Midjourney vs. Stable Diffusion: Which Is the Best AI Art Generator?

The emergence of AI art generation technology marks a pivotal moment in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression.

At the forefront of this revolution are Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, two tools that have rapidly gained popularity within the AI art generation community. These platforms democratize artistic creation and push the boundaries of what’s possible with AI-assisted design.

So, which is better, Mijdourney or Stable Diffusion?

This article aims to critically compare Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, delving into their capabilities, applications, and impact on the art world. For enthusiasts and professionals alike, understanding these tools is key to harnessing the full potential of AI in art generation.

Key Takeaways

  • Midjourney excels in quick, detailed art creation with user-friendly Discord access.
  • Stable Diffusion offers extensive customization and multi-platform accessibility.
  • Midjourney requires paid subscriptions; Stable Diffusion provides free watermarked options.
  • The choice depends on users’ preferences for control, ease of use, and project needs.
  • Both platforms uniquely advance AI art generation, showcasing distinct strengths.

How to Use Midjourney

Midjourney stands out in the generative AI landscape as a powerful tool capable of converting natural language prompts into striking images. This innovative platform is part of a growing trend of machine learning-based image generators, quickly establishing itself alongside notable names like DALL-E and Stable Diffusion.

Unique in its approach, Midjourney operates through the Discord chat app, eliminating the need for specialized hardware or software. This accessibility allows users to effortlessly create high-quality images from simple text prompts.

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While Midjourney does require a subscription for image generation, unlike some free alternatives, it offers an easy entry point for users to generate visually captivating and realistic images within minutes.

The outcomes with Midjourney can be profoundly impactful, ranging from uncannily realistic to aesthetically pleasing, depending on the creativity and specificity of the prompts used.

Step-By-Step Guide on Creating AI Art With Midjourney

Creating art with Midjourney through Discord involves a comprehensive step-by-step process. Here's a detailed guide:

  1. Log in to Discord

    First, access the Midjourney Bot through Discord. Make sure you have a verified Discord account before joining the Midjourney Discord server. If you sign in through Midjourney’s site, you will be redirected to Discord.

  2. Subscribe to a Midjourney Plan

    To start generating images, subscribe to one of Midjourney’s plans. Sign in using your Discord account and choose a suitable subscription plan.

    Subscribe to a Midjourney Plan
  3. Go to Any #General or #Newbie Channel

    Once on the Midjourney server, select a channel labeled general-# or newbie-#. These channels are for beginners to start using the Midjourney bot.

    Go to Any #General or #Newbie Channel
  4. Use the /Imagine Command

    Use the /imagine command to generate images. Type ‘/imagine prompt:‘ followed by your desired image description.

    Use the /Imagine Command
  5. Image Generation Process

    Submit your text prompt and wait for the Midjourney Bot to create four unique image options.

    Image Generation Process
  6. Select an Image or Create Variations

    You can choose your preferred image from the generated grid or create variations. “U” results in an upscaled version of whichever image you select, while “V” enables you to create a variation and regenerate it.

    Select an Image or Create Variations
  7. Save Your Image

    Finally, save your chosen image by clicking on it and selecting the save option.

  8. For more comprehensive details and visual guides, refer to the official Midjourney website or their Discord server.

The Pros and Cons of Midjourney

In evaluating the Midjourney AI-driven art generator, it’s crucial to consider both its strengths and limitations to understand whether it fits various creative needs.

Here are some of the top pros and cons users have experienced with the platform:

Pros:

  • High-quality image generation that offers stunning visual details.
  • Wide stylistic range, suitable for various artistic preferences.
  • User-friendly, especially for beginners, with straightforward Discord integration.
  • Continual updates and improvements enhancing user experience.
  • Encourages creative exploration with diverse prompt interpretations.

Cons:

  • Requires a paid subscription, lacking a free usage tier.
  • Limited to Discord, which may not suit all users (Plans for a website coming).
  • Sometimes produces unpredictable results, requiring prompt refinement.
  • It can be time-consuming to find the perfect image style or detail.
  • The creative output may vary significantly with slight prompt adjustments.

How Much Does Midjourney Cost?

Midjourney offers a variety of subscription plans to accommodate a wide range of users, from casual enthusiasts to heavy-duty professionals. Each plan is tailored to provide different levels of access and features, ensuring that users can find a suitable option based on their specific requirements and budgets.

Basic Plan

Priced at $10 per month or $96 per year, the Basic Plan fits casual users. It offers 3.3 hours of Fast GPU time, which is sufficient for those who are just starting out or don’t require extensive use.

Standard Plan

For more regular users, the Standard Plan, at $30 per month or $288 per year, offers a significant increase in resources. Subscribers get 15 hours of Fast GPU time and unlimited Relax GPU time, making it a great option for frequent users who need more flexibility.

