Generate AI Art Easily with the CivitAI Stable Diffusion Tutorial for Free!

Written by AI Controversy - January 31, 2024


Today I came across this thread on Reddit where someone was raving about how underutilized Civic AI is right now considering all the powerful features it offers creators for free. And I gotta agree, after testing it out myself, Civic AI is an absolute game changer for anyone looking to get into AI art but who doesn't have access to high-end hardware to run models locally. The interface is super intuitive - you just pick a model you want to use, add any custom embeddings for Loras, write your prompt, and hit generate.

Civic AI will queue up your request and generate the images on their Cloud GPUs - up to 10 images at once. And the best part is, it's completely free! Now, before you get too excited, a rep from Civic AI did confirm that eventually there will be a credit system where you earn credits for engagement on the platform that you can then spend to generate images. But they said the goal is that active users will be able to earn 1000+ free generations per day just by posting, commenting, reviewing resources, etc. And any credits you do spend will be paid out mostly to the model creators whose resources you used. So, in the short term, while this feature is still in an open beta, now is the perfect time to take full advantage of free high quality generations, especially for beginners with low-end hardware.

I was able to crank out tons of awesome images with great results - no setup or downloads required. The only limitations I noticed compared to running models locally is the lack of certain advanced features like upscaling, control nets, and downloading in bulk. But for basic image generation, it has everything you need as a starter. And here's the crazy part: hardly anyone seems to be using Civic AI for this. I was able to generate images instantly, without any queue, while they have 405 cloud GPUs sitting idle. Who knows how long it'll stay this under the radar? I definitely recommend all beginners check out Civic AI while the free generations last. It's hands down the easiest way to start playing around with AI art without needing to mess around with python environments, dependencies, compiling models, etc.

Why Choose Civic AI?

Now, I know there are other free stable diffusion art generators online, such as Leonardo AI, Playground AI, etc. However, with Civic AI, you will be able to use the community-based models such as Epic Realism, Cyber Realistic, Deliberate Dream, and more. You'll also be able to use Loras and embeddings as additional resources too.

A huge shout out to Civic AI for providing this kind of access for free to help grow the AI art community. I know firsthand how frustrating it can be trying to run these models as a beginner. This is an amazing resource for people to dip their toes in, get inspired, and experience what's possible with AI art today.

Addressing Concerns

Now, I did want to discuss some of the concerns that were brought up in the Reddit thread about CivitAI's motives and the risk of acidification down the line. For those who don't know, "acidification" refers to an online platform starting out providing a great free service, only to progressively make it more restrictive, annoying, and money focused over time once they have an established user base locked in. Unfortunately, it's a tale as old as time in the world of tech startups - build up hype with an amazing free product, then charge for everything once there's no alternative.

And look, it's understandable why some are wary of this happening with Civic AI. After all, these models aren't even theirs - they are relying on resources created by the AI art community. So, some folks raised concerns about what would happen if Civic AI starts charging for generations. Shouldn't that money be going to the actual model creators? Is Civic AI really adding enough value here beyond a nice interface to justify taking such a big cut?

Others pointed out that if this takes off, it could create centralization issues with model creators forced to upload to Civic AI if they want access to users. These are all fair critiques to make. However, I'm still optimistic about CivitAI's potential here. So far, they seem very committed to transparency, empowering creators, and paying it forward to the community. The Reddit thread I mentioned gave a really thoughtful response about avoiding acidification, saying their only incentive is for creators on the platform to be successful. So, if charging for generations means the majority of fees go back to the model authors, not just Civic AI's profits, that aligns with their values. And so far, their whole vibe has been very community-focused. They don't even have business customers - they rely entirely on user-generated content. That gives me hope that they will stay true to their mission.

Of course, only time will tell how it plays out as they grow. But for now, I don't see any reason not to enjoy and spread the word about this awesome new resource for AI creation. And if you're worried about over-centralization, no one is stopping you from still running models locally too. Think of Civic AI as just one new option in the ecosystem. The key is that we need more platforms experimenting with models like this in new ways.

Using Civic AI

It's pretty simple to use, so let's go over this together. When you visit Civic AI, you will see a "Create" button on the bottom left corner. If you don't see it, that means you need to sign in. So go ahead and make a free account or sign in if you already have one.

From there, you will see the "Create" button. Clicking on it will open up your menu.

The first option is to add a model. Select any model you'd like to use.

Next, you can choose if you want to add additional resources such as Loras or embeddings.

Here's where you type your prompt and, of course, your negative prompt if you're generating not-safe-for-work content. You have the option to check mature content here.

Choose your dimensions - square, landscape, or portrait.

Then you have advanced settings such as choosing your sampler, adjusting your steps and CFG scale, setting your seed, adjusting clip skip, and you have the option to add a VAE.

Last but not least, you can choose how many generations you want to create - you can generate up to 10 per generation.

From the queue list, you have a play button to recreate the generation set, a trash button to delete it, and an additional details section which gives you a summary of your generation.

Under "Feed," you will see each image that you generated. If you click on the lightning bolt button, you will see a set of other buttons such as generate, trash, create variant, and upscale. The last two buttons aren't currently working at this moment, but you can see that they are in the works. You also have the information button, which shows a summary of a specific image's generated details.

Now, as far as I know, as of right now, only SD 1.5 models are available to use and not all SD 1.5 models are available to generate through Civic AI. However, that list will continue to grow. The same goes for Loras and embeddings.

If you click on "Models" and then filter by "On-site Generation," you will get a list of models that Civic AI supports for on-site generations. You'll notice these green paintbrush icons - this icon means that this model can be used with Civic AI's on-site generation. If you click into one of the checkpoints, you'll notice the "Create" button next to the download button here. Clicking on the "Create" button from the main model checkpoint page will load that specific model, so you won't need to add it from the dropdown menu. I prefer this method because it allows me to go into the individual checkpoint pages, look at what is being created with this model, and go from there.

Conclusion

Let's take a look at some of the images I created. But before that, let me know your thoughts on Civic AI and the concerns around potential acidification. I'm curious to hear what you all think about new platforms monetizing access to community-trained models.

So, until next time, this is AI Controversy signing off. Thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How much does Civic AI cost?
  • A: Civic AI is currently free to use. They have plans for a credit system, but active users will still be able to earn free generations per day through engagement on the platform.

  • Q: Can I use Civic AI without high-end hardware?
  • A: Yes, Civic AI allows you to generate AI art without the need for high-end hardware. You can simply use their platform and Cloud GPUs to generate high-quality images.

  • Q: How many generations can I create at once?
  • A: You can generate up to 10 images per generation using Civic AI.

  • Q: Are there any limitations to using Civic AI compared to running models locally?
  • A: While Civic AI provides basic image generation features, it may lack certain advanced features like upscaling control and downloading in bulk. However, for beginners, it has everything you need to start creating AI art.

  • Q: How does Civic AI support the AI art community?
  • A: Civic AI provides access to community-based models, allows creators to earn credits through engagement, and aims to support model authors by sharing revenue generated from credit usage.

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