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Four Chinese students use AI to change the advertising industry: use SD to make QR codes "beautiful"

Four Chinese students use AI to change the advertising industry: use SD to make QR codes "beautiful"

Hayo News
Hayo News
June 8th, 2023
View OriginalTranslated by Google

"Scanning QR code" has become a daily operation that Chinese people are not familiar with. Grandpas and grandma who sell vegetables will hang a "receipt code" on their shoulder poles.

The billboards on the subway platforms will also have a huge QR code on the official website,

Even when I turn on the TV, I see QR codes for APP download from time to time.

Although these two-dimensional codes have different uses, they have one thing in common—that is, the colors are monotonous and the patterns are simple. Putting them together with beautiful advertising posters or TV mirrors, it is not too much to say that they are as ugly as "dog skin plaster".

As a result, some minimally beautified QR code generation sites have sprung up on the Internet, reflecting people's urgent need to get rid of unaesthetic QR codes.

However, recently on the Internet, a group of very beautiful "QR codes" has aroused heated discussions among netizens, saying that it is a "QR code" rather than a "2D painting", which itself is a painting, "scan the code" The function is even more surprising. People exclaimed: "It can really be swept out!"

The stunning "two-dimensional painting"

Such a "two-dimensional painting" is called ControlNet for QR Code by the author. That's right, it is the kind of "ControlNet" that Stable Diffusion users are familiar with, which also means that with some proper operations, people can use AI to generate the same beautiful "two-dimensional painting" in the future. Can't think of it yet? It doesn't matter, let's take a look at the case given by the author, and let's expand our imagination together: The original beautiful AI girl has the function of QR code under the blessing of ControlNet for QR Code. Compared with the original picture, except for the three figurative anchor points for identification, there seems to be no change, and the girl is still elegant and lovely.

The blue-and-white porcelain style "two-dimensional painting" turns the positioning point into a part of the design. The square way in traditional Chinese culture is vividly reflected in this picture.

The ukiyo-e style is even more amazing. A square "two-dimensional painting" draws the momentum of "The Great Wave off Kanagawa", and also changes the positioning point into a Japanese-style edge scene, which is quite creative.

In addition, the three-dimensional style and PCB circuit board style are also very handsome. The fixed elements of the positioning points of the two-dimensional code have no sense of violation in these "two-dimensional paintings", and sometimes they even become the finishing touch. Feel the power of AI.

If you use the Generative Fill installed in the Photoshop Beta version to AI expand the image on this basis, you will open a new "horizon". This time, it is no longer a problem to have an advertising poster with a QR code that can also guarantee beauty.

Behind the scenes of the beautiful "two-dimensional painting"

The QR code, which originated in Japan, has been "prospered" by Chinese companies in the past ten years, and now it will be "changed" in the hands of Chinese students.

Four college students, Ni Hao, Chen Baiyu, Wang Zhaohan, and Chen Zhiyong, created the "two-dimensional painting". Several of them are about to graduate. They completed the data set preparation, training and reasoning test within three days, and provided it to the outside world. With the support of GPU resources, this set of "two-dimensional paintings" that has become popular on the Internet has been born. In fact, they had this idea long ago.

If you have scanned these QR codes in the article, you will find that they all jump to the QR code generation website qrbtf.com, which is a parametric QR code generator created by Ni Hao and Chen Zhiyong in 2020.

Although it looks not much different from the current mainstream QR code generators, we can see from the project's introduction document in 2020 that a heart to make beautiful "2D paintings" has already sprouted:

I still remember one afternoon a few years ago, I turned on the original Apple Watch, and I will never forget the moving face that appeared on the Apple Watch when it was paired. I watched for a full five minutes before I had the heart to complete the pairing—losing the opportunity to watch the animation one by one. Later, I still couldn't resist reinstalling the watch, just to watch this animation again. Why was I so fascinated at the time? It's not because of how "good-looking" this animation is, but because I was surprised that I was able to complete information identification and watch pairing by scanning a chaotic dynamic graphic that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

This experience shocked me all of a sudden. It turns out that the transmission of information can be so artistic. Behind the original generative art is the "art of restoration". This technology originated from optical markers, and the really interesting thing about it, in my opinion, is the word "invisibility". This is exactly what we want to see on QR codes today. The default style of the QR code has a strong contrast, like a kind of salt and pepper noise. We tried our best to make him low-key, blend into the background, "invisible". This is the consensus on the beautification of QR codes and artistic QR codes in the minds of most people.

Thanks to their pursuit of beauty, keen awareness of AI technology, and persistence in their original intentions, from freshman to senior year, they made the QR code that can be called "art" possible.

Do "two-dimensional painting" by yourself? Continuous optimization

"Use the diffusion model to generate a QR code that looks like a picture", this is the starting point of "2D painting". After a long period of ControlNet training, the four students used a variety of Checkpoint + LoRA + QR The combination of Code ControlNet created these beautiful recognizable QR codes in this article.

At present, several students have uploaded some LoRA patterns to Civitai, and the generation model of ControlNet for QR Code is still being optimized. Subsequent development updates, model releases, and technical documents will be released on their team official website, which is worth looking forward to. .

Reference link:

[1] Work introduction: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/i4WR5ULH1ZZYl8Watf3EPw

[2] Team official website: https://aigc.ioclab.com/index.html

[3] qrbtf introduction article: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/_Oy9I9FqPXhfwN9IUhf6_g