Midjourney is an incredible AI system that can generate stunning works of art, illustrations, and imagery using just text prompts. With Midjourney, your imagination is the limit. This comprehensive guide will teach you all the skills and techniques you need to become a Midjourney master.

We’ll start by covering the basics of getting set up with an account, understanding the basics of prompt engineering, and generating your very first Midjourney images.

 

Signing Up for Midjourney

 

 

1. Start Your Journey at Midjourney.com:

Head to the official Midjourney website (midjourney.com) and explore the platform’s possibilities. This is a great way to understand the magic of AI art and get a glimpse into the vibrant community.

 

2. Join the Discord Server:

Once you’re ready to dive in, click the “Join the Beta” button on the Midjourney website. This will open a link inviting you to join the Midjourney Discord server, your creative haven within the platform.

 

3. Verify Your Account and Choose Your Path:

Within the Discord server, follow the prompts to verify your existing Discord account with Midjourney. This is like putting on your artist’s smock! Now, choose a subscription plan to fuel your AI art adventures. Midjourney offers individual and team plans, so pick what suits your creative needs and budget.

 

 

4. Find Your Newbie Tribe:

Look to the left-hand side of the server and you’ll see channels labeled “newbies.” These are your warm-up studios! Join one of these channels to connect with other aspiring artists, ask questions, and discover valuable resources.

 

 

 

Generating Your First Image

 

To generate your first image:

 

1.  Join Midjourney Server on Discord

In discord, enter your channel. At the bottom you will see a text bar that says “Message #clipart”. This will be where you’ll enter in the description of the image you want generated.

 

 

In the text box, start with “/imagine prompt:” and type a detailed description of the image you want Midjourney to create. For example: “An oil painting of a majestic lion sitting in the golden savanna at sunset”. Hit enter. 

 

 

2. Using the /image Command

Midjourney will start processing your prompt and generate 4 image options based on what you entered.

 

 

 

3. Image Generation

Take a look at the four images below. Beneath the grid, you’ll see multiple button options. The images are numbered 1-4 from the top left to right and down, like reading a book.

 

“U” stands for Upscale – Increasing the image size.

 

“V” stands for Variation – Generating different images with the same general style and composition

The 🔄 arrows button stands for “re-roll” or “re-run” the job. This reruns the original prompt and generated for you 4 new images in a grid. 

 

 

 

5. Image Selection or Variation

If you like #2, you can make the image larger by clicking “U2”. Images are immediately generated at 1024 x 1024 pixels. 

 

 

 

If you want to see a variation of image 2, you would click “V2”. This will show four subtle variations of that image.  

 

 

 

 

6. Image Modification

 

Once you’ve selected an image, additional options become accessible. Midjourney Discord’s button interface displays after enlarging an image:

 

Upscale your image even larger but you can select from a subtle or creative version.

 

 

Generate a stronger or subtler variation of your chosen image, resulting in a new grid of four options.

 

Vary Region allows you to select a portion of the image and request certain changes to those areas. 

 

 

 

 

Custom Zoom Reduce the magnification of your image, expanding its canvas to its original dimensions while retaining the original image content. The expanded canvas is filled in based on guidance from the prompt and the original image. When using custom zoom, the value for –zoom must be between 1.0 and 2.0.

 

 

 

Pan buttons enable you to expand the image canvas in a selected direction without altering the original image content. The expanded canvas is filled based on guidance from the prompt and the original image.

 

 

 Favorite Tag your top images for easy retrieval on the Midjourney website.

 

Opens up your image in your Midjourney gallery. 

 

7. Save Your Image

To save the image, simply click to open it to full size. Then, right-click and select “Save image” on desktop. On mobile devices, long-tap the image, then tap the download icon located in the top right corner.

 

Crafting the Perfect Prompts

The key to generating amazing images with Midjourney lies in how you write your prompts. Your prompts serve as the instructions that guide the AI in creating your desired image. Mastering the art and science of prompting is what will take your Midjourney creations to the next level.

In this section, we’ll do a deep dive into the nuances of crafting effective prompts. We’ll look at prompt structure, descriptive techniques, using styles and modifiers, and more.

 

Prompt Structure Basics

A prompt should paint a detailed picture of the image you want to generate. The AI will interpret your words literally, so specificity is important. Here are some prompt structuring tips:

  • Clearly describe the subject or focal point up front. For example, “A painting of a girl…”
  • List any secondary objects, elements, or figures after the subject.
  • Use adjectives to add descriptive details. Colors, textures, styles etc.
  • Separate different elements with commas to define each part.
  • Establish the setting or scene around the subject. Indoors or outdoors? Time of day?
  • Use transition phrases like “standing next to”, “in the center of”, “on top of” to position elements.
  • Make sure to finish with the expected art style or medium like “photograph”, “digital illustration”, “watercolor painting” etc.

 

[SUBJECT] + [SECONDARY OBJECT / ELEMENTS] + [ADJECTIVES] + [SCENE] + [POSITIONING] + [ART MEDIUM] + [ART STYLE]

 

“A frog wearing a top hat and bowtie, fishing off the shoreline, peaceful spring morning, illustration made in scribble drawing –ar 3:2 –v 6.0”

 

By properly structuring your prompts, you communicate exactly what you want to the AI.

