What Is Midjourney? A Comprehensive Guide

What Is Midjourney? A Comprehensive Guide

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming numerous sectors, including the field of art creation. Through AI art generators, artists and nonartists can express themselves faster, experiment with different styles, and find inspiration for their future works.

Midjourney is a generative AI tool that allows individuals to create images in various art styles, including photorealism, comic, and surrealism. In this article, we help you understand what Midjourney is and provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to use it.

Table of contents:

What is Midjourney?

Midjourney is an AI image generator that accepts user inputs (also known as prompts), processes the text to determine what the user wants, and uses deep learning models to produce desired images.

Founded by David Holz, Midjourney describes itself as an independent, self-funded research lab that focuses on expanding imaginative powers of the human species. Depending on your prompts, Midjourney can produce images in art styles like photorealism, abstract, and mosaic.

Midjourney isn’t free. While the AI image generator provides a free trial, you’ll need a subscription to use Midjourney effectively.

How Midjourney works

Midjourney uses diffusion models and machine learning algorithms for image generation. Its newest model is V5.2, which can produce sharper and more detailed compositions.

To interact with Midjourney, users must write natural language text prompts that outline what they wish to produce.

To illustrate, a prompt like “/imagine a pack of wild dogs sitting around a fire in a forest. Leader dog howls while looking up in the sky. Very large moon illuminates the scene. Surrealism style” allows Midjourney to produce the following image variants:

How Midjourney works

GPU (graphics processing unit) time affects the speed and quality of generated images. Allocating additional GPU time allows AI models to make more calculations and produce images with finer details and more accurate color representations.

However, more GPU time may strain resources and cause you to exceed set usage limits. By default, Midjourney produces images using fast GPU mode, but users in higher plans can select turbo, fast, and relax modes.

To create a desired artwork, Midjourney AI has to interpret various aspects of text descriptions. This is done via natural language processing (NLP) technology, enabling AI systems to process and interpret human inputs accurately.

Get started with Midjourney

From creating a Discord account to generating and saving your images, we’ll walk you through getting started with Midjourney.

  1. Create a Discord account
  2. Sign up for a Midjourney subscription
  3. Join the Midjourney Discord server
  4. Join any #General or #Newbie Channel
  5. Interact with the Midjourney bot
  6. Adjust image parameters
  7. Generate and save your images

1. Create a Discord account

Users interact with Midjourney on Discord, including submitting prompts and reviewing generated images.

1. To create a Discord account, go to the official Discord website.

Step 1

2. Navigate to the following register page to enter details for account creation.

Step 1.2

3. Fill in your email, display name, username, password, and date of birth. Then, press the Continue button.

4. Proceed by confirming you’re human. Check the provided checkbox and select the right objects as requested.

Step 1.4

5. Verify your Discord account by clicking on the link sent to your email.

Step 1.5

6. Once you’ve verified your email, you should be able to access the Discord dashboard.

Step 1.6

2. Sign up for a Midjourney subscription

You’ll also need a Midjourney subscription to generate images on Discord. Currently, Midjourney offers the following pricing plans:

Step 2

Navigate to the Midjourney website to choose a subscription plan that suits your needs and budget. Note that the different subscriptions have differences in features and limitations, such as varying GPU time resulting in varying image quality.

For instance, the Basic Plan doesn’t have relax GPU time—while it’s unlimited from the Standard, Pro, and Mega Plans. The Basic Plan also supports only three concurrent jobs, while the Mega and Pro plans can accommodate 12 fast jobs.

3. Join the Midjourney Discord server

You’ve now created a Discord account and subscribed to a Midjourney subscription plan. The next step is to join the Midjourney Discord server. It’s where you can interact with the Midjourney bot and generate images.

Midjourney provides an official invitation link on its website (midjourney.com). You can also find the link by looking through different Midjourney community channels.

The benefits of joining a Midjourney Discord server include:

  • Access a wide community of users
  • Find inspiration from artwork generated by other users
  • Receive support from other like-minded individuals

4. Join any #General or #Newbie Channel

When you join the Midjourney Discord server, you’ll have access to channels like #General and #Newbie.

#Newbie channels serve as starting points for new users to learn, interact with the community, and get accustomed to the Midjourney environment.

Here’s a glimpse of several available #Newbie channels on the Discord server:

Step 4

Once you’ve understood how Midjourney works, you can move on to join the #General channels.

Note that most images are generated inside #General channels, allowing you to browse through other users’ work for inspiration. Some available #General channels on the Midjourney Discord server include:

Step 4.2

5. Interact with the Midjourney bot

To start interacting with the Midjourney bot, click on any #General channel in the Midjourney Discord server. In our case, we navigated to the #General-5 channel.

Step 5

To generate images, navigate to the text input field highlighted at the bottom of the following page:

Step 5.2

To initiate a conversation with the Discord bot, use the /imagine command and then follow it with your desired prompt. For example, type “/imagine a person fishing in a lake” in the text field. You’ll also want to accept the Terms of Service.

The following are image variants Midjourney produced from this simple prompt:

Step 5.3

Midjourney’s prompts can contain a single phrase or a series of sentences. When you submit a prompt with a single phrase, Midjourney will rely more on its default style to generate high-quality images.

If you desire more custom images, you’ll have to submit more detailed and descriptive prompts. For example, the prompt “A surrealistic landscape, sky is filled with swirling, red, and blue patterns. A pack of wolves appears to be holding a meeting. Scene should evoke an out-of-this-world atmosphere” will get you the following image output:

Step 5.4

Your prompts should also include specific phrases like immense and enormous to allow the Midjourney bot to produce more accurate outputs.

