How to Use Midjourney: The Complete Guide

I know it's difficult to find a lot of useful information about Midjourney in a single place, which is why I made this guide.

Midjourney represents one of the finest examples of the power artificial intelligence can provide people at an affordable cost. You can create countless designs in Midjourney and either save money for your business or start earning online.

The concept of writing a short text description and having it transformed into an image may seem like an easy task on your part, but I can assure you it's not. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to write prompts that will make your images stand out.

It's been months since I first started using Midjourney and I can clearly notice how my skills are improving gradually. I've written numerous articles and provided my readers with hundreds of prompt ideas so far. Today, I want to do something a bit different.

I know it's difficult to find a lot of useful information about Midjourney in a single place, which is why I decided to write this all-encompassing guide. Some of the info you'll be able to find in this article includes:

  • How to set up a Midjourney account
  • How to use Midjourney
  • How to interact with the Midjourney Bot
  • How to upscale Midjourney images
  • How to use parameters in Midjourney
  • How to use different models in Midjourney
  • How to use different art styles in Midjourney

I highlighted some of the most important topics covered in the guide, but I can assure you that you'll find even more useful information.

Some of the topics are mostly oriented toward new users, while others are useful for both newbies and experienced users. Don't think of this as a beginner's guide. There are a lot of advanced tips that I'll be sharing today.

how to use midjourney

What Is Midjourney?

The team behind Midjourney is responsible for bringing a lot of attention to the AI industry. They have developed an artificial intelligence model that produces mindblowing results.

At the time of writing this guide, it's been only a little over a year since the first iteration of the Midjourney model was released. Since then, the quality of the output has improved dramatically. And I do mean dramatically. Just look at how different the results are for the same prompt in July 2022 and July 2023.

The prompt for the following two images is: /imagine photorealistic image of a young woman wearing a beautiful green dress on a sunny spring day

old midjourney young woman example

This image was generated using the first iteration of Midjourney. It's completely understandable if you don't find it appealing. But let's take a look at how the capabilities of the Midjourney AI model have improved only a year later.

midjourney now young woman example

It's crazy to think that this type of improvement occurred in such a short time span. Due to rapid development by the Midjourney team, they have managed to attract a large number of users across the globe without spending a dime on marketing.

The team plans to continually work year after year to make the AI model better, and I personally can't wait to see where they take it.

Who Owns Midjourney?

This text-to-image AI model is owned by an independent research lab based in San Francisco called Midjourney Inc. The research lab consists of a relatively small team and specializes in design, artificial intelligence, and human infrastructure.

The Midjourney founder, David Holz, isn't in the spotlight too much. He rarely gives interviews and doesn't spend any money on marketing. Despite this, Midjourney became an incredibly popular product on a global level in a short time span.

How to Set Up a Midjourney Account

It's easy to get started with Midjourney. The first thing you'll need to do is head over to their official website. Bear in mind that you will need a Discord account to use this text-to-image AI model.

The Midjourney team has plans to enable users to use the model on their platform in the future, but for now, you'll have to stick with Discord.

Once you join the official Midjourney Discord server, you will notice a thriving community filled with AI enthusiasts who engage in meaningful conversations around the clock.

You can pick up some very useful tips simply by talking to people on the server. In fact, this is one of the best ways to learn how to interact with the text-to-image model.

Midjourney Pricing

Users have the option to choose from multiple subscription plans when they sign up for Midjourney. You can choose between a monthly and an annual subscription. If you pick the annual subscription, you will receive a 20% discount.

There are four different plans. The basic plan costs $10 per month and provides you with 3.3 hours per month of fast GPU time, which is enough to generate roughly 200 images. Fast GPU time means that you get access to a GPU instantly.

There is also something called relax GPU time, which is available in every subscription plan except the basic plan. Relax GPU time is unlimited but it can take up to 10 minutes for an image to be generated.

The standard plan will set you back $30 per month but comes with 15 hours of fast GPU time per month. The pro plan costs $60 monthly and provides users with 30 hours of fast GPU time each month.

Finally, there is the mega plan which you should choose only if you plan on using Midjourney a lot. The mega plan costs $120 on a monthly basis and gives you 60 hours of fast GPU time every month.

