There are tons of Midjourney guides you can find on the Internet. This one, in particular, is optimized for your convenience and aims to teach you ONLY what you need to know to get started right away. Granted, we have some advanced guides available later whenever you’re ready to take things to the next level.
Get ready, because, in a few minutes, you’ll be producing some of the most enchanting and majestic digital art you’ve ever seen!
So let’s quickly dive into what it’s all about.
Midjourney is an AI-powered art generator that allows users to produce images from textual descriptions or other image references in order to expand human creativity and imagination. Using machine learning, Midjourney converts imagination into reality for artists and ordinary users alike.
Unless you’re living in a Himalayan cave, you’ve probably heard of AI-generated art (no disrespect to cave dwellers). This technology is both exciting and frightening, but regardless, artists from all walks of life need to pay attention because whether we like it or not, AI art is already part of the art culture.
Midjourney stands out as the premier AI art generator, producing exceptional quality artwork that is unmatched by its competitors like Dall-E 2 and Stable Diffusion. It has advanced techniques such as image prompting, upscaling, blending, and remixing. Truth be told, MJ makes other art generators look bad.
And with V5 now live, MJ is even better than it’s ever been, having the ability to produce photorealistic images that honestly put Dall-E to shame.
Granted, Midjourney isn’t perfect, and in some cases, Stable Diffusion may be better at getting consistent characters. However, the latter is also quite difficult to program while MJ is perfect for the average non-techie person that just wants a model that can easily produce beautiful images without too much hassle.
Now let’s explore what you need to know before you get started.
What Can Midjourney Do?
In most cases, you can create artwork on Midjourney by typing what’s on your mind as texts, using a reference image/s, or a combination of both. Text and image prompts are used as inputs, and then the system does its machine magic to generate a matching output image.
Most of the time, however, people just use text prompts. We also have a standalone image prompting guide for MJ for you to learn later.
MJ uses randomness in its process, so there will be variations in the results even if you run the exact same input.
Midjourney is currently at version 5, shortened as v5. The latest version is usually the best version, but in this case, I personally find both versions useful in their own respect. For now, default is v4 since the latter is still in alpha mode. That could change soon.
Just know that you can use both versions.
You might want to read: Midjourney V3 vs V4 vs V5 to get a feel of the different models.
Now, I know most of you probably don’t want to spend any money if it’s your first time using it, and rightfully so.
You can actually use Midjourney for free and be able to generate 20-30 images. But once you’ve fully consumed your free plan, you won’t be able to continue using your account. Furthermore, if you don’t subscribe to a payment plan, you won’t be able to use the images for commercial purposes.
But the free version will do for now. In fact, I recommend you wait a while before subscribing to any plans in order to determine your level of usage.
If you do want to subscribe now, the Midjourney plan for most hardcore users is the Standard Plan, which costs $30. It gives you unlimited “relaxed (slow) generations” and 15 hours worth of “fast generations” per month plus general commercial terms. Based on my survey, this is the sweet spot among passionate creators.
But if you’re not a power user, then the Basic Plan will suffice. I’ve never met anyone who opted for the Pro Plan for any reason other than the fact that they want their images to be in private mode, and because they own a company worth $1M (which has different requirements).
Prompts are the instructions fed to Midjourney in order to generate a desired artwork. There are four things you need to know:
- /imagine – the Discord code you need to type in order to prompt
- Image prompt – an image used as a reference (any image URL will work, but must end in .jpg or .png)
- Text prompt – a text description of the image you want to create
- Parameters – gives you more options to customize the output (like aspect ratio, model version, etc.)
IMPORTANT: Remember the ordering of the different components of a prompt as they can’t be interchanged!
We’ll get to all the different prompts and parameters eventually, but for now, focus on the text prompt alone, as it is the primary use case of art generators. Let’s get started!
How to Get Started
When it comes to getting started with Midjourney, setting up a Discord account is half the battle. If you don’t already have one, create one here. Some of you might not like this step.
Unfortunately, there is no way to use Midjourney without Discord at present. But there have been some leaks of a web application that is currently in the works. In time, you’ll likely be able to use MJ outside of Discord.
Join Midjourney’s Discord
After your Discord account has been set up, join Midjourney’s server.
Go to Any Newcomer Channels
If it’s your first time here, you’ll probably be overwhelmed. Do yourself a favor and ignore everything else but the newbie channels on the left.
There are tons of them. Just click on one. It doesn’t matter what as you can generate the same images in all these channels.
After joining a newcomer room, scroll down. You need to be at the bottom to see the latest generated artwork. You’ll see a bunch of generations from other people too.
Now, it’s time to prompt your artwork. Click on the text input field and type “/imagine [your text prompt].” Like this:
Then click enter. You should see the Midjourney bot processing your request right away. Your image should be done in 10-40 seconds.
Images are generated in groups of 4. Pay close attention to the numbering of the image. They correspond to the U (upscale) and V (variation) buttons below, which we’ll get to.
Now that your prompt has been generated into four different images, you can pick the one that you want most. Then you have two choices. You can either reroll to create variations or upscale to create a high-resolution copy of it.
Variation is used when you want to tweak the image slightly so it can come out “just right”. Once you’re satisfied with how it looks, you may Upscale it.
Let’s do both!
In this case, I am particularly drawn to image number 4 as it perfectly embodies my prompt, so I’m going to click V4 to create its variations. Remember that you can reroll as much as you want until you find a satisfying result.
That said, there are times when you really need to change the prompt to get your desired output. Don’t stress about it. Have fun!
In my case, I think I like Image number # 1 this time. And I think I’m satisfied with it. So let’s move forward to upscaling.
Upscale the Image
Upscaling is the easy part. Just click U with a number that corresponds to your chosen image. For me, it’s U1, so I click on it, and the process begins.
Note that Upscaling typically takes 2-3x longer than regular prompting.
Download the Image
To download an upscaled image, simply click on it to enlarge it, and then right-click and select Save image.
And you’re done! It’s not as hard as it seems.
As long as you purchase any of the paid plans, Midjourney allows you to use the generated images for commercial purposes. You own the rights and can make money off them to the extent allowed by the law. However, based on the terms of service, Midjourney also holds the right to your images non-exclusively.
Also see: How to Copyright AI-Generated Images
The Next Level
You’ve dipped your toes in the water, but the fun has just begun. When you’re ready, you can break new ground. More advanced guides coming very soon so bookmark this page. For now, you may check out our FREE 200 Midjourney Art Styles and the FAQs.
Where to find my generated images?
You can find them on your profile page: midjourney.com/app. Just log in. It roughly takes a minute or two for the generated images to appear in your gallery.
Can Midjourney use images as prompts?
Yes, it can. See our image prompting guide.
Can I sell my AI art?
Generally, you can sell your Midjourney artwork granted that you have purchased a subscription plan even if that plan expires. There are four ways to make money off AI art, check the article.
Can Midjourney generate text?
When it comes to generating text, it’s a hit or miss. But with some effort and a dozen rerolls, some people manage to get their desired results. This is a good resource for text prompting.
Can Midjourney Generate NSFW Images?
MJ has banned pornographic, harmful, or offensive images and has restricted certain keywords that could generate such. However, some people can still get away with it by choosing clever wording or using alternative spelling or symbols. If you’re really into this type of thing, check out our list of NSFW AI art generators. You may also check out our guide on how to create NSFW AI art.
Where is Midjourney Based
Midjourney is based in San Francisco, California.
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