Style Transfer training and using the model in ml5js
Clone or download
cvalenzuela Merge pull request #2 from b2renger/master
update readme with docker instructions
Latest commit cd94ff3 Sep 26, 2018

Style Transfer training and using the model in ml5js

This repository contains a slightly modified version of Fast Style Transfer in TensorFlow. It trains a neural network on the style of any image you provide it and outputs a model you can use in ml5.js with the ml5.styleTransfer() method.


  • Here is a blog post describing how to train your own custom style with Paperspace. This is the easiest way to get up and running without installing dependencies and libraries.
  • Here is a video to help you get started with style transfer with Spell
  • You should train your network using a GPU. Just using CPU will result in training times of several months 📆
  • Training requires access to the COCO Dataset. COCO is a large-scale object detection, segmentation, and captioning dataset. The version of the dataset we will be using is about 14GB in total. The docker image will download and unzip it.


  • Set up a python environment with tensorflow installed. More detailed instructions here.

  • You can also use this Docker container that comes preinstalled with everything you need. Instructions are available below.


1) Download this repository

Start by downloading or cloning this repository:

git clone
cd training_styletransfer

2) Install dependencies and get the training data

This step is required only if you are running this without the Docker image. You will need to get the complete COCO Dataset, about 14GB of data. This is a requirement for training. You can download the data by running:


You will also need to install specific dependencies for this project:

pip install -r requirements.txt

3) Select a style image

Put the image you want to train the style on, in the /images folder.

4) Start the training

To train a new style transfer network you can use open the script, modified the --style argument to point to your image and run:


Or run the training code directly:

python --style images/YOURIMAGE.jpg \
  --checkpoint-dir checkpoints/ \
  --model-dir models/ \
  --test images/violetaparra.jpg \
  --test-dir tests/ \
  --content-weight 1.5e1 \
  --checkpoint-iterations 1000 \
  --batch-size 20

--style should point to the image you want to use. --model-dir will be the folder where the ml5.js model will be saved.

You can learn more about how to use all the parameters for training in the on the original repository for this code here and here.

Once the training setup is ready, you should see something like this:

ml5.js Style Transfer Training!
Note: This traning will take a couple of hours.
Training is starting!...
Train set has been trimmed slightly..
(1, 451, 670, 3)
UID: 56
Epoch 0, Iteration: 1000, Loss: 1.75362e+07
style: 5.5727e+06, content:1.15116e+07, tv: 451984.0
Training complete. For evaluation:
    `python --checkpoint checkpoints/ ...`
Converting model to ml5js
Writing manifest to models/manifest.json
Done! Checkpoint saved. Visit for more informationlive

5) Use it!

Once the model is ready, your model will be in the models/ folder. You will just need to point to it in your ml5 sketch:

const style = new ml5.styleTransfer('./models/your_new_model');

Check ml5.js documentation on the styleTransfer() method or the style transfer simple example.


First you should install the latest NVIDIA drivers and Docker installed.

1) Install nvidia-docker

Add the package repositories

curl -s -L | \
  sudo apt-key add -
distribution=$(. /etc/os-release;echo $ID$VERSION_ID)
curl -s -L$distribution/nvidia-docker.list | \
  sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nvidia-docker.list
sudo apt-get update

Install nvidia-docker2 and reload the Docker daemon configuration

sudo apt-get install -y nvidia-docker2
sudo pkill -SIGHUP dockerd

2) Pull the docker container

docker pull cvalenzuelab/styletransfer:latest

3) Run the container

sudo nvidia-docker run -e USER=$USER -e USERID=$UID -v $PWD:$PWD -w=$PWD -it -p 8888:8888 -p 6006:6006 -v ~/home/YourUserName/:/home cvalenzuelab/styletransfer bash

4) Run the scripts

The latest command line should give you a linux prompt with access to your home folder.

You can now navigate to the folder you cloned this repo and follow the "Usage" instructions from step 3.

Depending on your graphic card you may end up with an error mentionning something like 'ResourceExhaustedError', in this case you can try to decrease the batchsize option in the python command (to something like 16) : the training will only be a little longer.