If at any time you run out of fast GPU time, you can purchase additional hours. The price is $4 per hour regardless of the subscription plan.

How to Subscribe to Midjourney?

It only takes a few minutes to subscribe to Midjourney. You can start the process either in the public Midjourney Discord server or your direct messages with the Midjourney Bot.

To begin, you'll need to type /subscribe in Discord. This will generate a unique link to your account that will take you to the official Midjourney website.

When you arrive on the official Midjourney web page, you'll be asked to select a subscription plan. You can pay for the subscription using a credit or debit card issued by services like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Depending on where you live, you might be able to use Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Cash App Pay to complete the payment. However, note that these payment methods are available only in some regions.

Is Midjourney Free?

There used to be a time when you could use Midjourney for free, although the number of generations was limited. Due to trial abuse and excessive demand, the Midjourney team made a decision to end its free trial in June 2023. Since then, only paid users have access to the AI model.

But considering that the cheapest plan costs only $10 per month, it doesn't take a lot of money to try out this powerful AI tool to see whether you like it and can benefit from it.

How to Cancel Midjourney Subscription?

There are many people who have been using Midjourney for months on a daily basis. After all, you have the option to create designs for a wide range of applications. It can help you save a ton of time and possibly even generate profit if you're an AI artist.

But if you find yourself wanting to cancel your Midjourney subscription because you don't have enough time to use it or you just don't deem it to be useful in your line of work, you can easily do that by visiting your account page on the official Midjourney website. Simply click on the "Cancel Plan" button to stop your subscription.

One of the common questions people who plan on canceling their subscription ask is whether the images they've generated since creating their account will be deleted. Fear not, for those images won't be deleted.

It's worth noting that you can resubscribe whenever you want by navigating to your account page and selecting a plan.

How to Use Midjourney

As I've previously mentioned in this guide, you need to have a Discord account to use Midjourney for now. Discord is a chat app that was created for gamers but has since attracted a wider user base.

When you press the "Join Beta" button on the home page of the official Midjourney website, it will generate a Discord invitation. Accept it and you'll be taken to the Midjourney public Discord server.

You can use either the newbie channels in the server or private messages with the Midjourney Bot to generate images. To give the AI model instruction, you will need to start your message with /imagine, followed by the description of what you want created.

Any instruction you give to the AI model is called a prompt. People who are really good at writing these instructions are called prompt engineers.

Let's say that I wanted to generate an image of a beautiful rural landscape. In this case, I would write the following prompt:

/imagine photorealistic image of a beautiful rural landscape

And here's an example of what the AI model would generate from a prompt like this.

rural landscape midjourney prompt example

Several words can transform into a gorgeous image. It's the closest thing we have to magic at this point. And that's just barely scratching the surface. By the end of this guide, you'll learn how to start writing advanced prompts.

How to Use Midjourney Bot

There were text-to-image AI models before Midjourney, but they came with either online or offline software that you could use privately. The team behind Midjourney decided on a different approach - to use Discord as their main hub in its initial phases of development.

This proved to be an excellent strategy and had a profound impact on the product. When users see so many people writing prompts, it inspires them to continue making art. It also enables a faster exchange of ideas and more effective learning.

It's an awesome feeling when you see countless users coming up with completely different prompts at the same time. Nevertheless, prompting in the public Discord server can get tiring at times.

It's completely normal to want to create images in peace, which is why the Midjourney team has created the option for people to use their service by communicating with a bot via direct messages.

To work one-on-one with the Midjourney Bot, you will first need to find it from the member list on the public Midjourney Discord server.

how to use midjourney bot

Send any message you want to the Midjourney Bot to start the direct message conversation. As soon as you do that, you'll be able to easily find your message history with the bot.

How to Write Midjourney Prompts?

Now we're getting to the fun stuff. I don't claim to be an expert in Midjourney but I have been using it consistently for several months and have learned a lot of useful information that I will pass on to you.

From what I've observed, there's a cycle that I have seen so many users go through. When they first sign up for Midjourney, they have seemingly endless inspiration. There are so many ideas they want to describe to the AI model.