Pro Plan

The Pro Plan is designed for professionals and heavy users. For $60 per month or $576 per year, it includes 30 hours of Fast GPU time and unlimited Relax GPU time. Additionally, it grants access to stealth mode, a feature valuable for users who require privacy in their creations.

Mega Plan

At the highest tier, the Mega Plan costs $120 per month or $1,152 per year. It doubles the Fast GPU time to 60 hours compared to the Pro Plan and maintains the same unlimited Relax GPU time. This plan is suitable for users with a high demand for GPU resources and who engage in extensive AI art generation activities.

These diverse plans ensure that Midjourney caters to a wide array of users, from those experimenting with AI art for the first time to professionals needing robust resources for their creative projects.

How to Use Stable Diffusion Online

Stable Diffusion, launched in 2022, is a generative AI model renowned for producing photorealistic images, videos, and animations from text and image prompts. Its diffusion technology operates in latent space, significantly reducing processing requirements and enabling it to run on desktops or laptops with GPUs.

Available under a permissive license, Stable Diffusion stands out for its accessibility on consumer-grade hardware, allowing broad user control over key hyperparameters.

The model’s user-friendliness is enhanced by an active community providing extensive documentation and tutorials, fostering a conducive environment for creative exploration. The software’s release under the Creative ML OpenRAIL-M license further promotes modification and redistribution, contributing to its significant impact in the generative AI space.

It is also easy for anyone to use the model. To create art with Stable Diffusion, users typically access it through a web browser on various sites hosting the model, such as the Stable Diffusion online site.

Step-By-Step Guide on Creating AI Art With Stable Diffusion

To create art using Stable Diffusion through its online interface, follow these general steps:

  1. Access the Website

    Visit a Stable Diffusion hosted site, like the official DreamStudio by Stability AI.

  2. Enter Your Prompt and Generate

    Type a description for the image you want to generate in the designated field and adjust any settings like aspect ratio or number of generated images.

    Enter Your Prompt and Generate
  3. Save the Image

    Right-click on the chosen image to save, copy, or email it.

  4. Generate New Images (Optional)

    If unsatisfied with the initial results, you can regenerate images using the same or a modified prompt.

  5. This guide provides a basic overview of using Stable Diffusion on Stability AI’s DreamStudio. Other platforms may require different steps.

The Pros and Cons of Stable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion, like any innovative technology, comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a concise summary based on comprehensive analysis and feedback from both the user community and professional reviewers.

Pros:

  • Offers the ability to create photorealistic images and animations, enhancing visual creativity.
  • Runs efficiently on consumer-grade GPUs, making it highly accessible.
  • User-friendly, requiring no extensive background knowledge for creating images.
  • Active community support with ample documentation and tutorials.
  • Open-source licensing allows for widespread use and adaptation.

Cons:

  • The quality of output can vary, depending on the precision of prompts.
  • Fine-tuning for specific needs may require technical knowledge.
  • Handling complex or abstract concepts might be challenging.
  • Dependency on the GPU may limit accessibility for users without the required hardware.

How Much Does Stable Diffusion Cost?

Understanding the cost of using Stable Diffusion involves looking at its different access points. On Clipdrop, Stable Diffusion is available for free but with watermarked images. For those seeking a more complex and watermark-free experience, DreamStudio offers a unique credit system.

In DreamStudio, the pricing isn’t as straightforward as a one-to-one credit-to-prompt ratio due to the range of customization options available. The cost varies based on factors like image size, number of steps in the generation process, and the number of images you want to generate.

For example, generating four 1024×1024 pixel images with the latest model using 50 steps would cost around 1.01 credits. Reducing the steps to 30 brings the cost down to 0.8 credits, highlighting how each choice in the generation process influences the overall cost.

New users on DreamStudio are welcomed with 25 free credits, which can typically yield around 100 images or approximately 25 text prompts when using default settings.

Beyond the free credits, purchasing additional credits is quite economical: $10 gets you 1,000 credits. This amount is substantial, equating to over 5,000 images or around 1,250 text prompts at default settings, making Stable Diffusion a cost-effective option for prolific creators.

Additionally, for those with the technical know-how, downloading and running Stable Diffusion on a personal computer offers another dimension of usage, with costs varying based on personal hardware and potential cloud computing fees.

In essence, Stable Diffusion provides flexible pricing models to suit different user needs, from casual exploration to intensive creative work.

Midjourney vs. Stable Diffusion: A Test Drive

In our test drive of Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, we are using the following prompt:

“A futuristic cityscape at dusk, blending elements of Tokyo and New York, with neon lights reflecting on rain-soaked streets, set against a backdrop of towering skyscrapers and flying cars.”

