How Does Midjourney Work? Exploring Ai Generated Art

14 Jun 202220:24

TLDRThe video explores the controversial AI art generator, Midjourney, discussing its operation and the impact on the art world. The speaker, Timothy Von Fuddem, shares his initial skepticism and eventual appreciation for the tool's potential as an inspiration generator. He demonstrates how Midjourney works, using keywords and artist styles to create unique images, and discusses the ethical concerns regarding job displacement and copyright issues. Despite these concerns, Fuddem finds the tool to be a powerful asset for artists, enhancing their creative process by providing a foundation for further development and exploration. He encourages viewers to consider Midjourney as a tool rather than a replacement for the human element in art creation.


  • ๐ŸŽจ **AI Art Generation**: Midjourney is an AI art generator that creates images based on textual prompts, causing a divide in the art community with strong opinions for and against it.
  • ๐Ÿค– **How it Works**: Midjourney uses automated photo bashing and manipulation software to generate images from keywords, pulling from millions of internet images to create something new yet familiar.
  • ๐Ÿš€ **Access and Usage**: Initially invite-only, Midjourney offers a limited number of renderings with the option to buy a subscription for more access.
  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ **Discord Bot**: Midjourney operates as a Discord bot where users can submit prompts and see others' inputs and outputs, offering inspiration and community interaction.
  • ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ **Creative Process**: Users can input specific styles or artists to influence the generated artwork, with options to upscale or create variations of the initial thumbnails.
  • ๐Ÿง **Artistic Concerns**: There are concerns that AI-generated art might replace human artists, particularly in concept art roles within the entertainment industry.
  • ๐Ÿ“‰ **Copyright Issues**: The use of AI generators raises questions about copyright infringement, although it's likely to fall under fair use due to the transformative nature of the output.
  • ๐Ÿ’ก **Inspirational Tool**: Some artists find Midjourney to be an inspirational tool that can help generate ideas, color palettes, and textures for their own work.
  • โฑ๏ธ **Efficiency and Speed**: The speed at which Midjourney can produce artwork has led to discussions about the value and authenticity of handcrafted art versus AI-generated pieces.
  • ๐ŸŒ **Community Divide**: The art community is split, with some excited about the possibilities AI art presents, while others feel threatened by the potential loss of traditional artistic skills and jobs.
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ **Artistic Evolution**: The advent of AI art generators is seen by some as an evolution in the art world, similar to the introduction of the camera and digital art, with the potential to coexist with traditional art forms.

Q & A

  • What is the primary debate surrounding AI-generated art?

    -The primary debate is whether AI-generated art is a valuable tool for artists or a threat to the traditional art process. Some see it as a way to inspire and generate ideas, while others fear it could replace human artists and devalue the art-making process.

  • How does the AI art generator 'Midjourney' work?

    -Midjourney is a software that uses automated photo bashing and manipulation based on keywords inputted by the user. It pulls from millions of images across the internet to create something new yet familiar, eerily similar to the user's description.

  • What are the potential impacts of AI-generated art on the art industry?

    -AI-generated art could replace many concept art jobs in the entertainment industry, raise copyright issues due to the use of existing art without permission, and challenge the definition of what constitutes art.

  • Why might some artists feel threatened by AI-generated art?

    -Artists might feel threatened because AI-generated art can produce results quickly, bypassing the traditional, time-consuming process of creating art. This could lead to the perception that the value of human creativity and skill is diminished.

  • How does the Midjourney software handle copyright and ownership of generated images?

    -Midjourney states that anything created with the software can be posted or used royalty-free but is ultimately owned by Midjourney. Users can publicly post the images but if they use blockchain technology, they must pay Midjourney 20% of the revenue.

  • What are the potential benefits of using AI-generated art for artists?

    -AI-generated art can serve as an inspiration generator, providing artists with unique interpretations and results that can spark their creativity. It can also help artists explore different styles, color palettes, and compositions quickly and efficiently.

  • How does the speaker view the role of AI-generated art in their own creative process?

