Master LLMs with our FREE course in collaboration with Activeloop & Intel Disruptor Initiative. Join now!


Top 11 AI-Powered Image Generators in 2024
Artificial Intelligence   Latest   Machine Learning

Top 11 AI-Powered Image Generators in 2024

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Towards AI Editorial Team

Originally published on Towards AI.

AI image generators are a game-changing solution that can generate unique visuals from text prompts. AI art generators offer a time-saving, cost-effective solution for businesses. It can help professionals and organizations enhance their design portfolio, elevate social media content, or make presentations more engaging. It can also leveraged to create logos, icons, promotional materials, design user interfaces, and even generate 3D models and animations. And even if you have no immediate professional use, the sheer fun factor makes it worth exploring.

The landscape of AI art is evolving rapidly. There may be even more exciting additions by the time you read this. Here’s an overview of the prominent AI art tools currently available:

How AI Image Generators Work

A sophisticated algorithm trained on a massive dataset of images and text descriptions allows the AI to understand the relationships between words and visuals. When a user feeds a text prompt, the AI processes it, identifies relevant visual concepts, and assembles them into a unique image based on its learned patterns. It’s like having a digital artist who interprets your words and paints accordingly.

Why Use an AI Image Generator?

There are several reasons to choose an AI image generator:

  • Speed and Ease: It is more efficient than traditional methods. It reduces the time and effort required in creating art.
  • Exploration and Inspiration: It is a great way to quickly experiment with different styles and ideas and overcome creative blocks.
  • Accessibility: Everyone, regardless of their artistic skills, can use image generators to create unique artwork.
  • Customization: Many tools offer options to refine prompts and customize the color, size, and style to adjust results.

How to Get the Best Images

  • Craft Clear and Concise Prompts: Be specific about what you want. Focus on key elements and avoid ambiguity.
  • Experiment with Different Styles: Explore available style options for your preferred aesthetic.
  • Refine and Iterate Prompts: Use the initial output as a guide to adjust your wording and achieve better outcomes.
  • Use Advanced Features: Use options like composition control or color adjustments for further fine-tuning.

AI Image Gen Showdown: Top Tools for Your Needs

Top AI Image Generation Tools: Comparison Chart

1. DALL·E 3


DALL-E 3, the AI ​​artistic prodigy, can generate hyper-realistic visions, from a cat astronaut exploring coral reefs to a Van Gogh-style portrait. It understands detailed instructions, allowing space for imagination. However, it sometimes refuses to imitate living artists or generate harmful content. This responsible tool is still learning, but its potential is only growing. DALL-E 3 has expanded the possibilities for visualizing scientific discoveries or creating personalized picture books.

Best For:

  • Artists & Designers: With DALL-E, artists and designers can find inspiration, explore new styles, and generate unique concept art, illustrations, and mockups.
  • Educators & Students: It allows for experimentation in domains like education. Teachers can bring lessons to life with captivating visuals, enhance engagement, and foster creative thinking.
  • Marketers & Advertisers: Marketers and advertisers can leverage DALL-E to craft impactful visuals for campaigns, presentations, and social media content, saving time and resources.


1. Chatgpt Integration: The ChatGPT integration makes DALL-E more accessible.

2. Creativity: It expands creative possibilities with unique, diverse images based on your text prompts.

3. Professional Quality: It meets the requirements of professional projects in terms of resolution, details, and customization.

4. Intuitive Interface: Its user-friendly interface makes it seamless to access, regardless of your technical expertise.

5. Improves Efficiency: It saves time and energy compared to manual illustration, allowing artists to focus on other aspects of their creative process.


1. Cost for Frequent Users: While cost-effective for occasional needs, heavy usage might require higher credit purchases.

2. Learning Curve: Mastering the art of crafting effective prompts takes practice.

3. User-Driven Output: The quality of your results depends on the user’s ability to articulate their vision clearly.


  1. ChatGPT Plus Subscription: You can access DALL·E 3 as part of the ChatGPT Plus subscription, which costs $20 monthly. This subscription provides additional benefits and access to DALL·E without any watermarks on your images.
  2. Free Access via Microsoft Tools: Alternatively, DALL·E 3 is also available for free through various Microsoft tools (Co-Pilot). However, some of these tools may add watermarks to your images.

Prompt Examples:

Let’s test DALL-E’s abilities by prompting it to create a creative logo:

Prompt: “Create a letterform logo for ‘Towards AI’ emphasizing ‘I’ and ‘T’, representing the brand’s expertise in providing cutting-edge tech solutions.

Here are four more Prompts for creating a Towards AI logo using DALL-E:

  1. Letter T logo, letter mark, script typeface, vector simple, by Steff Geissbuhler — no shading detail, realistic color blue.
  2. Create a letterform logo for ‘Towards AI’ focusing on ‘T’ and ‘A,’ incorporating architectural elements to represent the company’s high-level design expertise.
  3. Create a mascot logo for a children’s educational app called ‘Towards AI,’ featuring a friendly dinosaur reading a book to capture the fun and engaging learning experience the app provides.
  4. Letter T logo, a letter mark, typography, vector simple, by Alan Fletcher — no shading detail, photorealistic colors.

