Stability AI releases Stable Doodle, a sketch-to-picture tool

Image credits: Stability AI

Stability AI, the startup behind the image generation model Stable Diffusion, is launching a new service that turns sketches into images.

The sketch-to-image service, Stable Doodle, leverages the latest Stable Diffusion model to analyze the outline of a sketch and generate a visually pleasing artistic rendering. It’s available starting today via ClipDrop, a Stability platform acquired in March through the purchase of Init ML, an AI startup founded by former Googlers,

Stable Doodle is aimed at both professionals and novices, regardless of their familiarity with AI tools, writes Stability AI in a blog post shared with TechCrunch via email. With Stable Doodle, anyone with basic drawing skills and online access can generate original, high-quality images in seconds.

There are many sketch-to-picture AI tools out there, including open source projects and ad-supported apps. But Stable Doodle is unique in that it allows for finer control over image generation, argues Stability AI.

Under the hood, powering the Stable Doodle is a Stable Diffusion Stable Diffusion XL model paired with a conditional control solution developed by one of Tencent’s R&D divisions, the Applied Research Center (ARC). Called the T2I-Adapter, the control solution enables Stable Diffusion XL to accept sketches as input and drives the model to allow for better fine-tuning of output graphics.

Image credits: Stability AI

T2I adapter enable[s] Stable Doodle for understanding sketch outlines and generating hint-based images combined with model-defined outlines, explains Stability AI in the blog post.

This writer did not have the opportunity to test Stable Doodle prior to its release. But the carefully chosen images Stability AI sent me looked pretty good, at least compared to the doodle that inspired them.

In addition to a sketch, Stable Doodle accepts a suggestion to guide the image generation process, such as A Comfy Chair, Isometric style or Cat in a Denim Jacket, Digital Art style. There’s a limit to customization, though Stable Doodle only supports 14 art styles at launch.

Stability AI envisions Stable Doodle as a tool for designers, illustrators and other professionals to free up valuable time and maximize efficiency in their work. At the same time, the company warns that the quality of the output images depends on the detail of the initial drawing and the descriptiveness of the prompt, as well as the complexity of the scene represented.

Ideas drawn as sketches can be immediately implemented into works to create designs for clients, material for presentation decks and websites, or even create logos, the company proposes. Going forward, Stable Dooble will allow users to import a sketch. We will also include use cases for specific industry verticals, including real estate applications for example.

Image credits: Stability AI

With tools like Stable Doodle, Stability AI is chasing new sources of revenue following a lull in its commercial efforts. (Stable Doodle is free, but subject to limits.) In April, Semafor reported that Stability AI was burning through cash, leading to a hunt for executives to boost sales.

Last month, Stability AI relaunched $25 million through a convertible note (i.e. debt that converts to equity), bringing the total raised to over $125 million. But it hasn’t closed new funding at a higher valuation. The startup was last valued at $1 billion; Stability was reportedly looking to quadruple that over the next few months.

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