    -The speaker views AI-generated art as a powerful tool for inspiration. They use it to generate ideas, explore concepts, and as a reference for color palettes, compositions, and textures. However, they do not consider the AI-generated images as their own art.

  • What is the speaker's stance on the definition of art in relation to AI-generated art?

    -The speaker believes that great art combines technical ability, creativity, and personal input to give it a soul. Without the human element of skillful application, they do not consider AI art as true art.

  • How does the Midjourney software's interface work?

    -Midjourney operates as a Discord bot where users can input commands and descriptions to generate images. Users can specify styles, influences, and aspect ratios to customize their results. They can then choose to upscale or create variations of the generated thumbnails.

  • What are the concerns regarding the impact of AI-generated art on jobs in the entertainment industry?

    -There is a concern that AI-generated art could replace or downsize jobs in the entertainment industry, such as concept artists for films and games, as it can produce results much faster than traditional methods.

  • How does the speaker suggest using AI-generated art in a way that complements traditional art creation?

    -The speaker suggests using AI-generated art as a tool for inspiration and as a starting point for traditional artists. They propose using the generated images as references for shapes, compositions, and textures, which can then be built upon with human creativity and skill.

  • What is the speaker's perspective on the future of traditional art in the context of AI-generated art?

    -The speaker remains optimistic about the future of traditional art. They believe that original, hand-drawn art will stand out even more in contrast to AI-generated art and that there will always be an appreciation for the time, energy, and thought put into the process of art-making.



๐ŸŽจ Introduction to AI Art and Mid-Journey

The video begins with Timothy Von Riden, also known as Vaughan, discussing the divisive nature of AI-generated art within the art community. He explains that opinions are polarized, with people either strongly for or against it. Vaughan shares his initial skepticism but also his eventual understanding of both perspectives. He introduces the concept of AI art and the Mid-Journey software, which is an AI art generator that uses keywords to create images by referencing millions of images online. The video features a time-lapse of Vaughan's art process, highlighting his approach to discussing Mid-Journey while creating art.


๐Ÿค– How Mid-Journey AI Art Generator Works

Vaughan provides an in-depth look at how the Mid-Journey AI art generator functions. He explains that it is an invite-only software that allows users to create images based on their textual descriptions and can be manipulated further by specifying styles or artists. The software offers options to upscale or create variations of the generated thumbnails. Vaughan also discusses the communal and game-like aspect of using Mid-Journey, emphasizing the fun and inspiration it can bring, despite the concerns about the ease with which it generates artwork.


๐Ÿš€ Impact and Concerns of AI Art in the Industry

The video addresses the concerns and potential impacts of AI-generated art, particularly on jobs within the entertainment industry. Vaughan fears that AI could replace many concept artists, leading to job losses. He also touches on copyright issues, noting that while the use of existing art in AI generators may raise questions, it is likely to fall under fair use due to the transformative nature of the output. Vaughan acknowledges the debate over whether AI-generated images can be considered art, given that they lack the human element of skillful application.


๐ŸŒŸ The Fascinating Side of AI Art and Its Inspirational Power

Despite the concerns, Vaughan explores the positive aspects of AI-generated art, particularly the inspiration it can provide to artists. He describes his personal experience using Mid-Journey as an inspiration generator, allowing him to explore various concepts and styles quickly. Vaughan emphasizes that while he sees the value in using AI as a tool, he does not claim the generated images as his own art. He also discusses how using AI-generated images as references has impacted his own art process, making him bolder and more efficient in his work.


๐Ÿ“ˆ The Future of AI Art and Its Role in the Art World

In the concluding part, Vaughan shares his thoughts on the future of AI in art and the potential shift in how artists work. He believes that while AI art generators are powerful, traditional hand-drawn art will still stand out for its soul and the human touch. He suggests that original art creation will be appreciated for the time, energy, and thought invested in the process. Vaughan invites viewers to share their thoughts on the matter and expresses his curiosity about how the technology will evolve and affect the art world in the coming years.



