Shallow Dream

Shallow Dream is a tool to create neat and consistent art from disparate or poor art sources. You give Shallow Dream an Input image (a photo, a painting, a doodle), and as well as "Shard" images. The Shards can be gears, triangles, scales, flowers, or any other sort of small and repeatable image. Shallow Dream will then try to re-create the original Input image using the Shard image(s). For example:

Gear Soldier

As Shallow Dream runs, the output image will gradually resolve from coarse grained & abstract to something that closely matches the Input image. In the case of the soldier, Shallow Dream creates the following progression of images, and we can choose which one best matches our art style: Gear Soldier

Shallow Dream will also export each individual Shard to a text file, so that you can then import the Shards into Unity (or other game engines) and add on additional graphic effects. For clockwork, we clearly need to add a random rotation effect, which gives us:

In the next case we take a painting of the common octopus as the Input image, use a triangle as the Shard image, and get as output an image of a triangulated octopus.

Cuttlefish from drawing
Importing the octopus Shards into Unity and adding a pulsed fade effect to each Shard to gives the following result:

One of the advantages of this system is that your source art does not need to be consistent in order to produce consistent results. For instance, if we use a nature photo rather than a painting: Cuttlefish from photo

Another advantage of this system is that your source art does not need to be decent in order to produce decent & consistent results. For our third example, we use a cuttlefish as drawn by a programmer:
Cuttlefish from programmer-art-abortion

At its best, this allows programmers to make crude sketches and drawings, and then automatically translate them into decent looking and consistent game art.

For more details on using Shallow Dream, please check the User's Guide.

To purchase a copy of ShallowDream, please visit