Dungeons and Dragons Reveals Replacement Illustrations After AI Art Controversy

Highlights

  • Dungeons and Dragons has replaced AI-generated art in response to controversy, with new illustrations by Linda Lithen and other artists.
  • New artwork for Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants features remarkable detail that surpasses the original AI-generated pieces.
  • Wizards of the Coast has earned favor with artists and fans by following through on promises to remove AI art and commission human-designed illustrations.

An illustrator for Dungeons and Dragons recently revealed new images being used to replace some AI art from Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants. This new Dungeons and Dragons art was made in response to a controversy regarding the use of AI to create illustrations for its recent sourcebook.

Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants is a Dungeons and Dragons sourcebook released on August 15. Shortly before the book was published, it teased some of the artwork used for creatures within the new monster manual. However, when players examined the artwork made by Ilya Shkipin, a long-time Dungeons and Dragons illustrator, they believed it was created using AI. Shkipin, who has recently been experimenting with the technology, confirmed it was, prompting Wizards of the Coast to take a stance against AI artwork in its products in the future, and to promise to commission new art to replace the inciting pieces.

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Now, Dungeons and Dragons has begun revealing the new art it is using to replace Shkipin’s work in future printings of Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants. Linda Lithen, a freelance illustrator who has done work on Dungeons and Dragons books like Shadow of the Dragon Queen and Call of the Netherdeep, as well as on Critical Role’s Taldorei Reborn third-party D&D supplement, shared the images on her personal Twitter. The Frost Giant Ice Shaper and Rime Hulk, two of the monsters Shkipin had made AI art for, received incredible glow-ups with her work, rendering the creatures with remarkable detail that surpasses the originals by far.

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Other monsters from Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants have been steadily replaced as well. The Maw of Yeenoghu, Altisaur, and Stalker of Baphomet have all had their AI-generated Shkipin works removed and replaced with human-designed illustrations by various other artists. While the original prints of Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants will still have the AI art, all future publications will feature these new ones.

Fans are glad to see Wizards of the Coast following through on its promises after putting its foot down. While AI-generated work might look good at first glance, most agree that comparing Shkipin’s work to their replacements is like night and day. AI art has drawn much criticism from creators across multiple media industries, with big names like George R. R. Martin going so far as to sue the makers of ChatGPT for copyright infringement. It seems Wizards of the Coast was genuinely unaware AI art was used in the original illustrations, and its efforts to fix the error have earned it some favor with both artists and fans.

Dungeons and Dragons is available now.

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