Artificial intelligence is becoming ubiquitous, permeating various apps and devices integral to our daily lives. The influence of this technology extends even to unexpected platforms, such as the recent AI upgrade introduced to Microsoft Paint.
Microsoft Paint, a longstanding image editing tool embedded in Windows since its inaugural version in 1985, has recently undergone a significant update. The latest feature, Cocreator, leverages AI to generate images based on minimal text prompts.
Users now have the opportunity to engage in AI-driven art creation directly within Paint. To access this feature, ensure that both your Windows 11 operating system and Paint application are updated to the latest versions, obtainable through the Library tab in the Microsoft Store app.
Getting started with Microsoft Cocreator
Open Microsoft Paint on your Windows 11 device, and you’ll discover the Cocreator feature conveniently located on the right side of the top toolbar. It’s important to note that this version is still in preview so occasional bugs might be encountered. Cocreator operates using the DALL-E image generator, the same technology employed in other Microsoft AI tools, like Bing’s AI art generator.
For the initial use of Cocreator, you’ll need to navigate through a brief introduction before delving into its functionalities. The process aligns with typical AI image tools: you describe the desired image, such as a path through a stormy wood, and receive several image options in return.
In the text prompt, you can specify the type of picture you want, whether it’s a photo or something more abstract. Cocreator enhances your customization with a style drop-down menu featuring options like Charcoal, Ink Sketch, Watercolor, Oil Painting, Digital Art, Photorealistic, Anime, and Pixel Art. This variety allows for creative exploration.
Upon finalizing your prompt and selecting a style, click “Create.” After a brief moment, you’ll be presented with three distinct variations to choose from. Click on any image to open it in Paint for further editing, or utilize the three dots on the thumbnail to Save the image directly to your disk.
Similar to other AI art generation tools integrated into Microsoft products, each image generated through Cocreator requires credit. Users are initially provided with 50 credits, and based on reports from other users, there seems to be a regular but limited allocation afterward. While Microsoft hasn’t officially disclosed the exact number of credits allocated, it appears to be a dynamic system designed to handle user demand.
Doing more with your images
Cocreator in Paint offers limited options for customization. You can’t alter the dimensions or aspect ratio of the generated images, sticking with the default 1,024 x 1,024 squares provided by the tool.
While you can later stretch or crop these images, the initial output is fixed. Providing a detailed prompt enhances the image generation process, especially if you want specific objects, a particular vibe, or a specific color scheme.
Although Paint displays your original prompt after clicking Create, its precision is limited, requiring human intervention for exact requirements.
Keep in mind that Paint retains its traditional image editing capabilities. The Pencil and Fill options on the toolbar are particularly useful for refining images generated by Cocreator. Utilize the color picker and Brush drop-down to modify the appearance of your edits.
With the addition of layers support in Microsoft Paint, accessible through the far-right icon on the top toolbar, you can position different AI-generated images on separate layers. This allows you to combine various artworks creatively, using tools like the Eraser to reveal parts of underlying layers.