As part of the ongoing Google Arts & Culture experiments with machine learning, a new “Giga Manga” web app will now let you create your very own manga characters with a simple sketch.

Announced as part of the wider Manga Out Of The Box collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Google has enlisted 12 of Japan’s biggest cultural institutions to highlight the art form. Part of this celebration of the popular Japanese comic art style is the Giga Manga web app.

With Giga Manga, you’ll be able to create your own manga-style ink drawings with the help of machine learning. In this unique experiment, all you need to do is sketch a few simple lines and add some splashes of color – then let machine learning fill in the rest. You can also draw freeform to personalize your creation further. And when you’re done, the tool will help you discover manga similar to the one you’ve drawn.

The web app offers a canvas in which you draw or sketch a few lines before machine learning kicks in and “completes” the manga-style character for you. The end results can vary depending on just how much time you spend sketching. Google’s own example indicates that everything is done for you, but in practice, the “Magic pen” helps provide an outline that you can tweak and tune using the basic artboard tools offered by the Giga Manga web app.

The dedicated Manga Out Of The Box portal includes all manner of guides to manga history and collections from the most influential figures in Japanese artistry. If you’d like to try out the Giga Manga web app for yourself, you can do so on mobile and desktop right here.

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Damien Wilde

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