One of the most exciting things to happen recently (or should that be the most exciting thing to happen recently) is the by invitation beta of Midjourney AI.
Midjourney is a text-to-image generator which will create amazing and often surprising art from your text prompts.
If you have an invitation but are stuck to get started, here’s a quick guide.
Important: Midjourney is a platform which is in Beta. The team behind the platform are making updates and changes daily, therefore the screenshots in this guide may look different to what you see.
Get Started With Midjourney AI – Make Your First Image!
I’m assuming you have your Discord account set up and have your Midjourney invite. If not, you’ll find out more about how to get an invite HERE.
Essential Settings in Discord
Before we start creating images, head to the Settings of the Midjourney server.
You may want to adjust the notification settings either on or off, depending on your requirements. However, when you get into full-on image production mode, lots of notifications can be annoying!
The other setting you will need to look at is the privacy settings. You will need to set this so you can receive direct messages from the server members. This is important as it allows you to interact with the Midjourney bot.
Do Your Research 🙂
If you are doing the free trial and you have limited time, you may want to do some research before you start. Take a look through some of the different channels and look for inspiration. If you are very clear about the type of image you want to create this isn’t so important, however if you’re not sure what to do, this is a great place to start!
You will be able to set the text prompts that people made to create the images.
You can copy the prompts or adapt them. The Midjourney bot will create a new image each time, so even if you copy a prompt from someone else, you will never see the same image twice.
Create Your First Image
When you join the Midjourney server you have probably been told which newbie room to start in (if not, pick any newbie room to start).
Go to that room and type / into the text bar at the bottom. You will then see a number of options appear, choose ‘Imagine’. Alternatively, start typing Imagine and you will see this option appear.
After selecting ‘Imagine’ you should see this in the text bar as follows:
Now you can type in your text prompt. Remember to type in the outlined box as this is the only way the prompt will work.
If you type outside of the prompt box, as below, you will get an error message.
After submitting your prompt you are likely to get a message of some sort. A common message is one like this, where the bot is politely telling us to wait 🙂
Your First AI Image – Congratulations 🙂
After a few seconds/minutes (more on this later too), you will see a grid with four images returned. This will look like the image below:
At the top you will see the prompt you used. If you want to tweak this prompt, try copy and pasting to stop you retyping again.
You will also see what ‘mode’ you are in. This is likely to be Relaxed or Fast. With the standard subscription we get a number of fast hours per month. Some users (ie me!) toggle between fast and relax to preserve fast time, but we’ll talk about that in another post.
And at the bottom of the page you will see options for upscale and making variations.
Upscaling and Making Variations of Your Midjourney AI Art
Congratulations! You now have four images to show off. But what can you do now?
The standard size of images created is 256 pixels, which is very small (yes, we can change size and dimensions, but we’ll cover that later). Midjourney gives us the option to upscale the images to make them larger.
The standard upscale will make the image larger, but still not big enough to print big posters. You’ll need a 3rd party upscaler for that which we’ll talk about in another post.
Under your image grid, you will see you have some options. The top row with the U prefix are the upscale options. U1 & U2 refer to the top two images in the grid with top left being U1.
U3 and U4 refer to the bottom two images with U3 being bottom left.
If you want to upscale one of your images, just click on the relevant button. The button will turn blue to indicate that the upscale is in process.
When you have upscaled your image, you will likely notice that Midjourney hasn’t just made the image bigger, it has also included some extra detail. This detail may be perfect – or may be pretty awful depending on what you are trying to achieve and the look you are aiming for.
I have experienced many ‘surprises’ when upscaling, including extra eyes and other oddities. It is particularly noticeable on faces which can get quite distorted when upscaling.
In the example below, you will see the cat on the right has significantly more detail – not all of which is good!
Happily, there’s a way around this. You will see after you have upscaled an image, you have an option to rerun the upscale to ‘upscale light’.
This runs a ‘softer’ upscale without some of the superfluous detail.
Tip: While you can set the Midjourney bot to run light upscales ever time, I create both the normal upscale AND a light upscale where needed. I then combine the images in an image editing program (I use Affinity Photo, but many people use Photoshop for editing), and I use both the normal and the light image when editing.
Also, I personally think when starting out, it’s important to look at all types of upscales and variations so you can better learn what the AI is capable of and the different ways you can work with it.
If you see an image you like and you’d like to see variations, click on the relevant button prefixed with V (the same layout as above, with V1 being top left etc).
Midjourney will then create four more variations for you based on this iteration.
I requested variations on this image:
and the variations I received were this:
You can see the similarities. The bot hasn’t started afresh. You can see that it’s given variations of the house with the small outbuilding at the front of each and also tried to use the same color scheme-ish.
Rerun a Prompt
If you want to rerun a prompt to see what Midjourney creates for a second (or more) time, click on the refresh style icon on the right.
How to Download Your Image
At the time of writing there is no easy way to bulk download your images from Discord/Midjourney. I use a Chrome extension to bulk download, but for now, let’s look at how to download one or two images.
Find the image you have upscaled and click (or tap) it to open the image.
And the select ‘open original’. You can then right click on the full size image and save it to your computer, or choose to download it to your image gallery or similar on a mobile device.
Tell Me About What Else I Can Do!!!
Ok, so we’ve only scratched the surface here. There are more commands to explore, more ways to improve your work flow – and more fun to be had 🙂
Check out the rest of our posts to help you get started with AI art 🙂
Feature Image Edit
The featured image of the excited monster is direct from Midjourney, however I added the eye pupils in an image editor, but nothing else was edited.