The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has increased significantly over the years. One area where AI is experiencing adoption is art generation.
Some AI-powered art generators use natural language processing (NLP)—transforming text prompts into images—while other AI art tools rely on image processing or other techniques without textual input. AI-generated outputs aren’t always accurate, but AI can still help produce quality art.
From the likes of NightCafe and DeepAI to more advanced tools like Midjourney and Dall-E 2, there are many AI art generators to choose from. And while these tools serve the same goal, they have unique features and some run on different machine learning algorithms, meaning some could excel over others.
To produce the best images, you’ll need to select the right art generator tool. We explore the top AI art generators available today, including their features, pros, cons, and pricing.
Table of contents:
- What is an AI art generator?
- Top free AI image generators to consider
- Top paid AI image generators to consider
Top free AI image generators to consider
From NightCafe to Adobe Firefly, let’s explore some of the top tools.
Free AI art generators:
So far, NightCafe has helped generate more than 35 million artworks. The platform is unique because it uses multiple AI algorithms like DALL-E 2, VQGAN+CLIP, Stable Diffusion, and Neural Style Transfer. NightCafe also supports collaboration, allowing users to chat with friends and work on projects. The platform features regular challenges and contests to drive user engagement and creativity.
Best for: Producing artwork using a wide variety of machine learning models
- Unlimited access to the Stable Diffusion generations (also free daily credits to use on other machine learning algorithms)
- Huge community for finding friends, sharing creations, and accessing help when needed
- Distracting ads
- Photorealistic and high-resolution images only available for extra credits
Pricing: Can generate unlimited base Stable Diffusion art for free, with the option to purchase additional credits through NightCafe’s Pro plans starting at $4.79 billed quarterly or as one-time purchases starting at $7.99.
Dream by Wombo enables users to generate copyright-free images and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). With diffusion models and original AI styles, users can create realistic and high-fidelity images or generate more abstract art based on their creativity. Businesses can also use the Dream API to customize product designs to match their brand.
Best for: Creating NFTs or customizing product designs
- Can produce high-fidelity images at scale
- Can connect to crypto wallets if creating NFTs
- No repeat designs, even when reusing text prompts
- Supports a high degree of customization, including changing image height, width, and resolution
- Some features are restricted on the free version
- Some AI image outputs appear distorted
Pricing: Dream by Wombo is available for free, but users can upgrade to the paid plan for $9.99 per month.
The Fotor image generator supports the production of different types of images, including mockups, anime characters, cartoons, backgrounds, realistic creations, and product designs. The platform features both text-to-image and image-to-image conversion models and can transfer the style of one image to another.
Best for: Creating AI art in different conversion styles
- A wide selection of styles and themes
- Access to templates for different use cases, including marketing and social media posts
- Ability to customize images like adding photo effects, captions, and graphics
- Only supported on web browsers
Pricing: Free to use.
StarryAI, available on Android and iOS, helps individuals generate art, including NFTs. Users can choose from 1,000+ styles, different aspect ratios, and several machine learning art models to customize images. The platform boasts of offering full ownership of creations to users, meaning they’re free to post on social media or for commercial use.
Best for: Creating NFTs or social media assets
- Provides numerous customization options
- Access to five free credits daily (25 images)
- Ability to upscale images
- Credits can be expensive
Pricing: StarryAI’s users are given five free credits each day (25 images). But users can buy more credits, starting at 40 credits for $15.99.
DeepAI works off Stable Diffusion and only requires a text description to generate images. The platform also offers text-to-image API access and multiple art styles. Users can save or edit their work at any time.
Best for: Integrating an AI text-to-image generator API into different services
- Open image generator API that other developers can use in their apps
- Detailed documentation
- Supports different themes, styles, and shapes
- Charges for API calls, which can get expensive for large teams
- No access to higher-resolution or higher-quality images
- Large image prints can become blurry
Pricing: Free to use for certain features. DeepAI offers a Pro plan starting at $4.99 per month (no annual billing) or pay-as-you-go starting at $5. The API option is $5 per 100 API calls or $5 for 500 for Pro subscribers.
Adobe Firefly is a generative AI tool that allows users to convert text to image, sketch to image, and 3D inputs to image. Adobe Firefly also allows users to add color variations to their images, change the aspect ratio of their pictures, and apply styles and effects to texts.
Best for: Editing and adding effects to image creations
- Will support more than 100 languages
- Comes with extra features, such as text effects, generative recolor, and generative fill
- Able to convert 3D content to image
- Still in beta, meaning certain features are limited
- Generated images can be poor quality
Pricing: Adobe Firefly is free because it’s currently in beta, but this could change in the future.
Top paid AI image generators to consider
From Dall-E 2 to Jasper AI, we discuss some of the top paid AI image generators to consider for your next project.
Paid AI art generators:
Dall-E 2, created by OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT), is an AI tool that produces images from text inputs. The platform provides editing tools, allowing users to add features like textures and shadows. Dall-E 2 is an improvement of the initial versions—Dall-E—meaning it can produce higher-quality images and more variations. Dall-E 2 also helps create virtual and augmented reality environments for training simulations and video games.
