The Best AI Image Generator Tools in 2023

July 24, 2023
An image of a person walking through a digital landscape with glowing pathways and data streams, symbolizing the journey of exploring the vast realm of technological advancements.

AI image generation tools have exploded in popularity recently, empowering anyone to create stunning visuals with just a text prompt. But with so many options now available, how do you know which one is right for your needs?

In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 AI image generators making waves in 2023. Whether you’re an artist, marketer, or just exploring this emerging technology, understanding the capabilities of each platform is key to choosing the best fit. Read on to learn the pros and cons of today’s leading AI art tools.

Midjourney Logo

For consistently stunning AI art, Midjourney reigns supreme. The images it generates simply look more polished, coherent, and visually pleasing than competitors. Textures, colors, and lighting all seem more natural and realistic. Even tricky elements like hands come out impressively lifelike. It’s no wonder Midjourney creations have won art contests.

The big catch is that Midjourney is only accessible through Discord. You have to join their server or add the bot to yours, then type prompts in a chat. The bot generates four variations to download and customize. This community aspect is cool, but all images are public by default – which could be an issue for commercial use.

Despite the odd Discord-only access, Midjourney excels in ease of use and output quality. The helpful docs guide you through advanced techniques like blending images and controlling parameters. With practice, you can create imagery that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with AI.

While free trials are currently suspended, paid plans start at a reasonable $10/month. If breathtaking, photorealistic AI art is your goal, Midjourney should be your tool of choice – once you get past the Discord hurdle. For many, the results are well worth the tradeoff.

Midjourney pricing: The Basic monthly subscription plan allows around 200 images per month for $10 with commercial rights. More credits can be purchased.

DALL·E 2 Logo

As the first widely available AI image generator, DALL-E 2 made a huge splash. While not necessarily the most advanced tool today, it remains insanely easy to use and relatively affordable.

The magic of DALL-E 2 is its sheer simplicity. Just type a prompt, click Generate, and in seconds you get four AI-created variations. At around $0.13 per image, it’s very reasonably priced for individuals and teams wanting to experiment.

Though straightforward, DALL-E 2 does have some cool advanced features. The image editor lets you expand a generated scene through out-painting. The eraser enables in-painting to remove and replace parts of an image.

So while more basic than newer solutions, DALL-E 2’s blend of dead-simple use, versatility, and fair pricing make it still worth considering. Sometimes going back to basics is best. DALL-E 2 remains an ideal entry point for anyone looking to easily dip their toes into AI art on a budget.

DALL·E 2 pricing: For individual users, 115 image credits can be purchased for $15 to generate AI art. API pricing for larger business usage starts at $0.016 per image generated.

Stable Diffusion Logo

DreamStudio stands out for providing free credits plus incredible customization at an affordable price. Built on the open-source Stable Diffusion model, it provides incredible customization at an affordable price.

With DreamStudio, you get granular control over image size, fidelity to prompts, algorithm versions, and more. The advanced settings enable fine-tuning the diffusion process to achieve your desired aesthetic. There’s even in-painting and out-painting for editing images, though the tools could be more intuitive.

The free 25 credits let you play around before committing. Paid plans start at only $10 for 1,000 images – very reasonable for a powerful commercial platform. If you burn through credits too fast, ClipDrop offers free Stable Diffusion generation with watermarks.

For creators who want to dive deep into AI art and have maximum flexibility, DreamStudio is a top choice. The open-source Stable Diffusion foundation means unlimited potential for customization. While not the simplest tool, DreamStudio gives you the most control over optimizing your generated images.

DreamStudio pricing: Users get 25 free credits to start. After that, 1,000 credits can be purchased for $10 and up.

Leonardo.ai Logo

Leonardo.ai is a generative AI platform designed for creating captivating images and game assets, with a particular focus on accessibility. The platform offers free usage with limited daily tokens, encouraging users to explore their artistic capabilities without financial barriers. 

This powerful platform requires little guidance to create stunning visuals, making it a great tool to spark artistic inspiration. With just a few tweaks to prompts, users can effortlessly create a series of matching assets in a consistent style, maintaining a cohesive visual aesthetic across games or projects. 

Leonardo.ai offers fine-tuned models as foundations, ready to create a diverse range of art assets for production. Artists have access to various tools for fine-tuning and enhancing their creations, including options to unzoom images, remove backgrounds, or upscale resolutions, ensuring the artwork meets specific requirements with ease.

Additionally, users can opt for different plans, with the Apprentice Plan starting at $12/month, allowing up to 8,500 images per month. By customizing image generation costs based on quality and quantity, Leonardo AI provides a flexible and affordable solution for digital artists.

Adobe Firefly Logo

Adobe entered the AI art space this year with Firefly – currently in beta. The text-to-image generator is accessible via the web, Adobe Express, and most impressively, Photoshop. As a Creative Cloud subscriber, trying Firefly in Photoshop showcases its potential.

On its own, Firefly’s image generation can be hit or miss depending on the prompt. But its true power lies in integrating with Photoshop as a tool called Generative Fill. It lets you select an area of an existing image and replace it with an AI-generated element tailored to the context. The results blend in incredibly naturally.

While DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion sparked the AI art revolution, Firefly hints at the practical future. It’s not just a novelty, but a creative tool built into the essential software used by millions of professionals. The applications are limitless.

Of course, Firefly is still in beta, so commercial use of its imagery is prohibited for now. But the seamless integration with Photoshop underscores the vast potential of AI to enhance workflows rather than replace them. Adobe is thinking ahead.

Firefly pricing: The online beta is currently free to try out. For Adobe Photoshop integration, Firefly is included in Photoshop plans starting at $19.99 per month via the Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

The Future of AI Art is Yours to Shape

While today’s leading AI art platforms already enable unprecedented imagination, the technology remains early in its development. But with each new innovation to generative models and methods, we move closer to multifaceted creative tools.

Soon these generators may adapt their style and content not just based on text prompts, but also according to verbal description, visual references, demonstrations and more. Rather than just passive generators, they could become active creative partners in an intuitive back-and-forth artistic process.

By starting to experiment now, you position yourself on the cutting edge as AI art evolves from novelty to creative necessity. The democratization of these once unimaginable inventions means the future of generative art is yours to explore and shape. What will you create?

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