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Fan Recreates Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Characters With AI

The creator used tools such as ControlNet and RealsticVision to recreate the characters

Protagonist Carl Johnson from GTA: San Andreas and an AI recreation by AaronGNP

Using the power of AI, one Reddit user has brought to life characters of the hit game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Grand Theft Auto is a massively popular and successful gaming franchise from RockStar Games. While the latest game in the franchise, GTA V, stands as the studio’s most successful title, San Andreas is still a fan favourite for many.

One of the aspects that fans loved so much about the game was the characters. However, since the game was released back in 2004 for the PS2, those characters don’t visually look so great anymore. That’s where one Reddit user has stepped in to recreate the characters in the most life-like way using AI.

Big Smoke In GTA: San Andreas and the AI recreation by AaronGNP


Reddit user AaronGNP shared a post with an image of the lead character from San Andreas, the picture was a life-like recreation of protagonist Carl Johnson and the resemblance is uncanny. The user was able to bring various characters from the game to life, with all of the images resembling their video game counterparts.

The Reddit post shared the process for generating these accurate recreations. The first step was to pull images of each character from the GTA fandom wiki. Then those images would be used with ControlNet, Img2Img and RealisticVision. Stable Diffusion allows for high-quality images to be recreated with simple text prompts and by using tools such as ControlNet, users gain access to other forms of conditioning to make the image generation even better. Prompts are then dropped in to achieve the desired look.

Ryder from GTA: San Andreas and his AI recreation by AaronGNP

The results are impressive and take the PS2-era characters into the real world. One of the characters in the game, Ryder, had their original look inspired by rapper and vocalist Easy-E, which in these AI recreations looks even more apparent. Since the Reddit user shared the creative process, it’s likely we’ll see other characters from the past receive AI upgrades. AI-generative tools are becoming incredibly powerful and realistic. Recently an AI-generated photograph was able to win a photography competition

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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