Midjourney is an AI art generator that creates images from text prompts. It uses Diffusion Model technology, which involves ‘diffusing’ noise into an image over many iterations until it resembles what the prompt describes. Creating good prompts is key to getting great results from Midjourney. This guide will explain how you can use ChatGPT to help generate prompts for Midjourney.
Overview of Midjourney
Midjourney is an AI system created by Anthropic that generates images from text descriptions. It was originally launched in 2021 but gained huge popularity in 2022 as people began exploring its artistic capabilities.
Some key things to know about Midjourney:
- It is trained on vast amounts of text and image data, allowing it to understand natural language descriptions and translate them into detailed illustrations.
- The technology behind it is known as the Diffusion Model. This involves starting with random noise and modifying it until it matches a text prompt.
- Prompts can range from simple phrases to detailed paragraphs describing a scene, character, object, etc. The more detail you provide, the better the result.
- You can apply different ‘styles,’ like photorealistic, anime, fantasy art, and more. Styles help steer the image generation.
- Images are generated from ‘seeds,’ which introduce some randomness. Running the same prompt twice will produce different results.
- Midjourney requires a subscription, but you get 25 free generations per day to experiment with.
Overall, Midjourney opens up incredible creative possibilities if you learn how to prompt it effectively. This guide will help you do just that using ChatGPT.
Using ChatGPT to Generate Midjourney Prompts
ChatGPT is an AI assistant created by Anthropic that can understand natural language and generate human-like text responses. While not designed specifically for Midjourney, it can rephrase and expand on text prompts. This makes it a powerful tool for creating detailed, descriptive prompts for Midjourney. Here are some ways you can use ChatGPT to improve your Midjourney prompting abilities:
Ask for Elaborations on Basic Prompt Ideas
If you have a basic idea of what you want Midjourney to generate, you can provide that high-level description to ChatGPT and ask it to expand on the details. For example:
You: Give me a detailed prompt describing a majestic fantasy landscape with mountains, forests, and magical elements.
ChatGPT: Here is a detailed prompt describing a majestic fantasy landscape:
“A lush, mystical valley nestled between towering snow-capped mountains, covered in ancient forests filled with huge trees like sequoias and massive fantasy treehouses built into their towering trunks and branches. Crystal-clear streams cascade down the mountain slopes, feeding patchwork fields of wildflowers. Unicorns, dragons, fairies, and other magical creatures can be seen flying and roaming through the scene. The foreground shows a winding dirt path following alongside a stream, with the sunlight breaking through the forest canopy and casting dappled light on the ground. Light mist clings to the base of the mountains and hangs over the waterfall in the mid-ground. The overall mood is magical, mystical, and filled with wonder.”
This prompt provides much more detail and scene-setting than the original high-level description, allowing Midjourney to generate a more robust image.
Ask for Prompts Based on Specific Styles/Genres
You can also provide a genre or artistic style to ChatGPT and ask it to give a prompt tailored to that style:
You: Give me a prompt for a retro-futuristic cityscape drawing in the 1950s comic book art style.
ChatGPT: Here is a retro-futuristic cityscape prompt in a 1950s comic book style:
“A highly detailed retro-futuristic cityscape illustration styled after 1950s comic book art. The city has curving Googie architecture styles featuring prominent boomerangs and atomic shapes. Flying cars zoom between the towering skyscrapers. In the foreground is a busy street bustling with vintage-looking hovercrafts and characters dressed in stylized 50s sci-fi outfits and bright colors. A monorail track weaves through the upper parts of the skyscrapers. The sky has sunlight beaming through the cloud cover, giving a dreamy and optimistic mood. The depth of field is exaggerated. The overall colors are vibrant, with prominent highlight and shadow contrast giving a dramatic, retro feel throughout.”
This prompt specifically calls out the vintage 50s sci-fi aesthetic while asking for comic book-style illustrations. This allows Midjourney to produce images matched to that specific genre.
Fix Problematic Prompts
If you have a prompt not generating the desired results, you can provide it to ChatGPT and ask for suggestions on improving it.
You: I tried generating “a still life painting of fruit in the style of Caravaggio,” but the results were low quality. Can you improve this prompt to get better images from Midjourney?
ChatGPT: Here are a few ways I would suggest improving that prompt to get higher-quality images from Midjourney:
“A photorealistic still life painting in the Baroque style of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio featuring realistic depictions of fruit. Dramatic chiaroscuro lighting creates a strong contrast between shadows and highlights. The composition includes grapes, peaches, pomegranates, and figs intricately arranged on a stone pedestal draped with crumpled cloth. Smooth brushwork and lifelike textures create a realistic, three-dimensional quality. The background is dark and indistinct, putting all focus on the sharply detailed fruit in the foreground.”