After the first few days, inspiration drops significantly. What appeared easy at first has now become more of a challenge, especially when you see other people in the Discord server getting way better results. This is the time to start learning everything that you can about prompting.

It will take months to reach a point where you're able to write prompts efficiently while maintaining a certain level of inspiration. It's like a marathon. You need the stamina to complete the race. And in this case, your imagination is the stamina.

There will be times when you'll completely deplete your creativity, and that's normal. But as long as you keep prompting almost every day, the inspiration will come.

The Process of Writing Midjourney Prompts

There is no concrete process with laid-out steps to follow when it comes to writing Midjourney prompts. That would be like asking an artist to describe their process of creating art. There has to be a degree of spontaneity involved to produce great art.

Although I won't provide you with a step-by-step process, I can share some insight that will be quite helpful when you're writing prompts.

The first thing to remember is that the soft cap in Midjourney prompts is 60 words. In other words, when you pass the 60-word mark, the AI model won't pay much attention to what you've written. That's why it's important to keep your prompts concise.

The second thing I'd mention is that you need to visualize details before you start writing the prompt.

Let's say that you want to generate an image of a cartoon character. You could write a simple prompt, like:

/imagine 3D image of a cartoon fox wearing a jacket and smiling

midjourney prompt example 3d cartoon fox

This is obviously a great image, but it can be better. The way you can make it better is by including more details in your prompt. Try to really visualize the character and think about its personality. Is it a wholesome character or not? Does it have any unique features?

Let's try a more detailed prompt now.

/imagine 3D image of a conniving cartoon fox wearing a blue jacket and spy glasses, the fox is smiling as it's thinking of an evil plan, the fox is located in a small town

write better midjourney prompts 3d fox

There is a huge difference between the two images above. It goes without saying that the second image stands out, and that's because the prompt included more specific details. If you want to see more Midjourney prompts for characters, I have an article dedicated entirely to that topic.

I want to take a minute to explain further why writing more detailed prompts is so important. If you were to write a prompt consisting only of the word "dog", you can expect that there are thousands of people across the globe who wrote that identical prompt. Although the results can be different in each instance, they might be similar to one another.

As long as you include specific details in your prompts, you won't have to worry about other users giving the exact same instructions to the AI model. And that will play a big part in making your images stand out.

One more thing that I have to mention in this section of the article is the importance of using parameters in Midjourney. Parameters are essentially options added to a prompt to change how an image is generated.

I'll explain in more detail in the next section of the article.

How to Use Parameters in Midjourney

It can take a while before you get used to using parameters in Midjourney. Of course, you also have to know when you shouldn’t use them. Each of the available parameters serves a distinct purpose. It’s normal to combine a few different parameters in a single prompt.

Parameters were a bit confusing to me when I first started using Midjourney. Not in the sense that I didn’t understand what they were for but that I just had the impression that my images were better when I didn’t attach certain parameters. That changed after a while, as I practiced long enough to know exactly when and how to use a parameter.

I won’t mention every single parameter in this article. Only the ones that you’ll find yourself using often. Let’s start with the basics.

Aspect Ratio Parameter in Midjourney

The aspect ratio parameter is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a command that you can enter at the end of your prompt to determine what the aspect ratio of the generated image will be. You can use this parameter by typing --ar width:height at the end of your prompt. The default aspect ratio is 1:1, but you can change it to anything you prefer.

If you want to generate a portrait image, it’s advised to use either a 2:3 or 3:4 aspect ratio. I’ll show you an example.

/imagine photorealistic image, young gorgeous woman wearing a ruby dress with gold details, standing in front of an old museum --ar 2:3

portrait image midjourney aspect ratio-example

Great result. If you’re making portraits, you really don’t want the default aspect ratio. That’s why you should be mindful of the scene you’re creating and adjust the aspect ratio accordingly. For instance, if I wanted to create a landscape image, I would write --ar 16:9 at the end of my prompt.

Here’s an example.

