AI image generators.
Joe Fedewa / Midjourney

AI image generators like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney have suddenly burst into mainstream consciousness. More of these tools seem to be popping up all the time, but they aren’t always available to the public. Here are the ones you can use right now—today.

Midjourney Beta

Midjourney "a robot eating a taco"
Joe Fedewa / Midjourney

Midjourney strikes a good balance between ease of use and impressive results. All you need to use it is a Discord account. Your text prompts are submitted as messages in a channel, and you get to see what other people are creating too. Midjourney offers some nice additional features like upscaling and variations.

MidJourney Beta is free to use for the first 25 prompts. After that, you can choose from a number of full memberships that start at $10 per month.

Stable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion "a robot eating a taco"
Jason Fitzpatrick / Stable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion is an open-source machine learning image generator. It can create images from text prompts like many other tools, plus modify existing images, and upscale blurry images. Stable Diffusion runs locally on your own computer. We have a handy guide for getting it up and running.

The cool thing about Stable Diffusion is it’s completely free, and you get a lot of control since it runs locally. You will need to make sure your computer meets the requirements, though.

If you don’t have the horsepower to run it on your system, you can also try a demo of Stable Diffusion on the web. There are also other websites hosting Stable Diffusion online. The Stable Diffusion subreddit has a long list of places you can use it in your browser.

You can even view a searchable gallery of images generated by Stable Diffusion online—it’s like using Stable Diffusion but without the wait for generating each image.

Craiyon (DALL-E Mini)

Craiyon "a robot eating a taco"
Joe Fedewa / Craiyon

DALL-E Mini skyrocketed in popularity after DALL-E 2 started appearing in the news. It was later renamed to “Craiyon” to avoid confusion. Craiyon is a web tool, and it’s not nearly as impressive as the others. However, it’s super easy to use with no accounts or anything else. You just enter a text prompt and let it do it’s thing.

NightCafe

NightCafe "a robot eating a taco"
Joe Fedewa / NightCafe

NightCafe is a web tool that creates images from text prompts in specific art styles. For example, you can choose styles such as “oil painting,” “cubist,” “fantasy,” or “3D game.” NightCafe also includes the ability to make videos, and it has a pretty decent community around it.

You are limited to five free creations each day, and the process can be a bit slow due to heavy traffic. To create more than that, you’ll need to purchase additional credit packs starting at $7.99.

Dream by Wombo

Dream "a robot eating a taco"
Joe Fedewa / Dream

Dream by Wombo is a similar implementation to NightCafe. Text prompts are paired with art styles, such as “polygon,” “realistic,” “meme,” and “line-art.” However, you do have the option to choose “no style” if you’d like. Dream is accessed on the web, and there’s a mobile version as well. Dream is completely free to use and there are no daily limitations.

DALL-E 2

DALL-E 2 "a robot eating a taco"
Zachary Wander / DALL-E 2

DALL-E 2 is probably the AI image generator you heard about first. Many consider it to be the best of these tools, though the competition is catching up quickly. DALL-E 2 has an easy-to-use interface and will spit out some mind-blowing creations.

It wasn’t available to the public for a while, but as of September 2022, it’s a bit easier to get into. However, DALL-E 2 is not totally free, and it does still have a waitlist. Every user gets 50 free credits in the first month, then 15 every month after that. You can purchase more credits.


As you can see, some of these AI image generators are more accessible than others. There are a lot of these tools available, and more will quickly pop up. If you’re just looking to test the waters and have some fun, these options will get you started.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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