You don’t have to pick up a paintbrush to create a museum-worthy painting. Thanks to an AI tool called DALL-E, all you have to do is type in the picture you want to make. Now that it’s finally available to the public, we’ll explain how to use DALL-E to generate AI art for free.
This versatile tool is excellent for novice artists and experts alike. For example, it can help you develop ideas for paintings — and you can then tweak the images you generate, so they look perfect. Instead of picking up a stylus or paintbrush, all you have to do is type a few words.
Before we dive in, you should know that DALL-E is just one of many free online tools for artists. You can also get 325 free art books from the Getty Museum’s library. Here’s how to create digital art with no more than a few words.
This tool just became public
DALL-E comes from a Silicon startup known as OpenAI. This company first released the beta to an exclusive group of artists, journalists and other experts. Previously, professionals had to sign up for a waitlist before using this tool.
That all changed recently when OpenAI announced that DALL-E was going public. You can generate images from a description and edit them if they don’t match what you had in mind. With DALL-E, you can even make different variations of the same illustration.
On the front page, you’ll see sample images designed to inspire creativity. Under these images are the terms that created them, like “an armchair in the shape of an avocado” or “a van Gogh style painting of an American football player.”
Ready to get started? You can begin by signing up for an account here.
Maybe you want more information before channeling your inner artist. In that case, here’s how it works and what we got when we took it for a spin.
How to generate AI art for free
To begin, you must input your email, full name and phone number. You can’t use a landline or a backup number you got from an app like TextNow. If you didn’t know, you can use these four apps to save on your monthly phone bill.
Once you sign up, you can start generating. It’s easy to use. Just think of an image you’d like to see and type it into the search bar. Then, click Generate.
The sky is the limit. You can type anything you’re interested in: landscapes, buildings, animals, people and more. Then, DALL-E will do its best to create that image.
You can also upload photos yourself, then tweak them with DALL-E’s many features. Just make sure you aren’t using public figures. Also, you shouldn’t upload pictures of people without their permission.
What we got when we tried to generate AI art for free
The key to using this program is to be descriptive. To make the image look as similar to your vision as possible, describe the image’s context. For example, I wanted a colorful painting of a robotic news anchor.
But I didn’t want it to be realistic. I wanted it to look like something you’d see in a modern art museum. So I added the word “Impressionist” so I would get rough brush strokes and bright, bold colors.
As you can see below, the term “An Impressionist oil painting of a robot news anchor” created four vivid images:
If I wanted to, I could click on any of these images, which would give me the option to tweak them. For example, when I click on the second image, I get a few new options: Edit, Variations and Share.
Let’s say I don’t want to edit it, but I like that image and want more like it. When I select Variations, I generate four similar images:
But robots aren’t the only pictures you can create with this tool. Here at the Komando HQ, we all have a lot of love for Abby, Kim’s golden retriever. Here are Kim’s top three secrets for keeping her dog happy and healthy.
I thought, “What if Abby took after her mother?” So I typed this phrase into DALL-E: “A news reporting golden retriever sharing the news in a high-tech news desk, digital art.”
Here’s what I got:
Adorable, right? Personally, this one is my favorite. It makes her look like an intrepid reporter:
Of course, there’s always a catch
Although you can create an account for free, you must abide by OpenAI’s built-in credit system. Here’s how it works:
- When you sign up, you get 50 free credits.
- You use credits to generate images and edit or make variations on images. Each request equals one credit.
- After your first month, you’ll get 15 free credits. These free credits don’t accumulate. They expire a month after you get them.
Although you can buy credits, you should use them quickly. They’ll expire a year after your purchase. But you can still create a ton of artwork for free.