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The 5 best AI image generators of 2024
Maryam Oseni
Maryam OseniMarch 14, 2024
The 5 best AI image generators of 2024

If you have been anywhere on the internet lately, you have seen AI images pop up somewhere. The hyper-realistic portraits, the extra surreal landscapes, and sometimes the multiple fingers and toes are usually the obvious giveaway. However, AI-generated images are being blended more and more in mainstream media thanks to the tools on this list.

If you are a content creator, a solopreneur, or just curious, get into this article to see how AI generates images and the best AI image generators at your disposal.

Best AI image generators

  1. DALL-E: Pioneer in AI image generation

  2. Midjourney: best AI image generator for highly detailed visuals

  3. Photoroom: best AI image generator for instant product photography

  4. Adobe Firefly: best AI image generator for creatives and artists

  5. DreamStudio: best AI image generator for controlled creativity

What are AI image generators? 

AI image generators are innovative tools that use artificial intelligence to create images from textual descriptions, otherwise known as prompts, or to modify existing images in ways that were previously unimaginable.

An AI image generator can turn a simple sentence like "a cat sitting on a cloud in the sunset" into a detailed, vibrant image that matches the description. This process involves understanding the elements of the prompt (such as "cat," "cloud," and "sunset"), how they relate to each other spatially and contextually, and then generating an image that combines these elements in a visually coherent manner.

These tools offer a level of creativity and efficiency that can significantly enhance the workflow of graphic designers, content creators, and artists, allowing them to bring their visions to life with unprecedented speed and flexibility.

How do AI image generators work?

If you can describe the image you want, AI can probably create it. An AI image generator typically allows users to input text descriptions, choose styles, or even upload base images for modification. The AI then uses this input as a guide to generate art.

An AI image generator is powered by networks that help it learn from the internet. It’s like it’s been binge-watching the entire internet's collection of pictures, from cats wearing hats to sunsets over mountains. The robot studies the images to understand different patterns, textures, colors, and shapes. This is important because it's where the robot gets its imagination from.

AI image generators are only as good as the prompts they get, so we have created a guide on how to write great AI prompts with 50 prompts you can easily edit to start creating. You can experiment with different prompts to see what kinds of unique images the AI can create. The more prompts they work with, the better they become at understanding and creating what you ask for. 

Best AI image generators

We've handpicked the five best AI image-generating software from the numerous options available on the market, for their standout features and capabilities.

DALL-E: Pioneer in AI image generation 

We can’t possibly talk about AI image generators without mentioning the foundation on which they are built. DALL-E is a revolutionary AI image generator developed by OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT), which made headlines for its capability of generating unique images from textual descriptions.

It’s important to note that while DALL-E is a product of OpenAI, it’s not currently openly available to the public. Gaining access to DALL-E is often done by developers and research institutions as OpenAI has not yet launched it for individual or commercial use. However, you can access it indirectly via a ChatGPT account.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence program developed by OpenAI, the same company that created DALL-E. The subscription comes at a price of $20/month, providing access to both the text-generation tools of ChatGPT and the image-generation capabilities of DALL-E.

Once you are subscribed, you can use DALL-E by providing it with prompts—the text descriptions that guide the AI to create an image. These prompts can be as simple or as complex as needed, and DALL-E will generate an image based on that description.

Key features

  • Highly creative outputs: DALL-E excels at creating original, creative, and sometimes surrealistic image outputs that challenge and delight the viewer.

  • Text-to-image creation: Like other AI image generators, DALL-E accepts text prompts, turning them into unique pictures. However, it stands out for the high fidelity and artistry it brings to its outputs.

  • Prompt variations: Sometimes, DALL-E allows you to generate various interpretations of the same prompt and choose the one you want.

  • Unlimited re-generative capabilities: You can send as many prompts as possible to tweak the generated images by adding, removing, or altering elements, thereby offering a high level of image customization.

