2021

I discovered a bunch of websites (well, five anyway, but there are definitely more out there) that allow you, for free, to upload your photos and then manipulate them using artificial intelligence/machine learning ­- whatever you want to call it. The results range from disappointing, through interesting, to wow! I will show you some of mine in the hope that it may inspire you to have a go yourself.

As a general introduction, you probably won't do better than to start at this web page.

Sites I like to use, in no particular order:

Ostagram

You need to sign up but it's painless. It's quite slow, but produces some very interesting effects. You can apply their chosen styles to your image or upload your own. You can download your modified photo. Quality is good although may need some tweaking for contrast and sharpness.

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Deep Dream Generator

 You have to create an account first. You are given 15 credits at the beginning. These renew every day and top themselves up every hour. There

are three options - Deep Style (5 credits), Thin Style and Deep Dream (both 2 credits per go). Like Ostagram, you can style a photo with your own image or use one of theirs. The results are high quality and can be downloaded. You can pay for more options, e.g. more credits and access to HD image creation. Deep Dream is seriously weird - very hippy trippy but lots of fun.

NightCafe

Dead easy to use and very flexible. You are given a few free goes every day but these soon run out. I bought 150 credits last week and I'm still using them. The lowest res option costs one credit, the medium resolution is 2 credits while the high def option is 5 credits. You can either apply their choice of styles to your image or upload your own. You can alter the strength applied to your image. NightCafe is probably my favourite website so far.

Runway

To quote the website, 'Create and edit Content like never before. Your next generation creative toolkit — powered by machine learning.' This is a serious, creative tool but quite straightforward to use. You need to create an account first. Then you add some styles (they call them models) to your workspace and then upload some photos to play with. It's quite speedy and the results are excellent. Your transformed image will be the same size as your original photo and can be downloaded. The site contains a lot of other possibilities to do with text, video and animation that I haven't been anywhere near. You are given $10 worth of credits and will need to buy more when they are used if you want to carry on.

Instapainting

And finally, Instapainting. This is the easiest way to change a photo that I've found so far, probably because its options are fairly limited. Nevertheless, the results can be good. Big pluses are no sign-up necessary and it's very fast.

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