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The best Midjourney alternatives (paid and free)
You have to feel for the graphic designers and digital artists. AI may be coming for all of our jobs eventually, but AI image generation already gives everyone with an internet connection fantastic capabilities beyond our imagination a few years ago. Midjourney was one of the first AI image generators, and remains a leading player to this day, but the competition is heating up fast. If you’re wondering what other options you have, we’ve compiled a list of the best Midjourney alternatives out there.
The best Midjourney alternatives
Use the links below to jump directly to each option in our list. Some of these services require a paid subscription, some are free, and some have both options. We’ll make those differences clear in each instance.
Stable Diffusion is one of the best-known image generators, but more importantly, it’s completely free and open-source. There are two ways you can use it. If you have a high-spec computer with a powerful GPU, you can download its rendering model and use it offline. For the rest of us, there’s a web browser version. You head to the website and enter a prompt — very simple.
We’ve compared Midjourney and Stable Diffusion ourselves, with the latter very much holding its own. Its attempts to produce photorealistic images still have a way to go, but if you’re thinking of a fantasy landscape or a product design, it can bring your imagination to life in a stunning way. It can also modify existing pictures, such as changing the colors of the walls in a room photo.
Originally created for a coding competition, Craiyon has evolved through contributions from open-source communities. In fact it was originally called DALL-E Mini before OpenAI asked for the name to be changed, and it operates on a smaller database than DALL-E, which can mean it’s less precise when it comes to fine details such as generating faces. On the plus side, it’s free to use and imposes no restrictions on the type of content generated, as some of its competitors do. The platform also features a forum where users can share their creations. It’s designed to understand both text and visual cues.
Craiyon is currently available in browser form, as well as a mobile app for Android users. There’s a limited free tier, with three paid tiers that affect things like the speed of image generation, the number of images you can create, and your privacy.
OpenAI is mostly synonymous with ChatGPT these days, but it launched the original DALL-E back in 2021. DALL-E 2 later became one of the more popular AI image generators. The new vanguard is DALL-E 3, which you can access if you’re a ChatGPT Plus or Enterprise subscriber.
DALL-E 3 produces generally exceptional results, and gives you four variations per prompt. Its photorealism sometimes leaves something to be desired however, and we’ve found that it isn’t great at tweaking an image that you’re mostly happy with, since it often strays too far from the original. Still, it’s a top-tier option and a no-brainer for ChatGPT Plus users.
Wombo was the app that introduced a lot of us to the prospect of turning our real-life photos into singing characters, making it a novelty craze for a while. Wombo now has Dream, which is its AI image generation feature. Users can select from a variety of art styles, ranging from baroque to isometric, and there’s an element of randomness, ensuring that no two artworks generated with the same prompt will be identical.
The app is free on a basic level, but you’ll need to upgrade to a Premium subscription to get things like faster speeds, variation options, and multiple output images. Interestingly enough, while you can pay monthly or annually, there’s also the rare option of a one-off “lifetime” subscription.
Accessible through LimeWire’s AI Studio, BlueWillow can generate some remarkably high-quality imagery via a very friendly user interface. There are toggles for quality, resolution, and the number of output images, and you can easily specify “negative” prompts, meaning things you want to exclude — say if you don’t want rainbows or pots of gold in an image of Ireland.
You can generate a relative handful of images for free, but past that you’ll need to buy credit packs or sign up for a monthly or annual subscription. The good news is that AI Studio lets you spend these credits on other image generators as well, including DALL-E 3 and Stable Diffusion, although some cost more to use than others.
Bing Image Creator
In a strategic move, Microsoft has integrated a free image generator into its Bing search engine. Known as Bing Image Creator, the service is powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 technology. Users receive 100 “boosts” upon signing in with a Microsoft account, which are weekly-replenishing credits that enable rapid image generation. Although you can’t buy additional boosts, the service remains free beyond your credit allocation — just slower to render.
The Image Creator is accessible not only through its dedicated webpage but also via Bing Chat’s Creative mode, including mobile devices.
Being one of the most prominent digital design suites of the 21st century, Adobe was always going to be at the forefront of the AI image generation revolution. Its AI package is called Adobe Firefly, and comprises several tools. They include the text-to-image model that we’re all becoming familiar with, as well as Photo Generative Fill, which can be used to edit objects in and out of a photo or even create extra surroundings that aren’t in the original picture.
Firefly has a free version with 25 monthly generative credits, or a Premium tier priced at $4.99 per month. That gets you 100 credits, zero watermarking, and Adobe Fonts Free. Generative credits are also included in many Adobe Creative Cloud plans.
Like Wombo Dream, Starryai gives you a text input box and a selection of styles for the image you want to generate. It’s powered by two AI models, Altair and Orion, and offers both web and mobile app versions. There are over 1,000 art styles to choose from, as well as additional features like Evolve and Upscale to provide further customization. The platform also includes a Prompt Builder that acts as a library for users to save and select multiple art styles for future projects.
Users receive five free daily credits for image generation, with options to upgrade to any of three paid plans for more credits and extensive features.
This is subjective and depends on what you’re trying to do, but Midjourney is certainly among the best AI image generators. The main catch is that there’s no free option — you have to pay for access. For something completely free, you’ll probably want to try Stable Diffusion.