'In the beginning was the word' and as biblical as this may sound, there is no better way to introduce and start talking about MidJourney and the new world they opened up to us. It was the other day we discovered them through the renowned art director Stefan Sagmeister's Instagram. First, we were sceptical then curiosity followed, and it ended with us creating a bunch of images while testing the many possibilities and variants they offer.
According to their website, which by the way is beyond cool and you need to check it out here, MidJourney is an independent research lab that explores new mediums of thought, looking to expand the imaginative powers of the human species. They are a small team, self-funded, that focuses on human infrastructure, design and AI. The results? Absolutely amazing!
As you will find mentioned in our first issue, we did some tests to see how we can use 3D in a photographic context, focusing mainly on fashion. The goal was to understand the language that forms once 3D and photography are combined. An editorial you would normally start planning months ahead, requesting a complex team, numerous outfits, models, travelling, gear, location scouting and numerous other costs, was done in our case in one week, using one software and Pinterest for inspiration. Pretty neat, right?
But as easy as it may sound, to get the results as fast as you want and whatever 3D software working decently, you need a good computer and knowledge. Without them, you better have a lot of patience and a good book nearby, and perhaps grab a cup of coffee, because it will simply bleed you dry. But this is where everything gets exciting, this is when MidJourney interferes, in their BETA version, allowing you to literally use words to create the image you want to compose, which, the amazing part, is being generated and rendered by their own servers. That means that it's irrelevant now whether or not your computer is strong enough to render. You can do it from your iPad, phone or laptop, all you need is imagination.
How Does MidJourney Work
To use their services you need to have a Discord account and access the link on their website by accepting the invite. You then join a server and you start your row of words describing the image you have in mind by typing " /imagine". You will get four different images based on the words provided. From those four you can either choose to upgrade them for better quality or pick the one you like the most and generate another set of four images. You can find all of the images in your library, which is automatically created with your account. You can find inspiration from other artists, or even request variants from their own set of keywords. The only downfall so far from our experience applies to the faces. They are not always properly generated, lacking symmetry and proportions. But we do have to keep in mind that this is the BETA version. Still, if you do push it enough, you can get even the faces right as we saw with other users. Most of our tests came out pretty good and fast.
But what if you use all of your free units in one sitting, as we did? When you start experimenting it's easy to lose track of the amount of work you produce. Don't worry, they got you covered. And it's actually better than you expect. 10$ a month for the basic plan that has limited use, meaning 200 images. We think that this will suit most of us, especially now when we are in the very beginning of understanding how it works. You can also opt for the 30$ plan that has unlimited use if you think you can easily go overboard or if you already know how you will use it for your brand or work. Those two standard plans do not offer private image generation, meaning that anyone can see your work, take it and build on top of it. The Enterprise plan on the other hand does, and it comes at a price of 600$ per year. For us and our current needs, we decided to opt for the $30 plan.
Using MidJourney for your work
All of this is possible thanks to the extraordinary library MidJourney has, thanks to it, materialising the most insane ideas is literally a few words and clicks away. You can create album covers, book covers, logos, and patterns, and even create and sell NFTs if you are interested in that and you didn't know where to start. You can get inspiration for your next project, and you can create a unique mood board for your photography work. The last one was exactly the reason that made us buy subscriptions. The possibilities are endless and truly unique. We created different types of images, from a set of portraits to random scenery and styles, all in an attempt to understand how it works and how well it executes your commands. We took it a step forward and took the results we liked the most to Photoshop, fixed the faces that weren't symmetric and enhanced the colours a bit.
Here are a few examples of the images we made for you to get an idea of what MidJourney is about. From illustration to photorealistic and cinematic, they are truly unique. Let us know what you think and tag us if you create your own work with #whenwithyoumag !
Written by Julia Alexandra S.