The cartoon avatar craze is thanks to a free app known as Voila AI Artist.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I’ve tried my fair proportion of cartoon avatars, from the very first Yahoo Messenger avatar I ever used, to Bitmoji stickers. There’s one thing I discover deeply and irresistibly compelling about seeing myself represented in cartoon type, as if the cartoon has the energy to seize my core essence whereas outstretching a extra playful model of myself. When I first noticed Voila AI Artist’s model pop up in my Facebook feed, suffusing associates of all ages with an inside glow and supersize eyes quivering with emotion, my eyes went as large as the cherubic rendering earlier than me. I had to strive it out for myself.

Creations from Voila AI Artist — an app that seemingly popped up out of nowhere — have mushroomed throughout my Facebook feed and proliferate on Instagram and WhatsApp as nicely. (Both are owned by Facebook.) The app begins with a photograph of your face and renders it into three completely different cartoon kinds to select from, full with shading. “Disney” is the adjective that is popped up most frequently when associates and coworkers see my avatar. In addition to the cartoon rendering, you are additionally ready to see your self from the eyes of Renaissance painters and create a caricature of your mug (or another person’s). 

Voila AI Artist is free for iPhone and Android, with a premium ad-free possibility as nicely (extra on that, and on the app’s privateness coverage, under). At any price, it took lower than 5 minutes to obtain the app and make my first cartoon grid. I additionally realized a few issues alongside the means. Here’s how to do it and what to know.


My cousin’s Voila AI Artist photographs, which sparked all of it. Shared with permission.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

How to make your self a cartoon avatar with Voila AI Artist

Step 1: Download Voila AI Artist for iPhone or Android and launch the app. It will ask for permission to use your cellphone’s digital camera roll.

Step 2: Select from amongst the 4 kinds: 3D Cartoon (what I used right here), Renaissance, 2D Cartoon and Caricature. Tap the arrow to start.

Step 3: Your digital camera roll is now open. Select the photograph you need to use, or faucet Camera or Celebrities at the backside of the display screen to take a new image or to seek for celebrities. This generates a grid of 4 choices. On the free model, count on to see an advert or two interrupt your view. After a few beats, you’ll be able to X out the advert and return to your photos.

Step 4: You’ll see 4 choices — the composite grid of your unique photograph plus your three cartoon renderings and all three renderings (Royalty 3D, Baby 3D and Cartoon 3D). You can both take a screenshot from right here and crop it down, or choose any of the 4 choices and click on the edit button — an up arrow on Android — to instantly share on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp, or to e mail, save or share via different choices (once you press More).

To take away the watermark, velocity up the rendering course of and take away the adverts you see every time you render, you can replace to the Voila Pro model for $2 per week, $4 per thirty days or $21 a yr — the value at the time of writing. There’s a free, three-day trial with that possibility.

What would not work nicely with Voila AI Artist

  • Nonhumans, reminiscent of canine or cats
  • Images the place the app says faces cannot be detected
  • Images of cut-off heads usually work, however with an odd halo the app fills in

Voila AI Artist safety and privateness: Is the app secure?

From what we are able to inform, though the app’s father or mother firm says it would delete your photographs 24 to 48 hours after the photograph was final utilized by the app, it does accumulate personally figuring out details about you, your cellphone and your exercise on-line. 

It then shares that private information with third-party companions and advertisers in international locations outdoors your individual, together with advertisers which will observe your exercise throughout the net. The app additionally discloses your private data to any of its sibling firms, associates or subcontractors. 

According to the privateness coverage from app proprietor WeImagine.AI:

“When you use the free version of the App, we work with advertising partners to display advertisements within the App. These advertisements are delivered by our advertising partners and may be targeted based on your use of the App or your activity elsewhere online.”

CNET has reached out to WeImagine.Ai for remark and clarification.

CNET’s Rae Hodge contributed to this story.

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