2. Midjourney (V6)

Mid journey

MidJourney’s recent release of Midjourney V6 offers remarkable prompt comprehension to weave even intricate and lengthy descriptions into stunning visual narratives. V6’s robust upscalers bring out the tiniest nuances, showcasing wildflowers in an alpine meadow or snow-capped peaks with incredible clarity. It also takes a step further with text generation, transforming words into vivid scenes. Additionally, their Discord server has a massive community of over 18,867,474 members.

Best For:

  • Artists: Explore new styles, generate concept art, and refine your vision.
  • Designers: Create unique visuals for branding, marketing, and product development.
  • Writers & Storytellers: Bring your narratives to life with stunning imagery and visualize key scenes.
  • Hobbyists & Experimenters: Play with the vast potential of AI-generated visuals and discover hidden creative avenues.


  • Unbound Imagination: Generates diverse images from detailed text descriptions, pushing the boundaries of your creativity.
  • Professional Quality: Delivers high-resolution images in various styles, suitable for professional projects and presentations.
  • Intuitive Interface: Accessible to users with varying technical backgrounds.
  • Iterative Refinement: Allows refining results by generating variations and applying edits to achieve the desired image step-by-step.
  • Vibrant Community: Hosts a community to connect with fellow creators, share prompts, and learn.


  • Learning Curve: Mastering prompt crafting takes practice and requires experimentation and fine-tuning.
  • Potential Bias: As with any AI-powered tool, be mindful of possible biases in generated images and strive for inclusivity.
  • Limited Control: While powerful, Midjourney provides limited control over the generated output.

Midjourney Pricing:

  • Basic: $10/month U+007C Solo work U+007C 3.3 fast GPU hours
  • Standard: $30/month U+007C Unlimited relaxed GPU U+007C 15 fast hours
  • Pro: $60/month U+007C Stealth mode U+007C Max concurrent jobs U+007C 30 fast hours
  • Mega: $120/month U+007C All Pro + extra relaxed jobs U+007C 60 fast hours
MidJourney Subscription Plans

Prompt Example:

Prompt: a cute woman’s head, with freckles, short bobbed haircut, black hair, 3/4 view of face, slightly upturned face, subtle smile, pastel tones, art nouveau style, art nouveau frame around her, the frame is in purple pastel tones** — Upscaled (2x)

Here are four more Prompts for creating realistic images using MidJourney:

1. photograph: A young Japanese man in casual clothes sits on a chair next to a dimly lit indoor pool. Holding a long stick side view.

2. A teacher sits in front of a desk and tries to prepare a test — v 5.2.

3. an attractive woman in her 30s, 1950s style, standing in a park, smoking, textured skin, Canon T-90, Ilford XP2 super 400, with grain for a film-like look.

4. photo of a blonde boy with blue glasses wearing a Messi jersey.

3. Dream Studio (Stable Diffusion)

DreamStudio is a web-based application created by Stability AI that enables users to generate AI images using their flagship product, Stable Diffusion. Known for its user-friendly interface, DreamStudio allows anyone to transform text input into visually striking images with just a few clicks. DreamStudio also offers exclusive Stable Diffusion models, allowing you to create captivating images from scratch.

  1. Text-to-Image: Input your ideas, descriptions, or prompts, and watch them appear as stunning visuals.
  2. Image-to-Image: Transform existing images into new variations, remixes, or entirely different scenes.
  3. Variations and Styles: Experiment with artistic styles, moods, and aesthetics.
  4. DS Edit: Fine-tune your creations, adjusting details to perfection.

Who it’s for:

Dream Studio’s open-source, accessible nature attracts a wide range of creators:

  • Artists & Designers: To generate unique art pieces, explore new styles, and create concept art or illustrations.
  • Entrepreneurs & Businesses: To design logos, marketing materials, or product mockups.
  • Content Creators: To craft posts for social media, blogs, or even YouTube thumbnails.
  • Educators & Students: To engage students with visually stimulating presentations or create educational resources.
  • Hobbyists & Experimenters: To explore the artistic potential of AI, have fun, and discover hidden creativity.


  • Open-Source & Accessible: Experiment freely without significant barriers, fostering community collaboration and learning.
  • Highly Customizable: Various settings to fine-tune image generation, achieving your desired style and detail level.
  • Fast & Efficient: Generate images quickly, saving time and boosting creative workflow.
  • Constantly Evolving: Benefit from regular updates and improvements to the underlying AI model.
  • Large & Active Community: Find inspiration, share prompts, and learn from other users.


