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A Beginner’s Guide to AI Image Prompts & Generation

Apr 05, 2024

A somewhat new feature, AI images are becoming increasingly popular for use across social media platforms, by designers and more.

Read more to see our beginner’s guide to AI image prompts and learn how to generate the perfect image here.


What Are AI Image Prompts?

Essentially, image prompts provide a starting point or direction for an AI algorithm to create visual photographic content.

AI image prompts are descriptions, keywords, or inputs provided to artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to result in image generation. A person prompts an instruction to the AI model which helps it to understand the desired characteristics, objects, or concepts to include in the generated image.

By providing clear and specific prompts to AI generators, users can influence the style, content, and composition of the generated images, helping the AI model produce results that align with their creative vision. There are two different types of prompts, including:

Text Prompt

An AI image text prompt can range from simple textual descriptions to more detailed instructions, depending on the complexity of the desired image. The more detail you provide, the more accurate the image will be to your vision.

For example, if you wanted to create an AI-generated image of a landscape you could give the model the keyword prompts, “fields” “pond” “sunset”. The generator will then create an image based on the instructions provided.

Image Prompt

Another form of AI photo generation is image prompts, where you upload an image for the AI model to work with and create. This can be beneficial if you want to adjust an existing photo or want to create a new type of picture.

For example, you could upload a portrait of a person and write the prompt, “recreate this image in the style of [insert famous artist or art style].

You could also ask an AI image generator to extend the background of the existing image, add an AI-generated element to the photo, or change the lighting.


How to Write the Perfect AI Image Prompt

To write the perfect AI image prompt, you need to write a clear description that provides enough detail for the AI to generate an engaging and high-quality image that matches the description. Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect AI image prompt:

Be Descriptive

It is key to describe the scene, setting, or subject matter you want to be created in detail in order to achieve an image that matches your expectations. Include sensory details like colours, textures, sounds, and emotions if relevant to create an image that closely resembles your initial vision.

Specify Key Image Elements

Clearly define the main subjects or objects you want the AI to focus on, whether it’s a landscape, character, object, or a specific scenario. Ensure that you provide enough information for the AI to understand what you want to see in the image, as it can only work with the details you provide it with.

Include Action, Mood or Context

Provide context or suggest a narrative to give depth to the image, such as any action taking place, the relationship between characters or objects, or the backstory behind the scenes. Being descriptive and providing context helps the AI generate images that align with your vision.

Consider Composition

If you desire the image to be set a certain way, it is key to describe the perspective, framing, and any specific visual elements or angles you have in mind. This can help the AI create visually accurate compositions.

Keep the Prompt Concise

Aim for clarity and brevity in your prompt and avoid overly prescriptive prompts that stifle the AI’s ability to generate unique interpretations.

Avoid unnecessary or overly complex descriptions that could confuse the AI, and keep the language simple and direct to ensure the prompt is easy for the AI to understand.


How Long Should an Image Prompt Be?

The ideal length of an image prompt varies depending on the complexity of the image, and prompts should be concise yet descriptive enough to convey all the necessary details.

Landscape scene generated from an AI prompt

Generally, a prompt that is 3 to 5 sentences is sufficient to provide the AI with the information it needs to generate an image. It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough detail to guide the AI, whilst also avoiding unnecessary details that could make the prompt confusing or difficult to interpret.

An example of a well-crafted AI image prompt:

“Generate a photorealistic image of a mountain landscape at sunrise. The mountain peaks are capped with snow in the early morning light. A lake reflects the colours of the sky, surrounded by pine forests. An eagle soars overhead towards the rising sun.”

This is the image that was generated using ChatGPT’s image generator.


Considerations for AI Images

Whilst creating AI images can be massively beneficial and creative, there are also some things to consider when using these types of generated images.

AI-generated images can potentially raise ethical and legal issues, especially if they are used to create fake content or manipulate visuals in deceptive ways. It’s important to consider the potential consequences of distributing or using such images.

Fake images and videos, also known as deep fakes, can be unethical to use, especially on larger platforms when shared for misinformation.

Another thing to consider is when AI-generated images are created using personal data or sensitive information. It’s crucial to ensure compliance with data privacy regulations and to take appropriate measures to protect individuals’ privacy if you are using an image prompt to create an AI generated image.

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