Best for: Generating multiple image variations and photo editing
- Supports multiple styles, enabling users to generate custom and original images
- High-resolution images.
- Can upload and edit images
- No free trials or credits
- Needs complex text prompts
Pricing: Dall-E 2 works on a credit system, starting at $15 for 115 credits.
Midjourney is another text-to-image generation tool. The platform supports both simple and complex text descriptions, enabling users to generate images in different styles like paintings, illustrations, and anime. Midjourney also facilitates collaboration, enabling users to team up to produce various creations.
Best for: Generating images from complex text descriptions
- Ability to generate images from a Discord server
- Access to a wide community of user
- Ability to produce images from multiple text prompts concurrently
- Images generated on Midjourney are public, meaning other users can make variations
- Takes more time to generate images from complex inputs
Pricing: Paid plans start at $8 per month (billed annually).
Stable Diffusion Online
Stable Diffusion Online is an open-source model that allows users to produce images from text input. The platform features advanced image generation capabilities, enabling users to produce art in different image styles. Stable Diffusion offers API access and allows users to generate multiple images at one time.
Best for: Generating creative and photorealistic images
- Access to a prompt database to help formulate the best text descriptions
- Ability to edit images
- Performance can be affected by the number of users
- Complex image generation may require more computational resources
Pricing: Basic paid plan starts at $7.50 per month (billed annually).
Jasper Art allows users to create photorealistic images and supports multiple object types and rendering styles. Apart from text inputs, users can also choose the mood they wish their creations to reflect. The platform offers the ability to choose from different output options for each input.
Best for: Creating AI art based on mood and specific keywords
- Comprehensive dashboard, enabling users to manage their creations
- Unlimited images
- Supports generation of high-resolution images—up to 2K
- Royalty-free creations
- Access to a community-powered art gallery for inspiration
- No watermark
- Can be expensive
Pricing: Jasper Art is an add-on of Jasper AI. Paid plans start at $39 per month (billed annually).
DreamStudio is powered by the Stable Diffusion AI model, allowing users to generate images in different styles, including comics, digital art, photorealistic, and anime. The platform provides prompt guides and tutorials, making it suitable for beginners. Users can also access image formatting tools for customizing AI-generated images.
Best for: Generating images with the prompt guidance
- Supports multiple styling options
- Can generate up to 10 image variations
- Allows users to edit text prompts
- Must log in to use Dream Studio
- Image generation takes time
Pricing: DreamStudio provides 25 free credits, but users must purchase additional credits, starting at $1 for 100 credits.
What is an AI art generator?
An AI art generator is powered by artificial intelligence to create high-quality images based on given user inputs. From the user interface, AI art generators may seem simple, but many components work behind the scenes to ensure the tool operates correctly.
Some of the key drivers of AI art generators include:
- Natural language processing (NLP). This technology allows some AI art generators to process human language. So, when you provide a text prompt, NLP technology works behind the scenes to help determine what you’re requesting.
- Machine learning (ML). This component allows AI art generators to analyze and learn from large data sets. For example, well-trained ML models can recognize stylistic patterns in art or learn aesthetic preferences over time. Machine learning algorithms also rely on statistical methods to discover patterns and trends and for prediction and classification.
- Deep learning. AI art tools use neural networks to learn from data. Neural networks are much more capable of identifying complex relationships and patterns from data—helping generate outputs that match provided text descriptions. Deep learning is a subset of ML, and while all deep learning is ML, not all ML is deep learning.
- Generative adversarial networks (GANs). The primary feature of GANs is that they consist of two neural networks—the generator, which creates new images, and the discriminator, which evaluates them. These networks “compete” in a sense, with the generator trying to create realistic images and the discriminator trying to differentiate between real and AI-generated art. This competition leads to the generator producing highly realistic outputs.
While AI art generators offer a realm of possibilities, they also bring up significant ethical challenges.
The potential for AI to replicate copyrighted artworks can create a murky territory where it becomes hard to differentiate between original human creativity and machine-generated content. This obscurity not only blurs the lines of originality but also raises concerns about how artists are credited and compensated for their work.
Additionally, AI art generators—like many AI tools—can sometimes produce biased outputs, especially if they’ve been trained on compromised or unbalanced data. Biases mean that users have to be extra cautious and discerning when reviewing and using outputs from AI-powered art generators.
Given these considerations, it’s crucial to understand the implications fully and navigate the use of AI in the art domain responsibly.
Explore the potential of AI-generated digital art
AI image generation tools are helpful in producing images of different styles, variations, and aspect ratios. By harnessing the power of machine learning models and natural language processing, AI image generators can process human inputs and generate high-quality outputs.
When working with AI image generators, consider teaming up with AI experts to help you integrate AI into your workflow. Upwork can connect you to AI artists to help you produce more creative outputs.
And if you’re an AI professional looking for work, start your search on Upwork. With AI art projects being posted regularly, you can find a job that matches your skills and earn extra income.
Upwork is an OpenAI partner, giving OpenAI customers and other businesses direct access to trusted expert independent professionals experienced in working with OpenAI technologies.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation. Prices are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.
Prices are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.
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