  • Learning Curve: Crafting effective prompts requires practice and understanding of technical aspects.
  • Potential Bias: Be mindful of possible biases in generated images and actively curate your prompts for inclusivity.
  • Limited Editing: While edits are possible, post-generation refinement options might be more limited than some tools.


  • Free Tier: Allows a limited number of daily credits, perfect for casual exploration and testing.
  • Paid Tiers: Various subscription plans with increasing credit allowances and features, catering to varying usage needs.
DreamStudio Pricing

Free: Get 200 generations after signing up with Discord.


  • $10 membership:
  • Includes ~1,000 generations.
  • 1 credit per image (default settings).
  • Credits range from 0.2–28.2, depending on settings.
  • No auto-renewal.
  • Doesn’t expire.

API Options:

  • $100–10k generations
  • $500–50k generations
  • $1000–100k generations

Prompt Examples:

Prompt : photoreal, volumetric light, volumetric fog, man at sea on a rube goldberg created boat, moody, in the style of artist ethan murrow — Zoom Out.

Here are four more Prompts examples:

1. Illustrate a dense, ancient forest under a moonless night sky, where shadows seem to move and whisper secrets of the old world.

2. high quality, 8K Ultra HD, scary apocalypse moments with lightning strikes, fires, destroyed cities, and falling meteors.

3. Create an image of a vast, ancient library with shelves that stretch into the darkness, where forbidden books hold cursed knowledge and shadows lurk between the aisles.

4. Capture the eerie silence of an abandoned subway tunnel, where the darkness seems to swallow the dim light from a distant exit.

4. Canva AI

Canva AI

Canva AI is a versatile platform that combines user-friendly interfaces with powerful features. It’s designed to help users create various visual materials, from presentations and graphs to social media posts, logos, and video content. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), the Canva platform is trained on social media data.
It understands slang, sarcasm, emojis, and misspellings, making it a rich communication tool.

Best For:

Canva AI empowers a diverse range of individuals seeking quick and easy visual solutions:

  • Social Media Managers & Marketers: To effortlessly design graphics, ads, and social media posts.
  • Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs: To create professional-looking logos, branding materials, and promotional content.
  • Educators & Students: To enhance presentations, assignments, and classroom materials.
  • Bloggers & Content Creators: To generate unique illustrations, infographics, and thumbnails.
  • Individuals & Casual Users: To design invitations, greeting cards, personalized gifts, and other creative projects.


  • User-Friendly & Intuitive: Easy to use, even for those with limited design experience.
  • Seamless Integration: Works seamlessly within the familiar Canva interface for a smooth workflow.
  • Time-Saving Efficiency: Quickly generates visual content without lengthy design processes.
  • Variety of Features: Offers a wide range of AI-powered tools for diverse needs.
  • Regular Updates & Improvements: New features and enhancements are added regularly.


  • Limited Customization: Customization options for AI-generated elements may be less extensive than dedicated design tools.
  • Potential for Overused Styles: Repetitive use of certain styles might result in generic-looking visuals.
  • Learning Curve for Advanced Features: Mastering more advanced AI features might require some practice.

AI Features:

Canva AI photo editor offers a range of features such as Magic Edit, Magic Eraser, Background Remover, and more. With Magic Edit, you can transform your photos by adding or replacing something in your image. With Magic Eraser, you can remove unwanted distractions from your photos. With Background Remover, you can remove the entire backdrop with just one click.

  • Anime Style: Transform your text descriptions into anime-inspired artwork.
  • PatternedAI: Create seamless patterns using AI.
  • LottieFiles: Customize animations with transparent backgrounds and adjustable colors.
  • Multilingual: Generate voice-overs in multiple languages directly from text.
  • Enhancer: Improve image quality by upscaling up to 1000% with AI.
  • DALL-E: Generate realistic images and art pieces using AI.
  • D-ID AI Presenters: Incorporate AI-generated talking head videos in your designs.
  • Wave Generator: Craft and customize wave graphics for your projects.
  • Shade: Create dynamic color palettes.
  • Equations (Beta): Build and integrate mathematical formulas into your designs.


Canva Pricing

Note: All plans include AI-generated writing and designs.


  • Cost: $0/year
  • For: Individuals
  • Features: Basic editing, 1 million templates, 3 million assets, AI tools, 5GB storage


  • Cost: $119.99/year
  • For: Individuals
  • Includes Free +: Unlimited templates, 100+ million assets, 100 Brand Kits, resize/translate designs, background remover, social scheduling, 1TB storage, 24/7 support


  • Cost: $119.90/year per person (min 2)
  • Includes Pro +: Team collaboration, brand assets, approvals, real-time editing, AI copywriting, team insights, 1TB storage, 24/7 support, admin controls, SSO, security certifications


  • Cost: Custom (min 100 users)
  • For: Large organizations
  • Features: All-in-one solution, advanced features, custom needs

5. Image Creator from Microsoft Designer

Microsoft Designer

Image Creator from Microsoft Designer is a promising tool for generating AI-powered visuals. It’s free, easy to use, and offers a variety of styles. However, it’s still under development, with limitations in control, quality, and potential copyright issues.

