How to Make AI Generated Images Running with Food? [2024]

How to Make AI Generated Images Running with Food? Artificial intelligence (AI) has made tremendous advances in recent years, particularly in the field of computer vision and image generation. With the advent of diffusion models like DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion, AI systems can now create realistic images and art from text descriptions. This has opened up many creative possibilities, from generating sci-fi landscapes to designing clothing prints and more.

One fun application of AI image generation is to create images of food or drink items running, jumping, playing sports, or engaging in other active pursuits. These whimsical images combine the appeal of delicious foods with an anthropomorphic twist – bringing inanimate objects to life. In this article, we’ll look at different techniques for prompting AI image generators to create these types of amusing food images.

Select an AI Image Generator:

The first step is choosing which AI image generator you want to use. Leading options include:

  • DALL-E 2: Requires a waitlist request, offers very high image quality and detail
  • Stable Diffusion: Free to use locally, can produce good results but requires more prompt tuning
  • Midjourney: Easier to use via Discord bot, great for more cartoonish and abstract images

Whichever generator you select, be sure to familiarize yourself with its capabilities, prompt formulas, limitations and content guidelines before generating any images. Ethics and responsible AI use are important considerations.

Craft Your Text Prompt:

The quality of your generated food images relies heavily on how well you can translate your desired outcome into a text prompt. Here are some tips for crafting effective prompts:

  • Clearly describe the food item(s) at the start. For example, “A slice of pepperoni pizza” or “A bowl of spaghetti.”
  • Use active, vivid verbs that imply motion or physical activity. For instance “running”, “jumping over”, “playing baseball.”
  • Set a scene to give the image more context. You might include locations like: “on a racetrack”, “in an Olympics stadium”, “across fields of wheat”, “towards a finish line.”
  • Specify any additional details about movement like direction, facial expressions, level of exertion or speed. Some examples: “looking determined as it sprints”, “leaping in slow motion”, “warping as it runs fast.”

Here’s an example prompt putting all those elements together:

“A large hamburger running a marathon across an open field in summer, looking happy and energetic with lettuce hair blowing back, melting cheese arms pumping, pickle feet kicking up.”

When crafting prompts, let your creativity run wild! The more imaginative and descriptive you can be, the better chance of generating a whimsical masterpiece.

Experiment and Refine Prompts:

Expect to go through some trial and error while learning how to prompt the AI effectively. If your initial generated images don’t match your vision, try revising the prompt with adjustments like:

  • Changing or elaborating on action verbs and descriptive images
  • Making mood and facial expressions more/less exaggerated
  • Altering background environments and contexts
  • Emphasizing or deemphasizing certain food features
  • Adding or removing stylistic elements like black and white, low poly, anime style etc.

Pay close attention to what visual elements the AI understands best out of your prompt and focus on those more in subsequent tries. Refer to the AI’s past image outputs for inspiration to describe new details that might work.

Over many iterations, you will get better at prompting food images full of dynamic action, personality and delightful strangeness. As the AI continues to improve in future, results will become more impressive too.

Expand Your Food and Mood Variety:

Don’t limit yourself to prompting just one type of food over and over. Experiment with all kinds of eatables running, jumping and showing emotion:

  • Entrees: Tacos, sushi rolls, hot dogs, sandwiches
  • Sides: Fries, broccoli florets, baked potatoes
  • Desserts and snacks: Donuts, cookies, candy bars, popcorn
  • Fruits and vegetables: Bananas, strawberries, flopping heads of lettuce

Likewise, portray your foods experiencing the whole emotional spectrum from utter joy to despair:

  • Happy, cheerful and smiling
  • Fiercely competitive and aggressive
  • Calm, meditative and zen
  • Subdued, depressed and frowning
  • Totally bizarre and weird expressions

Mixing up food items and their apparent moods, actions and contexts will generate a wonderfully diverse gallery of AI images.

Prompt Story Scenes and Sequences:

Instead of just single images, you can prompt the AI to generate multi-part stories around active foods with prompts like:

“A series of 4 images depicting a hungry hamburger in red sneakers and headband competing in an eating contest…”

“A comic strip sequence of a grumpy soda can waking up late and rushing to get ready for work…”

“8 panel storyboard showing a timid blueberry muffin training for the baking Olympics…”

Detailing multi-image stories prompts the AI to expand more on personalities, relationships between foods, and ongoing narratives rather than one-off situations. And generated sequences can even provide inspiration for creating real videos, animations or comic strips!

Incorporate Other Objects and Contexts:

Running food is already pretty absurd. But you can dial up the surrealism even further by incorporating other unlikely objects for the food to interact and relate with, for example:

  • Anthropomorphic kitchen objects like a ketchup bottle weightlifting or hand mixer hurdling over a blender
  • Appliances and technology like a donut video gaming with a microwave
  • Pop culture characters and genres like desserts cosplaying anime or a taco battling superheroes

Introducing unlikely contextual elements makes for especially uncanny, weird and wonderful generative art. And the AI will often mash up and remix concepts in utterly unique ways.