6. Adjust image parameters

You can also adjust various image parameters provided by Midjourney. This includes details like image style, aspect ratio, and detail level.

For example, if you want to generate an image in mosaic, you’ll include this preference in your prompt as follows: “A kitchen garden, different flowers sprouting. Include a person attending to the garden. Mosaic style.” Including the --style attribute at the end of your prompt will also allow Midjourney to produce an image in your desired style.

Step 6

You can set your desired aspect ratio by including --ar [desired aspect ratio] at the end of the prompt like this: “/imagine a football team playing in the streets --ar 1:1.” This command adjusts the image’s proportions to fit your specific requirements, ensuring that the final output matches your vision.

In this case, using --ar 1:1 will produce a square image, which can be ideal for certain social media platforms or specific design needs. Understanding and utilizing aspect ratios can greatly enhance your images’ visual appeal and appropriateness for various applications.

7. Generate and save your images

Once you’ve used the /imagine command and added your prompt, submit it in the #General channel. The Midjourney bot will automatically detect your request and start processing your prompt. It will then produce multiple image variants from a single prompt.

Step 7

To enhance image quality, click on the U[number] button—under the artwork to select a particular image. For instance, if you want the first image in the group, click the U1 button. The image will be generated, as shown below.

Step 7.2

If you select a specific image, you’ll also have access to more customization options, including the ability to upscale it to boost quality.

Step 7.3

For example, we upscaled (2x) the following image:

Step 7.4

Here’s the upscaled image version:

Step 7.5

To save a generated image, click on it to enlarge it.

Step 7.6

To save the image in png format, click Open in browser.

Step 7.7

Next, right-click on the image and select Save image as. You can then enter any desired name and save it.

Step 7.8

Note: The #General channels on the Midjourney Discord server are public. This means other users can view your creation and even submit their prompts. When many users are on the channel, your prompt can become hidden among other incoming image requests. You may need to carefully scroll up or down to locate your prompt.

A fast solution is to go to your inbox and find messages where you’ve been mentioned. You can then jump directly to channels where the Midjourney bot mentioned you.

Midjourney prompts to get started

Submitting different types of prompts can lead to diverse artistic styles and image outcomes.

Consider experimenting with various prompts and assess how Midjourney responds. You should also be creative and specific in your prompts for Midjourney to produce the desired results.

To illustrate, we’ll use ChatGPT to produce prompts in different genres, which we’ll then utilize in Midjourney to generate new images. You can use these prompts as inspiration to draft your original prompts.

When creating Midjourney prompts, use short and simple sentences. Midjourney doesn’t need the full sentences and filler words that ChatGPT might suggest. Focus more on adding keywords in your prompts.

Photorealistic

Prompt: A photorealistic image of a serene lakeside scene at sunset. The lake should be crystal clear, reflecting the vibrant colors of the sunset sky. In the foreground, there’s a small wooden dock with a vintage row boat tied to it. The surrounding landscape should include lush greenery, with tall pine trees and wildflowers scattered around. The overall image should convey a sense of peacefulness and natural beauty.

Generated image:

Photorealistic

Anime

Prompt: An anime-style image of a young hero standing on a city rooftop at night, with a futuristic cityscape in the background.

Generated image:

Anime

Abstract

Prompt: An abstract art piece featuring swirling colors and geometric shapes, blending in a harmonious yet dynamic composition.

Generated image:

Abstract

Surrealism

Prompt: A dreamlike landscape with floating islands and melting clocks under a swirling, star-filled sky.

Generated image:

Surrealism

Minimalism

Prompt: A minimalist image with a single tree silhouette against a vast, empty landscape under a clear sky.

Generated image:

Minimalism

Ethical considerations for AI art

As with other generative AI tools, using Midjourney raises a number of ethical concerns, including:

  • Originality of AI-created art. AI tools like Midjourney are trained using vast amounts of data. The training data sets contain actual works of human beings, which puts into question whether AI-generated images are truly original.
  • Potential copyright issues. The answer as to who actually owns the copyright to Midjourney images also remains elusive. Midjourney allows you to produce and use images commercially, but the artwork can’t be copyrighted.
  • Misinformation and deception. Midjourney can generate images that appear natural and life-like. As a result, these AI creations might be used for misinformative or deceptive practices.
  • Privacy. Generative AI tools use both user-submitted data and generated outputs for training purposes. Such platforms can end up infringing on people’s privacy.
  • Impact on the art industry. While generative AI offers numerous benefits, some concerns are that it’s leading to the devaluation of human creativity and even job displacement.

Get help with Midjourney on Upwork

Generative AI platforms like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 allow artists and nonartists to explore different creative concepts and ideas, from imaginative to realistic images. With the right prompts, you can generate images in various styles and sizes, upscale the quality, and use them for diverse projects.

Midjourney is easily accessible via Discord. However, if you’re a beginner, getting accustomed to the Discord environment may take some time. Consider working with Midjourney AI artists on Upwork to help you harness the power of Midjourney effectively.

And if you’re an expert looking for work, start your search on Upwork. Among the many different Midjourney jobs posted, you can find projects that align with your skills and start earning extra income. Get started today!

Upwork is an OpenAI partner, giving OpenAI customers and other businesses direct access to trusted expert independent professionals experienced in working with OpenAI technologies.

Upwork does not control, operate, or sponsor the tools or services discussed in this article, which are only provided as potential options. Each reader and company should take the time to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

Prices are current at the time of writing and may change over time based on each service’s offerings.

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What Is Midjourney? A Comprehensive Guide
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