Best For:

  • Content creators: To create unique visuals for blogs, social media, or marketing campaigns.
  • Students and hobbyists: For creative expression, trying out different art styles, or generating visual aids for projects.
  • Designers: To find inspiration, brainstorm ideas, or create quick mockups.
  • Anyone curious about AI-generated art: To experiment with a new technology and see what’s possible.


  • Easy to use: Generates images with a simple text prompt.
  • Variety of styles: Offers flexibility to choose different artistic styles, like painting, sketch, or photorealistic.
  • Multiple Generations: Provides several image variations for each prompt, allowing you to choose the best one.
  • Free to Use: No charges to access and use the tool.
  • Integrated with Microsoft Edge: Accessible within the Edge browser.


  • Limited Control: You can’t fine-tune the generation process beyond the initial text prompt and style selection.
  • Uneven Quality: While some images are impressive, others can be blurry, nonsensical, or lack detail.
  • Copyright Issues: The ownership and usage rights of the generated images are still unclear, requiring caution for commercial use.
  • Privacy Concerns: Microsoft collects data on usage patterns, which might raise privacy concerns for some users.
  • Limited Availability: Currently only accessible within the Microsoft Edge browser.


Microsoft Designer offers a free web app with limited features. Premium design tools like stock photos, advanced layouts, and brand kit support are accessible with a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family plan starting at $69.99/year.

Prompt Examples:

Prompt: Envision a majestic dinosaur in a lush Cretaceous period forest, its scales a kaleidoscope of vibrant watercolors blending with the foliage. The scene is a hyperrealistic painting, where the dinosaur’s imposing form is intricately detailed, capturing the play of light and shadow. As a ghostly shaman figure, a spectral velociraptor looms, its presence cosmic and ethereal, with a look and feel akin to Unreal Engine’s hyper-detailing in 12K resolution, surrounded by fluid, iridescent cosmic energies. Nearby, an elephant stands, bathed in a palette of translucent resin waves, its form interplaying with retro filters and realistic lighting, invoking a Lovecraftian aura. The image is framed by symmetrical paper sculptures and illuminated by fluorescent colors, creating a sense of depth and mystery. Finally, imagine a horse in full gallop, its coat a luxurious blend of gold and black, evoking the opulence of baroque artistry, reminiscent of a tarot card’s intricate design, with a backdrop of dark gray and accents of dark bronze and black in a spray-paint style, each detail rendered with meticulous attention.

Here are four more Prompts examples:

1. Visualize a feline spirit guide, ethereal and mystical, designed with high fidelity and fluidity, reminiscent of advanced game engine graphics.

2. A deer painted in white color amidst a forest setting.

3. Picture an elephant immersed in black colors, captured in a style that blends translucent waves, vintage aesthetics, radiant illumination, and fantastical elements with a symmetrical and fluorescent visual effect.

4. Conceive a horse captured mid-stride, embellished with ornate gold and black patterns, echoing the style of a renowned artist, set against a tarot-inspired backdrop with a monochrome palette enhanced by metallic bronze and ink-black spray textures.

6. Adobe Photoshop (Firefly)

Adobe Photoshop (Firefly)

Adobe Photoshop (Firefly) is a promising concept for advanced design workflows and creative exploration. However, its accessibility, cost, and long-term vision remain unclear. Consider your needs, budget, and comfort level with AI-powered tools selecting one.

Best For:

  • Professional Designers and Creatives: Firefly is intended for individuals who already use Photoshop extensively and are comfortable with advanced editing techniques.
  • Artists and Experimenters: Those pushing the boundaries of creative expression and exploring the potential of AI in art creation.
  • Content Creators with Specific Needs: Firefly might offer unique solutions if your workflow involves repetitive edits or generating variations.


  • AI-powered Editing: Automates repetitive tasks, generates variations, and expands creative possibilities.
  • Seamless Integration with Photoshop: Offers a seamless interface for those already familiar with Photoshop.
  • Advanced Features: Potential for powerful tools like object removal, background generation, and content-aware editing.
  • Potential Time-saving: Saves time with automation.
  • Adobe’s Reputation: Benefits from Adobe’s experience in design software.


  • Limited Access: Currently in closed beta, with no public release date announced.
  • Potential Cost Barrier: Integration with Creative Cloud might add to the subscription cost.
  • Learning Curve: Mastering the tool might require additional learning and adaptation.
  • Uncertain Future: Long-term development plans and feature roadmap are unknown.


  • Currently in Closed Beta: Public access and pricing haven’t been announced yet.
  • Integration with Creative Cloud: Firefly will likely be integrated into existing Creative Cloud plans, potentially at an additional cost.
  • Potential Tiered Pricing: Adobe might offer different pricing tiers depending on features and usage limits.
Adobe Firefly pricing

Note: All users, even with the free plan, receive 25 credits/month.

