Users playing with Al-generated artistic QR codes. How to create them?

AI enthusiasts have gotten carried away with a new type of entertainment — a generation of artistic QR codes, which look like works of art, and, at the same time, do actually work. To scan such a code, it is enough to point an iPhone camera at it and follow the link.

The blogger Awais Khan believes that artistic QR codes can become a new trend in marketing, replacing boring black-and-white ones.

How it started?

Artistic QR codes started to appear on social media at the beginning of June 2023 when a Reddit poster named nhciao was the first to publish a set of eye-catching QR codes made using traditional Chinese patterns, as well as ukiyo-e and manga styles. This provoked a strong reaction from people who saw them.

Some of the work has been done using a tool on QRBT, and some using Stable Diffusion+ControlNet. The post went viral, garnering tens of thousands of reposts.

One of the most popular community posting artistic QR codes is StableDiffusion on Reddit. Cameras unfortunately do not always scan these codes, but some attempts were really successful.

Users share their results in the comments.

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How to make Al-generated QR codes by yourself

Midjourney and other usual AI tools will not be helpful here. You can learn how to generate your own QR code using Stable Diffusion with the ControlNet extension in detail in the article on QR Diffusion. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Download and Install Stable Diffusion Web UI
  • Download Stable Diffusion Dreamshaper Model and place it into \stable-diffusion-webui\models
  • Download and Install ControlNet Extension
  • Download ControlNet Models control_v11f1e_sd15_tile.pth and control_v1p_sd15_brightness and place them into \stable-diffusion-webui\extensions\sd-webui-controlnet\models
  • Generate a QR code using a QR code generator of your choice
  • Make the following steps using StableDiffusion:
    • Choose StableDiffusion Model DreamShaper and Settings
    • Enter Prompt “masterpiece, best quality, mecha, no humans, black armor, blue eyes, science fiction, fire, laser canon beam, war, conflict, destroyed city background”
    • Enter Negative Prompt “UnrealisticDream, FastNegativeEmbedding”
    • Choose Sampling method – DPM++2M Karras
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  • Create ControlNet 0 and make the settings as in the following screenshot, uploading the previously generated black-and-white QR code:
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  • Create ControlNet 1 and make the settings as in the following screenshot, also uploading your QR code:
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  • Generate a QR code according to your requirements. You can find the image at \stable-diffusion-webui\outputs\txt2img-grids{date}. Below is a result of the prompt and settings.
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