How to use Midjourney to produce art made with artificial intelligence

I have been testing for the last few days the artificial intelligence art creation tool Midjourney, a competitor of the famous DALLE-2 (which I am also testing for other posts), and I confess that I am very impressed with the results obtained, so I decided to write this text to teach you how to use this app, which is as fun as it is powerful.

The good news is that you can do this right now, as you no longer need a special invite, you just need a Discord account. Well, at the end of July, Midjourney opened its beta version to any user. So, just read this post to learn how to create your account and be able to evaluate Midjourney for free.

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In addition, I will also give you some tips, some basic, some more advanced, but all very useful.

What is Midjourney?

In short, Midjourney is a tool that translates questions into text images through its algorithms. The company recently released the 3rd generation of its imaging algorithms, which further improved the quality of its renderings.

The last bastion of humanity
Humanity’s Last Bastion / Image: Midjourney by Nick Ellis

The app works within Discord, and collectively, that is, you follow the creations of everyone on the same channel. In an interview with The Verge, Midjourney founder David Holz explained why he didn’t create his own app.

“A lot of people ask us, why don’t you make an iOS app that creates an image for you? But people want to do things together, and if you do it on iOS, you’ll have to create your own social network. And this is very difficult. So if you want your own social experience, Discord is really great.”

David Holz, founder of Midjourney

Create your trial account on Midjourney

To start using Midjourney by the time you finish reading this post. For this, you will need a valid Discord account. If you already have one, just enter the official Midjourney server through this link.

Pirate captain watches the sunset
Pirate Captain watches the sunset / Image: Midjourney by Nick Ellis

It is worth remembering that the trial account offers 25 free searches for you to try, and from there, you have to pay a monthly subscription of US$ 10 (with 200 searches) or US$ 30 (with unlimited searches). This number includes the variations you request from Midjourney, as well as higher resolution images.

Basic Tips for Using Midjourney on Discord

After creating your account, just follow the steps below to make your images.

  • To access the command /imagine and create your searches, you must first enter one of the channels marked as #newbie (newbie) on the Midjourney server.
Command to create images in Midjourney
Command to create images in Midjourney / Screenshot by Nick Ellis
  • Did you join the channel? Great, now just type the command /imagine and do your search in the “prompt” field (see the image above). The idea here is to use your imagination and leverage the tool to create new things or alternative versions of things you know and like, as I did in the example prompt.
  • You can include different items or environments for your image in commas, as if they were tags, and Midjourney’s algorithm will try to fit them all into your composition. In addition, you can choose an artistic style from your favorite painter or sculptor, or a technical command, such as a type of film or a specific lens.
  • I loved being able to use Midjourney to draw the image as if it were some artist, some art style or even a specific photograph from a movie, with always surprising results. In the image below, I asked to search Rio de Janeiro in the style of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner movie.
Man in Rio de Janeiro in Blade Runner style
Man in Rio de Janeiro in Blade Runner style / Image: Midjourney by Nick Ellis
  • Did you think of something really cool to ask? Then just hit enter to activate the command /imagine. The bot will create 4 images for you in about 1 minute. The images will gradually appear, as if it were a Polaroid photo being developed, and when they are ready, they will go to the end of the feed, so you will have to scroll there.

Making variations and improving the resolution of your images

Midjourney UI on Discord
Midjourney’s Discord Interface / Screenshot by Nick Ellis
  • When these four image variations are ready, you can use the “U1”, “U2”, “U3” and “U4” buttons below the image to upscale photo 1, 2, 3 or 4 respectively, as shown in the image above.
  • You can also click on the “V1”, “V2”, “V3” and “V4” buttons to create new variations of each of the images.
Buttons to create variations, improve resolution and reduce details
Buttons to create variations, improve resolution and reduce details / Screenshot by Nick Ellis
  • Once an image is generated from the options “U”, Midjourney will show the three buttons above. O “Make Variations” creates more variations, the “Upscale to Max” leaves the image at its maximum resolution, while the “Light Upscale Red” slightly diminishes the details of the composition, focusing on the main subject.
  • Also, type the command /info shows how many images you have left to use in your assessment.
  • From there, just save your image before it gets lost in your Discord feed. But don’t worry, the tip below shows you how to find everything when you need it.

How to find the arts you created with Midjourney

Midjourney's website shows all user-created images
Midjourney website shows all user created images / Screenshot by Nick Ellis

By logging in with your Discord account on the Midjourney website, you will have access to a page with all the artwork generated from your prompts. When you click on one of the images, you will see an enlargement, and in the three-dot menu, you will have access to some very useful options.

You can copy the code to embed on your website, copy the prompt text to do a search in another service (or in Midjourney itself) or simply save the image. For me, the most important option is the link that opens the search directly in Discord, which is very useful for generating new variations or increasing the resolution of an art that has already been created.

There is much more to be explored in this service

There are several resources that can be included in the search, such as image URLs, but unlike DALLE-2, Midjourney does not create the image on top of the one you uploaded, but uses it as inspiration, as if it were a text.

It might be too technical for a more casual use of the tool, but there are also a lot of parameters that can be used, and of course, I tested a lot of them, and I had fun in the process. The command “–hd”for example, uses an algorithm that potentially can create larger images better, but is less consistent for compositing, according to the Midjourney handbook.

Enter “–air 16:9” at the prompt generates a horizontal image, while typing “–air 9:16” generates a vertical, ideal to use as your smartphone’s wallpaper or even as a different background for a Story or TikTok.

You can also change sizes and formats. The command “–w” followed by a number indicates the width, while the “–h” indicates the height. Also, there are shortcuts to specific image sizes. the shortcut “–wallpaper” generates the same result as typing “–w 1920 –h 1024 –hd”.

Using the command “–quality” it is possible to further improve the image, but this can cost up to twice the price of a normal search. Followed by a word, the command “-at the” directs the prompt not to include this item in the image.

Conclusion

Image of space being produced at Midjourney
A space being blowing up planets / Image: Midjourney by Nick Ellis

I hope this post will be useful for you to start creating your images with Midjourney. It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the brief brushstroke (pardon the pun) that I gave in this post, there are many other tips for using Midjourney, including the recently launched possibility of installing the app within your own Discord servers, but all of that will stay for other posts, which will be published soon here on the site.

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