/imagine picturesque town with an extremely long history, rural heaven, photorealistic --ar 16:9

landscape image midjourney aspect ratio example

If you’ve read any of my other articles on Midjourney, you know that I have a thing for making landscape images. This is my preferred aspect ratio whenever it makes sense to use it. However, the default aspect ratio has been growing on me lately as well.

Chaos Parameter in Midjourney

Chaos represents a parameter that is used when you want to control the reliability and repeatability of the generated results. The default value of the chaos parameter is 0, but you can change its value up to 100.

You can use the chaos parameter by writing --chaos or --c at the end of your prompt and then assigning a numerical value between 0 and 100. If you set a high chaos value, it will result in the model generating more unexpected and unusual results.

Let me explain it in another way. If you want to create a visually appealing image or design, you should use a low chaos value or maybe even avoid using the parameter at all.

On the other hand, if your goal is artistic expression, then you can benefit from this parameter a lot. It might take a lot of attempts to get your desired result, but the chaos parameter can help you create something truly unique.

Stylize Parameter in Midjourney

There is a reason why the Midjourney AI model produces such amazing images. It's because it was trained in a particular way.

The AI model was trained on millions of images to identify artistic color, forms, and composition. That's why it knows how to produce good images.

The stylization parameter gives users the ability to control how strongly this training is applied. The default value of the stylization parameter is 100, while you can change it to any numerical value between 0 and 1000.

If you lower the value of the stylization, the images will be less artistic but more connected to your prompt. Increasing the value leads to an inverse effect.

To use the stylization parameter in Midjourney, you simply have to type --stylize or --s at the end of your prompt, followed by a value between 0 and 1000.

Negative Prompting in Midjourney (The “No” Parameter)

The "No" parameter is quite popular among Midjourney users. The process of using it is usually referred to as negative prompting.

The whole point of negative prompting is to mention certain objects or elements in your prompts that you don't want the model to generate. If you want to read an in-depth guide about this parameter, I suggest that you check out my article covering negative prompting.

I'll explain negative prompting in a simple way. Let's say that you want to create an image of a cheeseburger. In a lot of cases, the AI model will generate a side of fries to go along with the burger.

By typing --no fries at the end of the cheeseburger prompt, I'll ensure that French fries won't be featured in any of the generated images.

You can easily use the negative prompting method by writing --no at the end of your prompt, followed by one or more objects you don't want to see featured in the generated images.

Weird Parameter in Midjourney

The weird parameter has quickly turned into a favorite for many users, including myself. Unlike most parameters, it was released almost a year after the initial release of Midjourney. This parameter enables users to explore unconventional aesthetics.

You never really know what to expect when you use the weird parameter, which is what makes it so fun. You can use this parameter by writing --weird or --w at the end of your prompt, and assigning a value between 0 and 3000.

The default weird value for all prompts is 0. If you decide to use it in your prompts, it's recommended that you begin with a value between 250 and 500 to see what type of effect it will have on the generated output. If you want to create even more unique or unexpected images, you can increase the value further.

I could go into detail about the weird parameter, but I think it's better if I refer you to an in-depth guide I've written about it. Read my article on how to use the weird parameter to learn everything there is to know about it.

One thing I will say right now is that one of the tricks for making your images stand out is to use a combination of both the stylize and the weird parameters.

How to Use Different Midjourney Models?

One of the things I really love about Midjourney is how easy it is to switch between different models. Although I use the latest iteration of Midjourney when I'm writing most of my prompts, I like to occasionally use older models from time to time.

There's also the Niji Model, which has gone through multiple iterations as well. In case you're not familiar, the Niji Model is used to generate images in an anime style. There is a team of people dedicated only to the Niji Model, and they have their own Discord server as well.

Anyway, let's break down how you can switch between models in Midjourney. The process is quite simple. Write "/settings'' in either the public Midjourney Discord server or your direct message conversation with the Midjourney Bot.

midjourney settings

Once you press enter, you'll see a menu pop up. This menu includes various options, such as the speed at which you want your images to be generated, the stylization level, and so on. These options are presented in the form of buttons.