  • Free plan: This plan includes 25 monthly generative credits, which can be used to generate images, text, and code. It also provides access to the Firefly web application and a feature to share your creations with others.
  • Premium plan: This plan costs $4.99 per month and includes 100 monthly generative credits and the ability to download images without watermarks and generate images at a higher resolution.
  • Single Apps: This plan starts at $9.99 monthly and includes access to one Adobe Creative Cloud app and 1000 monthly generative credits.
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: This plan costs $59.99 per month and includes access to all Adobe Creative Cloud apps and 20 generative credits per month.

Prompt Example:

Let’s test Firefly’s ability by prompting it to create futuristic AI machines:

Here are four more Prompts examples:

1. Envision an underwater world where marine life represents various AI tools. Data streams from the water currents, coral reefs are made of circuitry and code, and fish symbolize different functions and features of AI tools. This scene reflects the depth, complexity, and interconnectedness of AI technologies in a visually captivating environment.

2. Imagine a compact, efficient robot designed to tend to urban gardens or small spaces. This machine uses AI to analyze soil health, plant needs, and optimal sunlight exposure and is equipped with tools for planting, watering, and pest control. Its design is friendly and approachable, encouraging people to interact with it and learn more about sustainable gardening practices.

3. Create a concept for a personal health assistant device using AI to monitor vital signs, suggest wellness activities, and provide emergency alerts. It’s wearable, non-intrusive, and aesthetically pleasing, perhaps incorporating elements of jewelry or fashion to integrate into everyday life while prioritizing health and well-being seamlessly.

4. Imagine a machine designed to automate the recycling process for homes or communities. It uses AI to identify, sort, and process recyclable materials, designed with user-friendly interfaces and educational displays to promote recycling habits. The unit is compact, efficient, and designed with sustainable materials, making recycling accessible and engaging for everyone.

7. NightCafe


NightCafe Creator offers a fun and accessible platform for AI art creation. Its free plan and user-friendly interface make it a great starting point for beginners. However, paid plans and potential copyright limitations must be considered for frequent use or professional applications.

Best For:

  • Hobbyists and Creative Rxplorers: To experiment with AI art creation and explore different artistic styles.
  • Social Media Content Creators: To generate unique visuals for profiles and posts.
  • Artists and Designers: To find inspiration and ideas or create quick mockups.
  • Anyone Curious: To try out a user-friendly platform focusing on artistic expression.


  • User-friendly Interface: Provides clear instructions and tutorials, making it easy to use, even for beginners.
  • Various Styles and Options: Offers numerous artistic styles, control composition elements, and generation parameters.
  • Community: Hosts a community to share creations with others, participate in challenges, and get feedback.
  • Regular Updates and New Features: Evolves constantly with new tools and functionalities.
  • Free Plan: Offers a free plan to experiment and try out the tool before committing to a paid plan.


  • Limited Credits on the Free Plan: Can be restrictive for frequent use.
  • Potential for Uneven Quality: Can sometimes produce unpredictable or nonsensical results.
  • Copyright and Usage Rights: Potential limitations, especially for commercial use.
  • No Advanced Editing Tools: Primarily focused on generating images, not editing them.
  • Subscription Costs: For heavy usage, paid plans might become expensive.


  • Free plan: Offers limited credits for generating images and basic features.
  • Paid plans: Start from $9.99/mo, with more credits, higher resolutions, and additional features like priority processing and private collections.
  • One-time purchases: Credits can also be purchased individually without a subscription.
Nightcafe Studio Pricing
  • AI Beginner: $6/month (billed every three months for $14.37) for 150 credits in the first month, then 100 credits/month. Includes 310 SDXL images/month, one free fine-tune/month, access to PRO-only models, use of community fine-tuned models, and no ads.
  • AI Hobbyist: $10/month (billed every three months for $23.97) for 300 credits in the first month, then 200 credits/month. Includes 410 SDXL images/month, one free fine-tune/month, access to PRO-only models, use of community fine-tuned models, and no ads.
  • AI Enthusiast: $20/month (billed every three months for $47.97) for 750 credits in the first month, then 500 credits/month. Includes 710 SDXL images/month, two free fine-tunes/month, access to PRO-only models, use of community fine-tuned models, and no ads.
  • AI Artist: $50/month (billed every three months for $119.97) for 2100 credits in the first month, then 1400 credits/month. Includes 1610 SDXL images/month, three free fine-tunes/month, access to PRO-only models, use of community fine-tuned models, and no ads.

Prompt Example:

Let’s test NightCafe’s ability by prompting it to create space images:

Prompt: Illustrate the life cycle of stars, from nebulous beginnings to supernova explosions or the serene beauty of white dwarfs, as seen through the eyes of AI. This series captures the transformative and awe-inspiring processes of stellar evolution.

