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How to create images using DALL-E 2 AI (Text-to-Image)?

DALL-E 2 is one of the best “Text-to-Art” image generation AI, allowing to create artistic images from simple text. Formerly only accessible on a waiting list, this tool is now open to everyone. Find out how to register and how to use it through our complete guide!

Initially launched in beta version in April 2022, DALL-E 2 quickly created buzz on the web and networks. This tool has established itself as one of the most advanced AI image generators, especially for creating photorealistic images.

You have probably already seen examples of DALL-E 2 creations on the web, easily recognizable by the colored squares serving as a watermark at the bottom right of the screen. The images generated by this tool are impressive .

Until now, access to DALL-E 2 was reserved for a select few . Only a select few Could experiment with OpenAI's imaging AI .

Other similar tools like Stable Diffusion and MidJourney were available to everyone, but DALL-E 2 was more restricted. People wishing to use it had to register on a waiting list .


It is no longer the case. As of September 28, 2022, OpenAI has announced the full opening of DALL-E 2 and the removal of the waiting list. Anyone can now let their imagination run wild by creating images using AI.

What is DALL-E 2?

OpenAI has created an artificial intelligence image generation platform called DALL-E 2. This tool enables users to generate images simply by inputting text.

The user describes the subject and the style of the image he wants to create, and DALL-E 2 generates it. To be able to understand the user's words and illustrate them, this AI was trained on a database of more than 650 million existing images and captions using Machine Learning .

In parallel, DALL-E can also be used to edit an existing image or create variants . A recently added feature also allows an image to extend beyond its existing frame.

The name DALL-E is a portmanteau between the artist Salvador Dali and the animated film WALL-E by Pixar. This tool is based on OpenAI's GPT-3 AI , which is able to understand and process human natural language in order to convert it into images.

What is DALL-E 2 used for?

DALL-E 2 makes it possible to create a multitude of images in very varied styles. This AI can even reproduce the style of famous artists. In Germany, an art institute maintains an evolving art exhibit using DALL-E 2 to generate works based on trending topics on Twitter.

Besides the artistic dimension, this tool can be used for design, architecture or even marketing. Several brands, including Heinz, have used it to create experimental advertisements. Also, DALL-E 2 could be useful to speed up the creation of video game or movie backgrounds .

In general, this artificial intelligence "  Text-to-Art  " allows to carry out artistic experiments, to generate and test new ideas.

OpenAI reports that their platform is used by more than 1.5 million individuals to generate over 2 million images daily. These users come from various fields, including artists, creative directors, writers, and architects. Additionally, approximately 100,000 of these users engage with others on the official Discord server by sharing their creations and providing feedback.

Operation of DALL-E 2

To understand how the AI ​​Image Generator works, you need to be familiar with the following concepts:

CLIP : stands for Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training . This is perhaps the most important element of the DALL-E 2 architecture. The approach is based on the idea that it is possible to use natural language to teach computers the relationship between different pictures.

CLIP consists of two neural networks:

  •  a text coder
  •  and an image encoder.

Both are trained on large and diverse collections of image-text pairs. The model parses these image and caption pairs to create vector representations called “text /image embeddings ”. In other words, CLIP acts as a bridge between text (input) and image (output).

Earlier model : It takes a caption/CLIP text embedding and builds on it to generate CLIP image embeddings.

Decoder Broadcast Model (unCLIP) : The inverse of the original CLIP model generates images using CLIP image overlays.

DALL-E 2 creates a result by combining the previous models and unCLIP. The image below roughly depicts the underlying process.

How to register on DALL-E 2?

Initially launched in April 2022, DALL-E 2 was only accessible on the waiting list for five months. Since September 2022, access is now open and anyone can register from the official website .

OpenAI stated that effectively expanding a highly potent and intricate system like DALL-E, and gaining knowledge of all the innovative methods it can be employed or misused, necessitated a gradual implementation methodology.

These few months have allowed the firm to better identify the dangers associated with its AI , and to strengthen the security barriers enough to open it to the general public.

Just create an account on the OpenAI website . You will need to enter your email address and a security code, and create an eight-digit password. Then you will receive an email containing a link, which you need to click to verify your account.

To verify your identity, you will be sent a confirmation code via SMS. Another option is to sign up using either your Google or Microsoft account. Once you have completed this step, click on the "Continue" button to indicate that you agree to the terms of use.

However, some Internet users encounter difficulties. On Twitter and Instagram, several people are complaining that DALL-E 2 is inaccessible in their country or that they receive an error while trying to register. There is still no API for DALL-E 2, but OpenAI is working on it.

