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Adobe Firefly vs. DALL-E 3 Compared With The Same Prompts

With more AI image generators now than ever before, the race to being the best tightens. Can Adobe Firefly upset DALL-E, one of the earliest models in the segment?
Updated May 8, 2024
A red robot (symbolizing Adobe Firefly) against a green robot (symbolizing DALL-E 3), generated with Midjourney
A red robot (symbolizing Adobe Firefly) against a green robot (symbolizing DALL-E 3), generated with Midjourney

Crafting art has never been more accessible, thanks to the incredible advancements in AI image generators. With the ability to conjure stunning imagery from a single prompt, these tools have truly changed the game.

Since I want to find out what’s the best AI image generator, I've been pitting them against each other using the same prompts. The next ones on this list? Adobe Firefly 2 and DALL-E 3.

The stage is set for a showdown between these two titans of AI art. In this article, I'll dive deep into their strengths, weaknesses, and unique features of DALL-E 3 and Adobe Firefly 2. Which one will emerge victorious in the quest to crown the ultimate AI image generator?

What are Adobe Firefly and DALL-E 3?

Adobe Firefly 2 is the latest iteration of Adobe's AI-powered text-to-image model, building upon the success of the original Firefly released in 2022. This upgraded version boasts several key improvements:

  • Complexity. Firefly 2 can now generate even more intricate and detailed images, seamlessly blending various elements and objects.
  • Nuance. The model's understanding of the relationship between text prompts and visual output has been significantly enhanced, resulting in images that more accurately reflect the provided descriptions.
  • Creativity. Firefly 2 offers users a broader range of creative options, allowing them to explore and experiment with their ideas in innovative ways.

As it is integrated directly into Adobe's Creative Cloud suite, Firefly 2 allows users to generate images right within their favorite design applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

On the other hand, DALL-E 3 is the latest version of OpenAI's image generation model. It’s known for its exceptional understanding of prompts and its ability to translate them into highly creative outputs. It’s also recognized as being the first mainstream AI image generator that can generate text in images.

Adobe Firefly vs. DALL-E 3: Feature Comparison

In terms of features, Adobe Firefly is — without a doubt — more loaded than DALL-E 3. Starting with the latter, DALL-E 3’s biggest feature is its integration with ChatGPT. This allows you to create images based on conversations. GPT-4 also changes your prompt into something that could be better understood by the AI image generator.

Adobe Firefly 2 has tons of output customization features. You can choose an aspect ratio, switch between art and images, tweak stylization strength, and even pick a camera angle. It also allows you to choose an effect to add to the output, and upload an image as style reference.

Adobe Firefly vs. DALL-E 3: Output Comparison

Portrait Realism

Prompt: portrait photography, a man after a swim, extreme closeup, candid

Prompt: portrait photography, a woman with green eyes, close-up shot, high quality photo, street photography, natural light

Based on these outputs, I’d say that Adobe Firefly is miles better than DALL-E 3 in creating realistic people. They don’t have perfect jaws, flawless faces, beautiful hair — they just look like real people you’d encounter during your weekend errands.

That said, I believe Adobe Firefly’s nuance isn’t as advanced as DALL-E 3’s. In the second batch of photos, I specifically said “green eyes” and Firefly ignored it completely. 

Various Realism

Prompt: astrophotography, new york city during an eclipse

Prompt: an isolated image of a grilled cheese sandwich, white backdrop, clean

Prompt: the intricate details of a snowflake

Similar to what I said earlier, Adobe Firefly is still better than DALL-E 3 in realism. The latter’s grilled cheese output isn’t even realistic but a 3D render of a sandwich. However, I’d say that both AI image generators could work on their complexity. Images that needed a lot of elements (like the eclipse prompt) had weird things, such as skewed buildings, inconsistent patterns, and an abnormally large sun.

It’s also telling that Adobe Firefly ignored another important piece of the prompt in the grilled cheese image (white backdrop). This lack of nuance may be an issue in the future.

Landscape Images

Prompt: a lonely lighthouse sits at the end of the pier, stormy weather, night

Prompt: mt. fuji, sakura season

Another realism category, another win for Firefly. What I’ll say is that it’s thrice now that Firefly ignored some element of the prompt (night for the first pair of images). If once is an accident and twice is a coincidence, then three times is a pattern.

Digital Art

Prompt: pixel art scene, new york skyline during sunset, 8-bit

Prompt: the vastness of the universe, watercolor, intricate art, minimalism

Prompt: ocean waves, pastel colors, gradient sky, subtle

For digital art, DALL-E performed way better than Adobe Firefly. The colors suit the prompt better, the New York prompt had more consistent “pixels” than its counterpart, and it creatively interpreted the prompts. The only issue I have is the unnecessary circle cropping in the universe prompt. Other than that, DALL-E is the clear winner this round.

All Said and Done

It’s hard to say which one’s the winner between DALL-E 3 and Adobe Firefly.

If we’re talking about nuance, creativity, and understanding, then DALL-E 3 is the winner. But if we’re judging them on the basis of realism, then Adobe Firefly should win this head-to-head.

The truth of the matter is that they both have strengths and weaknesses. What you should do is assess why you need an AI image generator and pick which one best suits your needs. And if you’re looking for more articles about various AI image generators, I highly recommend this article. Good luck!

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Written by John Angelo Yap
Hi, I'm Angelo. I'm currently an undergraduate student studying Software Engineering. Now, you might be wondering, what is a computer science student doing writing for Gold Penguin? I took up studying computer science because it was practical and because I was good at it. But, if I had the chance, I'd be writing for a career. Building worlds and adjectivizing nouns for no other reason other than they sound good. And that's why I'm here.
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