One of the more impressive platforms for AI art, Midjourney is now open to all in beta mode.
This is the second time the platform has been open to all as a beta. On July 18, the platform opened for 24 hours. However, in an email sent to Midjourney’s beta testers on Tuesday, founder David Holz wrote that the “Midjourney beta is now open to all.”
Midjourney is one of the more interesting entrants in the small but growing field of AI art, taking user-generated queries, running them through an AI algorithm and having the algorithm pull from its source images and apply various artistic techniques to the resulting image. Midjourney’s images look somewhat similar in quality to Latitude’s Voyage, although Latitude charges $14.99 for 20 pixels on its paid plan.
For now, beta users will get about 25 free images as part of the midjourney beta. After that, you’ll either have to pay $10 per month for 200 images per month or a standard membership of $30 per month for unlimited use. Midjourney allows companies to use the generated images for a special corporate membership. Otherwise, the images are yours.
There’s just one catch with Midjourney: prompts and the resulting images are generated via Discord, the social network/chat app. To be part of Midjourney you need a free Discord membership. (PCWorld’s Discord Beginner’s Guide can help you get started if you’re new to the service.) You can sign up for the Midjourney service at the following link: discord.gg/midjourney.
While Midjourney provides a user guide, usage boils down to that. Within Discord you need to join one of the rapidly growing number of “#newbies” channels – it doesn’t matter which one. Once in the channel, just type “/imagine” and then the text prompt. Remember, even though the AI generates the output, it’s up to you to control the style. It’s worth scrolling up and down the various “newbie” channels to see which prompts elicit which responses, and which styles you can apply.
Some results will amaze you; others will disappoint. A bit of luck is part of it. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with my “An Octopus Appears Under San Francisco Bay,” but the resulting image of “A Castle on an Asteroid Floating Through Space” at the beginning of this story is quite impressive.
Every time you type in a query, you’ll almost instantly get a result in the form of a matrix of four images, all of which are variations on the theme. Below each image you will also see several buttons. Each key has a meaning: the “U” keys upscale a specific image, for 1 through 4; The “V” buttons ask the AI to provide a variation of the theme on each image. The circular arrow is a “do over” for the entire array. Be careful! Simply tapping each button will generate the command and charge you an image credit in return.
Don’t let the sheer volume of requests discourage you either. Due to the nature of Discord, you will see your query and results zooming off the page quickly. To solve this problem, click on the inbox item in the top right corner. (It actually looks like an RJ45 Ethernet port on a computer.) This will open a list of relevant messages from the Midjourney bot. Click the “Jump” button to go to the actual message in Discord where you can interact with the image.
You can also find your own personal image gallery simply by visiting your “Home Page” within Midjourney. You can click on the small “ellipses” menu next to the image to “Open [it] in conflict.” This will open Discord and allow you to apply the above changes.
Get more midjourney photo credits for free
By default, all prompts you generate are “quick” or immediate. You can Get more photo credits “for free” by going to the /relax command. This will queue your request instead of processing it immediately. It’s unclear how long this additional wait time actually is, but Midjourney doesn’t charge you for usage.
Unfortunately, this loophole only works as a subscriber. On the other hand, if you end up signing up for the $10 plan and get hooked but can’t justify spending $30 a month on cool pics, you might try this option!
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