How Generative AI Can Aid in Motorsports Creative Work [Updated]

AI programs such as Midjourney and Dall-e 2 are changing the way designers iterate on concepts
Samuel Pawlak
Owner of Grand Prix Studio
October 13, 2022

[Updated / January 27th, 2023]

I’ve spent the last few days playing around in Mid Journey, an AI powered image generation tool. Simply put, this tool is just unreal. But is AI that produces images through prompts going to up-end designers? Probably not yet.

What is Midjourney?

Simply put, Midjourney is an AI software that creates images from scratch based solely on prompts you give it. For example, the images below were created in seconds after telling the AI I wanted “Brad Binder, Rider, standing”. That’s it. For those who don’t follow Moto GP, Brad Binder is one of the Red Bull KTM riders.

Generative group of images of Midjourney's interpretation of MotoGP Rider Brad Binder

I was purposefully a bit vague in the prompt because I was genuinely curious what the AI would come up with. I then experimented further with the prompts to create some abstract action scenes of Binder leaning through a corner.

Generative group of images of Midjourney's interpretation of MotoGP Rider Brad Binder on his KTM leaning into a corner

What Midjourney and generative AI is incredible at

Right now, Midjourney isn’t truly capable of producing what I would deme to be a final product (as of October 13th, 2022). I list the date because the reason Midjourney isn't superb at motorsports related content is because it hasn't been trained heavily on it, and among all images on the internet it's scraping, motorsports data is probably more limited. If you want photorealistic pixel perfect images, Midjourney might get you 60% of the way there with some iterating. We'll see how long that's the case for though.

Midjourney interpretation of a race track

Really though, trying to create photorealistic content isn’t really what you want to be using this for at this time though. This tool is great at pulling ideas out of thin air via simple human readable prompts. And that alone is already incredible for a lot of reasons.

Motorsports Use Cases for AI like Midjourney

As of today, Midjourney’s only use cases live on the marketing / creative side of motorsports. This would include things like story-boarding for videographers, creating concept livery mock-ups (like the helmets below), event poster design, or quickly spinning up new product concepts as a performance brand. I’ve said it in prior videos of mine, and it’s worth restating here. Never bet against tech. 99/100 times you will lose. I would not be surprised in the slightest if programs like Midjourney get to a point before the end of the decade where photo-realism (i.e. an AI image created from prompts that’s indistinguishable from a photo) will happen. And then the question becomes, what can’t you use such a tool for?

Midjourney interpretation of helmet designs

What you should be afraid of

Midjourney when used properly is an amazing tool, especially for people who work in the creative field. I certainly don’t feel it threatens my job as a designer yet. However, if you work in the copywriting / journalist business, I would be afraid. Because there’s a creative writing equivalent of Midjourney that might just write your next race recap/report for you. It's name, is ChatGTP.