How Is AI Art Made? – AI Art Creation Simplified


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Key Takeaways

  • AI art is generated by an AI algorithm trained with a filtered text-image-pair dataset.
  • Text-image pairs describe to the AI what the image is all about.
  • AI art generator uses a dataset that has billions of text-image pairs.
  • AI art generators use text prompts (words) the user gives to generate an image.
  • The generator creates an output (image) based on the words it was given by a user and based on the text-image-pair dataset it has been trained with.

Text-Image Pairs

Image showing how image-text-pairs look inside the LAION-5B dataset.

AI art generators use text-image pairs as their dataset and as a base, most notably LAION-400M and LAION-5B datasets. The dataset has been filtered with OpenAI’s CLIP technology.

CLIP is a smart computer program that connects words and pictures. It can learn and understand different things in pictures just by reading words. You can use CLIP to recognize and classify all sorts of things in pictures without having to teach it each thing separately.

Usually, computers need a lot of pictures and labels to learn, but CLIP is different. It learns from the words and pictures it finds on the internet. That means it can learn about many different things without needing a lot of special pictures.

Image showing how CLIP is trained with text and image encoders.

If you want CLIP to recognize cats and dogs in pictures, you can tell it “cat” and “dog,” and it will understand. It doesn’t need special training for each new thing you want it to recognize.

CLIP is better than other computer programs because it can learn many different tasks without needing extra training. It can understand things like what objects are in a picture, where a picture was taken, or even read words in a picture.

CLIP might have trouble counting objects in a picture or telling the difference between similar things, like different types of cars or flowers. It also needs more practice to get better at understanding handwriting.

AI Art Generators

An AI art generator is software that uses machine learning and neural networks to create original artwork. It analyzes a large dataset of existing art to learn patterns and styles. The process involves selecting a dataset, training the algorithm on the images, generating new art based on learned patterns, and refining the output for aesthetic appeal.

Imagine you have a collection of colorful LEGO bricks, and you want to create a brand-new, one-of-a-kind spaceship. To achieve this, you decide to dismantle all the existing LEGO spaceships you have and break them into small individual bricks. Then, using these small bricks, you start assembling them in a completely novel way, forming a unique spaceship design that has never been built.

The difference with AI art generation is that the software does all the work for you. It generates a completely original artwork based on a text prompt or concept you provide, using learned patterns and styles.

Popular AI art generators:

The AI Art Generation Process

With the same text prompt, the AI art generator always creates a unique output.

The process starts by mapping the text description onto a conceptual canvas and comparing it with captions and alt text from various images. This information is then encoded and decomposed into pure Gaussian noise.

The AI generator reconstructs the image from this noise, overlaying it onto the initial mapping from the text. Finally, additional textual information ensures semantic consistency with the input.

The beauty of AI art generation is that each output is unique, both in content and form. It doesn’t require expensive software or hardware since the generator operates remotely, accessible through a computer with an internet connection.

The Use of Text Prompts

Output example of AI art generator.

Example of a text prompt (above image):

there is ugliness in beauty, but there is also beauty in ugliness. in the style of adrian ghenie, esao andrews, jenny saville, edward hopper, surrealism, dark art by james jean, takato yamamoto, inkpunk minimalism

Negative text prompt (above image):

3d, cartoon, anime, sketches, (worst quality:2), (low quality:2), (normal quality:2), lowres, normal quality, ((monochrome)), ((grayscale)), skin spots, acnes, skin blemishes, bad anatomy, girl, loli, young, large breasts, red eyes, muscular

How Text Prompts Work

You can think of a text prompt as a guideline and instructions that you give to the AI art generator. Each word you type signals the generator what you would like to see in the image. The negative prompt works the same, except that these words describe what you don’t want to see in the image.

Brackets and numbers control the weight of the prompt. For example, ((( ))) is the same as 1.33 weight applied to the word. Essentially you are emphasizing certain words, which signals the generator to focus more on these words.

Writing (random word:1.2) will signal the generator to put 20% emphasis on ‘random word.’

When you write certain artists’ names to the prompt, it will tell the generator to apply a certain art style to the image. However, note that if the art generator’s dataset does not have certain things in it, it can’t generate those images.

For example, if the dataset does not have training regarding a dog, the generator can’t create an image with a dog in it, even if you use the word dog in your text prompt.

User-Generated AI Art Content

AI art is only half of the things users are currently creating. While the base datasets (LAION-400M and LAION-5B) were created by LAION and OpenAI’s CLIP, there are users worldwide creating their own datasets and models to be used in AI art generators.

AI art is the end result of the models, textual inversions, Hypernetworks, and LoRAs applied to the AI-image generation process.

There are also many companies already offering generator services, so there’s definitely not just one AI art generator available to the public. As training an AI algorithm is open source, it means anyone can create an AI art model, a dataset using Common Crawl, or an AI art generator.

Best sites to find user-generated AI art content:

Feature image credits.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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