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What You Need To Know About Stable Diffusion XL - The Next Generation AI Image Generator

Author: Artificially IntelligentTime: 2024-03-23 05:10:00

Table of Contents

Introducing Stable Diffusion XL (SDXL) - Key Improvements and New Capabilities

Stable Diffusion XL (SDXL) is an exciting new version of the popular AI image generation model Stable Diffusion. SDXL brings several key improvements over previous versions:

First and foremost, SDXL is huge - it contains 3.5 billion parameters when running a single model, and an incredible 6.6 billion parameters when running tandem/dual models. This allows it to generate images with significantly more detail, fidelity, and cohesion.

Specific improvements enabled by the greater capacity include better proportions on elements like hands and facial features, more detailed and consistent backgrounds, and an overall more natural, vibrant aesthetic closer to what humans can create.

What SDXL Stands For

While not officially confirmed, the XL likely stands for 'Extra Large' - referring to the much greater number of parameters compared to previous versions of Stable Diffusion. This expanded capacity unlocks the enhanced generation capabilities highlighted above.

Key Improvements in SDXL

As outlined already, SDXL brings better handling of tricky image elements like hands and faces, richer backgrounds, and more vibrant, diverse color palettes. It also seems to require less heavy prompting and tuning via negative prompts - images generate in a more natural, coherent way thanks to the model's expanded knowledge representation.

Trying Out SDXL on Clipdrop

Although SDXL is not yet freely available, the current 0.9 research version can be accessed for testing on the platform Clipdrop.

After creating a free account, users are granted 400 free image generations per day. There is a visible watermark, but tools are provided to remove it.

Beyond SDXL access, Clipdrop also provides upscaling, background and object removal, relighting capabilities, and more. It's a great way to get hands-on with the new model before the open source release.

SDXL Image Examples and Evaluation

The images produced by SDXL represent a noticeable step up from Stable Diffusion 2.1 and older versions. Some key improvements:

  • More accurate proportions on elements like hands, faces, and poses

  • Increased background detail - complexity on par with foreground

  • More striking lighting and vivid, diverse color palettes

  • Overall increase in clarity, fidelity, and cohesion

When Will SDXL Be Available for Free?

The SDXL 1.0 release is slated for mid-July 2023. This should coincide with the source code and model weights being made freely available.

However, Anthropic has noted this timing is still "To Be Confirmed" and subject to change. There are also outstanding licensing considerations that need resolution - more details below.

Licensing Considerations for SDXL

The SDXL 0.9 release blog post currently states the model is provided under a restrictive "non-commercial research only license." This would seem to conflict with the open source intentions.

Hopefully the 1.0 release will clear this up and deliver on full open sourcing. The community awaits clarification from Anthropic on licensing terms.

Conclusion and Next Steps

In summary - SDXL delivers substantially more capable image generation thanks to its massive parameter count and tandem model approach.

The free access on Clipdrop provides a great way to experience these capabilities firsthand. And hopefully by mid-summer SDXL will be freely accessible to all with no licensing limitations or legal gray areas.


Q: What does SDXL stand for?
A: SDXL likely stands for Stable Diffusion Extra Large, referring to its significantly increased model size compared to previous versions.

Q: How can I try SDXL for free right now?
A: You can test out SDXL for free on the Clipdrop website without an account. However, free accounts are limited to 400 watermarked images per day.

Q: What improvements does SDXL offer over older Stable Diffusion versions?
A: SDXL delivers higher image quality and fidelity, better detail, improved hand and figure rendering, and generally requires less negative prompt guidance.