The Best AI Image Generators in 2022

HTML2_ HTML3_ HTML4_ HTML5_ HTML6_ HTML7_ HTML8_ HTML9_ HTML9_ HTML7_ HTML8_ Regardless of your preference, Artificial Intelligence image generators (AI) have seen a huge rise in popularity and are not likely to slow down.

At the start of 2022, there were hardly any AI text-to-image generators available to the public, but with DALL-E finally becoming available in beta in July and Stable Diffusion being released a month later, there are now suddenly an array of AI image generators vying to be the best software on the market.

So if you’re feeling confused about which AI Image generator you should use in 2022, this is a complete guide to the best options out there.

At a Glance

DALL-E 2

A product of the Elon Musk co-founded research lab OpenAI, DALL-E 2, which we’ll refer to as simply DALL-E, is the software most people can name when you ask them about AI text-to-image generators.

When it launched in April, DALL-E stunned social media with its ability to turn a brief description into a photo-realistic image.

For those with limited access, DALLE felt almost magical — creating images of “a raccoon spaceman with the cosmos reflecting off his helmet glass” and “teddy bears buying groceries in Ancient Egypt” from just a text prompt.

“a raccoon astronaut with the cosmos reflecting on the glass of his helmet dreaming of the stars”@OpenAI DALL-E 2 pic.twitter.com/HkGDtVlOWX

— Andrew Mayne (@AndrewMayne) April 6, 2022

Ai text to image.

Here’s “Two teddy bears shopping for groceries in ancient Egypt” converted from Text to image.

Using OpenAI’s DALL-E 2.

Mad. pic.twitter.com/hUOWxrquyS

— murfin.eth (@JoeMurfin) April 11, 2022

Since then, DALL-E has gained a reputation as the leading AI text-to-image generator available. DALL-E is well known for its ability to produce the highest quality results, and it’s simplicity.

Image of “A man who is taking a photograph with his digital camera” generated by DALL-E 2

DALL-E is by no means the only machine learning software that can generate images. What is the secret to AI generator’s unrivalled reputation? Why is this technology so revolutionary and disruptive?

A key element of DALL-E’s success is its ability to create visually pleasing images. While other AI image generators often produce artworks that have an apocalyptic or darker tone to them, Dall-E creates images that are shockingly realistic and far more aesthetically pleasing to creators who already have a keen artistic sense.

Image of “Gregory Crewdson, late night laundromat, foggy, neon” generated by DALL-E 2

When DALL-E broke on the scene, it represented a huge step forward in AI image generation technology. Compared to its predecessors, the software was the first to let users have an extraordinary degree of control over the style, subject, and attributes of the digital images they were creating, even letting users control the lens and aperture in their AI-generated “photos”. The technology seemed to allow endless possibilities in terms of image creation.

Early impressions of @OpenAI‘s DALL-E 2.

All images below were produced by AI, with me feeding it the quoted prompt. I was most curious about how helpful such a tool might be in creative work.

“A sloth playing a guitar, photograph 35mm lens” pic.twitter.com/EHOXlrAOl9

— Grant Sanderson (@3blue1brown) June 14, 2022

DALL-E also blew users away with its remarkable ability to understand text prompts better than any other software that preceded it. This is down to the fact that DALL-E uses OpenAI-owned GPT-3 — arguably the most advanced natural language machine learning algorithm — to convert text-based instructions into images.

So how can you use DALL-E? As well as using it to turn sentences into images, you can also prompt DALL-E with an image. There are two ways to do this: a variation or an edit.

A variation simply prompts DALL-E with an image, rather than written text. DALL-E will generate a number of images that are similar to the original but with a different subject and aesthetic.

Variations of “Gregory Crewdson, late night laundromat, foggy, neon” generated by DALL-E 2

Edits are the third way to prompt DALL-E and are perhaps one of the software’s most revolutionary features. You can provide an image and ask DALL-E to add a “baby elephant bathing” into a photograph of water, sharpen an out-of-focus ladybug, remove an object in an image or “make it nighttime”. The AI technology even understands things like reflections and will update these accordingly when editing.

DALL-E generates only square outputs. You can however extend the image’s original borders by using DALL-E’s new editing tool “Outpainting”.

Outpainting allows the users to expand an image outwards to a wider frame of view, creating larger pictures in any aspect ratio. DALL-E will recognize the existing visual elements in the image and preserve the context. It uses shadows, reflections, and textures to create an AI background that is designed to blend perfectly with the original image.

Original: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
Outpainting: August Kamp

These mind-blowing capabilities make DALL-E feel like it could be a powerful and important editing tool for photographers in the future.

If you are sold on DALLE and want to get started using it, there’s a catch.

