* This blog post is a summary of this video.

Generating Images from Text with Python and OpenAI's DALL-E

Author: Shweta LodhaTime: 2024-01-31 19:00:01

Table of Contents

Introduction to Generating Images from Text with DALL-E

Generating images from text descriptions is an exciting new capability enabled by advances in AI and natural language processing. Services like DALL-E from OpenAI allow users to create realistic images simply by providing a text prompt. In this post, we'll explore how to leverage DALL-E for automated image generation in Python.

Being able to generate custom images from text opens up many creative possibilities. Designers can instantly visualize concepts, authors can bring stories to life, and developers can automatically create assets for projects. The applications are vast and this technology will only continue to improve over time.

Overview of DALL-E for Image Generation

DALL-E is an artificial intelligence system created by OpenAI that is capable of generating realistic images and art from a text description. It utilizes a deep learning technique known as a transformer to understand relationships between words, ideas, and images. The system is trained on vast datasets of text captions and their corresponding images to learn these connections. When given a new text prompt, DALL-E can generate novel, authentic looking images that match the caption.

Benefits of Using DALL-E for Image Generation

There are several key advantages to using DALL-E for automated image generation compared to manually creating or searching for images:

  • Saved time - DALL-E can instantly generate custom images from text instead of having to manually create images in Photoshop or look through image libraries.
  • Flexibility - The text prompt can describe nearly anything you want the image to contain instead of being limited to pre-existing images.
  • Cost - Using DALL-E to automatically generate images is free up to a certain point, while stock photos or hiring designers can be expensive.
  • Creative freedom - DALL-E allows for more experimentation and serendipitous discoveries compared to manual image creation.

Installing Required Python Packages

To use DALL-E for image generation in Python, we first need to install the OpenAI Python library. This contains the functions needed to interact with the DALL-E API.

Run the following pip command to install the OpenAI module:

Importing Python Modules

Once the OpenAI module is installed, we need to import it along with a few other modules that will be used in the image generation script:

  • openai - Provides access to the OpenAI API/DALL-E.

  • base64 - Used to encode the generated images for saving to disk.

  • webbrowser - Allows opening the images in the browser to display them.

Here is an example of importing these modules:

Defining the Image Generation Function

Now we can define a Python function that leverages the OpenAI API to generate images from text prompts. The function will accept parameters for the text prompt and number of images to generate.

It will handle creating the API request to DALL-E, retrieving the generated images, and saving them to disk or displaying them in the browser.

Parameters for Image Generation Function

  • prompt - The text description of the desired image to generate.
  • num_images - The number of unique images to generate from the prompt.

Creating the OpenAI Response Object

The OpenAI image API is called by creating a response object. Key parameters of the request include:

  • prompt - The text prompt to generate images for.
  • n - The number of images to create (num_images).
  • size - The pixel size of the generated images, like 1024x1024.
  • response_format - The format of the API response, JSON or URL.

Saving the Generated Images

The images are returned in the API response encoded as Base64 strings. To save them we can:

  • Decode the Base64 strings into binary image data.
  • Write the binary data to disk as .jpg or .png files.
  • Construct unique filenames for each generated image.

Getting Your OpenAI API Key

To use the OpenAI image generation API, you need an API key. This identifies you and provides access to the API.

To get a key:

  • Go to https://openai.com/api/

  • Log in or create an OpenAI account if you don't have one.

  • Navigate to your account dashboard.

  • Click 'Create new secret key' and copy the key.

Calling the Image Generation Function

Once we have the function defined and API key, we can call the function to generate images!

Pass the text prompt describing the image content as well as the desired number of images to generate as parameters.

For example:

Displaying Generated Images in Web Browser

Instead of saving the images to disk, we can also display them directly in the web browser using the webbrowser module.

Just set the OpenAI response format to URL instead of JSON. The API will return image URLs that can be opened automatically in the browser with webbrowser.open().


That covers the basics of generating custom images from text descriptions using Python and the DALL-E API from OpenAI!

The ability to automatically create realistic images from text opens up many new creative possibilities. As these AI capabilities continue to improve, image generation will become even faster, higher quality, and more flexible.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for how you could integrate automated image generation into your own projects and workflows to boost creativity and productivity!


Q: What is DALL-E?
A: DALL-E is an AI system created by OpenAI that can generate realistic images and art from a text description.

Q: How do I get an OpenAI API key?
A: You can get an OpenAI API key by creating an account on openai.com, going to the API page, and generating a new API key. This key allows you to access OpenAI's API.

Q: What parameters does the image generation function take?
A: The image generation function takes a prompt string and an image count integer as parameters.

Q: How do I display the generated images?
A: You can display the generated images by opening them directly in your web browser using the OpenCV library in Python.

Q: What image formats does DALL-E support?
A: DALL-E supports generating images in formats like PNG, JPEG, SVG, etc.

Q: How long does it take to generate images?
A: Generating images with DALL-E is quite fast, usually taking just a few seconds based on the prompt and image count.

Q: Can I use DALL-E for commercial purposes?
A: You need explicit approval from OpenAI to use DALL-E commercially. The API currently has usage restrictions.

Q: What are the image size options?
A: DALL-E supports generating images at sizes like 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024 pixels.

Q: Are there any usage limits?
A: Yes, the OpenAI API has usage limits based on your plan. You may need to upgrade for more requests.

Q: Is DALL-E free to use?
A: The OpenAI API currently offers a free tier but has limits. Paid plans allow more usage.