AI image generators are becoming a hot topic online, but they are far from new. The technology for these tools has been around for some time. It is just reaching a point where they are more accessible to the everyday user.
Some of these text-to-art generators are free, while some are behind paywalls, and others allow for a trial. There are also many styles of art you can create from different generators. Take a look at our roundup of some of the best AI image generators below to see which ones might match your artistic style.
What is an AI image generator?
An AI image generator is essentially a tool that uses machine learning to create art. In its simplest form, it will use text prompts to describe the type of art you want to create, and then it’ll do its best job to make it for you. Some tools include additional styles and parameters to their generators to make the results more unique.
Although they have been used to create some amazing pieces of art — and there are many concerned about this taking jobs from human artists — there are some more useful day-to-day uses for AI image generators. You can use them to make character art for your tabletop game or to create a funky background for your desktop wallpaper. How about creating a funny meme? Then again, there are meme generators, too.
DALL-E 2 is considered one of the best tools for original AI image generation. The tool includes a range of options, which allows users, from beginners to experts to find their niche with the text-to-image generator. It also includes features that allow for scaling images up or down without losing quality, and special developer tools that ensure creations are unique to the artist.
The original iteration of DALL-E was invite-only due to customer demand. As of September 2022, the tool’s makers, OpenAI, claimed it supports over 1.5 million active users that create approximately 2 million images daily.
On September 28, 2022, DALL-E 2 opened to the public to sign up. But there are limits: The first month that you sign up you’ll get 15 free credits you can use to generate images. After that, you’ll be limited to only getting 15 free credits per month and none of these free credits roll over month-to-month. You can buy additional credits for $15, which buys you 115 credits.
It’s not the easiest AI image generator to use, but Midjourney can produce some of the most beautiful, vivid images around once you get the hang of it. Unlike the other image generators on this list, Midjourney’s generator is only accessible via a Discord server, so you’ll need a Discord account and then you’ll need to join the server to use the generator. After you join the server, you’ll select a Newcomer room, and it’s in one of those rooms you can begin sending text prompts to the Midjourney bot to create your images. (Want to learn how to use it? Check out our guide on how to use Midjourney.)
The latest version of Midjourney is known as V5 and it was released on March 15. The release of V5 came with some notable changes to Midjourney: more accurate renderings of human hands, higher resolution, and support for repeating patterns.
Midjourney is primarily a paid service, but it does offer a free trial in the form of about 25 free image creation jobs. After you use those up, you’ll need a subscription to the service to keep generating images. Subscriptions start at $10 per month. Only paid subscribers actually own the images they create with Midjourney and can use those images for commercial use. Free users don’t own the images they create and they’re under a Creative Common license. Under this license, the images can be shared and edited but must be properly attributed and the images can’t be used for commercial use.
Bing Image Creator
Bing Image Creator is Microsoft’s AI image generator that is “powered by DALL-E.” You’ll need a Microsoft account to use this image generator, but beyond that, it’s simple to use and generates images in seconds. (We initially experienced an error page while generating images, but refreshing the page seemed to fix it quickly.) There are a couple of methods for using Bing Image Creator. For an explanation of how to use either method, check out our guide on how to use Bing Image Creator.
Bing Image Creator is free to use but if you want to speed up the processing times of the images you create, you’ll need to use boosts. When you start using Bing Image Creator, you’ll be given 25 boosts and each image you create uses one boost. After you use up all your initial boosts, if you still want faster processing, you’ll need to redeem your Microsoft Rewards points to get more boosts. Boosts are not required for image creation with Bing Image Creator, however.
Jasper is considered a go-to tool for overall high-quality AI image generation. This text-to-image generator lets you create four copyright-free images from a single prompt that can be used however you like.
You can sign up for Jasper’s Jasper Art service. The service has a five-day free trial and then it would be $20 per user per month to get access to its service.
Photosonic is an AI image generation tool that allows you to create images from text prompts you enter and then choose a particular art style for it.
You can use any images you create commercially without credit; however, some have critiqued that the resulting artwork often comes out looking more cartoonish than serious images. Nevertheless, Photosonic is a paid service.
Photosonic uses a credit payment system to charge you for using the tool. You can test it out with five free credits before deciding whether you want to proceed with a sign-up. After that, there is a free trial sign-up tier that offers 15 credits. Then you can sign up and purchase 100 credits for $10 per month or unlimited credits for $25 per month.
