A Guide to Creating AI Art Using Stable Diffusion

White, orange, and mixed white and orange koi fish swim in a celestial pool. There are planets, stars, and a moon in the foreground.

Cosmic Koi Fish, AI generated image on NightCafe

Are you stuck wondering how everyone's getting these AI generated artworks?

Considering the popularity of AI art has exploded exponentially this past year, we can see why so many of you want learn about generative it! It's easy, addictive, and some would even say therapeutic

With the amount of AI art creation platforms at our immediate disposal, generating AI art is now easier than ever, simpler than ever, and the results are more beautiful than ever.

We're going over a quick and easy way to generate AI art on NightCafe Studio using your phone, tablet, or computer - all with a few clicks of your keyboard! 

Keep reading to answer the question: How can I create AI art?

A moss covered forest with a green hue and fog in the distance. The trees are covered in hanging moss. A mystical ambiance can be felt.
Mystical Forest, an image made using NightCafe

How to create AI art on NightCafe Studio's text-to-image generator

1. Head to NightCafe Studio

If you click the link above, you'll be led to the simplified create form on the site. You can test it there, but I suggest heading to the pink 'create' button in the top right corner of the site to see the full range of options. This brings us to the next step.

2. Click the create button

To ensure you get the full AI image creation experience, please use the full create form found after hitting the 'create' button. 

3. Select the Stable algorithm

You will get a screen showing the 4 AI art generating algorithms to pick from. We have:

  • Coherent (CLIP-Guided Diffusion)
  • Artistic (VQGANO+CLIP)
  • Style Transfer
  • and Stable (Stable Diffusion). 

For this creation, we'll choose Stable.

You can choose between 4 algorithms on NightCafe; Stable, Coherent, Artistic, and Style Transfer.

4. Type in your prompt 

Here is where you'll describe what you want the AI to generate. Think about colors, textures, lighting, style of art, main subject - the list goes on! You just want to be as to the point as possible with your prompt, this way the AI knows exactly what you want created.

A general guideline, given by top NightCafe artist Adansito is to type out your modifiers in this order separated by commas:

Main subject, secondary subject (or main subject reinforced), artists names/style, photography/artistic prompts, specific colors (optional)

Or, you could do less work and carry on to the next step.

5. Select a Preset

We have over 25 presets for artists to choose from!

For those of you who don't know, presets are pre-made prompt recipes that are almost guaranteed to make your image come out looking much more coherent. Once that is done, we move on to our next step.

6. Click create

Then, boom! You are done generating your first Stable Diffusion art piece. Look at you, you AI master.

NightCafe Studio's homepage is in the first part of the gif, we then click on the pink create button in the top-right hand corner. A page with 4 tile options pop up, we click the top-left option for Stable, NightCafe's version on Stable Diffusion. A create form pops up. We type in our prompt, then select a preset. Then we scroll down to hit the pink create button in the center of the bottom of the page.

A visual example of how easy it is to make AI generated art on NightCafe.

Creating AI Paintings on NightCafe with Advanced Settings On

We offer a bit more flexibility for artists that want more control over their art. While other popular generators beef up the prompts behind the scenes, NightCafe really puts you, the creator, in the driver's seat. The best way to experience full control is by turning the advanced settings on

To do turn advanced settings on, follow the same steps as listed above, but when you get to the create form switch "show advanced options" to on (green).

Where to find the switch for the advanced AI art generation settings on NightCafe
Where to find the advanced settings switch on the create form.

A different page will appear. Here you will find AI generation settings to play with such as adding a start image, changing seed number, aspect ratio, number of images, prompt weight, sampling method, resolution, and runtime.

Below is a small rundown on what these settings do.

Adding a start image 

Adding a start image to a creation is basically giving unspoken "prompts", AKA directions, to the AI as to what you want it to create. Try using ridiculous images as starters, things such as:

  • Photos of random objects around your home
  • Static
  • Colorful gradients
  • An outline of what you're envisioning, created on MS Paint or even hand drawn 

This is such a fun setting to experiment with. You can even select the option to use multiple images for a set of settings to see how different start images affect outcomes. 

A futuristic city in space at night is on the left, and a futuristic space city is on the right.
The image on the left has no start image, and the image on the right uses a cityscape start image.

When adding a start image, you also have the option to adjust the following settings:

  • Prompt weight: This tells the AI how much the final image should match the provided prompt. Be careful not to push this too high as it might result in a "fried" or "overcooked" image
  • Noise Weight: This setting tells the AI how much "noise" (AKA random pixels) to add to the start image provided. The higher the noise weight, the more the different the final image will look from the start image.

Seed number

The seed is just a number that controls the random 'noise' that is used during the generation. It helps the machine decide what to start drawing, and where. Stable Diffusion is very sensitive to seeds, meaning using a different seed with yield a completely different end creation.

Helpful tip: Using the same seed and settings in two different generations will give you the same output.

An AI generated image of a robot serving milk to his master in a medieval castle looking room.

These images have the same settings but different seeds. Links to the right and left image. 

Aspect ratio

We give you the option to generate images of all sizes to suit your needs. Aspect ratios include:

  • Square (1:1), great for any image
  • Mobile vertical (9:16), perfect for phone backgrounds
  • Portrait (3:4), perfect for portraits or any image you want in a taller aspect ratio
  • Widescreen (16:9), great for landscape images and grand scenes
  • Landscape (4:3), perfect for an scene you want to widen a bit

Helpful tip: When using a start image (mentioned above), the aspect ratio of the final image will adjust to the start image's aspect ratio and you will not be able to adjust it on the create form.

Number of images

This setting tells the AI how many images you want created with the prompt given. You can choose from 1, 4, 9, and 16 outputs that come out in a grid.

The pink arrow in the lower right of the image shows you where to find the 'eye icon'.

Helpful tip: You can select your favorite image out of the grid by clicking the eye icon when on the finished creation page.

Sampling method 

The sampling methods listed in the settings are just different ways to run the algorithm on the back end. For the most part, the differences between them are barely noticeable in the final images. Default is the K_LMS sampling method. 

Where to find the sampling methods on the create page.

Resolution

Even though Stable Diffusion was trained on square images at a resolution of 512x512, you can choose to output at larger resolutions. Refer to our table below to see what resolution size will work best for you.

Resolution Size Cost Great for...
 Thumbnail
0.26 MP (512*512px)
💰 1 credit
Basic images that don't require intricate details
Low Res
0.41 MP (640*640px)
💰 2 credits Creations that require more detail such as mecha-art, robots, highly intricate landscapes, etc.
Medium Res 
0.80 MP (896*896px)
💰 6 credits
We do NOT recommend this resolution size for Stable. Images come out very messy.

 

Helpful tip: Higher resolutions cost more credits, and are sometimes create images that aren't quite coherent. This is due to how Stable Diffusion was trained.

Runtime

Runtime is an option that lets you run the algorithm for longer, which can sometimes make the creation better. Be aware - longer runtime costs more credits. The lowest runtime is usually enough to get a pretty decent output.

Are you ready to make your own AI art creation?

Hopefully you are! If you feel the need to study up on this some more then feel free to bookmark this page. 

Want to more exclusive tips and tricks? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter! Make sure to share your art and use the hashtag #nightcafe so we can see what you're cooking up.

Happy creating!

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