2 New "Magic" Free Digital Tools from Canva
Canva just rolled out a bunch of new "Magic" tools. Let's check out a few.
Missed you. Hope you’ve had 2 great weeks since I was last in your inbox.
We’ve looked at some of Canva’s “Magic” tools before — (missed that email? Find all past emails of this newsletter at freetools.digital) — but they recently did a rollout of a suite of new digital tools in their toolkit.
A few are free, the rest are part of their pro plan. Their pro plan is around $10 a month. I pay for it and I feel like I more than get my money’s worth. The difference between Canva free and Canva Pro is quite vast. That said, it’s a great and useful platform even for free.
Today we’re going to look at 2 of the new magic tools included on their free plan (of course!).
Real quick ask: please take a few moments and invite 2 friends to subscribe to this humble little newsletter. They’ll appreciate it… as will I!
With that out of the way, let’s dig in!
Canva Magic Edit
Tool type: Part of Canva, which can be run on your browser, as well as through a smartphone and a desktop app.
In theory, Magic Edit lets you brush over an item in a photo, describe your edit and then it will magically make the requested change.
I started with this photo:
I tried changing the clicker in my hand into a magic wand (seemed appropriate), a flower and a balloon. The results were… disappointing.
So then I tried getting rid of the clouds painted on the wall behind me. That was another no-go.
But I’ve seen a bunch of examples of folks changing their clothes with this tool, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
And you know what, it kinda worked!
I say kinda worked for a few reasons.
Why is the suit wrinkled? I guess my shirt wasn’t exactly pressed, but you’d think they’d want to make me look better.
Not sure why they changed my tie, though it does sorta match the wall. So that’s kinda fun. But weird choice for the AI designer in the sky.
I specifically told it to put me in a blue blazer. So… a bit off on the color.
But with a bit of tweaking, it sure seems like I could get a workable version of this. Which is pretty cool if you love everything about a photo save for an article of clothing.
I tried another one where I wanted to take the TV off the wall and replace it with a flower pot. The flower pot it gave me wasn’t great, but it did create some interesting artwork to place within the frame of the TV. So that was kinda fun.
I don’t think this is going to replace photographers or graphic designers anytime soon, but can’t hurt to have this free digital tool in your toolkit.
To use it, you need a Canva account (free or paid). Select any image in your design, click “edit photo” and then choose “Magic Edit.”
FREE or FREEmium: FREEmium
Canva is free to use. Or you can pay the ~$10 a month to unlock loads of additional tools, stock images, templates, elements and more.
Canva Magic Media
Tool type: Also part of Canva, still a website, smartphone and desktop app.
Magic Media is Canva’s Dall-E competitor. It’s not exactly new, but it’s part of Canva’s big “Magic Studio” push.
You can learn about all of their Magic tools at canva.com/magic.
So with Magic Media, you describe what you want Canva to generate and it will pop out a bunch of graphics based on your prompt.
I asked for “a car dressed as a unicorn flying in outer space.”
Here’s what I got:
Not exactly what I asked for, but definitely kinda fun.
You can then request specific styles, or tweak your prompt for new versions.
Here’s what I got when I asked for a more realistic version:
Very important caveat: you cannot edit these graphics. I mean, you can layer on top of them, hide things to a degree and whatnot. But you can’t select the car and switch colors or anything like that.
But you can take elements they create and drop them into your own graphics.
In fact, I’m working with a group who have a trivia game called Dumbsplain. Every day, their “AI overlord” crafts 5 questions on a specific topic and you can see if you’re smarter than the AI. They actually use this tool to create daily posts for Instagram. You can see what those look like here.
I played around with this tool a bit when I was working on the logo for my (second) podcast Hello Merge Tag. I never intended to use any of its designs (and didn’t love anything it gave me), but it was a fun way to experiment and sort of "think” out loud in graphic form.
In the end, I came up with a concept I liked and worked with my friend and colleague Candy Phelps of Bizzy Bizzy to develop the final version. As always, she crushed it!
(See the logo and listen to all episodes at HelloMergeTag.com or wherever you stream podcasts.)
So to reiterate, I also don’t think this tool replaces graphic designers (not by a long shot!) but it can be a fun and interesting way to get the creativemagic juices flowing.
FREE or FREEmium: FREEmium
Still free. Still have the option to upgrade for a bunch more features.
Those are 2 new free digital tools from Canva’s big “Magic Studio” push.
I like them both, love neither.
That said, if you have a paid account, there are some truly useful tools as part of their Magic Studio worth checking out.
In the meantime, happy designing!
And if you make anything cool, I’d love to see it!
You can always contact me here, tag me on social or just hit reply to this email!
See you in a fortnight,