Here's a tutorial that is slightly different than anything we’ve ever crafted before. As we continued to explore Midjourney, the text-to-image AI software pivoted from novelty & play to being a powerful tool for concept development and prototyping. By weaving Midjourney into our creative tapestry, we’ve been better able to articulate, visualize and share what we see in our imagination. We wanted to create a guide with some tips we've picked up to get you started with Midjourney so that you can delve in and explore with us in the next chapter of creative evolution.
Image made with Midjourney Prompt: " a glass of cold juice has been placed onto a table under a bright sunlit window, in the style of enigmatic tropics, light yellow and light blue, in the style of William Eggleston, in the style of Larry Sultan, handcrafted beauty, Rolliflex, kodachrome, infused with social commentary, organic movement, iconic, intricate foliage, soft lighting --ar 3:2"
What is Midjourney?
Midjourney is a text-to-image AI model that creates completely original images based on your text prompts.
How does it work?
- You message Midjourney your text prompt in Discord by providing a comma-separated list of descriptive qualities you’d like your image to include.
- Midjourney will reply with a series of images generated from your text descriptions.
Who is Midjourney for?
- Visionary Artists and Creators: Elevate artistry by transforming abstract ideas into tangible visuals. Ideal for conceptual art or digital installations.
- Educators and Trainers: Enhance lessons with custom visuals tailored to specific topics, making complex concepts easily digestible and approachable.
- Tech Enthusiasts and Innovators: Dive into the AI realm, exploring its capabilities for tech demos, presentations or even how to automate in the future.
- Marketing and Branding Professionals: Craft unique brand visuals, ensuring standout campaigns and memorable advertisements and reverse the process to get the language to share your vision with others.
- Storytellers and Content Creators: Complement narratives with bespoke imagery, enriching blogs, articles, or digital stories.
- Event Planners and Organizers: Design thematic visuals for event promotions, from corporate seminars to cultural festivals, ensuring a cohesive brand presence.
Why would you want to use Midjourney?
Visualizing Concepts/Self-Workshopping your imagination:
- Ideal for refining presentation concepts, allowing you to create something new and unique.
- Think outside the search bar and create something new, Midjourney encourages creativity & thinking beyond conventional image search methods or Pinterest mood boards.
- Enhancing Creative Projects:
- Useful for adding elements to creative projects, such as diverse hand images, without the need for hiring real models.
- Offers high-quality and versatile image generation. Want something different? Slightly adjust your prompt and you’ll get something totally different.
- User-Friendly Interface:
- Midjourney's interface is easy (and fun!) to use, making it accessible even for those unfamiliar with AI.
The beginning of mass AI access
- Midjourney and other AIs are constantly learning and evolving, this will only get better with time. Just like you.
- Using Midjourney helps you clarify your creative concepts and prompt requests. We’ve all been on the end of an unclear brief, this can help you shape your concept with concise clarity.
- Offers a range of pricing options to suit different needs and budgets and it’s easy to change them up if you need more or less.
Midjourney generation working on the prompt: "a large glass of orange juice has been placed onto a table under a bright sunlight, in the style of enigmatic tropics, light orange and light gray, in the style of William Eggleston, handcrafted beauty, canon AE1, kodachrome, infused with social commentary, absinthe culture"
Getting Started with Midjourney
Midjourney is so user-friendly and approachable that you’ll feel silly for thinking AI was intimidating.
Signing up for Midjourney
We’ve essentially distilled the very helpful Midjourney Quick Start guide. So stay with us, or head over there to their resource, but we’ve included visuals and examples that we think are really helpful for making sure you don’t get lost in the process!
- Register for a Discord account if you don’t have one. Otherwise, make sure you are ready to login to your Discord account. Looking at you Lost My Password Larry.
- Great, now join the Midjourney Discord
- In any general or newbie chat, write “/Subscribe” - using the forward-slash enables the command-request dialog box, and don’t worry, no one else in the channel will see your request. The Midjourney bot will reply with a personalized link for you to purchase an account.
- Get the plan that works for you. Details about each plan can be found here. Also, unlike a lot of subscriptions, it’s very easy to cancel if it’s not working out.
- Now the magic of AI happens.
How to Use MidjourneyYou can access Midjourney on all the platforms you can use Discord: via a web browser, mobile app, or desktop app.
Go to any #General or #Newbie Channel on the Midjourney server.
- You'll enter the /imagine command to generate images. For example, type "/imagine prompt: sunset over a city" to begin visualizing that concept.
- The Text Prompt is going to be where you describe what image you want to generate.
- Just like life, the more concise but specific you can be in your prompt, the better. Focus in on what you want. Prioritize the key things, remove the extraneous.
- Use precise synonyms. Instead of small, try microscopic, tiny, miniscule.
- Use numbers or collective nouns to define plurals. 3 wolves is better than wolves. A herd of sheep is better than sheep, just ask any wolf.
- If you want it to avoid something showing up in your generations, like you want a car but with no wheels, use the `--no` parameter. Saying “no wheels” is likely to actually give you more wheels than you bargained for. Same for 'without', 'remove' or 'don’t add'. These `--no` exclusions should go at the end of your prompt. ex: "beach vacation, table setting with a fancy drink, in the style of martin parr, vacation photography, magnum contact sheets, UHD, leica analog photography, Kodachrome filmstock --no straws --ar 3:2 --style raw"
- Midjourney is not a human. It doesn’t understand grammar, sentence structure or words like we do. We = human, for now.
