Generate Images With DALL·E 2 and the OpenAI API

Generate Images With DALL·E 2 and the OpenAI API
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Describe any image, then let a computer create it for you. What sounded futuristic only a few years ago has become reality with advances in neural networks and latent diffusion models (LDM). DALL·E by OpenAI has made a splash through the amazing generative art and realistic images that people create with it.

OpenAI now allows access to DALL·E through their API, which means that you can incorporate its functionality into your Python applications.

In this tutorial, you’ll:

  • Get started using the OpenAI Python library
  • Explore API calls related to image generation
  • Create images from text prompts
  • Create variations of your generated image
  • Convert Base64 JSON responses to PNG image files

You’ll need some experience with Python, JSON, and file operations to breeze through this tutorial. You can also study up on these topics while you go along, as you’ll find relevant links throughout the text.

If you haven’t played with the web user interface (UI) of DALL·E before, then try it out before coming back to learn how to use it programmatically with Python.

Complete the Setup Requirements

If you’ve seen what DALL·E can do and you’re eager to make its functionality part of your Python applications, then you’re in the right spot! In this first section, you’ll quickly walk through what you need to do to get started using DALL·E’s image creation capabilities in your own code.

Install the OpenAI Python Library

Confirm that you’re running Python version 3.7.1 or higher, create and activate a virtual environment, and install the OpenAI Python library:

PS> python --version
Python 3.11.0
PS> python -m venv venv
PS> .\venv\Scripts\activate
(venv) PS> python -m pip install openai
$ python --version
Python 3.11.0
$ python -m venv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
(venv) $ python -m pip install openai

The openai package gives you access to the full OpenAI API. In this tutorial, you’ll focus on the Image class, which you can use to interact with DALL·E to create and edit images from text prompts.

Get Your OpenAI API Key

You need an API key to make successful API calls. Sign up for the OpenAI API and create a new API key by clicking on the dropdown menu on your profile and selecting View API keys:

API key page in the OpenAI web UI profile window

On this page, you can manage your API keys, which allow you to access the service that OpenAI offers through their API. You can create and delete secret keys.

Click on Create new secret key to create a new API key, and copy the value shown in the pop-up window:

Pop up window displaying the generated secret API key

Always keep this key secret! Copy the value of this key so you can later use it in your project. You’ll only see the key value once.

Save Your API Key as an Environment Variable

A quick way to save your API key and make it available to your Python scripts is to save it as an environment variable. Select your operating system to learn how:

(venv) PS> $ENV:OPENAI_API_KEY = "<your-key-value-here>"
(venv) $ export OPENAI_API_KEY="<your-key-value-here>"

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December 21, 2022 at 07:30PM
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