How to create an image with DALL-E 2?

Once the registration is complete, you can start writing your first descriptive or "prompt" text in English. Just describe the subject of the image and the desired style, and the AI ​​takes care of creating it.

After creating your account, you will see a large text box on the screen. This is where you can write a description of the image you want to create, with a maximum of 400 characters .

If you provide detailed input and click the "generate" button, DALL-E 2 will create four images based on your text. In case of an error message, you can retry the process.

Don't hesitate to edit your "prompt" as many times as necessary to improve the result. However, keep in mind that each new image generation will cost you credits.

If one of the four generated images suits you, click on it. You can then download it by clicking on the arrow at the top right of the image. It is also possible to edit the image by clicking on the "edit" button, with tools such as an eraser or importing images to add. In addition, you can also create alternative "variations" of the image.

How to modify an existing image with DALL-E 2?

Another way to use DALL-E 2 is to upload an image from your computer or smartphone, in order to modify it. Below the text box, you will find a link to load it.

Once you download the image, it will be automatically cropped into a square shape. You have the option to allow DALL-E 2 to generate its own versions of the image or modify it to your liking.

DALL-E 2 Outpainting to extend a work of art beyond its frame

The Outpainting feature, recently added to DALL-E 2, allows an image to be extended beyond its original borders . You can apply it to an AI-created image, or an image you've uploaded.

This new tool has already been used on famous works of art like The Mona Lisa . The AI ​​adds elements, and the result is quite impressive.

To use this function, generate or download an image then reduce its size by dragging the corners. Write your "prompt", and DALL-E 2 will take care of adding the desired elements, using the style of the original work.

Enhance your images with a “Prompt Book” for DALL-E 2

By trying Text-to-Art generators like DALL-E 2 for the first time, you probably realized that the result was not necessarily up to your expectations and far from the most beautiful images produced with these tools.

In order to improve your creations, you can use the “Prompt Book” by Guy Parsons , published on the DALL-Ery GALL-Ery site specially dedicated to AI art. This visual resource can help you better formulate your textual descriptions and inspire you to exploit the full potential of DALL-E 2.

This 82-page guide reveals the best techniques for perfecting your results on DALL-E 2. Among other things, it recommends the best adjectives to use to achieve the mood, emotion or aesthetic composition you are looking for.

You will also receive tips for all types of images , whether photography, portraits or landscapes. Different styles of illustration and historical art are discussed, as well as 3D art.

The book provides advice for angles of view, lighting, type of lens, and textures. It also shows how to use the various art styles .

According to this guide, even the creators of DALL-E 2 don't really realize what this AI is capable of. Users should therefore explore the possibilities on their own and understand how to achieve the desired results.

The main tips are to be specific and give plenty of detail in the textual description, and to keep in mind that an adjective can be interpreted in different ways.

It is unlikely that you will obtain the expected result on your first try of DALL-E 2. However, this guide also explains how to edit the images created by writing new “prompts” to modify specific elements. It also shows how to use DALL-E 2 to combine separate images.

How much does DALL-E 2 cost?

Originally, DALL-E 2 was free to use for the first two months. In July 2022, OpenAI however introduced a credits system .

These credits are required to generate art on the platform. Upon registration, users receive 50 free credits. Thereafter, they receive 15 credits per month .

It is also possible to purchase additional credits for a price of $15 for 115 credits . This sum makes it possible to generate approximately 460 images in 1024×1024 pixel format. Note that artists can apply for a reduced rate at this address .

There are free alternatives to DALL-E 2 , such as the open source Stable Diffusion AI to create images without any censorship. You can also use the DALL-E Mini tool , now renamed CrAIyon following complaints from OpenAI, but this tool offers much more limited performance .

How to remove the DALL-E 2 watermark?

Images generated with DALL-E 2 are easy to recognize. They contain a signature resembling a line of colored squares located at the bottom right of the image.

However, the DALL-E 2 rules allow this watermark to be removed. This deletion is indeed essential for most commercial use cases. You can remove this signature very easily with any image editing application such as Photoshop.

It is also possible to directly download the image without watermark . On PC, right-click on the image, choose the "Inspect" option and look for the URL. Copy the image link and open it. It should appear without the logo. On smartphone or tablet, you can press the image on the generation page and click on “save image”.

The limits of DALL-E 2

The quality of the DALL-E 2 result largely depends on the text provided by the user. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get the desired result. However, the system has some intrinsic limitations.

