Runway’s new AI video generator: huge leap forward in realism
Runway, the New York-based AI video startup, has released a major upgrade to its flagship text-to-video generator Gen-2 today. The improvements to video fidelity and consistency have led many in the AI creative community to call this release a huge leap forward for AI filmmaking.
The Gen-2 model was first released in March 2023, allowing users to type text prompts to generate 4-second video clips. Previous versions required uploading an existing video. In August, Runway extended the maximum length to 18 seconds.
The latest upgrade focuses on enhancing the realism and sharpness of AI-generated videos. According to users, the resolution has increased from 1792×1024 to 2816×1536. This enables the creation of intricate details and smoother motion in the simulated footage.
Runway has also improved its “Director Mode” feature introduced in September.
This allows controlling camera movements like panning and zooming to mimic cinematic techniques. The simulated camera motions are now more lifelike and can be applied to specific objects or characters within a scene.
Creative professionals have been stunned by the hyper-realistic results. Generative AI user TomLikesRobots called the upgrade “game-changing” on social media. Early examples show AI human models with convincing facial expressions, detailed clothing and environments, and natural motions.
While each clip is limited to 18 seconds, artists have already edited together sequences to create narrative music videos and short films.
This has become known as “AI filmmaking” — using AI tools for production.
Runway’s founder, Cristóbal Valenzuela, declared in an enthusiastic social media post that “Creative software is dead.” He explained that, unlike traditional software, AI generators create content independently rather than just executing human instructions. The user plays a creative director role rather than manually manipulating pixels.
The launch coincides with heated debates in Hollywood about AI-generated content threatening actors’ careers. While not intended for impersonation, Runway’s virtual human models exhibit increasing realism. This release will undoubtedly intensify the discussion around AI’s emerging role in film and media production.
For now, the AI community appears united in praise for this technology milestone. As one user said, this marks a “pivotal moment in generative AI.” Only time will tell how society adapts to these rapidly advancing creative AI systems that are likely to fundamentally change how movies are made.
Featured Image Credit: Viktoria Alipatova; Pexels; Thank you!