Here’s our latest 5-minute guide on the basics of writing text prompts for AI image generation to render the visuals you were looking for.
- Text prompts should be at least 3-7 words long
- AI prompts should include a subject (person, object, or location) and descriptors (adverbs and adjectives that describe the subject).
- Avoid using abstract concepts because they lead to inconsistent results; use concrete nouns instead.
- Aesthetic and style keywords and phrases can add the finishing touches to the rendering.
What are Image Rendering Prompts?
Generative AI prompts are textual or visual instructions for AI image rendering platforms to help them understand what type of visual you wish to generate.
To understand text prompts imagine that you are speaking with an artist about what you want them to create. You would include a subject (the main focus of the visual), what the subject is doing, where, and how, along with additional descriptive words to describe the rendering's visual style.
The highlighted textbox is the text prompt that is used by the Let's Enhance Image Generator to render unique visuals. Different AI generators will produce varying results, but the text prompt structure is usually the same across the board.
In some cases will be asked to upload images to an AI generator, since some rendering platforms need visuals to make new renderings. If you’re looking for a rendering that closely resembles the technique and style of a particular creation, an image prompt would be more accurate than a textual one.
One of the best examples of image prompts is DALL.E’s Outpainting AI. This AI rendering platform takes an existing visual and renders the visuals that it assumes would be its continuation. The image above is a demonstration of how DALL.E’s AI created the surroundings of Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring. The square in the middle shows the original painting and everything on the outside was rendered by the DALL.E Outpainting AI.
Both Image and Text Prompts
In some cases, you will be asked to mix the two prompt types together to render new visuals. This is done to ensure that the rendered image is as close to what the prompt engineer was looking to generate as possible.
The Anatomy of Image Generation Prompts
To effectively render images using AI, you must first understand what that particular AI rendering platform specializes in. The DALL.E series of rendering platforms specialize in rendering photo-realistic visuals, whereas Midjourney favors more digital art or illustration formats. Our own Let’s Enhance Image Generator works well with both illustrations and photorealism, but can also render images that resemble 3D sculpted models.
Use At Least 3-7 Words
There is no single correct way of writing text prompts for generative AI platforms, but most prompt engineers would agree, that textual prompts should be at least 3-7 words long if you’re looking to render something more detailed and less abstract.
While you don’t need to strictly abide by these rules, but if you’re looking for a more detailed and complex rendering, then a 3-7 word text prompt would be your best bet. The more descriptive your text prompt, the easier it is for the AI to understand what you’re looking for.
Subject: The Who and What of Text Prompts
As with human artists, AI-image generators need a subject to render. This can be a person, object, or location that will be the main focus of your rendered image. You can use prompts with more than one subject, but to keep things simple for now, let’s keep it at 1 subject per text prompt.
Pro tip: Avoid using abstract concepts (love, hate, justice, infinity, joy) as subjects. You can most certainly render something using these keywords, but the results will be very inconsistent in what they depict. Use concrete nouns (human, cup, dog, planet, headphones) as the subject of your prompt for more accurate results.
Similar to sentences in English, the subject must be a noun. Some simple examples would be human, car, forest, apple, living room interior, and soda can. The AI can successfully generate an image from any of these nouns alone, but to get more detailed and complex AI renderings, you need to create a more descriptive text prompt.
Descriptors: The Doing What, Where, and How
To add more complexity to your rendering and help the AI narrow down what images to use as references, you need to utilize descriptors. While any word that describes the subject of the text prompt can be considered a descriptor, these tend to be verbs and adjectives that answer questions like:
- What is happening?
- What is the subject doing?
- How is the subject doing this?
- What’s happening around the subject?
- What does the subject look like?
To illustrate this point, we did a little experiment with our Let’s Enhance Image Generator and tried to render a raccoon that is reading. The rendering on the left was rendered when we simply entered the text prompt “raccoon reading”. And while the AI was able to generate the subject and one descriptor successfully, the example is still rather simple.
On the right, however, the prompt contains two additional descriptors “a book” and “in a library”. These additional descriptors allowed the AI to narrow down the reference photos, thus rendering an image far more complex than its counterpart with a far more simplistic text prompt.
Pro tip: Experiment with descriptors to see how they affect different aspects of the image. Descriptors are not a definite science and may yield wildly different results, so mix and match them to see what the results look like.
Keep in mind, that it is really a matter of preference and necessity whether you use additional descriptors and how many. If you’re looking for a simple rendering of a finch, simply typing in “finch” in the text prompt is going to be enough for most AI image generators.
But the far more descriptive text prompt of the example on the right demonstrates how accurately the AI can render a more detailed visual thanks to additional descriptors, such as “a tiny”, “on a branch”, “with spring flowers on the background”.