Best use cases

DALL-E is an excellent choice for generating creative images for use in digital content, art projects, concept visualizations, and games. Because of its ability to generate high-quality and imaginative visuals from text, it can be a critical tool for artists, designers, marketers, and creatives.

Pricing

The premium plan for ChatGPT (where you can access DALL-E) is $20/month

Midjourney: best AI image generator for highly detailed visuals

These are examples of Midjourney's AI art as seen on their showcase page: midjourney.com/showcase 

Midjourney is an AI text-to-image generator that has captured the hearts of creatives with its unique ability to transform text prompts into dreamy, surreal, and hyper-realistic images. This platform operates similarly to DALL-E, as they both use text-to-image generation technologies. However, Midjourney distinguishes itself with the vibrancy and aesthetic appeal of its outputs.

Midjourney's algorithms excel in color theory and application, resulting in images bursting with rich, well-balanced hues that make the artworks visually striking and more expressive. Not only are the images vibrantly colored, but they also exhibit a pleasing aesthetic, captivating their viewers' attention. 

This aesthetic quality can be largely attributed to the tool's ability to impeccably understand and apply sophisticated artistic principles, such as composition, shape arrangement, and shading, among others.

Midjourney is currently accessible only via their Discord server (no standalone mobile app or web app). This can be a good thing if you already know your way around Discord, or a relatively bad thing if otherwise. The quality of the images you get seems to be worth the hassle as there are many Midjourney users every day.

To start using Midjourney, you have to subscribe to a payment plan after signing in to Discord. There are no free trials available but the cheapest plan of $10/month gives you about 3.3 hours of generating time, allowing you to create between 50 to 200 images (depending on your speed or the server). After subscribing, you can start submitting your image requests to the Midjourney bot using “/imagine” in front of your prompt.

Key features

  • Text-to-image creation: Midjourney accepts text prompts and turns them into new images. This can include anything from landscapes and portraits to abstract concepts and specific scenes.

  • Customization and detail: Users can specify details in their prompts, allowing for a high degree of customization in the generated images. The more detailed the prompt, the more tailored the output.

  • Active community: Midjourney has cultivated one of the most engaged communities of users who share their creations, tips, and prompts. The #General and #newbie channels in their Discord server are great landing pads for new users.

Best use cases

Midjourney is best for conceptual art and not that great for product photography. If you want to use it as a solopreneur or content creator, it’s great at creating branding materials like logos and artwork for storyboards due to its high image quality.

Pricing

Midjourney used to be freely available, but not anymore. There is a $10/month subscription fee before you can generate any image.

Photoroom: best AI image generator for instant product photography

Photoroom is a dynamic AI image generator designed to transform how solopreneurs handle product photography. It enables you to create professional-looking images in mere minutes, without needing a studio setup or advanced photography skills. 

With Photoroom, you can effortlessly enhance your product photos, making them ready for e-commerce platforms, social media, or your website. It provides a range of editing options, from basic adjustments like removing backgrounds, to more complex edits, such as adding shadows or reflections to give images a more polished look.

Unlike Midjourney and DALL-E, Photoroom is not primarily a text-to-image generator and is not heavily reliant on prompts. There is always a fresh library of AI images and backgrounds grouped in categories. But, with the AI Background feature, you can use prompts to generate new, specific backgrounds.

Photoroom is also in the process of rolling out its full AI text-to-image generator, which will be available to all customers this summer.

Its intuitive design ensures that even those new to photo editing can achieve outstanding results quickly. Photoroom is accessible via a mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play Store. There is also a web app at app.photoroom.com.

Key features

  • Background Remover & AI Backgrounds: Photoroom uses AI to neatly remove the background from your photo in one single sweep and replace it with an existing background or a background from your prompt.

  • AI Shadows: This feature enables you to add natural-looking shadows to your product photos, enhancing their aesthetic appeal and making the objects appear grounded in their surroundings.

