Understanding AI art.

Three eiffel towers in desert with river; photorealism

Prompt: Three eiffel towers in desert with river; photorealism

How does AI generate art?

pink fir tree
Tree with pink flowers
Prompt: (left) pink fir tree; (right) tree blooming with tropical flowers

Generative AI in the art world.

beautiful gallery oil painting, red, jade, orange and grey, sharp lines and blended tones

Prompt: a beautiful gallery oil painting, red, jade, orange and grey, sharp lines and blended tones

Get to know the technology behind AI-generated art.

Just like there are many tools in an artist’s physical toolbox — paints, pencils, inks — mulitple kinds of technology contribute to making AI artwork. We’ve already discussed large language models and diffusion models. Here are a few more technologies used in AI art generation.

Generative AI models

Generative adversarial networks (GANs): GANs are a set of two neural networks, trained on the same data, that work together. One generates a photorealistic image and the other tries to figure out if that image is real or created. For instance, the first may generate an image of a horse and the second would try to determine if the image was a photograph or digitally created. This helps the system make more realistic images.

Variational autoencoders (VAEs): A variational autoencoder is made up of two neural networks working in tandem, each with a different job. One is an encoder, which takes in information, and the other is a decoder, which is able to reinterpret that information into all new content. Like GANs, they produce photorealistic images.

Generative AI techniques

Image synthesis: Image synthesis describes the act of creating new images from large datasets of other images.

Creative coding: Artists who create the programs that generate their artwork are described as creative coders. The intent of creative coding is not to produce a functional result, but an expressive one.

Now it’s time to put all your knowledge to good use and explore what’s possible when you combine the power of imagination with the abilities of generative AI.
Firefly generated Girl at piano

Experiment with new artistic styles.

With generative AI it’s easy to get outside your artistic comfort zone. Explore new looks with Firefly’s AI image generator by choosing options from the Style menu like Steampunk, Layered paper, or Stippling.

Save time, create more.

Use generative AI to quickly create mockups for clients or reference images for your artwork. Use Firefly powered tools like Generative Recolor and Text to Pattern (beta) within Illustrator to quickly iterate on your art and create stylish motifs.

Firefly generated Exhibition flyer in 4 colors, orange, purple, blue and pink
Firefly letter P made form popcorn

Share work with others.

Invite a friend to edit one of your artworks using Generative Fill in Photoshop, a Firefly powered tool that lets you select any part of an image and replace it using a simple text prompt. With generative AI, you can create with others like never before.

Creativity for all.

Generative AI gives you access to more types of artistic expression. A skilled graphic designer using AI can try their hand at making dramatic edits to a photograph or a total beginner can experiment with multiple kinds of artmaking using Text to Image.

Firefly created images of a woman with a multi color smoke background

Get started with creating AI artwork.

  • Open the Firefly web app.
    The simplest way to begin experimenting with generative AI is to use Adobe Firefly. Using the Firefly web application you can immediately begin creating artwork, recolor your existing artwork, or edit photographs using generative AI. To get started go to and sign in. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, you can create one for free here. You can also explore features powered by Firefly like Generative Fill in Photoshop, Generative Recolor or Text to Pattern (beta) in Illustrator, and Text to Image and Text Effects in Adobe Express.
  • Write a prompt.
    Writing a good descriptive prompt is one of the key components of creating generative AI art. Use adjectives, include the names of art movements or mediums, and try including moods and emotions as well. Learn more about writing successful AI art prompts.
  • Explore sample prompts.
    Mouseover the Text to Image artwork examples provided in the Firefly web app gallery to see what prompts produced those images and apply those techniques to your own experiments.
  • Refine your settings.
    Explore the options available within the Firefly web app to refine your output. You can choose from a selection of different Content Types, Styles, Color and Tone, Lighting, and Composition options.
  • Keep experimenting.
    Once you’ve generated an image, see how much further you can take it. The creation of an artwork with generative AI can be a catalyst for exploration. Use it to inspire an analog work, or take it into another Adobe app for fine-tuning with precise editing tools. Learn more by following our step-by-step guide on how to make AI-generated art.

Firefly generated infinite intricacy fractal pattern, hyper-realistic, science_fiction, 4k

Prompt: infinite intricacy fractal pattern, hyper-realistic, science_fiction, 4k

Unlock your creativity with Adobe Firefly and AI-generated art.


Where do AI art generators get their data from?

The current Firefly generative AI model is trained on a dataset of Adobe Stock along with openly licensed work and public domain content where copyright has expired.


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