With Steady Diffusion, you may never believe what you see online again

Three images created with Diffuse Stabilization
Enlarge / Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a cowboy? Stable diffusion no.

Benj Edwards / Stable Diffusion

Image generation AI is here in a big way. A newly released open source image compositing model called Stable diffusion allowing anyone with the right PC and GPU to imagine almost any visual reality they can imagine. It can mimic almost any visual style, and if you give it a descriptive phrase, the results will appear on your screen like magic.

Some artists very happy by potential customers, others not happy about itand society at large still seem to be unaware of the rapidly evolving technological revolution that is taking place through the communities on Twitter, Discord, and Github. Image synthesis is said to have had the same impact as the invention of the camera — or perhaps the creation of visual art. Even our sense of history may be threatened, depending on how things go. Either way, Stable Diffusion is leading a new wave of deep learning creative tools, poised to revolutionize the creation of visual media.

The rise of deep learning image synthesis

Stable Diffusion is the brainchild of Emad Mostaque, a former London-based hedge fund manager whose aim is to bring new applications of deep learning to the masses through his company, Stability AI. But the roots of modern image synthesis go back to the old days until 2014and Steady Diffuse are not the first image synthesis (ISM) models to make waves this year.

In April 2022, OpenAI announced DALL-E 2, which has taken social media by storm with its ability to transform a written scene (called a “reminder”) into a multitude of visual styles that can be fantastic, realistic, or even mundane. People with privileged access to closed tools created astronauts on horseback, teddy bears buying bread in ancient Egypt, novel sculptures in the style of famous artists , etc

Screenshot of OpenAI DALL-E 2 website.
Enlarge / Screenshot of OpenAI DALL-E 2 website.


Not long after DALL-E 2, Google and Meta announced their own text-to-image AI models. MidJourneyavailable as a Discord server as of March 2022 and open to the public a few months later, charging for access and achieving the same effects but with more vignette and illustration quality as default.

Then there is Stable Diffusion. On August 22, the AI ​​is stable release the open source image generation model is said to match DALL-E 2 in terms of quality. It also launched its own commercial website, called DreamStudio, sells access to calculate image generation time with Stable Diffuse. Unlike DALL-E 2, anyone can use it, and since the Diffuse Stable code is open source, projects can build it with few limitations.

Just in the past week, dozens of projects have applied Stable Diffusion in radical new directions grow up. And people have achieved unexpected results using a technique called “img2img” that can “upgrade” MS-DOS game art, converted Minecraft graphics into realistic scenes, converting a scene from Aladdin into 3Dtranslated doodles like a child into rich illustrations and more. Image synthesis can bring rich visualization of ideas to a mass audience, lowering barriers to entry while accelerating artists’ ability to embrace technology, just as Adobe Photoshop did. made in the 1990s.

Portrait of Duke Nukem, Secret of Monkey Island, King's Quest VI and Star Control II received fan upgrades with stable diffusion.
Enlarge / Portrait of Duke Nukem, Secret of Monkey Island, King’s Quest VI and Star Control II received fan upgrades with stable diffusion.

You can self-running Local Diffusion Stabilization if you follow a series of slightly complicated steps. For the past two weeks, we’ve been running it on a Windows PC with a 12GB Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU. It can produce a 512×512 image in about 10 seconds. On the 3090 Ti, that time drops to four seconds per image. Interfaces also continue to evolve rapidly, from rudimentary command line interfaces and Google Colab notebooks to more polished (but still complex) front-end GUIs, with more polished interfaces coming soon debut. So if you’re not technically inclined, hold on tight: Easier solutions are on the way. And if all else fails, you can try a demo Online.

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