In this tutorial we outline how to best generate an image using Charlie. There are 3 main steps:
- Picking the image aspect ratio and size
- Writing an image prompt
- Optionally writing a negative prompt
The process of generating images with Charlie is just as much experimenting with different ideas as it is with using a camera or paint brush. It’s all about trying different settings and combinations of ideas until you create something you like.
After this tutorial you will be a master at generating images with Charlie!
1. Picking the Image Aspect Ratio and Size
The first simple step is to decide the Aspect Ratio and the Image Size:
- Aspect Ratio: this is the ratio of the image’s width to its height. Charlie can generate 3 ratios
- square (1:1) – ideal for most social media channels
- widescreen (16:9) – ideal for creating wallpapers
- vertical (9:16) – ideal to view images on mobile
- Image Size: this is how big you’d like your image in terms of resolution. Charlie support generating HD (1920×1080), 2k (2560×1440), and 4k (3480×2160) images.
2. Writing an Image Prompt
The most important step to generate an image is by writing an “image prompt” that defines exactly what the image look like.
An image prompt has 4 components:
- Description – a few words to a sentence describing what is in the image. This is the most important part of an image prompt. All other components below are optional, but can drastically improve the quality of your image.
- Style – these are keywords that describe if the image is a photo or artistic rendering, and detailing what kind of photo or art it is.
- Artist – this is the name of an artist or photographer. This further enhances the style of the image by mimicking the style of an artist.
- Finishing Touches – these are keywords that can further push quality by telling Charlie you want the image to be “highly detailed” or “beautiful”.
2.1 Image description
The description (also referred as to the core of a prompt) is the most straightforward way of describing what you want to see which should convey the central theme, subject, or figure in your image. You can write in the image prompt something as simple as
Below are example generated images with just the simple descriptions from above:
It may be tempting for a beginner to stop after using a simple prompt. But these images above may not represent exactly what we’re looking for. So we could add further detail to the description
- lion standing on a rock looking out
- mystical fairy forest
- red sports car speeding in the desert
And here are the new results
Much better! The more detail we use to describe what we’d like to create, the better the chances of high quality output.
While an image description alone can get us to what we want, sometimes it is not enough. A style modifier is often needed to define if you’d like your image to be more artistic or a photo. If a specific style of the image is not requested Charlie will usually default to the one most common in related images.
For example, in generating an image of a lion, Charlie will default to creating a photo of one instead of a painting.
Having a well-chosen styles together with an effective image description can really boost the quality of your image. Some examples of common used styles are:
- oil painting
- pencil drawing
- concept art
There are two main ways to invoke a style in your image prompt. The first is to precede the image decription
- a photo of [image description]
- an oil painting of [image description]
And the second is to come after, separated by a comma
- [image description], hyperrealistic
- [image description], concept art
You can also combine styles to get more profound results. Here are examples
- lion standing on a rock looking out, pen drawing, concept art, surreal
- photo of mystical fairy forest, fantasy
- red sport car speeding in the desert, GTA video game graphics
This step is largely optional, but if you’re looking for a more specific style, or a more unified image, you can take inspiration from specific artists. For instance, if you’re after something super abstract, try adding “in the style of Pablo Picasso” or just “Picasso” to your prompt – after all, the man was a master of modern art!
Check out the lists of artists below, which are subdivided by style. Doing your own research into art history is highly encouraged – you’ll gain a greater understanding of the elements that make a piece of art powerful and impactful, as well as discover amazing and unique artwork and artists you may never have come across before.
Oil Painters: Leonardo DaVinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt
Illustrators: Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Landscape Artists: Thomas Moran, Claude Monet, Alfred Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church
Charlie will not know every artist, but will generally know the styles of the most famous artists.
- lion standing on a rock looking out, pen drawing, concept art, surreal, art by Leonardo da Vinci
- photo of mystical fairy forest, fantasy, by Alfred Bierstadt
- red sport car speeding in the desert, GTA video game graphics, inspired by Pablo Picasso
Combining the names of different artists can also result in unique artworks that would never have been before seen!
2.4 Finishing touches
Adding finishing touches to your prompt is a great way to make it stand out. These are keywords that can affect the look and feel of your image such as telling Charlie to add more detail, specific lighting, coloring, quality and composition.
It can also be something like “trending on artstation” for an art-focused piece or “Unreal Engine” for a more realistic look, these additions can really make your prompt pop. Of course, don’t be afraid to get creative with your finishing touches – try adding words like “epic” or “spectacular” to emphasize the intensity of your work.
For a finishing touch, you can add whatever you like. The following are some options that work well:
beautiful, highly detailed, sharp, shiny, HD, 4k ,8k, trending on artstation, smooth, cinematic lighting, matte, elegant, dark, gloomy, picture of the day, epic, masterpiece, volumetric lighting, tone, mapped, raytracing, colorful, ambient, dslr, 100 mm, bokeh
- lion standing on a rock looking out, pen drawing, concept art, surreal, art by Leonardo da Vinci, award winning, dark lighting, epic
- photo of mystical fairy forest, fantasy, by Alfred Bierstadt, bright colorful lighting, shiny, sharp detail
- red sport car speeding in the desert, GTA video game graphics, inspired by Pablo Picasso, tone mapped, raytracing, smooth
With the right finishing touches, your prompt is sure to make an impact!
3. Negative Prompt
While optional, negative prompts can go a very long way in improving your image. Effectively what they do is tell Charlie what not to generate, or what to focus on less. This can can be something specific like specifying that the sky should not be blue, that a hand should not have extra fingers, or that duplicate objects not appear. It can also be something abstract like simply saying not to generate an image that is low quality, ugly, or blurry.
Mix and match the following options depending on what you’re trying to create or try your own keywords:
lowres, duplicate, error, cropped, worst quality, low quality, jpeg artifacts, ugly, duplicate, morbid, mutilated, out of frame, extra fingers, mutated hands, poorly drawn hands, poorly drawn face, mutation, deformed, blurry, dehydrated, bad anatomy, bad proportions, extra limbs, cloned face, disfigured, gross proportions, malformed limbs, missing arms, missing legs, extra arms, extra legs, fused fingers, too many fingers, long neck, username, watermark, signature
Example 1 – fixing bad hands
Image Prompt: stock photo of a business hand shake, highly detailed
No Negative Prompt
With Negative Prompt: fused fingers, extra fingers, mutated hands, mutated hands, fused hands
Example 2 – fixing dull art
Image Prompt: painting of a old sea town, by terry moore and greg rutkowski and alphonse much, rustic
No Negative Prompt
With Negative Prompt: dark, dull, blurry, low quality
4. Extra Tips
- Aspect Ratio: Your aspect ratio will impact the quality of your image at times. Images of people are better generated in a vertical ratio while most works of art or photos are better in widescreen.
- Word Order: The words at the beginning of your prompt are given more importance than those at the end.
- If you have an example of an image and you’d like to generate a similar image but can’t figure out a good prompt give our Image Variation or Image 2 Prompt features a try.