Stunning Midjourney Illusion Technique

Theoretically Media
28 Sept 202309:35

TLDRIn this video, Tim shares an innovative mid-journey workflow for creating stunning optical illusions using the AI tool Midjourney. He begins by discussing the potential of illusion photography and how Midjourney can be prompted to generate interesting images, although not always perfectly aligned with the desired optical illusion. Tim then introduces a technique involving subtle variations and the use of the 'stop' command to refine the AI's output. He demonstrates how to use image references, such as M.C. Escher's 'Relativity,' to inspire AI-generated content and explores the concept of reversing sources for more compelling results. The video also touches on the process of experimenting with simple iconography and the importance of conceptual thinking in the creative process. Finally, Tim presents a method for generating spiral patterns natively within Midjourney, offering a unique aesthetic that, while requiring patience and multiple iterations, can yield visually striking results. The video concludes by emphasizing the value of experimentation and exploration in the world of AI art.


  • ๐ŸŽจ The presenter shares a technique for creating optical illusions using mid-journey workflows, which can be more creative and lead to unique results.
  • ๐ŸŒ€ They also demonstrate how to generate spirals natively within mid-journey, which is a popular trend but requires multiple iterations.
  • ๐Ÿ“ธ The illusion technique works best with simple iconography and can be enhanced by using the 'very subtle' button while maintaining the aspect ratio.
  • ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ The process involves experimenting with different prompts and utilizing the 'stop' command to refine the generated images.
  • ๐Ÿ” The 'describe' function can be used to generate text prompts from an image, which can then be used to create new and inspired artwork.
  • ๐ŸŒ The presenter explores the influence of M.C. Escher's work on their experiments, using it as a reference to generate Escher-inspired images.
  • ๐Ÿ“š They discuss the importance of concept and idea in the illusion creation process, such as merging a light bulb with a painting of a wolf to represent knowledge and warmth.
  • ๐Ÿ”„ The presenter emphasizes the value of experimentation and exploration in the creative process, noting that not all results will be successful but are part of the journey.
  • ๐ŸŒˆ The use of simple and clear imagery in the initial prompt often yields better results, as opposed to complex or busy images.
  • ๐Ÿ” The 'very subtle' variation technique can produce interesting results when combined with specific prompts, even if the initial output doesn't match the intended outcome.
  • ๐ŸŽ‰ The presenter concludes by encouraging viewers to explore the technique, acknowledging that while it may produce many unsuccessful attempts, the successful ones are worth the effort.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic discussed in the transcript?

    -The main topic discussed in the transcript is a mid-journey workflow for creating compelling optical illusions using a tool called 'mid-journey'.

  • What are some examples of illusion photography mentioned in the transcript?

    -Examples of illusion photography mentioned include forced perspective, double exposure, the works of M.C. Escher, and the famous 'Lemer de Peru'.

  • How does the speaker suggest enhancing creativity and experimentation with mid-journey?

    -The speaker suggests using a very subtle button and experimenting with different prompts and aspect ratios to enhance creativity and experimentation with mid-journey.

  • What is the 'stop command' in the context of mid-journey, and how is it used?

    -The 'stop command' in mid-journey is used to control the level of detail in the generated images. It is implemented by adding '--stop NUMBER' to the prompt, where 'NUMBER' is between 20 and 50.

  • How does the speaker describe the process of using the 'describe' function in mid-journey?

    -The 'describe' function in mid-journey is used to generate text prompts from an image. These prompts are not exact but pull keywords and tokens from the image that mid-journey might understand, which can then be used to create new images.

  • What is the speaker's opinion on the results of the 'very subtle' technique?

    -The speaker finds the 'very subtle' technique to be very cool and worth exploring, despite the fact that it may produce many unsatisfactory results. When it does work, the results are highly impactful.

  • What is the 'spiral technique' mentioned at the end of the transcript?

    -The 'spiral technique' is a method to create hypnotic spiral or kaleidoscopic shapes within mid-journey natively. It involves using specific prompts and the '--niji' style option.

  • How does the speaker suggest improving the illusion effect in mid-journey?

    -The speaker suggests using simple iconography and experimenting with different prompts and aspect ratios. Additionally, using the 'stop command' can help refine the illusion effect.

  • What is the significance of the 'very on' prompt in the transcript?

    -The 'very on' prompt is used to add an additional layer of instruction to the mid-journey tool, guiding it towards a more surreal or specific style of image generation.

  • What is the speaker's approach to dealing with unsatisfactory results in the illusion creation process?

    -The speaker suggests continuing to experiment and iterate, using different prompts and techniques, as well as utilizing the 'stop command' to refine the results.

  • How does the speaker feel about the potential of the mid-journey tool for artistic exploration?

    -The speaker is enthusiastic about the potential of the mid-journey tool for artistic exploration, appreciating the unexpected and creative results it can produce.

  • What advice does the speaker give for creating effective optical illusions with mid-journey?

    -The speaker advises maintaining a simple and clear initial image, experimenting with different prompts and aspect ratios, and being open to the iterative process of refinement.



๐ŸŽจ Illusion Photography Techniques in Mid-Journey

The video introduces a creative workflow for generating optical illusions using the AI tool Mid-Journey. The host expresses a passion for illusion photography, mentioning techniques like forced perspective and double exposure. They discuss the limitations when trying to create specific illusionary images directly with Mid-Journey and propose a technique involving the 'very subtle' feature to generate more compelling results. The process involves generating an initial image, applying the 'very subtle' variation, and then prompting the AI with a related concept to create an illusion. The video also provides a tip on using the 'stop' command to refine the AI's output and demonstrates the technique with various examples, including an exploration of MC Escher's influence and an attempt to create a spiral illusion natively within Mid-Journey.