Craiyon is a fascinating AI image generator in that it has a website version as well as an app version that is available for Android devices on Google Play Store. Previously known as DALL-E mini, this free service works in a similar fashion to its paid counterpart.
StarryAI is an AI image generator with a focus on turning text into drawing-like artwork. Many of the results have a fantasy style-look to them with the tool excelling at nightscape images, which inspired the name StarryAI.
The images generated are free to use for commercial purposes by their creator and the service is available on the web and for iOS and Android. You can get up to five artworks per day without a watermark.
NightCafe is an AI image generator that is dedicated to delivering several different styles and higher quality results than many other generators. This image generator has several image algorithms that accept different text prompts and yield different style results, including the Artistic algorithm, Coherent algorithm, and Stable algorithm.
NightCafe is available on the web and also on Android and iOS and grants users permission to use images as they wish, depending on their country’s copyright laws.
Much like some other generators, the tool offers five free credits per day before any major commitment. Still, a sign-up is required even before testing out the service. NightCafe will automatically sign you up for a temporary free account (one without a login) if you try to use the web version of the generator. Once registered, you also have the opportunity to claim five credits per day to use toward creating artwork. With this system, you can essentially have the service for free if you collect your five credits consistently before 8 p.m.
If you do plan to purchase credits, the tiers include AI Beginner at $6 per month for 100 credits, AI Hobbyist at $10 per month for 200 credits, AI Enthusiast at $20 per month for 500 credits, and AI Artist at $50 per month for 1,400 credits.
Artbreeder is a great AI image generator for abstract art that might be more challenging for other tools to execute. This generator does not automatically delve into the realistic; however, it does include some interesting “gene editing features” that you can adjust for age, gender, and various color aspects, among others.
Users have created projects such as what historical figures might have looked like in real life based on paintings or statues. All services, both free and paid are behind a registration wall and the paid services currently start at $9. Any art created by Artbreeder is considered free to use under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
Dream by Wombo
Dream is an interesting AI image generator that offers various stylistic options such as Realistic, Anime, and Street Art to add some flair to the text prompts that you input. The service is free to use and you can preview the art that you make. However, you will ultimately have to register to save and publish your creations.
Dream is available on the web as well as on Android and iOS. Additionally, Dream has a Discord community for members to share their creations.
The Stable Diffusion AI image generator is known for its photo-realistic images though its text prompts can take some work to yield a solid result. The web-based generator is free to use.
The service’s website says that you are free to use the images you create and “are accountable for their use which must not go against the provisions set in this license.” So you can use the images you create with this service but it is not clear what kind of use is permitted. The site only says that you have to follow their license terms, which are more about not causing harm or breaking any laws.
Deep Dream Generator
Deep Dream Generator is considered one of the fastest AI image generator tools with thousands of artistic styles available. The generator includes three main tools, Deep Style, Text 2 Dream, and Deep Dream, which go from more realistic to increasingly more abstract.
While it is free to sign up and use, the paid plans offer storage and higher resolution options for the images created. There is also an “energy” and “recharging” system that determines how quickly images get processed. The Advanced plan sells for $19 per month; the Professional plan sells for $39 per month, and the Ultra plan sells for $99 per month.
While you own the art created on the tool, you can only use the art you created for commercial purposes if you created that art as a paid subscriber to Deep Dream or if you purchased and used an “energy pack” to create the image. Deep Dream also reserves the right to re-share any images you create on the tool on its social networks if you share your artwork on its platform.
DeepAI is a simple and free-to-use image generator. And it may be the easiest one to use on this list. Simply type in your text prompt and choose an art style. And in just a few minutes you’ll have an image generated from your text that you can then download. You’ll have to play around with the combinations of text prompts and styles to get the images you want, but DeepAI does a pretty decent job of bringing your random ideas to life. But keep your expectations low: The image quality won’t be as realistic as the other generators on this list. DeepAI is more about keeping things easy, quick, and fun. There is a premium version of the service that comes with more features that costs $5 per month.
And in terms of licensing the images you create, here’s what the service has to say:
“All content generated by DeepAI’s tools and APIs are free of copyright – you may use them for any legal purpose you wish including commercial use.”
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