Intro to MidJourney

Everything you need to know to get started with MidJourney very quickly.

When you find out your crush is AI generated…

Midjourney is one of the top text-to-image AI tools available and one that we use for several use cases at GPT Hacks.

Today we are going to cover:

  • How to get started with Midjourney

  • Touch on Midjourney image licensing

  • Take a look at alternatives to Midjourney

Today’s article is a beginner’s guide. In the future, we will get into more intricate use cases, advanced settings and pro-level prompts to create even more fascinating images.

Let’s begin.

How to get started with Midjourney

Get a Discord account

So first things first, you need a verified Discord account. Go to Discord.com and sign up for an account if you don’t already have one.

Discord started as a messaging platform for gamers but has evolved over the years intro vibrant communities of artists, investors, engineers, and more. Even if you don’t plan on joining any servers (that’s what they call their communities), you will need an account to join the Midjourney server.

Midjourney has never addressed why they decided to only run their app on Discord. If they wanted to, they could very easily allow users to create new accounts and use Midjourney without Discord. But with 16M+ users, I am not sure they are too worried about this yet and are focusing on the product itself.

Create a Midjourney account

Head over to Midjourney.com and tap on Join the Beta. You may need to log in to Discord first or just confirm the action. If your Discord account is not verified yet, it should walk you through the steps to verify your account (learn more about Discord verified accounts).

Midjourney server access

Once your account is created, you will have a trial access to Midjourney which will only allow you to create images in public and you’ll only have a very limited number of images you can create.

Choose a Midjourney plan

Before you continue, you will have to pick a plan. As of this writing, Midjourney AI no longer offers a free trier, which is not a huge deal since the free plan was never good for businesses because:

  1. You could only generate images in public (more on this below)

  2. It didn’t come with the same commercial terms (I’ll also explain this)

  3. You couldn’t create more than a few images

Note: MidJourney has turned on, then off, then on their free trials a few times. I suspect they will continue to do so to manage the load on their servers and people creating throwaway accounts to get free images. There is a chance that while you create your account, you get a free trial. 🍀

Midjourney plans

Create your first MidJourney image

Now that you have your account and your plan ready, it’s time to create your first image. Open the Discord app or visit the Discord website and open the Midjourney server (direct link).

Midjourney Discord Server

To create an image, you need to interact with Midjourney Bot on Discord. For this, you have 3 options:

  1. Join one of the channels that start with “newbies-.”

    1. Pros: good way to see what others are creating and learn from their prompts.

    2. Cons: very public - all of your prompts and iterations to get to the image you want are visible to all members. The chat stream can move really fast, which makes it hard sometimes to see your image once generated.

  2. Message the Midjourney Bot directly (on the web, click on the member list from the navbar to find the bot). I used this method for the longest time before “upgrading” to the method below.

    1. Pros: private, you can iterate all you want and don’t have to worry about others seeing every iteration of your creation. Since it’s your own channel, you can easily see your images as they are being created and browse back through history to see all of your images. (Note that your profile shows all of your images, if you want true privacy, you’ll have to sign up for the Pro Plan.)

    2. Cons: not a huge deal but after you have hundreds of images created (this will happen much faster than you think), it becomes hard to browse back and find old images.

  3. You can create your own server and invite the Midjourney Bot to it and interact with it there.

    1. Pros: you can create your own channels to organize different image types that you create, which solves the issue I mentioned above.

    2. Cons: requires additional setup time to create a server and manage it.

Whichever option you choose, to create an image type the following in the Discord chat:

/imagine

When you do that, Discord will automatically add the words “prompt” next to it. This is where you would type your prompt and generate your first image! I know the first imagine can be daunting so just try one of these prompts to get you started:

  1. a stylistic e-commerce shopify site, athleasure, search bar and filters to help users find products easily

  2. email newsletter template with warm colors and theme for a sushi restaurant

  3. minimalistic logo in the style of Paul Rand, clothes subscription box service and personal stylist --no words, text

When you create the image with the imagine prompt, you will be presented with 4 images followed by 8 buttons: U1, U2, U3, U4, V1, V2, V3, V4.

The “U” buttons allow you to “upscale” whichever of the four images you want to get a higher resolution version of (yes, you can upscale all 4 if you wanted to).

The “V” buttons allow you to create a “variation” of an image if you wanted to get a similar image but with slight modifications.

Generated Midjourney image options

What did you come up with for your first image? I would love to see it, share it on social and tag me (@husseinyahfoufi).

Here is one of my very first Midjourney images I ever created. It was meant to be a person working at an AI startup!

Futuristic AI Startup

Midjourney Licensing

If you are planning on using Midjourney to generate images for your business, you are probably wondering about licensing and image rights. Let’s break those down based on the Terms of Service as of the writing of this article.

⚠️ Mandatory heads up: this is not legal advice! Please do your own due diligence in addition to mine.

Rights You Give to Midjourney

When you use Midjourney, you’re granting them a license to your input data (text prompts and images you share with the Midjourney bot) as well as any images you create.

This means Midjourney can use, reproduce, or modify the data and assets in various ways without needing to pay you royalties. The main purpose they mention is to improve the service, handle the operations, and in some cases, showcase what can be done with Midjourney. This license continues even if you stop using the service.

Your Rights

The assets you create with Midjourney services are generally owned by you. However, this is subject to a few conditions:

  1. If you're an employee or owner of a company that makes more than $1,000,000 USD a year and you're using Midjourney for the company, you have to subscribe to the Pro plan (currently $60/mo) for each employee using Midjourney. Otherwise, you don't own the assets you create.

  2. If you are not a paying member (on the old free plan or on a free trial), you don't own the images you create. Instead, you're granted a license to use these assets under the Creative Commons Noncommercial 4.0 Attribution International License. This means you can use the assets for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit Midjourney, but you can't claim ownership of them.

Additional key points:

  1. If you stop being a paying member of Midjourney, you still retain the rights to images you created while being a paid member.

  2. If you upscale someone else’s image, the original author maintains the rights to the image.

  3. If you remix someone else’s image, you get the rights to the new image (the reverse goes if someone else remixes your image, then they get the rights to the new image).

  4. If you are truly concerned about people remixing your images, you can subscribe to the Pro plan, which will reduce the amount of remixing since you can make your images and prompts harder to find but there are no guarantees.

Is Midjourney useful for business?

Heck yeah! Even if you are granting Midjourney a license to the images you create an others can remix your images into new ones. Using images you create with Midjourney will still be far more unique than if you use images from Unsplash, Shutterstock or iStockPhoto.

Alternatives to Midjourney

Midjourney may be the most popular image-generation AI tool out there but it is not the only one on the market. There are several others out there, the most notable ones, which we will cover in future articles are:

  1. DALL·E 2 (made by OpenAI, people that made ChatGPT)

  2. Firefly (made by Adobe). Access is currently only available within Photoshop. It will also be integrated into Google products soon. Not sure when/if it can be accessible as a standalone product.

  3. Stable Diffusion

🛠️ AI tools and resources

  • Wudpecker - bring an AI to your next meeting

  • Lintrude - code reviews done by an LLM (AI)

  • Mindsera - AI-powered journal

  • Teardown (by Lemon) - improve your pricing page

📣 For more AI tools and plugins, take a look at the GPT Hacks AI Tools Directory (with 400+ tools) and the GPT Hacks ChatGPT Plugins Directory (with 120+ plugins).

⏮️ Catch up with articles from our archives:

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