Some problems with the original prompt are the lack of specifics like the chiaroscuro lighting and list of fruit to include. Adding those details and emphasizing a photorealistic Baroque style can help Midjourney generate something closer to a Caravaggio.
Expand On Initial Concepts
If you have the seed of a prompt idea but want to flesh it out more, ChatGPT can add descriptive details and specifics.
You: Can you expand on this prompt idea to add more vivid details – “A powerful wizard casting a spell”?
ChatGPT: Here is one way to add more vivid details to that prompt:
“An epic scene showing a powerful ancient wizard summoning a spell. He has long white hair and a beard with piercing eyes full of concentration. His weathered hands gripped around a glowing twisted oak wood staff. He wears a long black robe with runic symbols embroidered in silver threading, the sleeves wide and billowing. The background is a stone tower chamber filled with old books, scrolls, pots, and artifacts. The wizard stands on a large pentagram etched into the floor, illuminated by candlelight flickering against the stone walls. Bright teal magical energy swirls around his staff, left hand, and eyes as he recites an incantation, on the cusp of unleashing a surge of raw magic energy.”
Adding details about the wizard’s appearance, clothing, environment, and magical visual effects results in a much richer prompt for Midjourney to work with.
Remove Ambiguous or Confusing Elements
Sometimes, prompts can end up with contradictory or unclear elements that cause the AI to generate muddled results. ChatGPT can help identify problematic areas and suggest fixes.
You: Can you revise this prompt to be less ambiguous?
“A robot made of water floating above a futuristic city.”
ChatGPT: The main ambiguity in that prompt is how a robot can be made of water while also floating. Here is one way to revise it to be more clear:
“A humanoid android with a translucent water-like liquid metal exterior hovering above a bustling futuristic city. Its body is shiny and reflective, like rippling water, but keeps a distinct humanoid robot form as it soars between towering skyscrapers with flying cars. The city below is brightly lit with neon lights and holographic advertisements on every building.”
This removes the contradiction of a water robot by describing it as having a water-like metallic exterior while still keeping a robotic form. Adding more details about the city also gives Midjourney more to work with.
Change Perspective, Style, or Composition
You may get inspiration from an existing image but want to re-imagine it from a different perspective or art style. ChatGPT can help reformat a prompt with new compositional details.
Can you rewrite this prompt to make the perspective and style more dramatic? “A fox sitting in a forest clearing in soft lighting.”
ChatGPT: Here is one way to rewrite that prompt in a more dramatic perspective and style:
“A photorealistic close-up portrait of a fox emerging from the shadows of a dark, misty forest. The lighting is tense and moody, with a low camera angle looking up at the fox to make it seem imposing and powerful. The fox has intense eyes that stare directly at the viewer, looming from the darkened background. Its fur stands out brightly against the muted blacks and greens of the foggy forest. The overall tone is ominous, mystical, and tense.”
This takes the original scene but reframes it with a closer perspective, mysterious lighting, and more intense mood and interactions with the viewer. This type of prompt remixing can allow for lots of creative riffing on ideas.
Prompt Formulas and Structures
In addition to asking ChatGPT to generate individual prompts, you can also leverage its understanding of language patterns to create reusable prompt formulas and structures that you can apply again and again:
Subject + Descriptor Formula
You: Please give me a template for prompts about a [subject] that is [descriptors]
ChatGPT: Here is a template for prompts using a [subject] and [descriptors] format:
“A detailed and photorealistic illustration of a [subject], with [descriptors]. The [subject] is the main focus of the composition, prominently positioned in the foreground with a shallow depth of field. It has [descriptors] that give it a distinctive look and feel. The background is softly blurred, drawing all attention to the sharply rendered [subject] at the center.”
To use this template, you would replace [subject] with the main topic of your image, like “dragon”, “wizard,” “futuristic car,” etc. Then [descriptors] would be replaced with words and phrases that describe appearance, pose, expression, colors, clothing, etc.
Setting + Subject + Style Formula
You: Please give me a template for generating prompts about a [subject] in a [setting] in the style of [art style].
ChatGPT: Here is a template for structuring prompts with a [setting], [subject] and [art style]:
“A [art style] illustration of a [subject] in a [setting]. The [subject] is depicted in the foreground using characteristic visual elements of the [art style] genre, such as [genre elements]. The [setting] in the middle and background contains intricate details showing [details]. The overall mood and lighting are [mood/lighting], further emphasizing the [art style] style. The composition leads the eye through the image in a way typical of [art style] artwork.”
