Remember back in 2016 when Prisma, the photo-editing app was launched and how the Internet went crazy? Our social media feeds were filled with images of our friends and family with these classic painting filters. It went on to become so popular that there were times that Prisma servers crashed because so many people were using the app at the same time (read our interview with its founders). Not surprisingly, a number of apps have tried the “photo to art” formula of Prisma, but not many have achieved the same kind of following. Well, that seems to be changing.There is a new image editing app in town and it sure has the potential to make our feeds all animated again.

voila ai artist: cartoon yourself with the power of ai - voila ai artist photo to cartoon

Voila AI artist is the latest app crush in the smartphone world. This image editing app allows you to turn your photos into super adorable cartoon avatars. The app basically uses artificial intelligence to turn your selfies and portraits into 2D, 3D, cartoons, caricatures and paintings. And it is the rage of the Web right now.

How to convert your photo to cartoon with Voila AI Artist?

One of the reasons for the success of Voila AI Artist is just how easy it is to use. You just have to follow these simple steps:

1. Download Voila AI Artist

In order to cartoon-ify yourself, you first need to get your hands on the app. The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms for free. It requires Android 5.0 and above and iOS 12 and above to run. You can download the app for iOS and Android, although at the time of writing its Android version was not available in India. So we are explaining how the app works on iOS – hopefully, Android will not be too different.

2. Choose your editing style

voila ai artist: cartoon yourself with the power of ai - chooseeditingstyle

Once you have downloaded and launched the app, the app will straight away ask for some permissions. Once you get through those, you will find yourself on the window with four different categories of editing options that you can choose from — 3D cartoon, Renaissance, 2D cartoon and caricature. Select the one you find the most interesting. And before you ask, there is no registration for the app – you can get into it right away.

3. Snap or select your picture

voila ai artist: cartoon yourself with the power of ai - snaporselectapicture

After you have chosen your editing option, the app will ask you for permission to access your photo library. You can either give the app the access which will open up your photo gallery within the app, making it easy for you to select your picture, or you have three other options on the base of your screen– Camera, Gallery and Celebrities. You can use the Camera option (for which you would again have to give the app permission) or choose the Gallery option which will again open up your phone gallery, allowing you to select your photo. The last choice is Celebrity which lets you search the Web for pictures of celebrities.

4. Get into processing mode

Select the photo or take one and after some processing (which the app will remind you is at standard speed, and can be done faster for a fee), the app will provide you with your cartoon avatar.

5. Pick your preference

voila ai artist: cartoon yourself with the power of ai - pickyourpreference

When the app is done processing, it offers you a collage of pictures with your original photo on the top left corner and multiple options, (such as Royalty, Baby and Cartoon in case of 2D cartoons). You can pick the one you like the best – 3D Cartoons has the most options (six), from the options present on the base of your screen.

6. Share and save

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Once you have decided on which cartoon avatar you want to save, you will have to tap on the save icon present on the top right side of your screen. This will give you the final image you will end up with which will be your caricature accompanied by a tiny sized original photo thumbnail on the left and the app’s logo on the right or you can swipe and choose from the other two options which include just the caricature and logo or equal sized original photo and cartoon. Along with the cartoon version of yourself you will also find a number of options to help you share and save the photo from within the app. Select the one which fits your needs, and share it on the network, mail and messaging options offered, or simply save it by tapping on the Save option.

It works mostly, just bear with the ads!

The app does what it sets out to do. It will turn you into an anime character. You will feel you are a character straight out of a Disney movie with those wide eyes, tiny nose and glowing face. Well, almost always. There are instances where the app does not work. It cannot edit images of animals so you cannot use the app on the photos of your pets. It also cannot work on multiple faces at once. So if you have a picture with more than one face in it, you will have to select one to go forward.

The app also is not the most consistent as it sometimes fails to detect a face in the same image which it had worked on previously – if your face is not bang in centre of a solo snap, it is very possible that you might end up getting only part of it in cartoon mode. And well, it does not seem to be able to cartoon up teeth for some reason. All our pictures with wide smiles were turned into modest lip stretches which was a little odd.

And all that cartoon feels might come free of monetary cost, but can cost you your patience. The app is full to the brim with ads. So much so that you have to sit through one every time you try to cartoon-ify your picture. Voila AI Artist will also keep bugging you to buy the subscription which will remove the ads and speed up the image processing. Speaking of processing, there are no real editing options out there at the moment – so you cannot increase or decrease color levels or contrast or brightness, or even tweak the level of effect you want. There is also a little matter of privacy. Even if you do not give the app the permission to track you, it uses your data and shares it with its sister companies and third party partners, something which could bug some folks.

The app has already created a buzz for itself but once you are past the initial stages of excitement, we feel it will take a lot of patience for one to use it on a regular basis or on multiple photos in one sitting. Unless you are ready to shell out some bucks on subscriptions – and those rates are expensive – Rs 269/ week, Rs 549/ month or Rs 2,699/year.

Still, all said and done,
Voila AI Artist is a lot of fun
You get a cartoon experience
That is not half bad
Though it will test your patience
With many an ad.

The app does have the potential to become the Prisma of 2021. But it needs some work. More editing options would help, as would even more effects (what about animation film themes, like Toy Story and Lion King?) and, well, REALLY better placed and timed ads. Definitely worth a download in our book.

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