Mai Shiranui AI art

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5 minutes

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I created a series of Mai Shiranui AI art (不知火 舞) from Fatal Fury and King of Fighters. Besides her SNK fame, she is also hugely popular in China after Tencent’s MOBA game Honor of Kings (王者荣耀) licensed Mai as a bonus character.

Background

After I create the series on Sakura Kusagano from street fighters, I found myself choosing between another Street Fighter Chun Li or Mai Shiranui as the next photorealistic challenge. I went with Mai without hesitation.

There are a lot of great anime, illustration, and CG artwork of Mai, both official and fan-made, created over the past few decades. She is also a very popular cosplay character, though I have yet to come across a cosplay that matches how I visualise her. So she is the perfect subject for me to try and create a photorealistic live action art piece.

Mai is my favourite character in SNK games and it’s a tough choice between her and Sakura in SNK vs Capcom. More importantly, she is my favourite mage in Honor of Kings, even though I play better with other mages like Angela, Wang Zhaojun, Zhuge Liang, and Zhou Yu. Despite her low survivability and high difficulty, she is deadly when you time the attacks right.

Creation

Her notoriously exaggerated figure makes her a tough character to cosplay. It was also a challenge to make her look real while still sticking to how she is portrayed in the games.

If you have worked on AI art, you will know how difficult hands are. The folding fan and hand took hours to do the pose I want. I finally got the pose I wanted through a combination of Photoshop Beta’s Generative Fill and ControlNet depth map.

There are those who generate AI art through prompt engineering. This often means that it is all down to gacha, aka spray and pray. They go with a rough concept and cherry pick the output that is close to what they have in mind.

I use a different workflow in Stable Diffusion where I have an image in mind and I work towards that using the different tools. This is also why I’m unable to just tell you what models I used and give you the prompt. I used several different checkpoints, LoRAs and LyCORIS.

Tools used

Downloads

Since I started posting the first piece on Xiaohongshu(1, 2) and Instagram (1, 2), I’ve been flooded with requests for the artwork and custom work. The HD versions of these images available for download on Afdian. See the links below each image.

The 4K versions will be available to members on Ko-Fi and Patreon and Pixiv Fanbox. Subscribe to my newsletter to be notified when these and new content become available.

Update: Pixiv Fanbox has banned AI generated content, so I’ve removed the links.

Mai Shiranui sakura garden

Mai Shiranui sakura garden by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui zen garden

Mai Shiranui zen garden by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui poolside

Mai Shiranui poolside by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui street shopping

Mai Shiranui street shopping by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui fire dance

Mai Shiranui fire dance by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui welcome home

Mai Shiranui welcome home by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui Arashiyama

Mai Shiranui Arashiyama by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui dojo dance

Mai Shiranui dojo dance by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui shopping date

Mai Shiranui shopping date by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui temple duel

Mai Shiranui temple duel by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui garden duel

Mai Shiranui garden duel by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui street

Mai Shiranui street by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui good morning

Mai Shiranui good morning by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui landing

Mai Shiranui landing after an attack by Jenxi

Mai Shiranui ponders

Mai Shiranui seems to be lost in her thoughts.

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