  • Image Resize: You can automatically resize an image to fit many pre-existing dimensions. This is especially helpful if you are in e-commerce and want to host your products on several marketplaces like Etsy, Shopify, Poshmark, etc.

  • Retouch: You can use Photoroom’s AI to clean up your images and remove any unwanted objects from your photos without messing up your picture. 

  • Batch Mode: This feature allows you to edit and make changes to multiple images at the same time.

  • Negative prompt: With this feature, you can provide instructions to the generator on the things you don’t want in your image.

Best use cases 

Photoroom is best for creating social media content, marketing materials, e-commerce product listings, and other forms of retail marketing.

Pricing

Photoroom has a free plan that gives you access to the Background Removal tool and the Retouch tool. The Pro plan is 9.99 euros/month or a 69.99 euros annual payment. 

Adobe Firefly: best AI image generator for creatives and artists

Adobe Firefly is a web app with a suite of generative AI tools developed by Adobe Creative Cloud. Firefly’s features are seamlessly integrated within Adobe's existing suite of products, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Express.

Adobe Firefly claims to be very intentional about being ethical by training its generator on copyright-free images and stock photos. Also, when downloading or sharing content generated with Adobe Firefly, there is a message box to notify you that "Content Credentials" will be applied to let people know it was generated with AI.

Adobe Firefly uses a credit system and you spend credits for every generation and alteration. The free plan gives you 25 monthly credits while the premium plan gives you 100 credits. If you want more credits than that, you will be buying the Creative Cloud suite which is only cost-effective if you plan to use other Adobe products. 

Key Features

  • Text to Image: This feature allows you to input your prompts in a search bar-like function to instantly generate images. There are lots of customization options to adjust the output’s style.

  • Generative Fill: This feature allows you to remove unwanted objects from an image and paint in new objects using prompts.

  • Text Effects: This feature helps you add different textures and styles to your text images using prompts

  • Generative Recolor: Firefly allows users to quickly create color variations of vector materials. This can be useful for quickly experimenting with different color palettes for your design work.

Best use cases 

It is best for artists, photographers, and other visualizers who want to quickly create social media content and other marketing materials from their art. However, compared to instant AI photo editors like Photoroom, Firefly’s outputs are of lower quality. The created images are mostly wobbly and require a lot of alterations to achieve a level of professionalism. 

Pricing

Adobe Firefly has a free plan that gives you 25 monthly generative credits but the images you generate will be watermarked. After your credits expire, you have to join a paid plan or wait until they reset. The premium plan is $4.99/month and gives you 100 monthly generative credits. Once you run out of credits, you can generate images twice a day until your credits reset. 

DreamStudio: best AI image generator for controlled creativity

DreamStudio by Stable Diffusion is a web-based platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to create visuals from your text prompts. Its appeal lies within its simplicity and straightforward functionality, making it a suitable option for those who prefer a less complicated process compared to other web-only AI image generators available on the market. 

As seen in the image above, all you have to do is enter your prompt, select a style, and the number of images you want, and the AI will create the images for you. You can also upload an image to create variations of it.

It also uses credits like Adobe Firefly, however, the credits do not renew monthly like Firefly and do not expire either. Also, in DreamStudio, you spend more credits if you choose a higher image resolution. The more complicated your customization, the more the cost.

Key features

  • Negative prompt: After putting your descriptive text in the prompt section, you can also describe the things you don’t want the AI to include in the generated images.

  • Upscale: After generating images, you can upscale the one you like the most to a higher resolution.

  • Image count: You can generate up to ten images at once with a single prompt.

  • Simple customization options: All the image customization options are easily accessible and adjustable. 

Pricing

As a new user, you will receive 200 generating credits when you sign up. Afterwards, it’s a pay-as-you-go system where you only top up credits as you need them. The average cost is approximately $1.18 per 100 credits.

What to look out for when choosing an AI image generator

When choosing an AI image generator, it's important to consider several factors to ensure that the tool meets your needs, whether you're an artist, designer, e-commerce business owner, content creator, or just someone looking to experiment with AI-generated images. Here are key things to look out for:

  • Image quality: Look for generators that produce high-resolution images with clear, detailed visuals to ensure you get professional pictures.