Here are four more Prompts examples:

1. Create an artwork that visualizes the fabric of space-time, bending and rippling under the influence of mass and gravity. AI interprets this fundamental concept of the universe, blending physics with art to depict the structure underlying cosmic phenomena.

2. Generate images of life forms that could exist in the vastness of space, imagined by AI. From microscopic organisms thriving on comets to intelligent beings in gas giants, these artworks explore the diversity and possibility of life in the universe.

3. Depict the concept of quantum entanglement through AI art, illustrating the invisible connections and instant communication between particles across space. The artwork explores the abstract and mind-bending realities of quantum physics in visually stunning forms.

4. Visualize the gravitational ballet between black holes and the distortion of time and space around them, as interpreted by AI. This artwork captures the mesmerizing and powerful dance of these cosmic giants, blending science with artistic imagination.

8. Shutterstock AI Image Generator

Shutterstock AI Image Generator

Shutterstock AI Image Generator offers a convenient and ethical way to access AI-generated visuals for commercial use. However, the per-image cost can be a barrier for casual users, and the subscription model might not be ideal for everyone. Consider your budget, needs, and the intended use of the images before deciding if it’s the right solution for you.

Best For:

  • Content Creators: To create images for blogs, social media posts, and marketing campaigns.
  • Businesses and Organizations: To generate visuals for presentations, reports, internal communications, and marketing materials.
  • Designers and Creatives: To brainstorm ideas, find inspiration, or create quick mockups and variations.
  • Anyone seeking ethically sourced AI art: To use images generated with proper compensation for contributing artists.


  • Ethically Sourced Images: Compensates contributing artists and ensures royalty-free usage.
  • Easy to Use: Simple interface with clear instructions for generating images based on text prompts.
  • Variety of Styles and Options: Offers different artistic styles, adjusts details, and generates multiple variations per prompt.
  • Integration with Shutterstock Library: Provides easy access to browse similar images within their vast collection.
  • High-quality Results: Produces high-quality results because of its massive training dataset of high-quality images.


  • Per-image Cost: This can add up quickly for frequent use, especially without a subscription.
  • Limited Control: Less precise control over generated images compared to some other AI art tools.
  • Learning Curve: Mastering effective prompts and refining results takes some practice.
  • High Subscription Cost: While discounted, subscriptions add to the overall cost compared to other free options.
  • Not Ideal for Personal Use: Primarily geared towards commercial and business applications.


Shutterstock AI Image Generator Pricing

Note: Free plan gets 5 daily credits for AI image creation.

  1. Pay-per-download:
  • Each royalty-free download with watermark removed incurs a small fee (around $1-$2 as of Feb 2024).
  • Single image download with standard license: $29
  • 5 image downloads with standard license: $49
  • 25 image downloads with standard license: $229

2. Subscription:

  • Standard subscription: $29 per month for 10 credits (can be used for standard or enhanced licenses)
  • Enhanced subscription: $49 per month for 99 credits (can be used for standard or enhanced licenses)

3. Free Trial:

  • Currently, Shutterstock offers a 5-day free trial with 10 credits to test the AI Image Generator.

If your image requirements are consistent from month to month, selecting a monthly plan can result in significant savings. For example, a plan that includes 10 images for $29 per month comes out to only $2.90 per image, while higher volume plans can cut the cost to as little as $0.48 per image.

If your image needs are less predictable, one-time packs may be a better option. Single-image purchases cost $19, which can be reduced to $9.16 per image when purchased in bulk.

Prompt Example:

Let’s test Shutterstock’s ability by prompting it to create the underwater world:

Prompt: Envision a sea cave with water so clear it mirrors the intricate rock formations and luminous marine algae within. Sunlight streams in through openings in the cave, illuminating an otherworldly underwater scene that invites exploration and wonder.

9. Craiyon


Craiyon is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to explore the world of AI art creation without breaking the bank. It’s free, user-friendly, and offers a variety of options. However, consider the limitations in control, quality, and commercial use before relying on it for professional applications. Whether you’re an artist, designer, or simply curious, Craiyon allows you to explore various styles, themes, and inspirations.

Best For:

  • Hobbyists: To experiment with AI art creation for fun and personal expression.
  • Social Media Users: To generate unique and eye-catching images for profiles and posts.
  • Educators and Students: To explore creative concepts, illustrate ideas, and spark discussions.
  • Anyone curious about AI-generated art: To try out a free and accessible platform.


  • Free and Open-source: Accessible to everyone without any financial barriers.
  • Simple and User-friendly: Straightforward interface with clear instructions for generating images.
  • Variety of Options: Different artistic styles and adjust parameters to get different results.
  • Active Community: Online community to share creations, discuss ideas, and learn from others.
  • Constantly Evolving: Regular updates and new features to enhance the platform’s capabilities.


