ZDNET’s key takeaways
- ImageFX, from Google, is free to use and easily accessible today website or Google Labs.
- It’s an easy-to-use image generator that produces impressive, high-quality results.
- However, if you rely on an image generator for your daily workflow, there are better options for you.
Google was late to the image generator game, releasing its first AI image generator, ImageFX, to the public last week, more than a year after the release of DALL-E 3. The burning question is: Was it worth the wait? I’m happy (and surprised) to report it.
Free tools are easy to access; All you have to do is visit Google Labs and select ImageFX or visit ImageFX page Right after that, you sign in to your personal Google account and you’re ready to start tinkering.
Also: I’m taking the free AI Image course on Udemy with this little trick – and you can too
You can generate an image like any other text-to-image generator, typing in what you want to see generated with as much or as little detail as you like.
When the chatbot was released, Google claimed it could realistically deal with complex prompts, such as making hands and faces. To test this, I used the prompt, “Two hands typing on a silver keyboard with a laptop in the background.” The results did not disappoint.
ImageFX quickly created four images of hands on a keyboard that look realistic, with each hand having five proportional fingers, a major achievement for a generative AI model. The photos were of such high quality and looked like stock photos that one would find on Getty Images I’ve included a close-up photo below so you can see the details.
It’s easy to revisit the image at a later date with a download and share button below the image you’ve created.
A unique feature in ImageFX, Expressive Chips, is described as allowing users to “quickly experiment with adjacent dimensions of your creations and ideas”. When reading the description, I was confused about it at first, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds.
Also: 5 reasons to sign up for Google Labs and how to do it
All expressive chips do is highlight parts of your prompt and add drop-downs that you can select to slightly alter the image you’ve created. Once you click the drop-down and select a new option, the new image is created with that individual tweak.
For example, I selected the dropdown for “Silver Keyboard” and changed it to the “Red Keyboard” option and hit Generate. It produced a similar image, with the only major difference being the color of the keyboard.
The expressive chips and style suggestions below the text box make ImageFX ideal if you’re just starting to experiment with AI image generation or you just want to tinker with one for fun.
It’s also worth noting that all images created with Imagen 2, Google’s most advanced text-to-image model, including images created with ImageFX, will be watermarked with SynthID, a tool developed by Google DeepMind that watermarks photos as such. Invisible to the human eye but can be used for identification.
Also: How to use Leonardo AI to create stunning artwork and images
This can give you peace of mind that an image you or others create — no matter how realistic they look — will have a design that shows they were AI-generated, helping to combat misinformation.
Advice from ZDNET
Google’s ImageFX AI image generator is free and easy to use, and for that reason, I encourage everyone to give it a try. The generator is capable of producing high-quality and realistic images, so it can be suitable for various purposes such as creating images for your flyers, websites or just for fun.
However, if you have a specific use case, I would recommend that the AI image generator may best suit your specific needs. For example, if you plan to use an image generator for your business, it makes sense to explore options that produce commercially safe photos with appropriate licensing, such as Generative AI by Getty Images. For a full breakdown of the best AI image generators, you can visit ZDNET’s picks.
Disclaimer: You should consider the legal consequences (such as copyright) before applying AI-generated images to your work.