Refine Faces, Appendages and Movement:

Since most real food items don’t have well-defined facial features or limbs, you need to specify anatomical details in your prompts to generate more visible expressions and kinetic movement.

Some examples of helpful anatomical specifications:

  • Happy face made from sesame seeds or food stains
  • Forlorn eyes colored by food ingredients
  • Arms made from pretzel sticks or french fries
  • Legs sculpted from liquorice or celery stalks
  • Hair formed by leafy greens or shredded ingredients

You can also provide more context on types of movement:

  • Running sequence with legs blurred to convey speed
  • Floating, flying or hovering with windswept food details like leaves
  • Expressive bouncing and exaggerated jumping movements
  • Twisting, spinning athletic movements like high kicks or back flips
  • Partial morphing and warping of food items to emulate stretchy movement

The more lifelike facial details and dynamic physical motions you describe, the more your generated images will come out looking like traditional cartoons or sports photography…albeit with rather unusual protagonists!

Generate Alternative Versions and Mediums:

In addition to refining and building upon text prompts, you can also direct the AI to regenerate and remix its food images in different rendering styles. Experiment by adding modifiers requesting outputs like:

  • Realistic photograph
  • Cartoon illustration
  • Comic book or graphic novel panel
  • Sketch or line drawing
  • Impressionist or painterly
  • Pixel art
  • Vector art
  • Bas relief sculpture
  • Textured 3D rendered CGI

Exploring both alternate prompt phrasings and output mediums expands the creative possibilities exponentially. And it enables generating a whole series of complementary images perfect for exhibitions, publications or product design mockups.

Setting Parameters to Control Quality and Coherence:

Especially when sharing widely or using commercially, you’ll want to ensure any AI generated images meet certain standards around quality, coherence and content ratings.

Most AI image tools provide parameters you can set to help control outputs, for example:

  • Number of output images per prompt (1-20+)
  • Image dimensions e.g. 1024×1024
  • Total generation time per image
  • Content safety filters toggled on/off
  • Model version e.g. “VQGAN+CLIP” or “Stable Diffusion”

Adjust these settings in combination with promptEngineering to guarantee outputs that suit your purposes, render reliably, and contain appropriate content.

Provide Specific Attribute and Composition Guidance:

AI systems still have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to reliably aligning final images with precise descriptive prompts at a detailed level. You can provide additional guidance by appending parameters about:

  • Specific attributes: Desired features vividly described as necessarily included e.g. golden fries for hair, googly eyes, red sneakers for shoes
  • Relationships: Clear roles, actions and connections between food items and their environment e.g. The burger is jumping over the blender
  • Composition: Guidance on viewpoint, subject positioning, background and foreground elements e.g. puppy is centered and running towards camera with trees in distance

Adding this information after your initial prompt will make it more likely to generate images that match intended theming and layouts.

Do Post Processing and Touch Up Work?

While AI image generation keeps improving, you’ll often still want to do some degree of post-production work to polish results:

Common post-processing techniques include:

  • Cropping and transforming to refine framing
  • Smoothing jagged edges and shapes
  • Correcting colors and adjusting brightness/contrast
  • Removing or concealing unwanted artifacts and distortions
  • Compositing elements from multiple generations
  • Adding custom textures, filters and effects

Touch up the best outputs from the AI to create images clean and appealing enough for professional creative projects.

Anticipate then Address Ethical Issues:

Despite good intentions, issues can arise when generating anthropomorphic food images regarding:

  • Harmful stereotyping in facial/bodily features and skin tones
  • Cultural appropriation tied to attire, cuisine or setting
  • Idealized body image pressures relating to food and diet

Monitor outputs closely for potentially problematic elements, bias and microaggressions. Refine prompts carefully to represent diversity positively, prevent harm and steer clear of offensive content.

Food wasting accusations can also arise with certain concepts like eggs breaking or produce damaged mid-run. Mitigate by stating generated images use computer graphics, aren’t real, and don’t involve food waste.

Explain AI provenance thoroughly when sharing images publicly to set reasonable expectations around quality, logical gaps, and bias. Responsible AI use that respects people’s differences is crucial as adoption increases.

Get Inventive with Hybrid CuIsine Creations:

A final suggestion for prompting unique generations – blend together multiple food items as inspiration allows! For example:

“A peanut butter and jelly sandwich with pretzel crust and a tomato sauce face joyfully long jumping towards a gold medal…”

Inventing hybrid cuisines opens up more possibilities to personify ingredient textures and appearances in amusing combinations. The AI will readily fuse just about any foodstuffs you specify in surprising ways.


And there you have it – an overview of techniques and suggestions to prompt AI systems into generating all kinds of images featuring active, energetic and emotive foods!

It’s a fun, creative way to explore AI’s potential for bringing fantastical ideas to life. Just be sure to use generators responsibly by crafting prompts carefully, polishing results in post and addressing any potential issues thoughtfully if sharing publicly.

With the right prompting guidance across composition, style and context, you can realize all kinds of delicious possibilities limited only by your imagination. A wacky new frontier of AI-generated cooking misadventures awaits! So get prompting and see what surreal food images you can conjure. Bon Appétit!

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