 

Describing Colors, Textures, and Materials

When listing elements in your prompt, any descriptive details you can provide are helpful. Be as specific as possible when describing:

  • Colors – Use color names like “vibrant purple”, “sunset orange”. Avoid vague terms like “bright” or “light”.
  • Textures – Is the texture smooth, rough, glossy? Soft, hard, liquid, gaseous?
  • Materials – Wood, metal, glass, fabric, plastic, granite? Any distinct materials?
  • Patterns – Polka dots, wavy stripes, checkerboard, paisley prints, etc.

“young 1970s model leaning back over the caramel leather couch arm, wearing a teal long flowing robe made of gauze, with mesmerizing beaded crystals cascading down –ar 3:2 –v 6”

 

The more you can describe, the better the AI can recreate your vision accurately.

 

Using Styles, Modifiers, and Effects

You can guide Midjourney’s art style using modifier terms. For example:

  • photorealistic, cinematic – Render a photorealistic look
  • impressionist, painterly – Emulate brush strokes like a Monet painting
  • psychedelic, surrealist – Add weird, abstract elements
  • steampunk, cyberpunk – Incorporate these aesthetic styles
  • epic, majestic – Convey dramatic mood and scale

“a cat sitting curled up on a cushions of what looks like black and red fabric, in the style of surreal cyberpunk, cinematic mood, dark white and red, photobashing, infrared, cute and colorful –ar 128:85 –v 6.0”

 

Other modifiers:
  • low poly, voxel – Lower image complexity
  • desaturated – Remove color vibrancy
  • blurred background – Soften or obscure background
  • from above, fish eye view – Specify camera perspective
  • aged, worn – Make something look old and weathered

 

“a skateboarding, he jumps over a ramp, desaturated 2000s inspired image shot on a canon, wide angle fisheye lens –v 6”

 

Stylistic modifiers allow amazing control over the end result. Combine them to create your own signature aesthetic.

 

 

Prompt Engineering Strategies

Here are some additional advanced prompt engineering tactics:

  • Use “:” to define characteristics of specific elements like “girl: young, smiling, curly red hair”
  • Chain modifiers together for compound effects “photorealistic, cinematic, epic”
  • Use “and” instead of commas when you want elements tightly integrated vs. separated
  • Add “highly detailed” or “intricately detailed” for extra clarity and precision

The more you prompt, the more you’ll develop your own signature style and go-to techniques for achieving certain effects.

 

 

Prompt Length and Specificity

How long should your prompts be? There’s no universal ideal length – it depends on the complexity of the image. Simple images may only need a short 1-2 sentence prompt. More complex scenes may require a lengthy paragraph to describe everything accurately.

 

“circus panda standing on a ball balancing on one foot –niji 6”

 

A few prompt length guidelines:

  • Be as concise as possible while still communicating the key details
  • Avoid excessive wordiness that doesn’t add new information
  • Use lists and bullet points if needed for readability
  • Lengthy prompts are okay if required to set the full scene, but they can still sometimes confuse Midjourney. Just keep tweaking.
  • Try to keep prompts under 2 paragraphs at max

In terms of specificity, it’s usually better to over-describe than be too vague. Don’t worry about overloading the AI – the more details the better! Midjourney excels at synthesizing extremely detailed prompts.

 

“Visualize a sprawling cityscape under the twilight sky, where towering skyscrapers are adorned with neon lights and holographic advertisements. The buildings are a mix of sleek, metallic surfaces and vertical gardens, highlighting a blend of technology and sustainability. Elevated highways weave through the city, with autonomous vehicles gliding silently overhead. Pedestrian walkways are bustling with people, some wearing augmented reality glasses, interacting with virtual interfaces that float in the air. Drones buzz above, delivering packages to high-rise apartments. In the distance, a massive, dome-shaped structure serves as a hub for clean energy production, its surface shimmering with solar panels. The waterfront features a smart marina, where futuristic yachts dock beside green public spaces, illuminated by bioluminescent plants. This cityscape combines the zenith of human innovation with harmony with nature, showcasing a vision of a future where technology enhances urban living without sacrificing the environment –ar 3:4–stylize 750 –v 6 “

 

Prompt Research and Inspiration

One prompt writing technique is to research examples similar to what you want to create:

  • Browse the Midjourney Explore page for prompts posted by other users.
  • Take note of descriptive terms, modifiers, and techniques.
  • Compile a mood board of visual inspiration.
  • Immersing yourself in relevant references provides a bootstrap for crafting your own prompts. You can borrow effective descriptive patterns.
  • Search sites like Pinterest or ArtStation for relevant images.

 

 

Advanced Settings and Commands

By now you understand the fundamentals of generating amazing images with Midjourney through thoughtful prompting and parameter optimization. In this section, we’ll delve into some more advanced settings and commands to truly access Midjourney’s full capabilities.

