GAN example for Keras. Cuz MNIST is too small and there should be something more realistic.
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pitpit and forcecore There is some BC issue with new versions of Keras and OpenCV. Downgra…
…ding (#4)

* Use virtualenv to embed requirements declaration

* Add keras and tensorflow to requirements

* Fix Keras to version 2.0.4

* force setuptools to version 39.1.0

* Fix 'ImportError: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory' error

* remove obsolete instruction in README

* Fix requirements
Latest commit eef29ba Aug 1, 2018


GAN example for Keras. Cuz MNIST is too small and there should an example on something more realistic.

Some results

Training for 22 epochs

Youtube Video, click on the image

Training for 22 epochs

Loss graph for 5000 mini-batches

Loss graph

1 mini-batch = 64 images. Dataset = 14490, hence 5000 mini-batches is approximately 22 epochs.

Some outputs of 5000th min-batch

Some ouptputs of 5000th mini-batch

Some training images

Some inputs

Useful resources, before you go on

How to run this example


  • My environment: Python 3.6 + Keras 2.0.4 + Tensorflow 1.x
    • If you are on Keras 2.0.0, you need to update it otherwise BatchNormalization() will cause bug, saying "you need to pass float to input" or something like that from Tensorflow back end.
  • Use virtualenv to initialize a similar environment (python and dependencies):
pip install virtualenv
virtualenv -p <PATH_TO_BIN_DIR>/python3.6 venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
  • I HATE making a program that has so many command line parameters to pass. Many of the parameters are there in the scripts. Adjust the script as you need. The "main()" function is at the bottom of the script as people do in C/C++
  • Most global parameters are defined in
    • They are defined as class variables not instance variables so you may have trouble running/training multiple instances of the GAN with different parameters. (which is very unlikely to happen)
  • Download dataset from
    • Extract it to this directory so that the scipt can find ./animeface-character-dataset/thumb/
    • Any dataset should work in principle but GAN is sensitive to hyperparameters and may not work on yours. I tuned the parameters for animeface-character-dataset.


  • Run the preprocessing script. It saves training time to resize/scale the input than doing those tasks on the fly in the training loop.
    • ./
    • The image, when loaded from PNG files, the RGB values have [0, 255]. (uint8 type). will collect the images, resize the images to 64x64 and scale the RGB values so that they will be in [-1.0, 1.0] range.
    • will only sample a subset of the dataset if configured to do so. The size of the subset is determined by dataset_sz defined in
    • The images will be written to data.hdf5.
      • Made it small to verify the training is working.
      • You can increase it but you need to adjust the network sizes accordingly.
    • Again, which files to read is defined in the script at the bottom, not by sys.argv.
  • You need a large enough dataset. Otherwise the discriminator will sort of "memorize" the true data and reject all that's generated.


  • Open then at the bottom, uncomment train_autoenc() if you wish.
    • This is useful for seeing the generator network's capability to reproduce the input.
    • The auto-encoder will be trained on input images.
    • The output will be blurry, as the auto-encoder having mean-squared-error loss. (This is why GAN got invented in the first place!)
  • To run training, modify main() so that train_gan() is uncommented.
  • The script will dump reals.png and fakes.png every 10 epoch so that you can see how the training is going.
  • The training takes a while. For this example on Anime Face dataset, it took about 10000 mini-batches to get good results.
    • If you see only uniform color or "modern art" until 2000 then the training is not working!
  • The script also dumps weights every 10 batches. Utilize them to save training time. Weights before diverging is preferred :) Uncomment load_weights() in train_gan().

Training tips

What I experienced during my training of GAN.

  • As described in GAN Hacks, discriminator should be ahead of the generator so that the generator can be "guided" by the discriminator.
  • If you look at loss graph at, they had gen loss in range of 2 to 4. Their training worked well. The discriminator loss is low, arond 0.1.
  • You'll need trial and error to get the hyper-pameters right so that the training stays in the stable, balanced zone. That includes learning rate of D and G, momentums, etc.
  • The convergence is quite sensitive with LR, beware!
  • If things go well, the discriminator loss for detecting real/fake = dloss0/dloss1 should be less than or around 0.1, which means it is good at telling whether the input is real or fake.
  • If learning rate is too high, the discriminator will diverge and one of the loss will get high and will not fall. Training fails in this case.
  • If you make LR too small, it will only slow the learning and will not prevent other issues such as oscillation. It only needs to be lower than certain threshold that is data dependent.
  • If adjusting LR doesn't work, it could be lack of complexity in the discriminator layer. Add more layers, or some other parameters. It could be anything :( Good luck!
  • On the other hand, generator loss will be relatively higher than discriminator loss. In this script, it oscillates in range 0.1 to 4.
  • If you see any of the D loss staying > 15 (when batch size is 32) the training is screwed.
  • In case of G loss > 15, see if it escapes within 30 batches. If it stays there for too long, it isn't good, I think.
  • In case you're seeing high G loss, it could mean it can't keep up with discriminator. You might need to increase LR. (Must be slower than discriminator though)
  • One final piece of the training I was missing was the parameter in BatchNormalization. I found about it in this link:
    • Sort of interesting, in PyTorch, momentum parameter for BatchNorm is 0.1, according to the API documents, while in Keras it is 0.99. I'm not sure if 0.1 in PyTorch actually means 1 - 0.1. I didn't look into PyTorch backend implementation.