  • Limited Control: Less precise control over generated images compared to paid options.
  • Uneven Quality: AI art generation can sometimes produce unpredictable or nonsensical results.
  • No Commercial Use: Images are not royalty-free and cannot be used for commercial purposes.
  • Potential Wait Times: During peak usage, image generation might be delayed.
  • Data Privacy Concerns: Be mindful of the platform’s data collection policies and how your prompts are used.


Craiyon Pricing

Free: Available with limited features.

Supporter: $5 per month (billed yearly)

  • 45 seconds for 9 images
  • Remove background in 15 seconds
  • Unlimited images
  • High priority
  • No ads
  • No watermark
  • Your images are private*

Professional: $20 per month (billed yearly)

  • 15 seconds for 9 images
  • Remove background in 5 seconds
  • Unlimited images
  • Highest priority
  • No ads
  • No watermark
  • Your images are private*
  • Early access to new features

Enterprise: Custom pricing

  • Custom models
  • Custom integrations
  • Dedicated support
  • Private servers

Prompt Example:

Let’s test Craiyon’s ability by prompting it to create the life cycle of flowers:

Prompt: Illustrate the changing seasons through the life cycle of flowers, from the first buds of spring to the full blooms of summer, the fading colors of autumn, and the stark beauty of winter. This cycle captures the passage of time and the ephemeral nature of life.

Here are four more Prompts examples:

1. Picture flowers that exist in a fantastical underwater setting, where blooms and aquatic plants merge in a serene, weightless world. The water’s movement adds a fluid, dreamlike quality to the scene, inviting viewers to imagine the impossible.

2. Combine the art of portraiture with floral elements, where flowers intertwine with the features of a face, expressing personality, emotions, and the deep connection between humans and the natural world.

3. Envision an overgrown garden where forgotten and rare flowers have reclaimed their space. The scene is both wild and beautiful, a testament to nature’s resilience and the enduring allure of flowers that bloom away from human eyes.

4. A detailed illustration of a flower’s delicate beauty, with intricate pollen patterns and lifelike petals, rendered in breathtaking detail.

10. Leonardo AI

Leonardo AI

Leonardo AI is a user-friendly platform for content creators. Its fine-tuned AI models offer diverse styles (characters, photography, 3D, etc.), customization options, and commercial use rights, making it suitable for professional applications. However, the free plan is limited, and paid plans can be costly for heavy usage. It is a simple & powerful tool for all skill levels.

Best For:

  • Creative Professionals: For designers, illustrators, concept artists, game developers, marketing professionals, and anyone who needs unique visuals for their work.
  • Hobbyists: Artists and enthusiasts experimenting with AI art creation, exploring new styles, generating ideas and inspiration.
  • Content Creators: For bloggers, social media managers, educators, and anyone seeking visually engaging content for presentations, articles, or social media posts.


  • Easy to Use: Drag-and-drop interface with clear instructions, suitable for beginners and experienced users.
  • Variety of Artistic Styles: Numerous styles, including fantasy, sci-fi, realism, anime, and more.
  • Customization Options: Control composition, elements, colors, and other details to refine your results.
  • Collaboration Features: Share projects, iterate on ideas and work together with teams (paid plans).
  • Commercial Use Rights: Images generated with paid plans have royalty-free licenses for commercial use.


  • Limited Credits: The free plan offers limited credits, which may restrict experimentation and frequent use.
  • Uneven Quality: AI-generated art can sometimes produce unexpected or unsatisfactory results.
  • Subscription Costs: Regular heavy usage can add up for paid plans.
  • Limited Control: Might not offer the same level of control as other professional design software.


Leonardo API Pricing

Apprentice: $12 per month

  • Includes 8,500 tokens per month
  • Suitable for basic image generation and experimentation
  • Allows 5 pending jobs at once
  • Private generations

Pro: $39 per month

  • Includes 33,500 tokens per month
  • Suitable for regular users and small businesses
  • Allows 10 pending jobs at once
  • Additional features like image variations and upscaling

Master: $129 per month

  • Includes 140,000 tokens per month
  • Suitable for heavy users and professional projects
  • Allows 20 pending jobs at once
  • Access to advanced features like custom models and training

Prompt Example:

Let’s test Lenonardo’s ability by prompting it to create a portrait of a woman:

Prompt: Face behind wooly scarf, Petite redhead Woman in snow, Freckles, face Closeup, face Hidden behind Pastell neon Striped wooly scarf, only blushed flirting eyes visiblevery Detailed, awesome Quality, reflecting, luminescent, translucent, Ethereal, Aura, 80s DARK dystopian Blade Runner Flair, very detailed, uhd, masterpiece, White smoke, light beams through smoke.