๐Ÿ” Exploring Imagery and Conceptual Depth in Mid-Journey

The second paragraph delves into the experimentation process with Mid-Journey, emphasizing the importance of using simple iconography for better illusionary results. The host shares their journey of creating an image by merging a light bulb with a painting of a wolf, which led to further exploration and the development of a conceptual piece involving a man reading a book. The video highlights the unexpected and surprising outcomes that can arise from the AI's generative process. Additionally, the host discusses a method for creating spiral illusions within Mid-Journey by using specific prompts and iterative refinement, although they note the process can be time-consuming and may require multiple attempts to achieve the desired effect.




Midjourney refers to a hypothetical AI tool mentioned in the transcript that is used for generating images based on prompts. It is central to the video's theme as it is the primary tool demonstrated for creating optical illusions and other compelling images. The script discusses various techniques for using Midjourney to achieve desired effects, such as using the 'very subtle' button or the 'stop' command to refine the image generation process.

๐Ÿ’กOptical Illusion

An optical illusion is a visual perception where the image seen differs from reality, which is a key theme in the video. The script explores creating optical illusions using Midjourney by prompting it with specific imagery, such as 'female figures forming the image of a skull' or using iconic works like M.C. Escher's art as references.

๐Ÿ’กForced Perspective

Forced perspective is a photographic technique that manipulates the viewer's perception of scale and distance, making objects appear closer or larger than they actually are. It is mentioned as an example of illusion photography that the speaker enjoys and is relevant to the video's focus on creating compelling visual tricks.

๐Ÿ’กDouble Exposure

Double exposure is a photography technique where two images are superimposed onto a single frame, creating a layered effect. It is another form of illusion photography highlighted in the video, with an example given as 'The Other Face of Paris', showcasing how Midjourney can be used to generate such effects.

๐Ÿ’กStop Command

The stop command in the context of Midjourney is a feature that allows users to control the generation process by specifying a stop point, which can influence the outcome of the generated image. It is used in the script to refine the image generation, such as adding a '--stop of 20' to achieve a specific effect.

๐Ÿ’กSurreal Painting

Surreal painting refers to a style of visual art that emphasizes dreamlike, irrational, and bizarre imagery. In the script, the speaker adds 'surreal painting' as an additional prompt in Midjourney to achieve a desired outcome, reflecting the video's focus on creating unconventional and imaginative visuals.


Iconography in the video refers to the subject matter or imagery used in the creation of art, particularly in the context of the initial images that are being transformed into optical illusions. The speaker notes that simpler iconography tends to work best with Midjourney, as complex or busy imagery can hinder the illusion effect.

๐Ÿ’กKaleidoscopic Shape

A kaleidoscopic shape is a pattern or design that resembles the symmetrical, repeating forms seen through a kaleidoscope. The script describes using Midjourney to generate spirals and kaleidoscopic shapes with a specific prompt, which is part of the video's exploration of creating intricate and visually appealing illusions.

๐Ÿ’กSubtle Variation

A subtle variation in the context of the video refers to a minor adjustment or refinement made to the image generation process in Midjourney. The speaker uses the term to describe the iterative process of making small changes to prompts and settings to achieve the desired illusion effect.

๐Ÿ’กDescribe Function

The describe function is a feature within Midjourney that analyzes an image and generates text prompts based on the visual content. In the script, the speaker uses the describe function to extract keywords from an image of M.C. Escher's 'Relativity', which are then used to inform the prompts for generating new images.

๐Ÿ’กStable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion is an AI model used for generating images from text descriptions. The video mentions it in comparison to Midjourney's capabilities, particularly when discussing the creation of spiral illusions. The speaker notes that there are alternative methods to achieve similar effects within Midjourney, without relying on external tools like Stable Diffusion.


The presenter introduces a mid-journey workflow to create compelling illusions using mid-journey.

Demonstrates how to generate spirals natively within mid-journey.

Explores illusion photography with examples like forced perspective and double exposure.

Mentions the limitations when trying to create specific optical illusions through prompts.

Introduces a technique that involves using a very subtle button and maintaining the aspect ratio for better results.

Provides a helpful tip to use the stop command for troubleshooting when results are not as expected.

Shares an example of using the stop command with a surreal painting prompt to achieve interesting results.

Discusses the influence of MC Escher's 'Relativity' on Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' and how it was used as a reference in mid-journey.

Experiments with running a very of New York City streets to create double exposure style images.

Explains the process of reversing the sources by using 'describe' to generate text prompts from an image.

Advises experimenting with stops between 20 and 50 for subtle variations.

Emphasizes the importance of using simple iconography for better illusion results.

Shares an example of merging a light bulb photograph with a painting of a wolf, leading to conceptual exploration.

Discusses the concept of a light bulb as warmth, light, and knowledge, and how it inspired a subtle variation of a man reading a book.

Mentions the challenges and awkwardness in the resulting images but appreciates the solid conceptual outcome.

Encourages viewers to explore the technique despite potential failures, as it can lead to unexpected and impactful results.

Introduces a method developed by Chase on Twitter for creating spirals within mid-journey natively.

Details the process of using the 'very subtle' command with specific prompts to achieve the spiral effect.

Notes the necessity of running the same 'very' command multiple times to refine the spiral effect.

Concludes by thanking viewers and supporters, and shares the presenter's name, Tim.