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Implement AI Image Generation in a Flutter App

Author: Harsh H. RajpurohitTime: 2024-02-14 06:40:00

Table of Contents

Introduction to AI Image Generation with Flutter

AI image generation allows creating original images from text descriptions. This can be useful for illustrating ideas or concepts. Flutter provides an easy way to integrate powerful AI image generation capabilities into mobile apps.

In this tutorial, we will use the openAI Dart package to call state-of-the-art image generation models. We'll also implement custom loading indicators, error handling, and other best practices when working with AI APIs.

Overview of the Image Generation Process

The image generation process starts with a text prompt describing the desired image. This prompt is passed to an AI model which tries to generate a matching synthetic image. Under the hood, the model is trained on vast datasets to understand visual concepts and their relationships. The model uses this understanding to iteratively construct an image that fits the description.

Benefits of Using AI for Image Generation

AI image generation removes the need to manually create or search for images. Just describe what you want, and the model will create a custom image for you. It saves time and costs compared to hiring designers or artists. The generated images also have flexible licensing allowing reuse in apps and websites.

Set Up the Flutter Project

We'll use the openAI Dart package for access to image generation models. Another handy package is cached_network_image which efficiently loads and caches images from the network.

We also need to initialize the openAI API key before calling the API.

Add Required Packages

Add openai and cached_network_image to pubspec.yaml under dependencies. Run flutter pub get to download them.

Initialize API Key

Define the API key string constant in a separate file like globals.dart Import and initialize the key when the app starts up before using any models.

Implement the Image Generation Logic

With the setup complete, we can focus on the main image generation logic. This involves calling the API, processing the response, and rendering the image.

We'll also implement loading indicators, error handling, and caching for a great user experience.

Call the API to Generate Images

Use the openAI createImage method, passing the text prompt and configuration like size. The API returns image URLs we can then load and display.

Handle Loading and Error States

Show a loading indicator while waiting for the API response. Render error message widgets if the response contains errors or fails.

Display Generated Images

Use CachedNetworkImage to efficiently load images from URL. Set placeholders and error widgets to improve state handling.

Enhance the UI

With the functionality complete, we add some UI polish to improve the experience.

Show Loading Indicator

Display a loading spinner while waiting for image generation to finish. Indicates progress and gives better feedback to the user.

Curve Image Corners

Use a ClipRRect widget to round the corners of the generated image. Improves aesthetics and fits with common UI patterns.


Flutter and AI make it easy to create engaging mobile apps with cutting edge image generation capabilities.

The full source code for this tutorial is available on GitHub to help you get started.


Q: How does AI image generation work?
A: AI image generation uses machine learning models that are trained on large datasets of images to generate new images based on text prompts provided by the user.

Q: What packages are used for AI image generation in Flutter?
A: The openAI Dart package along with cached_network_image are used to call the API, handle responses and display the generated images in the Flutter app.

Q: How can I customize the generated images?
A: You can provide different text prompts to generate images of anything you want. You can also specify parameters like image size and format in the API request.

Q: Does AI image generation cost money?
A: Yes, most AI image generation APIs charge based on usage. However, they offer free tiers for testing and development.

Q: How long does it take to generate AI images?
A: It usually takes 10-20 seconds to generate a 512x512 image. Larger image sizes take longer.

Q: Can I use AI image generation commercially?
A: You need to check the terms of service of the particular API. Many have restrictions on how the generated images can be used.

Q: What other enhancements can I add?
A: You can add features to save generated images, search history, image metadata etc. Integrating ads, analytics also helps monetize the app.

Q: Does this work for video/audio generation?
A: No, you would need a different set of AI models for video, audio or music generation. The concepts are similar but APIs are different.

Q: What are some alternatives?
A: Some alternate services are DALL-E 2, Midjourney, StarryAI, Wonder, etc. Each has its own advantages, pricing and restrictions.

Q: Can I train my own models?
A: Yes, you can train Diffusion models on your datasets with platforms like Anthropic Stable Diffusion. This requires expert ML skills.