How to Create Stunning AI Art with Prequel

From Alexa to Siri, from DALL.E to deepfakes, we live in an era where AI is rapidly entering our daily lives. And as you’ve probably already read today, the art world is rapidly becoming entwined with AI and machine learning, signaling a significant shift in the way people create, consume, and use digital images and video.

But it is becoming increasingly clear that the deployment of AI in creative art comes in many different forms. For example, Adobe’s Neural Filters are for already somewhat capable Photoshop users, able to do edits not normally possible with the traditional toolset. Then there are knowledge systems that generate complete images based on natural language text descriptions, and they are something else entirely. Among the most famous is DALL-E 2 (see the guide on how to use dall-e 2).

AI art created with Prequel

Would Steve Jobs have imagined that AI running on an iPhone could be used for creative interpretations of one of his most famous portraits? (Image credit: Prequel)

prequel (opens in a new tab)a very popular suite of mobile photo and video editing tools, including AI-powered effects, occupies yet another category, using machine learning for artistic adjustments that would place a significant workload on a professional designer on the desk.

Prequel provides a wide range of filters, effects, and templates that allow you to edit photos and videos with a single touch. Many are available for free with no time limit, although the full range requires a subscription.

AI art created with Prequel

There’s a big focus on creating a retro feel, like a VHS tape or faded ’70s vibe. (Image credit: Prequel)

Take a great photo or video clip, quickly style it with any of the themed effects or filters, and it’s great for sharing: as an avatar, profile picture, maybe as a cheery message to a friend, complete with text, put together in a few minutes at most without requiring in-depth knowledge of design tools.

As with any mobile app, it’s designed for quick edits on the go, but that’s not to say Prequel is simple. The inclusion of AI opens up a new way of using art tools on mobile devices. With just a few taps, you can make dramatic and beautiful changes to images, followed by applying filters for additional granular fine-tuning. With a little creativity, the tools and templates can be combined to create eye-catching effects.

AI art created with Prequel

After applying an effect, there are many settings to adjust the color. (Image credit: Prequel)

The star of the show is undoubtedly the “Cartoon” filter and its anime variations, which give a hand-drawn caricature effect from selfies, albeit with some subtly exaggerated features. The striking effect on human faces is absolutely incredible and can easily match the efforts of the best AI teams from any of the world’s biggest names in design software.

To give you an idea, we took a selfie, ran it with the Cartoon AI effect, slightly adjusted the facial features, including the eye color, which gave us a very nice hand-drawn anime version of the subject. We then applied one of the “Chicago” filters to transform the image into what looked like a black and white drawing.

AI art created with Prequel

After applying an effect, there are many settings to adjust the color. (Image credit: Prequel)

Saving that, we reloaded on the new Prequel Halloween effects, with a particularly cool “Tarot” template that adds some movement to the still image, with themed text, and spawns a short video. Lastly, we added some twisted drum and bass music and cropped it down to 16:9. A delightful video montage made from a single selfie in less than 20 minutes.

The list of effects, filters, and templates is almost overwhelming. Some only work to recognize a human face, others are video tools for creatively combining clips, while some use a theme template to quickly bring an image to life in seconds, with retro or seasonal effects. Notably, the same cartoon AI technology can also process videos, presenting a really cool short anime clip from any footage. We found that, as always, well-lit images make the best source material and provide the best results with any of the effects we tested.

AI art created with Prequel

Prequel makes wrinkles disappear and exaggerates certain facial features. (Image credit: Prequel)

Aesthetic filtering on mobile has exploded in recent years, coinciding with the rise of image-heavy social media sites like Instagram and TikTok, where mountains of still images and video content are shared every second.

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