Aesthetic and Style: How the Rendering Will Look
Finally, the last bit of a common text prompt for generative AI platforms are keywords and phrases that add the finishing touches to the rendering. These last few words will determine the style, framing, and overall aesthetic of the composition. Keywords like “photo”, “oil painting”, or “3D sculpture” work really well in this section. You can also use prompts like “close up”, “wide shot”, or “portrait” for additional framing options.
And there’s also the option of choosing an art style, as well as naming specific artists whose work you wish the AI to imitate. In the example above, the Let’s Enhance Image Generator was told to render an impressionist painting in the style of Vincent Van Gogh of the Batmobile stuck in LA traffic.
You can see that the two iterations in the left column emphasized the wide shot, as both compositions show a more distant photo of the traffic and don’t focus on the subject as much. However, all 4 renders were made to imitate impressionist paintings, and more specifically, the style of Van Gogh. With those additional aesthetic prompts at the end of our text prompts, we were able to successfully stylize our rendered images, making them more unique.
Here’s another example of how the same prompt with different aesthetic keywords can change the entire style of the rendered image. The rendering on the left used a simple prompt with a subject and some additional descriptors. However, the rendering to the right, thanks to keywords such as “vaporwave aesthetic” and “product photography”, has a more defined visual aesthetic, with the gradient in the background mimicking product photography on top of the neon vaporwave aesthetic.
How Let’s Enhance Image Generator Bypasses a Common Problem
One of the limitations we come across when rendering with AI is their resolution caps. The processing power that would be required to render hundreds of thousands of high-resolution images all at once would be immense.
So to avoid overloading their platform, most AI generators are engineered with resolution caps. This means the images you generate have a maximum resolution that can only be circumvented by purchasing a premium account, though in some cases it can be free.
Lucky for us here at Let’s Enhance, we already have another AI capable of taking images with smaller resolutions and upscaling them to larger sizes. This is why we integrated our upscale AI into the image generation AI and bypassed this limitation.
After the image is rendered, you have the option of receiving it in its native 512 by 512px or upscaling it 4 times to 2048 by 2048px without a drop in quality. This is a higher resolution than what most generative AI platforms are putting out today, even with the most expensive service packages. This is a great feature for those who work with AI image generators and are looking for high-quality visuals with a flexible price model.
Check out the Let's Enhance image generator to render high-res visuals for your projects. Already have tons of visual content you'd like to improve in quality? Check out Claid.ai which has helped many businesses and eCommerce platforms improve the quality of their visual content and boost their sales.
Here are some of the most common questions asked about AI text prompt writing.
What is a text prompt?
Text prompts are textual input containing keywords that the AI recognizes and based on these, generates a unique visuals. In most cases, text prompts can be a single word, list of words, or sentences depending on the AI platform being used.
How do I write prompt for ai image generator?
Use multiple adjectives and focus on subject and style keywords instead of connecting words. Include the name of the object or scene in the prompt and let your creativity run wild to develop an idea. Natural language processing can also help you write more evocative prompts for AI image generators.
How do you phrase AI art prompt?
Use clear and concise language to describe what you want the AI to create. Be specific and focus on subject and style keywords instead of connecting words. Use multiple adjectives and write at least 3 to 7 words for the prompt. Additionally, referencing the masters of art history is a great place to begin if you are stuck for ideas.
How long should a text prompt be?
Ideally, your text prompt should be at least 3-7 words. This number may vary depending on the AI platform being used.
What are some examples of AI image generator prompts?
Examples of prompts for AI image generation include "Generate a picture of a brown dog on a skateboard", "Earth reviving after human extinction", and "Freeform ferrofluids, beautiful dark chaos". For more ideas, users can try out the top 50 text-to-image prompts for AI art generators or search for good prompts on PromptHero. After trying out a few prompts, users can develop their own ideas and enter them as text input.
Is there a benefit to having longer text prompts?
Yes, the more detailed your text prompt is, the more visual references the AI can use to create your rendering. However, the more details you include in your text prompt, the more complex your image is going to be, thus the results may not be exactly what you were expecting.
How many subjects should I use?
In more complex and dynamic AI generated images, you can use several subjects. But initially, it's best to use 1 or 2 subjects.
Which AI makes images from prompts?
Our online app, LetsEnhance.io, generates images from texts, provides with intuitive prompt builder and resolution upscaler. Other AI image generators include Stable Diffusion, Craiyon (also known as DALL·E mini), DALL E, Photosonic, and DeepAI.
What can I do if the AI never renders what I was expecting?
As we pointed out in one of our short video tutorials, it's best to take it one step at a time with text prompts. First start with the subject and see how it works. Next, try adding a descriptor and if you notice that the renderings are not very clean or comprehensible, try a different descriptor with a similar meaning. Do this until the AI image generator comes as close to what results you were looking for as possible.