With Midjourney being such a popular and top tier AI image generator, Leonardo AI does get overlooked a little. In this review, I will go over what you need to know about Leonardo AI and how you can use it as a free tool to generate your images.
Introduction to Leonardo AI
Leonardo AI is a popular and powerful AI art creator. While it specializes in creating video game assets, it does much more. It has over 1 million members on its Discord server at the time of this writing.
Features and User Interface in Leonardo AI
The Leonardo.ai user interface is web-based and simple to use. It gives users the ability to choose the number of images, image dimensions, guidance scale, and tiling. Users can enter their prompts on the right side of the screen, select the desired model and style, and even add negative prompts if necessary.
Users will not be confused by the functions and features because they are very straight forward It has a similar layout to Midjourney’s account page, providing users with a familiar and comfortable experience.
Outpainting, inpainting, model training, and canvas editing are just a few of the platform’s cool features. Because of all the options, it may appear a little overwhelming at first, but it’s a lot of fun to use. With the token balance and consumption per image generation, you can keep track of your usage. One image uses two tokens on average, and you can create up to eight images at once.
Leonardo AI’s outpainting and inpainting capabilities are confined to Stable Diffusion v1.5 and Stable Diffusion v2.1. However, if you have locally installed Stable Diffusion, you can use any diffusion model for outpainting and inpainting, resulting in coherent AI art.
The blend feature allows you to combine two images. You can use the eraser tool to remove unwanted parts of images and create a new, blended image. As a result, you get stunning and one-of-a-kind images that you can constantly modify and improve to your own liking. It opens up a world of possibilities for creating very unique artwork.
Leonardo Alchemy, a unique image generation tool, is one of the best. It can work with high-resolution images and make them look fantastic. Alchemy allows you to boost resolution, contrast, and details.
Fine-tuned Models (aka Custom Models)
In Leonardo AI, you can pick different models to create images, which is a great feature. Each model gives a unique result.
Training a model in Leonardo AI is a crucial step in achieving the results you want. To ensure successful training, consider these factors:
- Number of Images: Using 8-15 images is ideal for training, but you can experiment with different ranges. Avoid going below 5 images or exceeding 30 images, as it may not improve the quality significantly. The number of images depends on what you’re training, with objects requiring fewer images than styles.
- Dataset Characteristics: The balance between variation and consistency in your dataset is essential for training.
- Consistency: Ensure there’s a common theme or pattern among your images for the model to learn from. The consistent elements in the images will appear in the outputs.
- Variation: Include enough variation between the images to prevent the model from getting stuck on specific features (overfitting). Variation allows the model to adapt the trained object to new styles and contexts.
The balance between variation and consistency depends on the specific project and requires experimentation. For instance, when training cute animal characters, character position, style, and image composition would be consistent elements, while the animals and their clothes would be the varied elements.
For pre-trained models, here are some examples:
- RPG: Created by Anashel, this model is perfect for creating RPG character portraits. It offers great photorealism and brings characters to life.
- Vintage Style Photography: This model can produce a wide variety of images with a vintage style, giving them a nostalgic feel as if they were taken with a classic film camera.
- Leonardo Diffusion: An amazing model created by cac0e, known for its impressive shading and contrast. It excels in both enhancing photos and applying artistic styles.
- Dreamshaper: A recent update to an incredibly versatile model by Lykon. It is particularly skilled at generating images of both people and environments.
The custom model list goes on, and many people have trained models who can provide you with specific styles. Because you receive a set number of tokens daily to generate images, you can use the free version for a long time if you are a casual user. Otherwise, you may want to consider the paid one.
Leonardo.ai has different options for pricing. They have a free plan where you get 150 tokens every day. They also offer paid plans that start at $10 per month. The best part is that you can use the AI-generated images for commercial purposes too.
Here are some example images I have created on Leonardo AI:
As you can see, it is very much gaming focused in terms of the looks. However, many other people have created much more amazing images compared to my simple prompts. You can check out the community feed for more amazing images here.
You can also use the community prompts to help you create an amazing one. For example, this astronaut prompt by katanoz:
very details astronaut ,lost in galaxy background, Tshirt design, streetwear design, pro vector, japanese style, full design, 6 colors only, solid colors, no shadows, full design, warm colors, sticker, bright colors
How to Get Started on Leonardo AI
To get started with Leonardo.AI, you need to sign up for a free account. The sign-up process may seem a bit confusing, but there’s a workaround for immediate access:
1. Go to Leonardo.AI website.
2. Click on “Launch App” at the top right corner.
3. Sign up for early access.
4. You will be redirected to another screen.
5. Go back to the previous screen and click “Yes, I’m whitelisted.”
6. You will be taken to the login page where you can log in with Google or Microsoft, or you can sign up for a new account.
7. Complete the sign-up process, and the first time you log in, you’ll be asked to select your interests.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll be directed to the home page, where you’ll find featured models and a community feed showcasing recent creations.
Best Midjourney Alternative?
If you’re looking for the best alternative to Midjourney, Leonardo.AI is an excellent choice, and it’s currently free. As mentioned before, the Discord community is welcoming and active, and the development team regularly updates the platform and engages with users.
Read also: ChatGPT Prompts for Game Development