 

Adding Randomness with “High Variation Mode”

If you want more variety between the 4 generated images, add variation to your prompt.

The High Variation Mode will make each output more visually distinct by expanding the creative search space. To access High Variation Mode enter “/settings” and toggle on “High Variation Mode”.

 

 

Using Advanced Command Syntax

Midjourney supports advanced command syntax for additional control:

  • “–ar 2:3” – Set aspect ratio like 16:9.
  • “—weird 35” Get even weirder outputs. Ranges from 0 – 3000
  • “–tile” – Create seamless patterns and product one repetitive tile.
  • “/describe” – Provide Midjourney with an image and it will describe it back to you.
  • “/shorten” – Plug in your prompt and midjourney will suggest how to make your prompt more concise.

 

 

Integrating Midjourney Into Your Workflow

 

“viking, closeup on face, portra 800 film –ar 16:9 –style raw –v 6”

 

Now that you have a deep understanding of Midjourney’s capabilities, let’s discuss some best practices for incorporating it into your creative and artistic workflows. Whether you’re a professional artist, designer, content creator, or casual user, these tips will help you use Midjourney effectively.

 

1. Iterate Extensively On Prompts

The key to mastery is prompt iteration. Very rarely will your first attempt at a prompt generate the perfect result. Expect to try multiple prompt variations, adding descriptive details and modifiers each time to incrementally improve. Treat prompting itself as a skill to constantly refine.

 

2. Use Midjourney For Concept Ideation

Generative AI excels at quickly expressing high level concepts and exploring directions. Use Midjourney in early ideation to visualize different possibilities before committing to a final direction. It can also synthesize combinations of visual inspiration.

 

3. Hand Off To Traditional Tools For Execution

The AI cannot fully replace traditional creative skills and tools. Once you’ve ideated in Midjourney, transition the finalized concept into your preferred professional tools, like Adobe Photoshop, for polished execution and details. Most generative AI images will still need some degree of post-processing or compositing to correct colors, adjust contrast, edit out artifacts, etc. Plan to do touching up work after.

 

4. Provide Detailed Multi-Stage Briefs

For prompts with multiple complex stages like an evolving landscape, provide extra detailed guidance to prevent incoherence across stages. Essentially consider each stage its own standalone prompt.

 

5 . Learn Terminology Through Analysis

Study images that inspire you and analyze how key elements are described linguistically. Note modifiers for styles, lighting, tones, etc. Referencing relevant terminology will improve your own prompts.

By following these workflow best practices, you’ll be able to leverage Midjourney’s creative firepower to enhance your projects rather than replace your skills.

 

 

Creative Prompt Ideation Techniques

 

One of the most exciting yet challenging parts of Midjourney is coming up with engaging prompt ideas to generate unique images. In this section, we’ll explore tactics and frameworks to spark your creative prompter’s mind.

 

 

 

  • Analyze And Reverse Engineer Prompts

    • Browse Midjourney galleries and Discord to find images you find visually intriguing. Then try to analyze and infer the prompt used to create it. What adjectives describe the style and details? What is the scene and context? Reverse engineering prompts expands your descriptive vocabulary and idea space.

 

  • Explore Conceptual Blends

    • Take two disconnected concepts or aesthetics and blend them, like “gothic cathedral x tropical beach” or “retro diner x deep sea”. Exploring unusual conceptual mashups can lead to creative idea generation.

 

  • Chain Modifiers And Effects
    • Brainstorm strings of modifiers and effects to guide Midjourney’s rendering style, like “impressionist, glitch art, VHS tape distortion, double exposure”. Chaining effects encourages unexpected creative branching.

 

  • Use Random Prompt Generators

    • There are Midjourney bots and web tools that can generate random unique prompt ideas algorithmically. Use these for fresh inspiration when you have creative block. The randomness can unlock unexpected new directions.

 

  • Modify Existing Media

    • Take existing books, movies, games, etc. and modify or twist them in creative ways. For example, “The Avengers reimagined as a 1980s high school comedy”. Reinventing known universes fuels originality.

 

  • Draw From Personal Memory

    • Looking inward can generate compelling prompt inspiration. What places, objects, scenes, or moments hold personal meaning in your life journey? Describe these vividly through Midjourney to give them visual life.
    • Generating that initial spark of prompt inspiration is often the hardest part. By systematically exploring ideas from different angles, you’ll develop your creative prompting abilities.

 

  • Creative Prompt Ideation Techniques

    • One of the most exciting yet challenging parts of Midjourney is coming up with engaging prompt ideas to generate unique images. In this section, we’ll explore tactics and frameworks to spark your creative prompter’s mind.

 

 

Embarking on your creative journey with Midjourney’s AI art generators is an exciting opportunity to explore boundless artistic possibilities. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ve learned how to get started with Midjourney, from crafting effective prompts to mastering the key buttons that drive your artistic vision.

As you delve deeper into the world of AI-generated art, remember to embrace experimentation and innovation. Use the knowledge gained here to fuel your imagination and push the boundaries of creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just beginning your artistic venture, Midjourney offers a platform where inspiration knows no limits.