๐Ÿ’กAI Generated Art

AI Generated Art refers to artwork that is created with the assistance of artificial intelligence. In the context of the video, it is produced by software that uses algorithms to manipulate and combine elements from millions of images on the internet to generate new and unique pieces based on user input. This process raises questions about the role of human creativity and the future of traditional art.


Midjourney is a specific AI art generator that is discussed in the video. It is an invite-only software that allows users to input keywords and receive AI-generated images. The software is seen as both a fascinating tool for artists and a potential threat to traditional art creation processes.

๐Ÿ’กDiscord Bot

A Discord Bot in this context is an application that operates within the Discord platform, an online community space. Midjourney operates as a Discord Bot, allowing users to interact with it via direct messages and generate AI art based on their prompts.

๐Ÿ’กCopyright Issue

The term refers to the legal rights that creators have over their work, including the right to reproduce it. In the video, there is a concern that AI-generated art might infringe on these rights, as the AI software uses existing images from the internet to create new works without direct permission from the original artists.

๐Ÿ’กTechnical Ability

Technical ability in art refers to the skill and proficiency an artist has in using tools and techniques to create their work. The video discusses how AI-generated art might lack the personal touch and soul that comes from an artist's technical ability and creative input.

๐Ÿ’กConcept Art

Concept Art is the artwork that helps conceptualize characters, environments, and scenarios for various media like films, games, and animations. The video expresses concerns that AI-generated art could replace human concept artists in the entertainment industry due to its efficiency and speed.

๐Ÿ’กTraditional Art

Traditional Art refers to the creation of artwork through classic methods such as drawing, painting, and sculpting by hand. The video contrasts this with AI-generated art, discussing the value and irreplaceable qualities of traditional art, such as the artist's personal touch and the process of creation.

๐Ÿ’กFair Use

Fair Use is a doctrine in copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the rights holder, typically for purposes like criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. The video mentions that AI-generated art might fall under fair use because the resulting images are significantly transformed from the original sources.


Aesthetic in the context of the video refers to the visual appeal or the way an artwork looks. While AI-generated art can produce aesthetically pleasing visuals, the video discusses the concern that these images might lack depth and the personal expression that comes from human artists.

๐Ÿ’กInspiration Generator

An Inspiration Generator is a tool or process that sparks creativity and new ideas. In the video, the speaker reframes their view of AI-generated art as an inspiration generator rather than a replacement for human art, using it to quickly explore various concepts and styles to inform their own artistic process.

๐Ÿ’กHuman Element

The Human Element refers to the personal, emotional, and creative aspects that a human artist contributes to a piece of art. The video emphasizes the importance of this element in art, suggesting that AI-generated art may be impressive from a technical standpoint but may not carry the same emotional weight or personal expression.


Midjourney is an AI-generated art tool that has divided the art world into supporters and critics.

AI generators work by creating images based on keywords and pulling from millions of internet images to form something new yet familiar.

Midjourney is a popular AI art generator, but there are many others emerging.

The software starts as an invite-only platform with limited renderings, expandable through subscription.

Midjourney operates as a Discord bot where users can submit images and see others' inputs and results.

Users can buy a private Discord for Midjourney to generate ideas without the overwhelming public thread.

The process involves typing 'imagine' followed by a description and optional artist styles for unique results.

Different artists' names inputted can drastically change the generated image's style.

Users can choose to upscale or create variations of the generated thumbnails.

The generated art can be used as a source of inspiration rather than a final product.

The ease of use and powerful results of AI art generators raise concerns about the future of traditional art.

AI-generated art may replace human jobs in concept art for the entertainment industry.

Copyright issues arise as AI art generators use artists' works without permission.

The debate questions if AI-generated images can be considered 'art' in the traditional sense.

Midjourney's rules state that generated images are owned by Midjourney, but can be posted royalty-free.

AI art generators can be a powerful tool for artists, providing inspiration and speeding up the creative process.

The speaker found that using Midjourney made their traditional art process faster, bolder, and more inspired.

There is still a strong appreciation for original, hand-drawn art, suggesting it will stand out amidst AI-generated pieces.

The speaker believes AI art generators are a powerful tool alongside the camera and digital art, but their full impact remains to be seen.