A beginner’s guide to Midjourney Inpainting and how to go about it.
Never would have I thought to paint with prompts. Frankly, these generative AI platforms are a live savior for someone like me with sub-par paintbrush skills.
Not that I’ve dared to paint in the past or try tools from the extensive Adobe suite, but AI-based art is simply what I have been looking for. Just write the descriptions, and voila, the picture is ready.
At present, there are only a handful of tools doing justice to this AI art phenomenon, and Midjourney is one of them.
Interstingly, they offered a free trial until some users got adventurous by creating pictures of Trump’s arrest and the Pope in a white puffer jacket. However, Midjouney asserts their reason for discontinuing the trial was a massive influx of users wanting to try their generative AI engine for free.
Anyways. I have subscribed to their base plan, which is $10 a month, to give this inpainting a try.
Inpainting: An Overview
Until now, you can only feed a text description to get AI art, with little to no scope for modifying anything within a picture other than trying 3rd party image editors.
This process, however feasible, would take so much time and expertise, making AI image creators mostly good-for-nothing tools. Because 9 out of 10 times, these first-generation AI art platforms are far from perfect. For instance, you can get certain image elements that have nothing to do with the prompt.
In such cases and more, users wished for something to weave their magic further to get their desired “masterpiece.”
That’s where inpainting comes into the picture.
In August 2023, Midjourney came with this welcome addition, which the AI artist community has been hoping for since its launch.
So, let’s test it out and see if it’s worth the attention.
How to Use Inpainting in Midjourney?
Step 1: Open the Midjounery Discord channel, type /settings, and press enter to get the Settings panel. Turn on the Remix mode.
Step 2: Generate an image using any preferred prompt and upscale the desired result using the “U” tabs.
Step 3: Click Vary (Region) to modify a specific part of the upscaled output.
Step 4: This will open the Midjourney Inpainting interface.
This is an extremely simple tool. You can just select the subject area, give the inpainting prompt, and press enter.
Inpainting jobs again give four variants, which you can further customize.
That’s how you can use inpainting within Midjourney.
Now, I’ll test it on a few more prompts and share the results with you.
Every Midjourney prompt results in four images, but I will only (upscale and) show the best in this experiment.
Midjourney Inpainting: Hands-On
An astronaut landing on a planet with its spacecraft in the background.
Inpainting: Changing the background into a dense forest.
We are off to a decent start with this inpainting output. I selected everything except for the astronaut and prompted it to convert it to a dense forest.
Just so you know, one can select multiple areas. Specifically, I have used the lasso tool to symmetrically cover the surroundings in two parts, the left and right of the astronaut.
A boy walking on a straight road in torn clothes on what seems to be a deserted Island.
Inpainting: 1. Changing the background to a modern city with skyscrapers around. 2. Making the boy wear a nice suit.
I tried to retain the boy from the second picture and just change the clothing. However, it was failing continuously, forcing me to cover the whole body with the rectangular tool.
Besides, you can see the second picture has some scaling issues, which has led other people to look miniature in comparison to the boy imported from the first image.
A rapper is performing while his crew enthusiastically supports him onstage in an underground setting. photorealism.
Inpainting: Changing it to a large auditorium full of thrilled rapping fans.
This one was the most difficult to inpaint. Even after many attempts, I could not find anything with minimal rough edges.
high tides surge from the churning sea beneath ominous, dark clouds in the sky. photorealism. --ar 16:9
Inpainting: Putting a cruise battling high tides.
Just so you know, the --ar 16:9 refers to aspect ratio.
a blue colored bus going towards a tunnel with a old man peaking his head out of one of its window
Inpainting: Changing the bus color to red and turning off its head and taillights.
Another one which was a bit too complex to do perfectly. First, I could not get both, a man peeking outside and the bus going towards a tunnel, in the scene at the same time. Second, the color change in the inpainting job replaced the bus altogether.
a single book with plain white cover is placed upright against the wall.
Inpainting: Trying to put a human face on the book cover.
The first inpainting prompt was eyes, nose and lips, which missed the “eyes” part completely. Next, I tried multiple other prompts, and only the sunglasses one looked worth reporting.
joe biden standing in a full suit
Inpainting: Replacing the suit with a wizard rob and arms holding a wand and a burger.
This should have been a perfect render, yet it came out with striking imperfections. While the robe looks okay, the wand is quite unusual with a burger-inspired top, and the actual burger seems like it can serve the whole Biden team.
Honestly, it’s impressive how “decently” one can inpaint within Midjourney. It has its lows, and the outputs are far from perfect, of course. Still, it helps you do hours of job in minutes, if not seconds. In addition, we should expect serious improvements with each update.
The images you’ve seen above were the results of prompting and re-prompting, which took me a full workday and more till I found what worked and listed it here.
Consequently, it takes time to get hold of this inpainting mini-tool. But once you get past that initial barrier, it becomes easier, and your expectations adjust accordingly.
Personally, I think it’s a good start with a (huge) scope for improvement. But that’s just me. 🙃