Above the buttons is a dropdown menu. When you press on the menu, you'll see multiple options pop up.

how to activate niji model in midjourney

You can choose any of the previous Midjourney models. You can also pick between two different Niji models. If you choose one of the previous models, don't forget that you'll have to go to the menu again and select the newest one when you want to revert back to the latest Midjourney iteration.

How to Use Different Art Styles in Midjourney?

You can use so many different art styles when you're creating images in Midjourney. If you're not too familiar with a lot of art styles in general, there are two resources I'd like to share.

The first is my article about the 33 best art styles for Midjourney. This is an excellent way to learn about some of the most popular art styles used today. On top of that, you get to see what type of images Midjourney creates when you specify a certain art style.

Apart from the aforementioned article, I've also written an in-depth Midjourney aesthetics guide. In this article, you'll learn about the different aesthetics tokens you can use in your prompts to add more flair to your images.

I can't stress enough just how important it is to expand your vocabulary and get familiar with the correct terminology in order to make the most out of your AI-generated images. Learning the correct terms will help you say more in fewer words, and that's important because of the tight soft cap in Midjourney.

Create a Midjourney Prompt Generator With ChatGPT

There's not much you can do when you're creatively depleted and can't seem to think of a good idea for a prompt. That's what I would've written if LLMs (large language models) weren't a thing.

If you're not familiar with LLMs like ChatGPT, I suggest that you get up to speed as soon as possible. There are several great articles that cover ChatGPT on this website. But if you're reading this guide and have an interest in artificial intelligence, I'm fairly certain you've heard of this large language model developed by OpenAI.

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that can do a lot of useful tasks. It can write articles, translate, write code, come up with marketing strategies, teach you new skills, and so on.

One of the things that you can use ChatGPT for is writing Midjourney prompts. In essence, you can train it to become a Midjourney prompt generator. I've done this in the past and covered my experiments in an article on how to use ChatGPT to write Midjourney prompts. I suggest that you read the article to find out how.

When I'm not quite sure what I want to create in Midjourney, I simply open a chat session with ChatGPT and use the LLM for inspiration. It can generate an infinitely large number of prompts, but they get quite repetitive after a while.

Nevertheless, it's an excellent way to boost your creative juices when there's no other option.

The results you get from ChatGPT vary heavily depending on how you train it and what type of instructions you give the model. Because of this, I suggest that you don't rush things and take the time to slowly turn ChatGPT into a Midjourney prompt generator.

How to Upscale Midjourney Images?

One of the very few issues people have with Midjourney is that the resolution of upscaled images is not that big. I personally believe this will change in the future, but the Midjourney team has more important things to work on. They also likely don't want to sacrifice too much of their GPU resources for extensive upscaling features at the moment as well.

Although this may seem like a problem, it's really not. There are other excellent solutions. The one that instantly comes to mind is a free and open-source software known as Upscayl. This software can significantly increase the resolution of all your AI-generated images.

There are also multiple upscaling models to choose from, depending on your preferences. I use Upscayl regularly, and it works like a charm. It only takes a few seconds to increase the resolution of an image fourfold.

I've previously written a simple guide on how to start using Upscayl. I recommend that you take a look if you want the images you create in Midjourney to look more professional.

The resolution plays a huge role in how people will perceive the art you've created. If you want to attract a wider audience, your images need to look as polished as possible. And the easiest way to achieve that is to use software like Upscayl.

Final Thoughts

This is the first time I decided to write such an extensive guide for this website. I figured it was important to have all of this information in one place so that people can easily find the answers they're looking for.

While certain sections of this article cover relevant information for new potential users, I've also included some advanced prompting tips. This is not a beginner's guide to Midjourney. Instead, it's suitable for both new and experienced users.

If you know someone who recently started using Midjourney or has at least considered doing so, I recommend that you send them this guide. By the time they finish reading it, they'll know exactly what to do to produce great images.

Midjourney is a product that's constantly evolving. Despite the fact that it can create photorealistic images and beautiful pieces of art today, the Midjourney team claims that it can be more than a hundred times better. I'm personally excited to see how it develops in the future.

In case this is your first time visiting my website, I suggest that you check out my other articles that cover Midjourney to get inspired since you can find hundreds of prompt examples on Let's Try AI.

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