  • Customization options: Some generators will only provide selection fields while some offer more control over the image generation process, letting you guide the AI more specifically to achieve desired results.

  • Cost: AI image generators can range from free to subscription-based or pay-per-image. A good tip is to look for tools that offer free trials or a set number of free images, allowing you to test the generator before committing financially.

  • User interface: A user-friendly interface makes it easier to work with the tool to create images. Also, consider whether the tool supports different languages or regions.

  • Safety filter: It ensures that the generated images are free from inappropriate or offensive content, safeguarding your brand image and maintaining the professional integrity of your content. All the generators in this list have a safety filter of some type to help protect your brand integrity. 

How to use AI-generated art 

AI art is really helpful to enhance branding, marketing, and visual content without the need for extensive resources. Here’s how to effectively use an AI image generator to boost your small business:

  • Brand identity: AI images can help to create a consistent brand identity that resonates with your target audience. You can use these tools to design eye-catching logos, create unique color schemes and visual elements, or even generate personalized imagery that aligns with your brand message. 

  • Creating marketing content: With AI image generators, you can create compelling visuals for your marketing campaigns without needing advanced graphic design skills. From social media posts to digital ads and blog images, these tools allow you to quickly create visuals that grab attention and convey your message effectively. 

  • Product visualization: If you're selling a product, providing clear, high-quality images is crucial for attracting potential customers. AI tools can help with this by creating realistic renderings or 3D models of your products. This way, even if you don't have the physical product at hand or lack the resources for a professional photoshoot, you can create compelling product images. 

  • Unique customer experience: AI image generators can help with personalizing your content. For instance, you can create custom images tailored to individual customers or audience segments, providing a unique, engaging experience. 

Best practices for using AI-generated art ethically

As AI technology becomes more integrated into creative workflows, it's essential to consider the ethical implications of using AI art generators. Here are some tips to help you ensure you are using AI-generated art ethically:

  • Know where your AI tool gets its training data. Some AI models may be trained on copyrighted images. Ensure the tool you use respects copyright laws and uses data ethically.

  • Support diversity and inclusion. Ensure the AI has been trained on diverse datasets to avoid biases OR Aim to use tools that are transparent about their efforts to mitigate bias.

  • Use for appropriate purposes. Avoid using AI to create deceptive or misleading images, such as fake news or impersonating real individuals without consent.

  • Seek consent when necessary. If you're creating images that resemble real people, particularly in identifiable ways, it's crucial to obtain consent from those individuals, especially for commercial use or public distribution.

  • Be transparent when publishing AI art especially if you used a reference when generating images.

Embrace AI image generators for easier content creation

Using an AI image generator has a lot of benefits, particularly for content creators and small businesses. You can create custom images that are tailored to your brand without breaking the bank. And because the process is automated, you won't have to invest as much time or money into the process.

With tools like Photoroom, you can bring your unique brand vision to life without stretching your budget or investing copious amounts of time. Its seamless automation equips you with custom images for ads, social media posts, or any marketing materials you need, engaging your target audience more effectively. Download the mobile app to get started.

FAQs

Can AI image generators produce professional-grade images?

Yes, many AI image generators are capable of producing professional-grade images suitable for use in marketing materials, digital content, and more, depending on the quality of the tool and the specificity of the prompts given.

Are there free AI image generators available?

Yes, some AI image generators offer free versions or trials. However, the features and quality may be limited compared to the premium or subscription-based versions.

Can I use AI image generators without any design skills?

Yes, AI image generators are designed to be user-friendly and usually do not require extensive design skills. Some may require getting used to, but generally, they do not require you to have previous design experience.

Maryam Oseni
Maryam OseniI am a content marketer and I love painting. At Photoroom, I write about multiple ways to make your product photography better with AI.

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