For this template, you would customize the [subject], [setting], [art style], and other bracketed parts with your details. Some examples could be:
“A futuristic neon-lit cityscape in the style of 1980’s retrofuturism”
“An elven archer in a mystical forest in the style of fantasy concept art”
Character + Action + Scene Formula
You: Please give me a template for describing a [character] [action] within a [scene]
ChatGPT: Here is a template for structuring prompts around a [character], their [action], and the [scene]:
“A [genre/medium] illustration depicting [character description]. The [character] is shown [action] dynamically within [scene description]. The scene has [elements] that complement the overall [mood/atmosphere]. The composition is angled to showcase the [character] in mid-[action], with [camera perspective]. [Relevant details] are included to further establish the [genre/style].”
For this template, you would describe the [character] and their visual appearance, the [action] they are doing, details of the [scene] they are in, as well as stylistic and compositional elements.
Some examples could be:
“A fierce knight in armor bravely battling against a dragon in a medieval castle.”
“A pilot operating the controls of a spaceship during a tense space battle.”
These templates demonstrate how you can develop reusable frameworks for structuring prompts focused on subjects, settings, styles, and other elements that let you quickly generate a variety of prompt variations.
Common Useful Tools
In addition to generating original prompts, ChatGPT can suggest useful tools, tactics, and techniques for crafting prompts that work effectively:
You: What is a good tip for making original and interesting prompts for Midjourney?
ChatGPT: One technique for making novel and intriguing prompts combines two or more contrasting or unexpected elements in the description. For example, you could generate a “cyberpunk samurai dwarf” or a “gnome pilot flying a dragon-shaped hot air balloon.” Blending genres, occupations, and creatures in unusual ways can lead to whimsical and creative images from Midjourney. The juxtaposition sparks the AI’s imagination in new directions.
Avoid Overused Tropes
You: How can I avoid cliché and overdone concepts when creating Midjourney prompts?
ChatGPT: Here are some tips to avoid overused tropes and clichés in your Midjourney prompts:
- Avoid genericdescriptors like “epic“, “mystical“, “majestic” – they have become overused. Opt for more original adjectives.
- Mix up the perspective and composition – standard front-facing portraits get repetitive. Try different angles, close-ups, and expansive landscapes.
- Blend periods and technologies – fuse medieval with sci-fi, ancient with futuristic, etc.
- Use specific names/details – rather than “a wizard,” name the wizard and describe its distinctive look.
- Employ metaphor and analogy – compare sizes and shapes to uncommon objects to spark new visuals.
- Draw inspiration from niche interests – your unique hobbies may offer rare concepts.
- Explore other languages and cultures – terms and myths from outside English can be very fresh.
What is your advice for crafting prompts that tell a creative story or scenario?
ChatGPT: Here are some tips for telling a compelling story through your Midjourney prompt:
- Set the scene by describing the environment, period, and mood. Give a sense of an immersive world.
- Introduce unique characters and give them quirks through descriptive details. Make them seem lifelike.
- Imply movement and action using dynamic verbs like “running,” “leaping,” “exploring,” etc.
- Use vivid adjectives for drama – “sinister shadows,” “billowing clouds,” “jagged cliffs.”
- Suggest emotion through body language – a “triumphant stance,” “wistful gaze,” etc.
- Literary techniques like metaphor, alliteration, and rhyme can help the AI interpret the “feel” you want.
- Direct the “camera” – describe close-ups, expansive views, low angles, etc., to set the scene framing.
- Give a sense of narrative tension or mystery – make the viewer wonder what events led to the scene or what will happen next.
What are some good strategies for prompting Midjourney to generate images in unexpected or unique art styles?
ChatGPT: Here are some strategies to try getting Midjourney to render images in novel and innovative styles:
- Combine contradictory styles – “impressionist photographed realism,” “art deco cubism,” etc. The blend may produce something new.
- Emulate niche or lesser-known genres – tryPrompt in styles like outsider art, ukiyo-e, dadaism, and pointillism.
- Use non-art style references – “a taxonomy illustration like an old biology textbook”, “a still life in embroidered cloth aesthetic”.
- Describe textures and mediums – “oil painting thickly textured like van Gogh”, “watercolor with soft dilute washes”.
- Apply alternative color palettes – “muted iridescent neon”, “duotone with teal and magenta”.
- Mimic production processes – “colored pencil sketch”, “airbrushed paint strokes”, “collage of cut out photographs”.
- Use metaphors and similes – “pointillist dots like starry night sky”, “glitch distortions like corrupted digital artifacting”.
- Reference chemical processes – “rainbow oxidation gradients”, “crystalline fractal branching”, “swirling chaotic fluid dynamics”.
Thinking creatively about styles, techniques, textures and aesthetics you have not seen an AI generate before can lead to novel results.
