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How to Use Color T2I Adapter for Stable Diffusion XL

  • This blog article about color T2I adapter for stable diffusion XL, a generative AI tool that can create realistic images from text and color maps.
  • This article contains a problem description and a solution explanation for color T2I adapter.

Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence that can create new content, such as images, text, music, and video, from existing data. One of the most popular and advanced generative AI tools is stable diffusion XL (SDXL), a large-scale neural network that can generate high-quality images from text prompts. However, SDXL has some limitations, such as the lack of control over the color and style of the generated images. To overcome this problem, a team of researchers from Tencent ARC developed a simple and efficient solution called color T2I adapter, which can provide extra guidance to SDXL using color maps. In this article, we will explain what color T2I adapter is, how it works, and how to use it to create stunning images with SDXL.

What is Color T2I Adapter?

Color T2I adapter is a lightweight model that can extract guidance features from a color map and inject them into SDXL to guide its image generation process. A color map is a simple image that contains the desired colors for different regions of the target image. For example, if you want to generate an image of a red car with a blue sky, you can use a color map like this:

Example of a color map

Color T2I adapter can learn the correspondence between the colors in the color map and the words in the text prompt, and then modify the latent code of SDXL to match the desired colors. This way, you can have more control over the appearance of the generated images and achieve better results.

How Does Color T2I Adapter Work?

Color T2I adapter works by using a convolutional neural network (CNN) to encode the color map into a feature map, which is then concatenated with the latent code of SDXL. The latent code is a vector that represents the semantic information of the text prompt. The concatenated vector is then fed into another CNN to decode it into an image. The whole process can be illustrated as follows:

Diagram of color T2I adapter

The model is trained on a large dataset of images and their corresponding text descriptions and color maps. The training objective is to minimize the reconstruction loss between the generated image and the ground truth image, as well as the perceptual loss that measures the similarity between the high-level features of the images.

How to Use Color T2I Adapter for SDXL?

To use color T2I adapter for SDXL, you need to have access to both models and their pre-trained weights. You can find them on GitHub or Hugging Face:

  • SDXL GitHub repository
  • SDXL Hugging Face model hub
  • Color T2I adapter GitHub repository
  • Color T2I adapter Hugging Face model hub

You also need to install some dependencies, such as PyTorch, torchvision, transformers, PIL, numpy, etc. You can refer to the README files in the GitHub repositories for more details.

Once you have everything ready, you can follow these steps to generate images with color T2I adapter and SDXL:

  1. Prepare your text prompt and color map. You can use any text editor to write your text prompt, and any image editor to create your color map. Make sure your text prompt is clear and descriptive, and your color map matches the size and shape of your target image.
  2. Load both models and their weights using PyTorch or transformers. You can use torch.load() or AutoModel.from_pretrained() methods to load the models from local files or online repositories.
  3. Encode your text prompt using SDXL’s tokenizer. You can use SDXL’s encode() method or AutoTokenizer.from_pretrained() method to convert your text prompt into a tensor of token IDs.
  4. Generate an initial latent code using SDXL’s encoder. You can use SDXL’s encode_text() method or AutoModel.from_pretrained() method to encode your token IDs into a latent code vector.
  5. Encode your color map using color T2I adapter’s encoder. You can use color T2I adapter’s encode_color() method or AutoModel.from_pretrained() method to encode your color map into a feature map tensor.
  6. Concatenate the latent code and the feature map along the channel dimension. You can use method to concatenate two tensors along a specified dimension.
  7. Generate an image using color T2I adapter’s decoder. You can use color T2I adapter’s decode_image() method or AutoModel.from_pretrained() method to decode the concatenated vector into an image tensor.
  8. Save and display the generated image. You can use PIL.Image.fromarray() method to convert the image tensor into a PIL image object, and then use or methods to save or display the image.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What are the advantages of using color T2I adapter for SDXL?

Answer: Color T2I adapter can improve the quality and diversity of the images generated by SDXL, as well as provide more control over the color and style of the images. It can also reduce the dependence on large and expensive models, as color T2I adapter is much smaller and faster than SDXL.

Question: What are the limitations of using color T2I adapter for SDXL?

Answer: Color T2I adapter still relies on SDXL to generate the initial latent code, which means it inherits some of the drawbacks of SDXL, such as the lack of fine-grained control over the content and structure of the images. Moreover, color T2I adapter can only handle color maps as input, which limits its applicability to other types of guidance, such as sketches, poses, or segmentation maps.

Question: How can I create my own color maps for color T2I adapter?

Answer: You can use any image editor software, such as Photoshop, GIMP, or Paint.NET, to create your own color maps. You can also use some online tools, such as Coolors or Color Hunt, to generate color palettes and apply them to your images.


In this article, we have explained what color T2I adapter is, how it works, and how to use it for stable diffusion XL. Color T2I adapter is a simple and efficient solution that can enhance the image generation capabilities of SDXL by providing extra guidance using color maps. It can improve the quality and diversity of the generated images, as well as provide more control over the color and style of the images. To use color T2I adapter for SDXL, you need to have access to both models and their weights, and follow some simple steps to encode your text prompt and color map, concatenate them with the latent code of SDXL, and decode them into an image.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. The use of generative AI tools may involve ethical, legal, and social issues that should be considered carefully before applying them to real-world scenarios. The author and publisher are not responsible for any consequences that may arise from the use of generative AI tools.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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