OpenAI’s second-generation DALL-E 2 system has only recently been released to the public and is still invite-only. DALL-E 2 is currently in beta, with a waitlist for interested parties. The company announced that it will gradually release the latest version of DALL-E to one million customers on its waitlist.

Image of “A pizza eating hamster on a Hawaiian beach” generated by DALL-E

Each DALL-E 2 account receives 50 free credits to use on the system and a further 15 credits each month. Additional credits will cost $15 per 115 credits, and each credit will bring you back four images for a prompt or instruction.

OpenAI clearly states that users have full rights to use the images created with DALLE. This includes the right to sell and reprint the images, as well as the right to make some modifications. However, this area is still unclear. The company has designed DALL-E 2 to refuse to create images of celebrities or public figures. It will also not produce any explicit, gory or political material.

How to get started: To join the waitlist for DALL-E 2, click here.

Stable Diffusion

While you might have to wait a long time to get access to DALL-E 2, there is an AI text-to-image generator that gets top marks for accessibility, and that is Stable Diffusion.

Developed by StabilityAI, in collaboration with EleutherAI and LAION, Stable Diffusion is an excellent AI image generator for those who want to start creating their own digital art now.

What makes Stable Diffusion unique is Stability AI’s transparency with the software. The company has made Stable Diffusion’s source code openly available under the Creative ML OpenRAIL-M license. Contrary to other models, such as DALL-E.

Image of “A man who is taking a photograph with his digital camera” generated by Stable Diffusion

As Stable Diffusion is open source, users have already begun improving and building on the original code. There are dozens of repositories with different features and optimizations. A Reddit user even successfully created a Photoshop plug-in for Stable Diffusion. There is also a plug-in available for Krita.

It is the community around Stable Diffusion which makes the AI generator so interesting for users. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right version of the Web interface among the many repositories online.

If you are looking for the original Stable Diffusion, you can either run the software on your computer or you can access the beta version of the Web interface on Dream Studio. When users sign up to DreamStudio they will be given 200 credits to use on Stable Diffusion but after that, PS1 ($1. 18) will buy 100 generations. Meanwhile, PS100 (~$118) will buy 10,000 generations.

Image of “Gregory Crewdson, late night laundromat, foggy, neon” generated by Stable Diffusion

The beta version of Stable Diffusion can produce photorealistic 512×512 pixel images. You can also type text into the prompt to generate pixel images. Additionally, it can produce photorealistic artworks using an uploaded image combined with a written description.

To train the Stable Diffusion model, Stability AI used 4,000 Nvidia A100 GPUs and a variant of the LAION-5B dataset. Stable Diffusion is therefore capable of generating super-creative images of celebrities, cartoon characters, and public figures that OpenAI does not allow with DALL-E 2.

Image of “Brad Pitt in the jungle” generated by Stable Diffusion

The quality of the images produced in Stable Diffusion can seemingly be very impressive. In a now-viral Reddit post, a user claimed to have used a text prompt combined with a sketch to generate a hyper-realistic image of a futuristic metropolis.

However, Stable Diffusion is more difficult than DALL-E. The beta version of Stable Diffusion is less advanced than its counterparts. It can be tricky to get the balance of the image right and word the text prompt correctly in order to generate your desired image — although the company does provide a guide on this.

Image of “A pizza eating hamster on a Hawaiian beach” generated by Stable Diffusion

But Stable Diffusion is still a remarkable piece of technology and the software’s accessibility is a turning point for AI image generation.

How to get started: To use Stable Diffusion on your web browser, click here. To download Stable Diffusion on your computer, click here for more details.

Midjourney

Along with DALL-E and Stable Diffusion, Midjourney also ranks as one of the most popular and well-known AI text-to-image generators out there.

Midjourney was hailed as one of the best platforms for AI image creation. A picture of a man using the digital camera generated by Midjourney

Midjourney is also a well-known and popular platform.

Image of “A man taking a photograph with a digital camera” generated by Midjourney

Somewhat uniquely, Midjourney is operated through a Discord server and uses Discord bot commands to generate high-quality images in a particularly artistic style. Users can input a text prompt to create clear and stunning images which seem to always have an apocalyptic or eerie quality to them.

Unlike DALL-E, Midjourney will generate pictures of celebrities and public figures. Discord users often use the software to imaginatively visualize their favorite actors in certain film roles.

Image of “Brad Pitt in a jungle” generated by Midjourney

One possible drawback to Midjourney is that the software is extremely stylized as an AI text-to-image generator. This makes it near impossible to create photorealistic images on Midjourney.

However, the system was never designed to create realistic-looking imagery and this is an important part of Midjourney’s philosophy as an AI generator.

“We have a default style and look, and it’s artistic and beautiful, and it’s hard to push [the model] away from that,” Midjourney founder David Holz tells The Verge. “Maybe if you spend 100 hours trying, you can find some right combination of words that makes it look really realistic, but you have to really work hard to make it look like a photo.”

