I'm obsessed with this AI art tool for editing images

AI photo editor; a woman's face
(Image credit: DraGAN)

DragGAN is a new AI app that enables you to easily adjust photos and art by dragging across the image. It really is that simple and, frankly, I'm a little obsessed with it. 

Update: the developer behind DragGAN has now been released the AI tool in open source, so you can learn and access its code via GitHub and begin understanding how this impressive image editor works. 

We've seen how the best AI art generators, mainly diffusion models like DALLE.2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, can work to freak us out (see the best AI art tutorials to learn how they work and those AI house party images and fake beer commercials for examples), but now we're beginning to see new uses for an older technology, GANs (generative adversarial networks), and these are a little more useful, if DragGAN is anything to go by.  

While this AI image editing software is in its early stages – DragGAN exists as a white paper – the results are mesmeric. DragGAN is an interactive way of editing photos or works of art by tagging points on an image and just… dragging. The AI does all the hard work.

The app uses AI to manipulate images. There's some tech jargon at play but essentially the AI enables you to affect the image while maintaining its integrity; essentially DragGAN allows you to deform images using interactive points, and the generative AI assists with the changes for smooth and accurate end result.

AI editor; image editing

(Image credit: DragGAN)

You can adjust images set into various categories, including animals, cars and people as well as landscapes, and adjust everything from the image layout to poses and shapes, and even alter a person's expression in a photo.

The research team wrote: "Imagine being able to just "drag" any point of an image to exactly where you want it to be. That's what we're aiming to achieve with our new method, which we call DragGAN."

They explain how it works: "DragGAN has two main parts. The first is a feature-based motion supervision that helps you move any point in the image to your target position. The second part is a new point tracking approach that helps keep track of the position of these points. With DragGAN, anyone can deform an image and have precise control over where every pixel ends up."

The GAN-based tool currently works on 2D images but the team plan on releasing a version that works with 3D models. If you want to find out more about AI apps coming up, read our article on Adobe Firefly and for an understanding of how AI art generators are affecting artists, read our feature 'What can stop generative AI art?'.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.