MidJourney Tutorial for Beginners
Imagine a world where your most fantastical visions and most creative ideas can be visually brought to life in less than 60 seconds. — like an airship soaring through a technopunk landscape. Print ad image showing a smiling model holding your product. Or a choice of a new logo for your business, ready to be stamped onto your stationery. Just type the words into your computer and before the minute is up you will have a batch of images that you can refine and modify until they are perfect for use.
And you can even do it for free.
That’s what AI can already provide, and that’s what makes Midjourney, an AI tool, so easy. It even makes the process fun.
The BAD AI show tells you how to do it
On a recent episode of The BAD AI Show, Travis Wright and I walked viewers through the process of creating incredible AI images from the ground up.
Midjourney is currently in beta, but with nearly 15 million members, it’s a pretty big beta. The more people try it, the faster the algorithm learns, so the company aims to get people to type in the prompts.
The program works via bots on Discord, a social messaging application. So, if you don’t have a Discord account yet, you will need to register. Next, you need to give the Midjourney bot permission to access your Discord account.
It’s worth noting at this point that your interaction with the bot takes place in a group chat, until you reach into your pocket for Midjourney’s premium service.
You are one of the many people who speak openly to bots. You can view other users’ requests and images, and the images you produce are available to others. Click the community storefront at the top left to view the newly created photo gallery. Hover over these photos and you can see the clues they make.
Prompts are commands that tell the bot what to produce.
The more precise your requests are, the more control you have over the algorithm-generated images. For example, asking for a simple drawing of a Japanese tree and Midjourney can give you a print of a ginkgo tree in front of a shrine.
Or the bot can create a stylized bonsai tree that floats on soap bubbles. The results are arbitrary and different each time you add details about the angle of view, image style or image quality and the algorithm starts to include more influences affecting the results.
One way to add these details is to look at the instructions used by other members of the community. Common terms include “4k”, “photorealism”, “line art”, and “inspired by”, where the name of a famous artist forces the algorithm to work in a certain style.
You can also combine different AI tools for MidJourney
I explained on the podcast that I recently heard Simon and Garfunkel sing “50 Ways to Leave Your Girlfriend.” I asked ChatGPT to list 50 ways, then posted a few of them to Midjourney and asked the bot to make me a picture of a guy who broke up with his girlfriend.
However, there’s no limit to the concepts you can throw at your feet along the way, and combining ideas can often produce delightful results. This is how creativity works: a meeting of two seemingly unrelated ideas that creates something completely new.
Here’s how to start typing your commands
To start typing your request, select one of the newcomer rooms on the left. In the box at the bottom of the page, type /imagine followed by command prompt.
Once you enter the prompts, Midjourney uses millions of images analyzed by algorithms to create four unique options in 60 seconds.
You can then improve this image in three ways.
Below the photos, numbered buttons let you increase the size of each image or create four new variations of the selected image. For example, you can ask the bot to keep the image but add more shadows or change the background.
If you don’t like the result, the multi-arrow button offers the option to create a new batch of photos.
It should be remembered that while Midjourney is a talented artist, he is not a great writer.
Letters become garbled and words become illegible. You’ll need to add any text yourself in post-production. When you are satisfied, you can right click on the image you want, save and use.
Middle Journey and Copyright
Images taken by Midjourney are not copyrighted, so feel free to use them however you like. But the lack of copyright protection also means that anyone can use it. In February this year, the US Copyright Office wrote to Kristina Kashtanova to partially remove copyright protection for her comic book “Dawn of the Dawn”. While text and image arrangements may be protected, the Copyright Office says the images “produced by Midjourney and included in the work are not original copyrighted works.”
It’s the same principle that applies to other non-human works, such as selfies taken by monkeys or elephant smudges on canvas. No one is in the middle of the journey, so the copyright does not apply.
You will go on your journey with joy on the way
Use Midjourney to create images to use in artwork, and anyone can pick up and use those images.
On the other hand, if you use copyrighted assets to create your images, you can still face problems. For example, ask Midjourney to take a picture of Superman with your company’s products and you will likely get a letter from a DC attorney if you use that image in a commercial.
Experimenting with Midjourney is free, but premium plans starting at just $8 per month increase the number of images you can create each month, give you priority when the API is busy, and allow you to create your own fantasy visions.