“We are focused toward making everything beautiful and artistic looking,” adds Holz.

Image of “Gregory Crewdson, late night laundromat, foggy, neon” generated by Midjourney

If there is one downside to Midjourney, it is that you have to use a Discord server to place a text prompt which can be tricky to understand at first. Discord’s interface can also be frustrating to use and you may often find your own AI art lost among a myriad of other user-generated queries on a channel.

But according to Holz, this was always deliberate as Midjourney is intended to be a “social experience.” And it can certainly be fascinating seeing other users’ artwork as you wait for your image to load on Midjourney.

How do you use Midjourney The Midjourney platform opened to all as a beta in July. After you join the Midjourney Discord server in July, the AI generator is available on Discord’s website or the Discord App.

In order to generate artwork on Midjourney, you need to then go on a channel on Discord, for example #newbies-126.

From there, you type the Bot command “/imagine” in the Discord channel. The “prompt” text will be generated automatically by this command. Here you can describe the image you wish to view.

You need to type your keywords for your image after the “prompt:” text or the command will not work. Then, you press return and wait for your artwork to be created. HTML3_ HTML4_ HTML5_ HTML6_ HTML7_ HTML8_ HTML9_ HTML11_ HTML8_ HTML9_ HTML10_ HTML5_ HTML5_ HTML8_ HTML12_ HTML5_ HTML7_ HTML9_ HTML5_ HTML9_ HTML6_ HTML6_ HTML7_ HTML8_ HTML7_ HTML8_ HTML5_ HTML7_ HTML7_ HTML8_ HTML9_ HTML9_ HTML7_ HTML7 to create the image of “A pizza eating hamster at a Hawaiian shore” generated by Midjourney

Image of “A pizza eating hamster on a Hawaiian beach” generated by Midjourney

The Midjourney server’s three rules when creating artwork are “don’t be a jerk, don’t use the bot to make inappropriate content, and be respectful to everyone.”

The first 25 images on Midjourney are free, and then the basic plan is $10 per month for 200 images. There is also a standard membership of $30 per month for unlimited use. Midjourney will allow corporate use of the generated images for a special enterprise membership of $600 per year. The images are yours unless you pay a special enterprise membership of $025 per year.

Once you get the hang of it, Midjourney is an excellent AI generator that consistently produces stunning and frequently thought-provoking images in its own unique style.

How to get started: To join the beta version of Midjourney, click here.

Craiyon (Formerly DALL-E mini)

Formerly called DALL-E mini, Craiyon is another AI image generator that is available online.

Despite being previously named DALL-E mini, Craiyon has nothing to do with Open AI, other than making use of the large amount of publicly-available information OpenAI has provided on their model.

Image of “A man taking a photograph with a digital camera” generated by Craiyon

Unlike DALL-E, Craiyon is completely free to use and accessible to anyone through its website. Craiyon takes around 2 minutes to create images using the interactive demo.

Another key distinction between DALLE and Craiyon’s software is the fact that it is uncensored. This means that any prompt can be used by the AI generator. The picture can be requested to be done in certain styles.

Image of “Gregory Crewdson, late night laundromat, foggy, neon” generated by Craiyon

But Craiyon, which was created by software engineer, Boris Dayma, does struggle to match DALL-E and other competitors in terms of image quality. In a computer generated image, it is often difficult to see the faces of cartoon characters and celebrities.

Image of “Brad Pitt in a jungle” generated by Craiyon

However, this does not mean that Craiyon is unable to make faces, it simply requires a lot of work and effort on the user’s part. Some Craiyon users have reportedly found that writing long and detailed prompts, listing the size and location of each part of the face, has helped to create better faces on their artwork.

Image of “A pizza eating hamster on a Hawaiian beach” generated by Craiyon

It is also only possible to download the images you create on Craiyon as a screenshot rather than a high-resolution file.

While it may not be the most state-of-art system, Craiyon is an unfiltered and fun AI generator that can be easily accessed by anyone.

How to get started: To use Craiyon, click here.

TikTok

TikTok has launched a basic AI image generator that users can use to make custom greenscreens for their videos.

The video platform’s new effect is called “AI Greenscreen” and allows TikTok users to type in a text prompt that the software will then generate as an image.

Greenscreens generated by TikTok’s AI tool

However, the basic text-to-image generator is a far cry from the likes of DALL-E 2 and Midjourney as it only appears to produce swirly, abstract images.

Training an AI image maker requires high computer power. The basic look of TikTok’s foray shows that it only produces swirly, abstract images.

TikTok’s tool highlights how popular AI image generators are and may be the first step in introducing this technology to the public.

How to get started: To create an AI Greenscreen on TikTok, click here.

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