out with a test of Google’s Bard AI Experimental software. Sign up for the waitlist and they should let you in. Bard is powered by LaMDA and in some instances, it feels faster than ChatGPT.

Ken Watanabe, Maya Singh, Hurricane Nisto and Lars Johansen

Then I updated my Bing app, and I noticed their Image Creator tool. How to get in? If you have an Outlook account, you have to sign up to New Bing. And once you’re in, you will see the image creator app powered by DALL-E.

If you’re as picky as I am, you’ll max out your credits. When I accidentally signed out of my account, I couldn’t remember my password, so I had to create a new one. I maxed out the credits on that too. The great thing is that after you’ve maxed out your credits, you simply need to wait 30 seconds for each image to render.

Sleeping quarters and bathroom

Today, my challenge was to write prompts that would encourage the software to visually render the habitat I designed for my WIP, How to be rich by Hurricane Nisto. For my first novel, The Quarter Percent, I paid artists to create artwork for the story, including a mural which became the cover of the novel. This time, I’m on my own.

Detailed descriptions of the habitat are already written in the novella, which was why this was challenging. I had mixed results.

Greenhouse, kitchen, and pantry

That activity took longer than I expected because the software has limitations. For example, you need to use strong keywords with abstraction. If you use too many details, you might get strange results.

The software was not good at rendering rooms with specific dimensions. It simply would not render a living room or office without windows. And it struggled to imagine a circular space with minimal furniture that also had a relaxed atmosphere. The habitat is strictly climate controlled and because it’s in Antarctica, I wanted to maximise space and minimise heat loss.

Loft office space, Hurricane’s room, laundry area and office bathroom

Thankfully, the Image Creator did a very good job rendering the electric all-terrain vehicle, the boiler room, laundry area, pantry, and greenhouse. It had no issues creating a restroom with mini shower and waterproof furniture.

Greenhouse view, pantry interior, boiler room with energy stations, electric all terrain vehicle

Hurricane’s hemp bread with pecan butter came out looking delicious. And as you can see, the greenhouse, pantry and boiler room were shown inside an upcycled cargo container.

Where I really struggled was with rendering the main character from a detailed description. But the other characters looked fine. The second graphic in this post shows Kai, Lars, and Maya, the group of scientists Hurricane met when she arrived on the island of Skartøya.

Kitchen, kayaking, Bellneck Point, common area

I was happy with the images of the sleeping quarters and bathrooms, and they are already in my Instagram Story.

If you’re not already using it, I highly recommend trying out Bing’s Image Creator app to render original visuals to go with your poetry or fiction stories.

Alicia Martinez, Jason Kim, Michael Wong and Mallory Williams

Even if you don’t share them, it’s a great way to really look at your concepts. If you’ve had any success with writing prompts, please let me know. I would love some pointers.

Thank you for viewing my presentation, and if you’re beta reading my WIP, double thanks. Have a brilliant week ahead.


Life is short, so let’s be decent.

9 replies on “The Habitat: Using Bing’s Image Creator to visualise a novella”

Interesting post, good idea for using what I’ve found can be troublesome, though usually interesting, software. I’ve played with one of these AI systems for generating ideas for paintings… to be posted when I get to doing them.

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