Dall-E and other AI “transformer models” have been one of the most significant topics on the Internet in recent months. These tools produce digital images simply from written text input.
Recently, social media platforms are downright flooded with these AI-generated images and artworks.
We would probably all agree that Dall-E creations (or digital art from similar tools like MidJourney or Google’s Imagen/Parti) are mindblowing.
However, an important question keeps coming up:
How can creatives use this technology today without making themselves obsolete?
Whether you work in a creative agency, as a creator, or run your own business: below are 6 ways how you can use AI Image Generators like Dall-E for your next creative task.
1. Support and time-saver 🧠
The obvious first tip is to use these tools as “Imagination enhancers”.
Take this example: For your next PC game, you want to design a character that looks like a “purple ninja frog with a blindfold”.
Dall-E comes up with images like these, within seconds:
No human could have made these two images in 10 seconds. No imagination could have been strong enough to form such a clear visual picture in one’s head: in this sense, DALL-E is really inspiring.
What the AIs create is usually visually strong enough to give you a feeling of what you asked for and then lead you on your path. While the final results may not be perfect yet, it can still give you a very good idea of where to go with your own creations.
What we have learned is that these AIs are very helpful in creating different “Archetypes” of characters. Take the example of the frog from above: While the frog on the left-hand side looks more like a Ninja, the one on the right-hand side definitely looks more like an Engineer. The choice with which one you want to work stays yours.
2. Create mood boards with Dall-E 🖼️
Whenever you start a new campaign for your business or deal with a new client at your agency: Moodboards and storyboards are your friend and helper in communicating the rough direction. However, you won’t always find the right pictures and examples because no one has fittingly executed your idea just yet. In the best case, you have to search forever to somehow find matching images in the depths of Google Search.
Or you could simply ask Dall-E to create the examples for you.
Let’s say you are looking for suitable pictures of a woman wearing a VR headset in space. Try googling that prompt for yourself, and tell us how many images out of the first 100 would really fit…
In less than 10 seconds Dall-E gave us 4 matching examples. And we could now repeat this process endlessly. Or refine the wording to get even more fitting results.
Still doubt that this can save you a lot of time?
How about an image of A surfing unicorn with an iPhone. Good luck googling this! In the meantime, we’ll create hundreds of fitting images.
CYA LATER 😎
3. Find inspiration with Dall-E 🎨
Creating a moodboard is a very specific undertaking with precise objectives. But Dall-E can also help you if you don’t really know what the final product should look like. One could even say that the less concrete the initial idea, the better the results.
This is the result of pressing the “Surprise me” button
From vague ideas to concrete examples 🖌️
If you have a rough idea for a post or graphic e.g. but are unsure how to go about it, just bash your idea into Dall-E. Even if nothing comes of it, it can still help recognize what could work and what not. And within a few minutes, you can test out dozens of ideas with investing minimal time.
As we write these lines, the question arises as to how we will design our article cover. Maybe we could use an image of a robot drawing a picture? Let’s see what Dall-E will come up with when we generate “Robot drawing a picture by Picasso”:
“A robot painting a picture of Picasso” by Dall-E
Produce rough layouts 🚧
It’s also interesting to see how Dall-E can help with design and layout tasks. Will the AI spit out finished website user interfaces? Not yet. But you can already find some creative ideas to implement on your own website.
Take this as an example: “a dark website user interface for a brand that sells hoodies”
Or this example of: “website for a sneaker seller, with red highlights.”
While these results are far from perfect yet, they can still inspire a savvy UI designer for his next design. Personally, however, we believe that today it is still more efficient to simply browse existing portfolio websites like Behance or Dribbble.
4. Let Dall-E come up with variations 🎭
Another thing that Dall-E is often (but not always) very good at is creating variations. This means uploading an original image and creating similar-looking ones. This can be helpful to either find new inspiration or whenever you need a larger collection of examples. Be it for placeholders or simply to fill up free space.
Consider this example of a jewelry seller, with a variation of a necklace (original on the left):
As before, this process can be applied to virtually any industry and use case. Of course, the results will not always be convincing. Sometimes you could use them straight up like they are. And other times they can only be used as inspiration, or not at all.
However, if the results are so good that even a company like HEINZ is tempted to use the designs in their next ad campaign, then there must be something to our claim!
Image from Adweek’s article: Heinz taps state-of-the-art AI to design its next ad campaign
5. Use Dall-E to create viral content 🤩
If the last few weeks have shown one thing, it’s that you can create viral content easily with Dall-E. After all, the whole topic hasn’t been kicked up and down Social Media because people are so interested in “transformer models.” They are interested in all the crazy creations, breathtaking images, and completely realistic-looking copies. This trend will continue for a while, as there is still so much to discover. And one thing is clear, everyone who comes into contact with the subject is immediately hooked.
Cosmopolitan Cover made by Dall-E
Take advantage of your followers’ newfound curiosity and incorporate Dall-E into your strategy in a meaningful way. A good example would be the Heinz campaign we just mentioned.
6. Use it to educate people about the dangers of AI 🤖
Using these extremely powerful and disruptive tools comes at a cost. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, these tools have the potential to replace humans in many different tasks.
At Neon Internet, we are extremely conscious of these upcoming challenges. However, for our jobs as creative professionals, we have an obligation to make use of the legally available tools on the market. As long as the lawmakers don’t step in and force the industry to make amends, there is no end in sight to these AI tools.
If you want to learn more about the potential dangers of Image Generation AIs, here is a Twitter Thread by our CEO Misch Strotz:
Been thinking a lot about DALLE-2.
I’m not an expert in AI (tl;dr of my experience is basically cloning GIT repos of waifu generators), but I have tried to make up my mind around the implications.
Here are my thoughts.
— mitch0zᵍᵐ (@mitch0z) April 10, 2022
Misch also made a thread where he used DALL-E and Midjourney to illustrate an actual dream. In this thread he shows how the AI revolution of today has strong similarities to the Industrial revolution 150 years ago:
Tonight I had one of my weirdest dreams ever.
Here’s the story of how I joined an angry mob to destroy DALL-E.
And how we failed.
[Illustrated by @midjourney and @OpenAI DALL-E 2] pic.twitter.com/EqA38MyxH6
— mitch0zᵍᵐ (@mitch0z) July 28, 2022
Transformer models have hijacked our summer. Until now, only a few companies have been allowed access to these technologies. As more and more small businesses and individuals are allowed to test and use these AIs, the interest in this topic will continue to grow. At the moment, it already seems as if interest is fading a bit. This could be due to a quick oversaturation of the market, in combination with limited access and rollout of the tools. Nevertheless, this topic has been spreading organically non-stop, which is why we assume that a lot will still happen here in the next few weeks.
Transformer Models can help you with your creative work if you go about it the right way. At this point, we also want to repeat that such a powerful technology does not come without risks. There is a lot to be concerned about, and we will actively address this together with you. However, that would go beyond the scope of this article.
So stay tuned. More to come soon 👀