Using Alchemy

A help guide for using Alchemy V2, Alchemy V1 and Alchemy Refiner

David Gregory avatar
Written by David Gregory
Updated over a week ago


Welcome to Leonardo Alchemy! This advanced pipeline brings an incredible level of detail and control to your creative process. Enhance your designs with remarkable high resolution, contrast boost, resonance, and more.

Whether you're just starting out or an experienced creator, this guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of Alchemy V2, Alchemy V1 and Alchemy Refiner. So let’s dive in!

Alchemy V2

Alchemy V2 is the latest premium feature upgrade for Leonardo.Ai, offering enhanced image generation with our SDXL models (Leonardo Diffusion XL and Leonardo Vision XL). Alchemy V2 delivers higher image fidelity and improved coherence, ensuring that your prompts translate into visuals with greater accuracy.

Using Alchemy V2 is simple:

  1. First, ensure you’re on a paid plan to access Alchemy V2

  2. Locate Alchemy V2 on the left menu bar

  3. Toggle Alchemy V2 on to activate the feature.

Please note that Alchemy V2 is only available for Leonardo Diffusion XL, Leonardo Vision XL, AlbedoBase XL and SDXL 0.9 models

Alchemy V1

Alchemy V1 is still available for Stable Diffusion 1.5 and 2.1 models, and comes with several settings to experiment with. Please see below for an explanation of the various settings and options.

High Resolution

High Resolution is integral to Leonardo Alchemy, which toggles between a 1.5x and 2x resolution increase. Essentially, this feature enhances the output resolution of the alchemy procedure, delivering richer and denser images. Keep in mind that high-resolution outputs will differ from their normal resolution counterparts due to the diffusion process involved in the generation. Therefore, High Resolution cannot be expected to function as an upscaler.

The input dimensions for Alchemy are preset at a width of 768 px and a height of 512 px. Consequently, when Alchemy is activated, it multiplies the original image size.

If High-Resolution is turned off, the multiplication factor is 1.5, which takes the final image size to 1152x768.

If High-Resolution is turned on, the final image size will be twice as large, equating to 1536x1024.

Contrast Boost

Contrast Boost enhances the contrast and dynamic range of the image. The default value is set at 1. However, adjusting this value can significantly affect your image's visual attributes, making it more tailored to your subject matter.

It should be noted, Contrast Boost not only alters the dynamic range but also affects the image's overall aesthetic and level of detail. Therefore, experimenting with different contrast levels could lead to significantly different outputs even when other settings and seeds remain constant.


Resonance is a crucial control in Alchemy that allows you to determine the level of detail in your image and how closely it adheres to the prompt. Higher Resonance values can result in intricate, highly-detailed images, but they may also lead to extremely busy visuals.

A good balance is often found between 13-15, but this is not a fixed rule. Depending on the model and the chosen prompt, other Resonance values may be more suitable. A certain level of trial and error can be expected to discover what works best for each image generation.


Alchemy isn't exclusive to certain models; it performs well with all models provided by Leonardo, as well as custom models. This flexibility enables a broad range of possible outcomes, opening up a world of creative possibilities through experimentation!


The default preset upon activating Alchemy is "General," which is designed to be balanced and versatile. When working with Alchemy, you can use 11 presets, each of which brings a unique style and effect to your image with ease. These presets include:

  • Anime

  • Cinematic

  • Creative

  • Dynamic

  • Environment

  • General

  • Illustration

  • Photography

  • Raytraced

  • 3D Render

  • Sketch B/W

  • Sketch Color

  • Vibrant

It is important to note that each preset has its own effect on the final image. In most cases, the model will not recognize artists' and photographers' styles, certain art types, and other additional effect prompts. Therefore, to maximize adherence to other artistic styles, it is advisable to specify the style in the prompt rather than using a preset. Additionally, selecting "None" is advisable in this case.

Image Guidance

Alchemy also supports Controlnets such as the image2image function (found in the Image Guidance tab) that allows you to adjust how much the original image affects the final result. By changing the Strength, you can control how much of the original image is shown in the output.

A lower Initial Strength value will make the original image less dominant, while a higher value will make it more dominant.

​Prompt Magic

This powerful feature determines the level of influence that Prompt Magic has on the output. A higher number means that the influence is more significant. Alchemy essentially amplifies the capability of Prompt Magic by enabling it to process all words in the description. Without Alchemy, Prompt Magic cannot process prompts longer than 350-400 characters.

Complex Syntax and Weights

With Alchemy, you are able to construct more intricate prompts using round and square brackets. Round brackets amplify the AI's attention to the words within them, while square brackets decrease it.


() - increase AI attention to words

[] - decrease AI attention to words

Noting that each pair of brackets adds 10%

(red) - 110%

((red)) - 120%

(((red))) - 130%

Additionally, the use of a colon inside the brackets can both strengthen and weaken the influence of the words.


(motion blur:0.9) - influence of motion blur is reduced by 10%

(motion blur:1.2) - influence of motion blur is increased by 20%

Alchemy Refiner

Alchemy Refiner goes beyond standard upscaling tools, meticulously enhancing every single pixel. Refiner has a special focus on the subtleties of hands and faces, defining them with remarkable clarity.

Alchemy Refiner gives your generation more definition, emphasising fine details and making your image stand out. Alchemy Refiner makes your images feel fresh and contemporary making it the perfect tool for reviving old images.

To get started, follow these simple steps:

  1. Hover over a generated image in your feed and click the Alchemy Refiner button

2. Select Refiner Strength from the dropdown: Low, Medium or High

The higher the strength, the more the refiner will adjust the image to attempt to improve it while upscaling. If you're already quite happy with the base image use Medium or Low

3. Toggle Smooth Mode: ON or OFF

Smooth mode can substantially enhance image coherence and improve hands and faces, but may impact fine details. Works best with airbrushed styles, vector style images, and to tame chaotic visuals.

Please note that using this feature will incur 8 credits.

And there we have it. The magic of Alchemy revealed! Keep your eye out for future updates and be sure to check out the other guides available for top tips to enhance your creativity!

Did this answer your question?