Pika 1.0 AI video generator is free to try right now — here is why you should give it a go

Cartoon Elon Musk on Mars
(Image credit: Pika Labs)

Pika Labs has finally taken its Pika 1.0 artificial intelligence generative video model out of the waitlist. It is currently free for anyone to sign up and try out. 

The AI video model announced earlier this month has been slowly rolling out, with the company using feedback from early users to improve the service before making it widely available.

Its general release comes at a time of increasing competition in the AI video space from more established players like Runway rolling out new features like Ambient Motion, to image tools adding video capability like Leonardo with Motion.

The web-based Pika 1.0 lets you generate short video clips from an image, video or text prompts, and you can customize how the movement works or what it looks like.

How do I get access to Pika 1.0?

Image from Midjourney animated in Pika Labs

(Image credit: Pika Labs)

Pika 1.0 has both a thriving Discord community with regular competitions and creator jams, as well as an easy-to-use website. Available at Pika.Art, the website also includes a library of creations from other users.

It is currently free to use and only available with the embedded Pika Labs watermark, for non-commercial use and with all clips created shared publicly.

You can register with a Discord or a Google account but I recommend using Discord if you already have the app. It gives you access to the wider community with tips and advice on using Pika 1.0 and video generation tools generally.

During a more immersive test of the tool earlier this month I found it to be easy to use, quick to respond and relatively customizable. It suffers from some of the same "slow motion" and distortion issues as other models but is being improved daily.

What can Pika 1.0 do?

Pika 1.0 is the next step in the generative video space that we’ve been waiting for. But while the output looks pretty, the motion still needs work. You can use it to generate video from a text, image or video prompt. 

The video-to-video being part of the same underlying model as text and image is a step up from Runway, where video-to-video is restricted to its Gen-1 model. 

Overall it is still very early days for video generation, the first commercial model only came out earlier this year, but the field is evolving quickly. Pika Labs offering up access to Pika 1.0 for free is a great way to experiment with new tech early.

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?