Product reviews
March 26, 2024

Pikaso AI Turns Your Rudimentary Doodles Into Mind-Blowing Artworks

Pikaso can turn simple sketches into a mind-blowing artworks instantly.

Jim Clyde Monge
Jim Clyde Monge

Have you ever doodled on a piece of paper and thought, “Man, I wish I could turn this into a real piece of art”? Well, I know I have. But let’s face it, not all of us are born with the artistic talent of Van Gogh or Picasso.

A couple of months ago, Stability AI released an AI image model called SDXL Turbo, which is essentially a condensed version of their SDXL 1.0 model. The exciting thing about this model is that it’s designed for real-time image generation. As soon as this news hit the tech world, people began creating all kinds of apps and tools to take advantage of this powerful technology.

Now, out of all the incredible things people have built with SDXL Turbo, there’s one tool that truly caught my attention. It’s called Pikaso AI Art Generator, from a company called Freepik.

What is Pikaso?

In essence, Pikaso allows you to transform your rough doodles and sketches into breathtaking, professional-grade artworks in mere seconds.

Here’s an example:

Prompt: a smiling sunflower, cute, 3D Pixar animation, cloud
Pikaso Prompt: a smiling sunflower, cute, 3D Pixar animation, cloud
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

The image on the right is the AI interpretation of my sketch on the left side. It was updating the right canvas in real time with every change I made on the left. How incredible is that?

Now, let’s dive into its sketch-to-image feature.

How Pikaso works

Head over to Freepik’s website and under the tools tab, select Pikaso.

freepik’s pikaso under tools menu
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

On Pikaso’s page, you’ll discover what it is and how it functions.

Freepik’s pikaso real art generator
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

When you’re ready to explore the sketch-to-image feature, click on the “Try Pikaso now” button. You will be directed to a dashboard where you can start creating AI artwork.

First, let’s talk about the canvas. On the left, you’ll find a set of drawing controls and brushes. You can also upload your hand-drawn artwork or capture a video/screenshot using your PC’s built-in camera.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a cat
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

On the right side, you’ll see the real-time AI interpretation of your doodle, paired with the text description in the text field at the top.

Now, let’s explore the AI image editing controls. Setting the “Imagination” slider to 0 means the AI-interpreted image will closely resemble the reference image.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a dog
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

Setting the value to 50 means that the AI will make some changes to the reference image, but not too drastically. The resulting image will still bear a strong resemblance to the original sketch, with the AI making moderate enhancements and adjustments.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a dog
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

Setting the value to 100 gives the AI complete freedom to interpret the reference image however it desires. Take a look at this example:

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a dog
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

The optimal value for the “Imagination” parameter will depend on your specific use case. Feel free to experiment with this slider.

The “Reimagine” button generates multiple variations of the AI-generated image.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a dog
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

From the image above, these are the reimagined versions of the 3D car. You can also simply press the “R” key to bring up this window.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a car. reimagine feature
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

Another cool feature is the “Enhance” option, which allows you to adjust the level of detail and resolution of the output image. Take a look at the enhanced result of the car above:

Pikaso real time ai image generator. an image of a car enhance feature
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

I wish there was a shortcut button to download the image directly from this screen.

Pikaso records the history of each modification you make and compiles them into a video file. You can download the video file by clicking on the “Playback” button.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. gif example of a car
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

Note: Pikaso is still relatively new, and some features are not yet fully functional.

The Experience

I’ve been experimenting with Pikaso for a couple of hours now, and I must say, it’s an absolute joy to use. Even with my limited artistic abilities, I’ve been able to create some truly impressive artworks. It doesn’t feel like I’m using a complicated, high-tech tool.

However, while the current version of the web application is already great, I have some suggestions for the UX team that I believe would enhance the app even further.

  • Introduce the ability to change the canvas size or aspect ratio. Currently, it’s fixed at 1:1
  • Expand the icons library with more icons and shapes
  • Implement the ability to erase portions of the canvas using a brush tool
  • Add a dedicated “download” button in the Enhance window
  • Create a template library that users can utilize as a starting point for their projects
  • How about a mobile version of the application?

I hope Freepik considers some of the suggestions above and incorporates them in future iterations of Pikaso.

Practical Use Cases

Now, you might be wondering, “This sounds amazing, but how can I actually put it to use?”

First, children will have an absolute blast transforming their doodles into stunning artwork. Imagine the pride and excitement on their faces when they see their scribbles transformed into vibrant, professional-looking illustrations.

Teachers, like my mother who is a grade school educator, can benefit tremendously from Pikaso. Imagine being able to create captivating, high-quality teaching materials in a matter of minutes, rather than spending hours grappling with design software or manually drawing and coloring on cartolina.

And finally, illustrators will find Pikaso to be a game-changer when it comes to quickly visualizing ideas instead of investing countless hours in sketching and refining concepts.

How much does it cost?

Freepik offers both free and premium subscriptions, each with its own set of features and limitations.

Free users have a daily usage limit, which you can see on the usage counter in the top right corner of the screen. Plus, if you’re on a free account, you can generate up to 20 enhanced (high-quality) images of your drawings every day.

Pikaso real time ai image generator. pricing
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

If you find yourself needing more than that, you might want to consider upgrading to a Premium account which costs around 16 USD. With Premium, you get unlimited usage, so you can create as much art as you want. Premium users can generate up to 4000 enhanced images per day.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I was really impressed by Pikaso and the quality of the AI images it creates. While it’s not the first real-time image generator I’ve used, Pikaso stands out from competitors like Leonardo AI and Krea AI by offering a simple, intuitive, and user-friendly interface.

It’s perfect for anyone who wants to have fun making art without getting bogged down in complicated controls.

If you’re an advanced user who needs a lot of extra features, you might want to check out some of Pikaso’s competitors. But for most people who just want to enjoy creating amazing artwork quickly and easily, Pikaso is the way to go.

I believe the improvement ideas I presented above will be considered by Freepik as they keep working on this fantastic tool.