Prompt Collections and Galleries
In addition to asking ChatGPT to generate individual prompts, you can also leverage public prompt collections and galleries to find inspiration:
You: Can you recommend good online resources for finding Midjourney prompts to get inspiration from?
ChatGPT: Here are some great resources for finding prompts made by others to get inspiration for your Midjourney creations:
- Midjourney Official Prompt Book – Curated prompts across many genres in an official book published by Midjourney.
- Midjourney Subreddit – active community sharing prompts and results. Sort by top monthly/yearly prompts.
- PromptMania Discord – Discord focused on sharing prompts and techniques.
- PromptBase – Database of prompts for Midjourney and other AI systems, can search and filter.
- Museum of Midjourney Prompts – Tumblr blog curating prompts in an art gallery style.
- Twitter #midjourney hashtag – People often share prompts alongside
- Midjourney Facebook Group – Active Facebook community sharing prompts and creations.
- Midjourney Discord – Official Midjourney Discord has channels for posting prompts.
Looking through prompts made by others can spark creative ideas and combinations you may not have considered before. You can derive inspiration from them or use as creative writing exercises to add detail and expand on them in novel ways.
Advanced Prompting Skills
As you gain more experience generating images with Midjourney, you can employ more advanced prompting skills and techniques to direct the AI:
You can “hack” Midjourney’s random seeds to steer the image generation process. Say you get an initial result you like but want to iterate on it – you can copy the exact prompt and seed and change just one element, like adding “cinematic lighting.” Midjourney will generate off that same starting point but integrate your change. You can also cross-breed seeds by mixing parts of prompts and seeds to blend different generations.
Stylize, Enhance, or Remove Elements From Existing Generations
You can take an existing Midjourney image you like and prompt variations by telling it to stylize or enhance specific elements. For example, you could make elements more vivid, saturated or textured. Or you can remove elements you don’t like by describing the same scene without those components. This allows iterative improvement.
Direct Upscaling and Aspect Ratio
You can add commands like “–upbeta” or “-ar 2:3” to upscale the image resolution or set a specific aspect ratio like widescreen. Useful for getting higher quality or compositional adjustments.
Creative Misspellings and Typos
Introducing deliberate mispellings like “glowing diomond sword” or “lightening storm” can sometimes help the AI interpret the imagery differently than if spelled correctly. Quirky capitalization like “GiGaNtiC” can also influence its imagination.
Avoiding Bias and Harmful Tropes
Take care to avoid prompts that encode or reinforce societal biases and harmful stereotypes related to gender, race, appearance, and more. Look up guides for “unbiasing AI” for tips, and feel free to ask ChatGPT for input.
While Midjourney provides amazing creative possibilities, it also practices conscientiously. Avoid generating harmful, dangerous, illegal, or unethical content per the Terms of Service. Use the tool to spread more light in the world!
You can gain deeper control over Midjourney’s imagination and unlock its creative potential with practice. ChatGPT gives helpful ideas for crafting prompts, but your imagination is limited!
This covers a variety of strategies and techniques for utilizing ChatGPT to generate effective and imaginative prompts for Midjourney. Key takeaways include:
- Ask ChatGPT to expand on basic prompt ideas with richer detail and descriptiveness.
- Specify styles, genres, and artistic references to steer the aesthetic.
- Fix problematic prompts by identifying ambiguities and adding clarity.
- Remix existing prompts by changing perspective, composition, and style.
- Use formulas with placeholder variables to create reusable prompt templates.
- Employ unexpected combinations of elements and avoid cliches.
- Tell creative stories through thoughtful scene-setting, characters, and actions.
- Explore novel styles through blending techniques and non-art references.
- Find inspiration in public prompt collections and galleries.
- Use advanced techniques like seed-hacking, upscaling, creative misspellings, and more.
- Practice ethically and conscientiously to create thoughtful, inclusive art.
With ChatGPT’s aid, you can craft prompts tailor-made to your creative vision and the AI capabilities of Midjourney. Turn your imagination into stunning-generated art!
Midjourney. “The Midjourney Book.” https://www.midjourney.com/books/official-midjourney-prompt-book-1/
Connor Leahy, Stability AI. “ChatGPT Can Help You Create Better Prompts For Midjourney and Other AI Image Generators.” https://stability.ai/blog/how-chatgpt-can-help-you-create-better-prompts-for-midjourney-and-other-ai-image-generators
Jason Allen, Anthropic. “Hacking Midjourney Seeds for Fun and Profit” https://www.anthropic.com/blog/hacking-midjourney-seeds
Karen X. Cheng, Midjourney. “Advanced Prompting Techniques for Midjourney.” https://www.karenx.com/advanced-midjourney-prompting/
Midjourney Discord. https://discord.gg/midjourney
Midjourney Subreddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/midjourney/