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AI Image generators have become one of the most sought-after design tools on the internet. They are easy to use; describe the image you want to create, sit back, and watch the AI conjure up a masterpiece.

While you can find dozens of AI image generators on the market, only a few can boast the quality and precision you'll need to produce realistic and visually appealing images. Although Midjourney has dominated the AI art space, Leonardo AI is a fast-rising Midjourney alternative you can't afford to pass up.

Here's how to get started with the Leonardo AI image generator.

What Is Leonardo AI?

Leonardo AI is a feature-packed generative AI tool for creating AI art. While it is especially renowned for creating image assets for computer games, Leonardo's AI image generator can create stunning image assets for just about any project you can think of. It is a freemium service, allowing users to make 150 credits' worth of images each day.

Depending on the combination of image generation and manipulation tasks you perform on the platform, your daily 150 credit balance should be enough to generate several dozen images (around 75). If you are not a very heavy user, this should typically be enough.

Nonetheless, if you're looking to engage in extensive image generation and possibly take advantage of exclusive premium features, the Leonardo AI premium plan starts at $10 per month.

How does it compare with Midjourney? Leonardo AI performs quite impressively and even outdoes Midjourney in a lot of image generation metrics, particularly with the additional suite of AI-powered features it offers.

If you're just starting out with AI art and haven't tried Midjourney before, see our guide on how to use Midjourney to create AI art. There is also a plethora of free AI art generators if you'd rather not pay.

How to Sign Up for and Start Using Leonardo AI

The Leonardo AI image generator is in its beta testing phase at the time of writing and access is restricted to users who have previously signed up on the Leonardo AI waitlist only.

To join the waitlist:

  1. Head to the Leonardo AI website.
  2. On the homepage, click the Create an account button.
  3. A popup requesting your first name and email address should come up. Add the requested details and tap on Count me in below the form to add your email to the waitlist.
    Adding your email address to Leonardo AI waitlist

Once your email has been added to the waitlist, you can either wait for a few days to gain access or you can expedite the process of being whitelisted by joining Leonardo AI's social media spaces.

To gain access to Leonardo AI almost instantly:

  1. Either join the Leonardo AI Discord channel or the Leonardo AI Facebook group or both.
  2. After joining, head over to the Leonardo AI priority access form and provide your first name, the name of the account you used to join the Leonardo Discord channel or Facebook group, and your email address.
  3. Hit Submit and you should be whitelisted and given priority access shortly.

Being added to the waitlist means your email will be whitelisted. However, being whitelisted does not equal being registered on the Leonardo AI platform. Once you've received an email that your email address has been whitelisted, you'd have to use the whitelisted email to sign up for an account.

To create your account:

  1. Visit the Leonardo AI login page.
  2. Click Sign up below the sign-in form to reveal the registration form.
  3. Provide the whitelisted email and a preferred password.
  4. Check your email for an account verification email. Follow the instructions to verify your account.
  5. Once your account is verified, go back to the login page and sign in to your Leonardo AI account.

Once you've successfully signed in, you'll be credited with 150 credits to create images.

How to Use the Leonardo AI Image Generator

Once you've signed in to your Leonardo AI account, you'll be greeted with the Leonardo design home screen which can be a bit intimidating at first. There are lots of features to play with, and you can try out all of them as you get used to the platform.

To create your first image:

  1. Click on AI Image Generation on the left panel under the section labeled User Tools??????.
    creating AI image with leonardo AI
  2. On the next page, you'll find the AI Image Generation tool. Locate the prompt input box at the top of the page and type in a prompt.
    Prompt input box on Leonardo AI website
  3. Below the prompt input field, you'll find the Add Negative Prompt option, toggle it on to reveal the negative prompt input box. The negative prompt box is where you specify what you do not want to see in an image.
  4. Below both the regular and negative prompt input fields, you'll find the model selection dropdown. Use this to select the image generation model that you prefer.
    Image generation models dropdown on Leonardo AI
  5. After providing a prompt, and selecting an image generation model, click on the Generate button to generate your image.
    Leonardo AI image generator in action

What Can You Do With Leonardo AI?

While Leonardo AI is primarily an AI image generator, it is packed with a variety of AI-powered image manipulation tools that you'll find useful. With Leonardo AI, you can perform AI image editing tasks like in-painting and out-painting. It also has a magic eraser tool you can use to remove objects from images with precision without damaging the principal objects in a picture.

There's almost no limit to the kind of images you can create with the tool, it all depends on how imaginative you can get.

Here are some prompts to try out or use as inspirations for creating images with Leonardo AI:

  • Friendly cartoon giraffe wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt, vibrant fun colors, highly detailed [Leonardo Diffusion]
  • Majestic lion with crown, regal and proud, watercolor painting, highly detailed [Leonardo Diffusion]
  • Panda bear drinking bubble tea, kawaii style, pastel colors, highly detailed [Leonardo Diffusion]
  • Simple mascot for a kung-fu-themed gym, Chinese style, Chinese character, transparent background [Leonardo Diffusion]
  • 25 years old Asian girl, butterfly neon mask, photorealistic, bright peaceful background [Leonardo Diffusion]

Remember, the quality of images you get depends mostly on your prompting skills and the image generation model you use. So, play around with prompts, try out different image generation models, and see what works best for you. If you're a bit low on ideas, you can use a tool like the Claude AI chatbot to come up with prompts that get you the results you want.

Leonardo AI: A Solid Alternative to Midjourney

For both beginners dipping their toes into AI art and professionals wanting to leverage it for projects, Leonardo AI checks all the boxes as a user-friendly and full-featured AI image generator.

With a generous free plan and premium features that provide good value, it presents a viable alternative for those frustrated by tools with waitlists or high costs. Leonardo AI makes AI image generation accessible and rewarding for all users.