As an avid amateur photographer and creative hobbyist, I'm always on the lookout for tools that can enhance my workflows. When I recently stumbled upon ClipDrop, a new AI-powered online image editor, I was intrigued by its range of automated editing capabilities. Created by Stability AI, ClipDrop offers an accessible way for anyone to perform complex edits like relighting portraits or upscaling images that previously required expensive software and expert skills.
After taking ClipDrop's free version for a test run, I was amazed by how much it could improve my photos and designs with just a few clicks. The AI-generated results weren't flawless, but were surprisingly impressive considering the reasonable subscription cost. While it has some limitations, ClipDrop gave me a glimpse into the future of AI-augmented creativity that gets me really excited as a creator. In this review, I'll cover my experience using its key features, areas for improvement, and why I think ClipDrop has huge potential to empower human imagination.
ClipDrop Image Editor by Stability AI presents an accessible and user-friendly suite of AI-powered image editing tools that aim to simplify creative workflows. As evidenced by an enthusiastic new user's first impressions, ClipDrop delivers impressive results, especially considering its reasonable pricing. While not without limitations, ClipDrop shows the expanding capabilities of AI to assist human creativity.
A Brief Introduction to ClipDrop
What is ClipDrop?
ClipDrop is like the Swiss army knife of image processing tools. It does it all, and does it pretty well. From removing persons and text to upscaling images and relighting, it's a one-stop shop for content creators and editors. Now, you're probably wondering, "What's the catch?" Surprisingly, it's relatively affordable, too. The monthly subscription costs nine bucks, but the annual plan brings it down to about seven.
At the time of writing, there are 10 main tools within CipDrop studio:
- Stable Diffusion XL: Enables the generation of high-resolution, realistic images with AI.
- Uncrop: Allows for expanding cropped photos to any image format.
- Reimagine XL: Use Stable Diffusion to create multiple versions of a single image.
- Stable Doodle: Transform your simple doodles into realistic images in seconds.
- Cleanup: Automatically removes objects, people, text, and defects from your pictures.
- Remove Background: Effortlessly extracts the main subject from a picture with incredible accuracy. It's like wielding a magic wand.
- Relight: Adds a beautiful lighting effect to your images.
- Image Upscale: Quickly upscale your images by 2x or 4x while removing noise and improving image quality.
- Replace Background: Use AI to teleport anything, anywhere, by replacing the background.
- Text Remover: Seamlessly removes text from any image.
The Magic That is ClipDrop
Let's dive deeper into what makes ClipDrop so special, shall we? Imagine someone handed you the infinity gauntlet, but it's packed with image editing tools instead of stones.
Re-light, re-touch, re-imagine
The first feature that caught my eye was the "re-light" tool. It's like having your personal sunlight you can adjust at will. It works by creating a 3D map of your image (like my profile picture that I tested) and allowing you to manipulate the lighting. You can move the light sources around, creating an interactive and dynamic lighting setup. You can adjust it until it's just perfect, like Goldilocks with her porridge.
Generating Images and Styles
Next up, ClipDrop also generates images and styles. Think of it like a virtual Bob Ross but without a soothing voice. This feature allows you to create images based on prompts and even tweak them to a specific style. It's not perfect - it's no Salvador Dalí - but it's definitely intriguing.
Removing and Replacing Backgrounds
One feature we've seen before in other tools is background removal. However, ClipDrop takes it a notch higher by allowing you to replace backgrounds as well. It's like having your green screen in your pocket.
Now, this one's new. Picture this: You have a perfect photo of your kid, but it's cropped too tight. What do you do? ClipDrop lets you expand the image, and it does so pretty impressively, adjusting for depth of field and blending the expanded area with your image. It's like the tool is a wizard casting an "Expand!" spell on your images.
Finally, we have image upscaling, which is like feeding your image a super mushroom in Super Mario. It takes your image and scales it up, adding more detail in the process. It's so good that it made me question my trusty Photoshop's upscaling capabilities.
ClipDrop for Product Design
ClipDrop also shows potential for industrial product designers. It can quickly iterate on rough sketch concepts to generate more specific and realistic 3D models.