Here are four more Prompts examples:

1. Picture a serious and commanding man standing on a rain-soaked street, his powerful physique evident even beneath the sleek lines of his suit. Despite the downpour, his demeanor remains composed and resolute, his expression reflecting an unwavering focus and determination. Raindrops cascade down his broad shoulders, tracing the contours of his muscular frame as he stands tall against the elements. His attire, a crisply tailored suit, is drenched from the rain, yet it only serves to accentuate his imposing presence rather than diminish it. As he navigates the wet streets, his movements are deliberate and purposeful, each step taken with precision and confidence. His strong jawline is set in a determined expression, conveying a sense of unwavering resolve even in the face of adversity. Despite the inclement weather, there is an air of authority and command about him, a sense that he is in control of his surroundings and capable of overcoming any obstacle that stands in his way.

2. On a battlefield, a soldier aged 30 with a well-maintained beard takes cover among destroyed tanks, smoke billowing, emphasizing the soldier’s resilience and courage in the face of war.

3. The full-body character of Lapli, the Rain Guardian, conveys a refreshing and purifying aura. His Middle Eastern features are softened by the gentle look in his eyes, which resemble a cloudy sky just before the rain. His face is adorned with streak-like tattoos that glow like raindrops under a streetlight.

4. Selfie photograph of man, age about 60, white beard, short black hair, ((gorgeous symmetrical face)), natural beauty, ultra high realistic, elegant, highly detailed, intricate, sharp focus, depth of field, 85mm, medium shot, (((professionally color graded))), sharp focus, (volumetric fog), half body, grabbing a square paper and displaying the papers.

11. PlaygroundAI


PlaygroundAI is a free-to-use online AI image creator for users to generate visuals based on text prompts. Whether you’re an artist, social media enthusiast, presenter, or designer, PlaygroundAI offers a canvas for all creatives. PlaygroundAI also introduced a feature called Mixed Image Editing. It combines real and synthetic images to create imaginative and photorealistic art.

Best For:

  • Creative Professionals: Designers, illustrators, marketers, and content creators seeking unique visuals for their work.
  • Hobbyists: Artists experimenting with AI art creation, exploring new styles, generating ideas and inspiration.
  • Anyone curious about AI-generated art: Enthusiasts trying out a user-friendly platform.


  • Easy to use: Simple interface with clear instructions, suitable for beginners and experienced users.
  • Variety of Artistic Styles: Different artistic styles, including painting, sketching, photorealistic, and more.
  • Multiple Image Variations: Generates several image variations for each prompt, allowing you to choose the best one.
  • Free to Use: Currently, there are no charges to access and use the tool.
  • Direct Editing: Option to edit the generated images with basic tools like eraser and resize.


  • Limited Control: You can’t fine-tune the generation process beyond the initial text prompt and style selection.
  • Uneven Quality: While some images are impressive, others can be blurry, nonsensical, or lack detail.
  • Copyright Issues: The ownership and usage rights of the generated images are still unclear, requiring caution for commercial use.
  • Privacy Concerns: It collects data on usage patterns, which might raise privacy concerns for some users.


Playground AI Pricing
  • Free: PlaygroundAI is available for free. This plan allows you to create up to 500 images per day, with limitations on image dimensions, upscales, face restorations, prompt expansions, and canvas files. You can also only use the “chat” mode and have a daily wait time during peak hours
  • Pro: This plan costs $12 per month (billed annually at $144) and allows you to create up to 1,000 images per day with higher image dimensions, unlimited upscales, face restorations, prompt expansions, and canvas files.
  • Turbo: This plan costs $36 per month (billed annually at $432) and allows you to create up to 2,000 images per day, with the highest image dimensions, unlimited upscales, face restorations, prompt expansions, and canvas files.

Prompt Example:

Prompt: Sonata , Isis, dreamy, souls Around,, colorful, intricate detail, holographic goddess of eternity, circuitry, wet watercolor painting , asymmetry, cinematic, epic wide shot, ultra detailed, artstation, sharp focus,smooth, cinematic lighting, composition, clear colors,photorealistic.


Microsoft Designer’s Image Creator emerges as the overall champion, offering free, exceptional quality results. It’s an unbeatable option for budget-conscious creators who want to generate premium-quality images.

DALL-E, Midjourney, and Canva AI offer unique strengths and styles like hyper-realistic, abstract, and more. Shutterstock AI Image Generator and Adobe Photoshop (Firefly) are easy to integrate and allow users to leverage AI image generators in preferred and familiar environments. Leonardo ai, Playground ai, Craiyon, Dream Studio(Stable Diffusion), and NightCafe are accessible and free-to-use tools.

Ultimately, the “best” generator is subjective. Testing different tools is the only way to find the right one for your requirements. Remember, AI is a powerful collaborator, not a replacement for your own creativity.

Join thousands of data leaders on the AI newsletter. Join over 80,000 subscribers and keep up to date with the latest developments in AI. From research to projects and ideas. If you are building an AI startup, an AI-related product, or a service, we invite you to consider becoming a sponsor.

Published via Towards AI

Feedback ↓