Our team is always on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities to learn. We'd been interested in AI and NFTs for a while and really wanted to build something with those. It all came together when we also got excited about Solana and heard about the hackathon. We thought it would be the perfect opportunity to kill three birds with one stone and combine AI, NFTs and Solana into a fun, unique project. And since we are fans of waifus, the theme was obvious to us (★ω★)/

What it does

This might seem like just another NFT project but it's more than that. As a user, with DeepWaifu you can create your perfect anime spouse from a photo of a real person by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence. Once you are ready to take the plunge, you can immortalize the object of your affection on the Solana blockchain in the form of a limited-run NFT. If just a digital representation is not enough though, you can take your relationship to the next level and order a custom-made pillow with your waifu printed on it.

How we built it

We wanted to utilize as many standards and recommended tools as possible to get a better feel for the Solana ecosystem and the direction it's heading. That's why we used Anchor for building our programs and Metaplex for generating our NFTs. We also leveraged Wormhole to support payments with Ethereum ERC20 tokens. On the AI side, we used the great UGATIT model which is a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) that was specifically trained for converting photos into anime characters. The UI was built with the tried and tested React framework. We put it all together using CloudFlare, Heroku, and DigitalOcean where we deployed our UI, server and AI model.

Challenges we ran into

One of the key features of DeepWaifu is generating and minting NFTs on the fly, which seems to be unusual in the NFT space. Because of that, the documentation and examples we found did not cover our use case and so we had to come up with our own solution. Luckily, the Metaplex framework is flexible enough that with some modifications and guidance from the great Solana/Metaplex community on Discord we managed to achieve our vision of democratizing waifus (☆▽☆)

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are extremely proud that we were able to put together all those technologies into a complete project that is DeepWaifu. We are really happy that we created a solution for generating and minting NFTs on the fly which we hope will inspire other developers and enable them to build more unique projects.

What we learned

DeepWaifu really helped us deepen our knowledge in our main areas of interest - AI, NFTs, and Solana. Actually building something makes you understand the tools you use on a whole other level than just reading about them. We learned how an AI model works and how to set it up so we can use it via an API, we learned how an NFT project is actually built and the unique challenges associated with that, we learned about the design and architecture of the Solana blockchain and a multitude of other delightful details that we are sure will help us achieve even greater things in the future.

What's next for DeepWaifu

We would love for DeepWaifu to bring joy to the countless anime enjoyers out there and to serve as inspiration for other builders. Given enough interest, we are planning to build a bigger, better version of DeepWaifu or a different personalized NFT dapp. We are also looking to deploy DeepWaifu to other blockchains to spread the love for waifus (´。• ω •。`) ♡

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