I tried a simple test of sketching a vague dog toy and entering "dog toy" and "3D model" as prompts. Despite my poor drawing, ClipDrop produced reasonable 3D model interpretations. By refining the text prompt with descriptors like "made of fabric", the results improved.
This demonstrates how ClipDrop allows rapid ideation and exploration from rough concepts. Designers can turn their rough sketches into detailed 3D models to convey an idea to manufacturers. It makes it easy to visualize and evaluate different variations.
While the quality depends on the input sketch and prompts, ClipDrop provides an efficient way for designers to experiment and refine concepts. By offloading the busywork of rendering iterations, it gives designers more freedom to focus on creative direction. This is just one example of how AI like ClipDrop can enhance human creativity in specialized professional contexts.
The Benefits of the Clipdrop and Stable Diffusion Combo
Using Clipdrop and Stable Diffusion XL 0.9 together provides some major advantages that really accelerate and enhance the creative process:
It's Completely Free
You can access the full capabilities of Stable Diffusion and utilize Clipdrop's suite of editing tools at no cost. This allows anyone to experiment and harness advanced AI for their visual projects with no financial barrier to entry.
Extremely User-Friendly Workflow
Between Clipdrop's clean interface and Stable Diffusion's text-based prompts, generating images is very intuitive. Within minutes, you can go from an idea to high-quality image. This makes the technology accessible even to casual creators with no technical expertise.
Excellent Output Quality
With each new iteration, Stable Diffusion produces increasingly photorealistic, sharp, and coherent imagery. And Clipdrop's post-processing tools help polish the final products. This empowers creators to rapidly produce pro-grade visual content.
By automating tedious and time-intensive tasks, this AI unleashes your creativity. You can realize more ideas faster, freeing you to experiment. This leads to bolder, more imaginative visuals.
Perfect for Iterative Projects
The ability to instantly generate and iterate on images enables quick testing of concepts. You can visualize different options in seconds, instead of getting bogged down trying to actualize every idea manually.
ClipDrop isn't without flaws. The free version only allows low-resolution exports and includes watermarks. Image generation is limited compared to services focused solely on it. There are occasional depth-of-field artefacts in upscaled images. And generating or upscaling images has wait times if there's high demand.
- ClipDrop offers accessible AI image editing including upscaling, background removal, and relighting. The startup Stability AI is behind it.
- Suite of 10+ automated editing tools like relighting portraits, text/object removal, upscaling, and background replacement
- Leverages AI like Stable Diffusion to reimagine images, generate art from text prompts
- Tools aim to simplify complex edits previously requiring extensive expertise
- Clean, simple interface and editing workflow
- Very user-friendly even for casual users
- Easily navigate between robust toolset
- Results are surprisingly impressive for the cost
- Some processing delays during high-demand periods
- Limited by the quality of input content
- Free version with watermarks, lower resolution
- $9/month or $108/year for full-quality exports
- 14-day free trial
- Very affordable compared to advanced image generation and editing software
- Intuitive UI and editing workflow
- AI enables complex edits and creative experimentation
- Timesaving automation helps productivity
- The free version has significant limitations
- Not focused on AI art generation
- Occasional depth of field artefacts in upscaled images
- 4/5 stars
- Recommended for hobbyists, social media creators, and freelance editors. An accessible way to harness advanced AI for creative workflows.
ClipDrop brings advanced creative AI to a mainstream audience of creators and editors thanks to its affordable pricing and intuitive interface. While it has some limitations, it excels at automating complex edits and empowering experimentation. Beginners and professionals alike can expand their capabilities with ClipDrop. Alternatives for image generation include Midjourney and DALL-E
You're probably waiting for me to say, "But wait, there's a catch!" But, there really isn't one. The only downside I found was a waiting line for processing images if you're on the free version. However, even that can be skipped with the subscription.
In all seriousness, ClipDrop offers a remarkable range of capabilities for a relatively low cost. It's like finding a designer label at a thrift store - high quality at a bargain price. The tool isn't perfect, but it does pack a punch.
To sum it up, I think I'm sold. ClipDrop, you had me at "Re-light." It's the new tool that's new to me but may not be new to you. And with that, I'm off to purchase my subscription.
Look out for detailed comparisons of Clipdrop's tools versus industry standard tools in later articles.