This test will help us evaluate how each AI art generator interprets and renders the same concept.

First up, Midjourney:

Midjorney's Output

The image generated by Midjourney showcases a vibrant array of neon signage and detailed, reflective surfaces, creating a sense of depth and activity in the scene.

The atmosphere is dense and richly colored, with a high level of complexity in the elements that constitute the cityscape. There’s a palpable sense of bustling city life, with flying cars that add to the futuristic vibe.

Next up is Stable Diffusion:

Stable Diffusion's Output

The image from Stable Diffusion presents a slightly more subdued but still vivid interpretation of the prompt.

The colors are lush, with neon signs casting a reflective glow on wet streets, and the flying cars bring movement to the composition. There’s a clear distinction between the skyscrapers’ silhouettes and the sky, giving the image a crisp delineation between structures.

Our Verdict

Both AI tools have successfully captured the essence of the prompt, but their artistic styles differ. Midjourney tends towards a denser, more detailed image, potentially offering a more narrative feel, whereas Stable Diffusion’s output could be seen as offering a clearer, more focused depiction of a similar narrative.

The comparison showcases the capabilities of each tool, emphasizing Midjourney’s strengths in detail and atmospheric density and Stable Diffusion’s clarity and vibrant use of color. Both platforms offer users powerful ways to bring imaginative prompts to visual life, and the choice between them may come down to personal preference regarding style and aesthetics.

Stable Diffusion vs. Midjourney: Which AI Image Generator Should I Choose?

When deciding between Midjourney vs. Stable Diffusion, each has its distinct advantages and use cases. Midjourney, accessible through Discord, offers high-quality images with extensive control options, which fits those who prefer detailed editing and customization. It is also developing a web app for easier access.

On the other hand, Stable Diffusion is available through various platforms, offers great image quality with less detailed prompts, and can be trained on personal data, making it suitable for diverse professional applications. It also provides more cost-effective options for image generation.

Ultimately, the choice depends on specific needs for control, ease of use, and project requirements.

Midjourney vs. Stable Diffusion vs. DALL-E

In comparing Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DALL-E, each platform showcases distinct advantages for AI art generation.

Feature Midjourney Stable Diffusion DALL-E
Image Quality Lush, vivid imagery High customization, realistic outputs Cartoon-like and photorealistic
Accessibility Through Discord Various platforms, open-source Via ChatGPT
Customization Standard options Intense, with personal model training Standard, with API for experimentation
Cost Subscription required Free options, cost-effective With a ChatGPT subscription
Unique Selling Point User-friendly, high-quality output Customizable, local running Cartoon-like angle, easy access

Midjourney: Praised for its lush, vivid imagery that often resembles paintings or photos, Midjourney excels in user-friendliness and is accessible through a Discord bot. While it’s still evolving and requires a subscription, its ability to consistently produce high-quality images is notable.

Stable Diffusion: Known for offering the most customization options, Stable Diffusion can be run locally, granting users significant control and personalization. Its open-source nature allows intense customization and training with personal models. Additionally, it stands out for its cost-effectiveness, with various free access methods.

DALL-E: DALL-E 3 often produces more cartoon-like imagery but is also capable of creating photorealistic images. Accessible via a platform like ChatGPT, it provides image generation credits. Although not open-source like Stable Diffusion, DALL-E 3 has an API available for further experimentation.

Each of these tools brings something unique to the table, making the choice largely dependent on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

The Bottom Line

Both Midjourney and Stable Diffusion stand out in the AI art generation landscape, each with unique advantages. Midjourney is known for its high-quality, vivid imagery and user-friendly experience through Discord, making it a favorite for producing detailed art quickly. Stable Diffusion, on the other hand, shines with its customization capabilities, open-source nature, and cost-effectiveness.

The choice between them should be guided by individual creative requirements, desired control over the artistic process, and the specific project needs. Ultimately, both platforms represent significant advancements in AI-driven art creation, offering powerful tools for artists and creators in the digital age.

FAQs

Is Stable Diffusion as good as Midjourney?

What AI art generator is better than Midjourney?

What is the difference between Midjourney Niji and Stable Diffusion?

Is Stable Diffusion XL better than Midjourney 6?

References

  1. Midjourney (Midjourney)
  2. DreamStudio (Beta.dreamstudio)
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Alex McFarland
AI Journalist

Alex is the creator of AI Disruptor, an AI-focused newsletter for entrepreneurs and businesses. Alongside his role at Techopedia, he serves as a lead writer at Unite.AI, collaborating with several successful startups and CEOs in the industry. With a history degree and as an American expat in Brazil, he offers a unique perspective to the AI field.