StoryDALL-E: Adapting Pretrained Text-to-Image Transformers for Story Continuation

Adyasha Maharana, Darryl Hannan, Mohit Bansal ;


"Recent advances in text-to-image synthesis have led to large pretrained transformers with excellent capabilities to generate visualizations from a given text. However, these models are ill-suited for specialized tasks like story visualization, which requires an agent to produce a sequence of images given a corresponding sequence of captions, forming a narrative. Moreover, we find that the story visualization task fails to accommodate generalization to unseen plots and characters in new narratives. Hence, we first propose the task of story continuation, where the generated visual story is conditioned on a source image, allowing for better generalization to narratives with new characters. Then, we enhance or ‘retro-fit’ the pretrained text-to-image synthesis models with task-specific modules for (a) sequential image generation and (b) copying relevant elements from an initial frame. We explore full-model finetuning, as well as prompt-based tuning for parameter-efficient adaptation, of the pretrained model. We evaluate our approach StoryDALL-E on two existing datasets, PororoSV and FlintstonesSV, and introduce a new dataset DiDeMoSV collected from a video-captioning dataset. We also develop a model StoryGANc based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) for story continuation, and compare with the StoryDALL-E model to demonstrate the advantages of our approach. We show that our retro-fitting approach outperforms GAN-based models for story continuation. We also demonstrate that the ‘retro-fitting’ approach facilitates copying of visual elements from the source image and improved continuity in visual frames. Finally, our analysis suggests that pretrained transformers struggle with comprehending narratives containing multiple characters, and translating them into appropriate imagery. Our work encourages future research into story continuation and large-scale models for the task."

Related Material

[pdf] [supplementary material] [DOI]