- So now is your time to go nuts with commas, brackets and hyphens to organize yourself. You’ve - been, waiting [for (this) day]!
- Midjourney also cares not for caPitaliZatioN, give that shift key a much deserved break.
- Anything left unsaid will surprise you. Which can be really fun! But not always what you want. Midjourney said it best: *try to be clear about any context or details that are important to you.Think about:
- Subject: person, animal, character, location, object, etc.
- Medium: photo, painting, illustration, sculpture, doodle, tapestry, etc.
- Environment: indoors, outdoors, on the moon, in Narnia, underwater, the Emerald City, etc.
- Lighting: soft, ambient, overcast, neon, studio lights, etc
- Color: vibrant, muted, bright, monochromatic, colorful, black and white, pastel, etc.
- Mood: Sedate, calm, raucous, energetic, etc.
- Composition: Portrait, headshot, closeup, birds-eye view, etc.
After submitting a text prompt, the Midjourney Bot will create several unique image options.
👉 This process uses advanced graphic processing and requires real time computational exertion on Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), and each image generation counts towards your GPU time. Midjourney allows you to rate images to gain free GPU time as well, if you find your subscription a little lacking. 👈
Upscale, create variations, or modify your image using the provided options. The U1-U4 buttons will upscale your image, and the V1-V4 buttons will create 4 new iterations of the previous image.
If you ever have any questions, use the /help command for information and tips and for questions about the bot, you can use the /ask command to learn more.
If you have an image like a .png or .jpg that you want Midjourney to analyze, you can use the /describe command to get prompt inspirations - check out our blog post on the /describe command to learn more.
Save your image by clicking on it to open it to full size, then right-click and choose "Save image."
Additionally, don’t forget the community! Snooping around other’s prompts can be really helpful (and free!) to see what comes out as well as raise your prompt game. Visit the #member-support channel on the Midjourney Discord for additional assistance from your fellow humans.
You’ve mastered the basics! Give me a little fistbump 👊 ! Nice.
Going the Distance 🍰 (aka Advanced Features)
Create your own Discord Server for private experimentation
When you’re ready to take your experimenting private, away from the eyes of Midjourney’s channels, you can create your own Discord Server to create your own instance of Midjourney.
Create a Server
- Open Discord and click on the "+" icon usually located on the left sidebar. Choose "Create a Server" and follow the on-screen prompts to name your server and select its region.
Adding Apps to your Server
- Navigate to Server Settings - Click on your server's icon on the left sidebar, then click on the server name at the top-left corner. From the dropdown menu, select "Server Settings."
- Configure Apps - In the left-side menu there is a link to your current app integrations and a redirect the Discord app directory
Installing the "Midjourney" Bot
- Go to a Discord’s app directory and search for “Midjourney”
- Click on the bot's name to view its details, features, and permissions it will require.
Activating the Midjourney Bot
- Invite the Bot: On the Midjourney bot page, click the "Invite" or "Add to Server" button. You'll be redirected to an OAuth2 authorization page.
- Choose Your Server: From the dropdown menu on the OAuth2 page, select the server where you want to add the Midjourney bot.
- Review Permissions: The bot will request certain permissions. Make sure to read these carefully to understand what the bot will be able to do on your server.
- Authorize the Bot: Click "Authorize" or "Continue" to add the bot to your server. You may need to complete a CAPTCHA, which we only find slightly ironic.
- Check Bot's Presence: The bot should now appear in your server, typically in the member list on the right-hand side.
- Initial Configuration: Refer to the Midjourney bot's documentation within Discord for any initial setup or commands you need to authorize. See screenshot above, it’s pretty simple.
- Assign Roles and Permissions: If you want to restrict or grant the bot's access to specific channels, go to "Server Settings" and then to the "Roles" section to configure this.
Key Takeaways for your Midjourney Success
- Image Prompts: These can be used to bring in an image to life that you would like Midjourney to riff on.
- Parameters: These are options added to a prompt that can change image generation outputs, such as aspect ratios, model versions, upscalers, and more.
- Model Versions: Midjourney routinely releases new model versions to improve efficiency, coherency, and quality. Different models excel at different types of images.
- Commands: Commands like /ask, /daily_theme, /docs, /faq, /help, and others help users interact with the bot, get answers, and perform various tasks.
- Specificity: The more detailed the description, the more accurate the image.
- Stylistic cues: Mentioning a style or aesthetic helps guide the LLM's interpretation.
- Color cues: Specifying colors can help achieve the desired mood or tone.
- Aspect ratios: This helps in framing the image correctly.
Using these principles, here are some example text-to-image prompts that help demonstrate the range of capabilities available in Midjourney:
A vintage wooden table set with a porcelain teapot, a half-filled cup of steaming green tea, and a plate of almond cookies, in the style of Dutch Golden Age painting, with dramatic chiaroscuro lighting and rich textures --ar 4:3
A swirling vortex of cool blues and purples, in the style of abstract expressionism, with splatters of white resembling distant stars, evoking a sense of cosmic wonder --ar 1:1
A vast mountain range with a dragon soaring above, casting a shadow over a medieval village below, in the style of high fantasy art, with vibrant colors and intricate details on the dragon's scales --ar 21:9
Thanks so much for reading. If you know of anyone who you think would like this kind of learning out loud in the AI space, please share this newsletter and check out Echo Echo Studio for more videos, designs, client work, and experiments. Check out how we used Midjourney and footage from our mini-cine rig to create animation VFX for a short film.