Despite making progress over time, DALL-E 2 still struggles with compositionality, meaning that it often fails to accurately merge multiple object properties such as shape, orientation, and color. Additionally, the program can produce incorrect results if the data labeling is inaccurate, similar to how someone may learn the wrong word. Furthermore, when presented with unfamiliar text, DALL-E 2 will attempt to generate similar results to what it has learned during training, but the outcomes may be vastly different. Nonetheless, it is intriguing to witness DALL-E's development and observe its potential applications in new fields based on its acquired knowledge.

What are prohibitions?

Before opening access to its tool, OpenAI made sure to put in place strict rules to avoid “bias and toxicity” in the images generated by DALL-E 2. In particular, changes have been made. The latter make it possible to generate images that "better reflect the diversity of the world's population" if gender or ethnicity is not specified in the text of "prompt".

Additionally, DALL-E will automatically reject images containing realistic human faces or resembling public figures such as stars or politicians.

OpenAI also does not allow the creation of images that may offend. Including images showing self-harm, hateful symbols or illegal acts. Automated monitoring systems and human moderators take care of censoring prohibited content.

Previously, OpenAI prohibited any commercial use of images generated by DALL-E 2. However, the beta now grants " full usage rights" for images created with the . This includes the right to sell the images, or print them for use on merchandise.

Another problem concerns the fact that the behavior of DALL-E 2 is not reliable in terms of composition. Although this is not very serious, it can prove harmful in other cases.

Should we be afraid of DALL-E?

The openness of DALL-E 2 seems consistent with the line of conduct of OpenAI , whose name literally means " open artificial intelligence ". Everyone will be able to try their hand at AI-assisted artistic creation.

However, this democratization also raises concerns. Recall that DALL-E 2 can produce very realistic images , and also allows to edit real human faces. Therefore, cybercriminals could exploit it to create DeepFakes or impersonate identities.

Unlike the open-source Stable Diffusion tool , which allows the creation of violent and pornographic content, DALL-E 2 still imposes limits in terms of content.

As OpenAI explains, these safeguards were put in place from the start and have been improved based on the real use of this AI . In a blog post, the firm states that these improvements have opened up access.

In order to prevent prohibited content, OpenAI combines human and automated monitoring . Attempts to create images of public people are automatically blocked.

Similarly, the dataset used to train DALL-E 2 has been filtered to remove violent, hateful or sexual content . The firm explains that it has " made the filters more robust to reject attempts to generate sexual, violent content or any other content that violates our rules ". New detection and response techniques have also been developed to prevent misuse.

However, in addition to the dangers related to security, DALL-E 2 poses copyright concerns . Faced with this problem, Getty preferred to ban AI-generated content from its image bank. Many artists and creators also fear that their profession will become useless...

FAQs About How to create images using DALL-E 2 AI


Is it possible to use DALL-E 2 images for free?

While some celebrities' faces may be distorted for safety reasons, not all content on DALL-E 2 violates its policy. However, there is a catch to using the platform for free. During the first month of use, users are given 50 free credits, and afterwards, they are given 15 free credits.

Can I utilize DALL-E 2 images?

Commercial usage of generated images from DALL-E 2, such as printing, licensing, and selling, is permitted. Users must give credit to DALL-E 2 by referencing the watermark located in the corner of the image.

Where can I create DALL-E images?

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced Bing Image Creator, powered by an advanced version of OpenAI's DALL-E model. Users can create an image by describing it in the Bing search engine or Bing Chat. Image Creator is currently only available in Bing Chat's Creative mode.

How do I generate an image on DALL-E?

In the text box, input a description of the image you want to create, such as 'an astronaut riding a horse in an impressionist style.' Click 'generate,' and DALL-E will attempt to create four 1024x1024 images that match your description. You may have to adjust your prompt to get the desired result.

How can I gain access to DALL-E 2?

Previously, DALL-E 2 access was available only through invitation and a waiting list, but OpenAI has now made it available to everyone. While still in beta, anyone can sign up for access to the platform on the OpenAI website.

Is DALL-E 2 expensive?

The cost of using the DALL-E 2 API varies based on the image's resolution. For 1024x1024 images, the cost is $0.02 per image; for 512x512 images, the cost is $0.018 per image, and for 256x256 images, the cost is $0.016 per image.

Is DALL-E's image generator free?

On the DALL-E generator, users may alter their generation with a "credit." Upon registering for DALL-E access, users will receive 50 free credits, and subsequently, 15 free credits each month. Each credit may be used to create a single image, modify an image in a different version, or fix and enhance an image.

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