Honestly, it’s probably never been easier to create beautiful visuals so quickly. And it’s completely free! Provided you have a Discord account, it only takes a few mouse clicks and keystrokes for completely automatically generated images to land on your screen or hard drive. Getting the perfect result is a science in itself and requires an optimally formulated prompt with many terms and the right additional information. But there are a few tips I’d like to share with you that will get you started in the right direction faster.

Table of contents

  1. Try out Midjourney for free
  2. Differences between Basic, Standard and Corporate memberships in Midjourney
  3. Set a different default aspect ratio in Midjourney
  4. Use relax mode in Midjourney whenever you can
  5. Use –upbeta when you don’t need details but more pixel
  6. Use reference images for closer results in Midjourney
  7. Invite Midjourney’s Discord bot to your server
  8. Mass download pictures from Midjourney’s website
  9. Understand how Midjourney works
  10. Get inspired by other Midjourney users

1. Try out Midjourney for free

The most important thing right at the beginning. As already mentioned, you can try Midjourney completely free of charge in the current beta phase (and I assume that it will be the same after the final release). All you have to do is create a free Discord account and join the official server at discord.gg/midjourney. Then change to one of the channels starting with #newbie- on the left side and you can enter your first command. Just type /imagine prompt: and whatever term you can think of. One of my favorites: "internet". One word is enough. Even emojis work.

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First Midjourney always generates four suggestions from the term, from which you can select either one or all four with the buttons U1-U4, which Midjourney should resolve higher. This usually takes about a minute. If you already like a certain one, but you want to see variations of it, you can create them with V1-V4.

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Keep in mind, however, that Midjourney can only be tried out for free for a limited time. About 25 images can be generated before you use up your volume. This is linked to your Discord account and does not recharge either.

2. Differences between Basic, Standard and Corporate memberships in Midjourney

If you have used up the free volume of Midjourney, but you want to continue using the tool, you will have to dig into your pocket. Then you have the choice between the Basic (10 US-Dollars) and the Standard Membership (30 US-Dollars). Both give you access to your personal chat with the Midjourney bot, so you don’t have to rely on the #newbie channels anymore and your own pictures get lost among the many others from the community. This makes it much more pleasant to use in the long run. To sign up for a membership, you can simply type /subscribe in the chat and you will be redirected to the website. Payment is made via Stripe.

BasicStandardCorporate
Access to private Midjourney botAccess to private Midjourney botAccess to private Midjourney bot
Access to relaxed modeAccess to relaxed mode
~ 200 jobs/month~ 900 jobs/month~ 7,200 jobs/month
$10/month$30/month$600/year (=$50/month)

Only with one of the paid memberships the images created with Midjourney are yours! Free images cannot be used commercially.

If you work for a company that has an annual turnover of one million US dollars or more, you have to buy a Corporate Membership for 600 dollars a year. That being said, you’ll get eight times as many Fast GPU hours as in Standard Membership, but you’ll only pay less than two times as much. Keep in mind, however, that Midjourney is still in beta before you make such a big financial commitment.

Also note that Midjourney creations are always publicly viewable, even if you use the private chat with the Midjourney bot. They can show up in the feed on the website, for example. But there is a solution: With /private you can switch to private mode, where Midjourney promises to do his best to keep these pictures private. However, this will cost you an additional $20 per month.

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3. Set a different default aspect ratio in Midjourney

By default, Midjourney creates images in 1:1 format, which is good if you want to share the images on social media, but not so practical for many other cases like a smartphone or desktop wallpaper or as an article image. With --ar 16:9, for example, you can adjust the aspect ratio for the appropriate prompt to 16:9. However, any other ratio will work – even 2000:1! If you want to use a specific aspect ratio for each of your following inputs, you can add a custom suffix to each prompt with /prefer and --ar 16:9. You can check which suffix is currently set with /settings. You can’t change the aspect ratio once you’ve created an image, and you’ll probably also notice that sometimes completely different images are generated.

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4. Use relax mode in Midjourney whenever you can

Basic and Standard Membership differ mainly in their quota of Fast GPU hours. By default, Fast mode is on, which consumes these hours. You can’t see how many hours you have left, but will have to increase your budget limit at some point. If you want to use Midjourney as much as possible without paying more money, you can change your mode with /relax. This is only available in Standard and Corporate Membership.

5. Use –upbeta when you don’t need details but more pixel

On August 18, 2022, David Holz announced a much improved upscaler that allows much higher resolutions. This is currently in its beta phase, as is the whole of Midjourney, but is already excellent at least for paintings and landscapes, less so for cartoons. Also, some detail is lost at the high resolution. You can try the new upscaler with --upbeta in your prompt or with /settings for all images.

6. Use reference images for closer results in Midjourney

If you want to leave all the thinking to Midjourney and just be surprised, it is quite sufficient to enter one or more words as a prompt. But especially with faces, the limitations of Midjourney quickly become obvious. So if you want to create a graphic novel with AI, for example, you have to specify some kind of reference. This works quite simply by entering the link to an image first and then refining it with your text descriptions. Keep in mind, however, that it must be a URL directly to the image. If you want to use one of your own, you can simply send it via Discord chat and then copy the URL. JPEGs and PNGs will work in any case. With the command –iw you can set the weight of image and text. “0.25 is the default weight. As you increase it to 1, you increase the strength of the image”, says the official website. Note that it will use those images as “visual inspiration”, but will not use them as an “init” image. This has not been included so far for copyright reasons.

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Using no reference image for “empire state building in new york skyline at sunset
Using a reference image for “empire state building in new york skyline at sunset” with --iw .5

7. Invite Midjourney’s Discord bot to your server

You can enjoy the many creations with Midjourney on your own, but it’s much nicer to show off your prompt skills to your friends. For this, the Discord bot can easily be invited to your own server, if you are an admin. Currently servers with up to 15.000 members are supported. How this works exactly, I have explained extensively in a separate article.

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8. Mass download pictures from Midjourney’s website

If you just need a quick image, you can conveniently download your Midjourney creations directly from Discord. Just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select “Save Image”. But if you want to create and download a larger number of images at once, it’s much easier to use the official website. To do this, go to midjourney.com/app/ and log in using your Discord account. Then you can switch to multiple selection with cursor icon in the top right corner. Then you just have to select all the pictures you want to download and click on “Open Download” at the bottom. A ZIP file with all the PNGs will be created! But make sure to select the images in the correct resolution. This will be displayed when you click on the image on the website.

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9. Understand how Midjourney works

It’s impossible to predict what the picture Midjourney comes up with will look like. But with the right combination of terms and arguments, you can pretty much influence which direction the AI should go. Writing the perfect Midjourney prompt is an art. Probably even the developers can no longer tell exactly which knobs to turn. But the tireless community has already created some reference databases that can be used to see which input has which consequences – for example, how Midjourney imagines the painting styles of different artists. I give an overview of the most important projects in the Understanding Midjourney category. I can also highly recommend the video from Vox on Midjourney, which explains the basics of how it works very clearly.

10. Get inspired by other Midjourney users

It is extremely advisable to check the Community feed of Midjourney on their website to see the many creations of other users. Here you can also look up the exact prompt that led to this result and you can of course just copy or slightly alter it to your liking. The official subreddit /r/midjourney is also a good place to start.

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