After creating your perfect masterpiece in Midjourney V6, wouldn’t you want to bring it to the real world by turning it into a physical work of art, a high-quality print? That’s where the upscalers come into play!

Subtle vs. Creative

In V6, you have two upscaling options to enhance your image: Subtle and Creative. Both double the original image’s resolution, but they do so in distinct ways.

To illustrate how each of them works, let's pick a prompt for a very detailed image:

Use the Neat Magic Toggle to switch between Upscale (Subtle) and Upscale (Creative) samples!

Joan of Arc close-up portrait painting by Edward Burne-Jones --v 6.0

True to its name, Upscale (Subtle) aims to stay faithful to the original image. Its primary goal is to enhance the resolution while preserving as many of the initial details as possible.

Here is a 100% fragment from our Afrofuturistic space pioneer. Note how both upscalers work with small details.

100% fragment

The downside of Upscale (Creative) is that it can sometimes be... well, too creative. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  

In some casese, Creative upscaling can “damage” the picture by “reimagining” it too much, or adding too many details, the Subtle option does its best to maintain the integrity of your original creation while giving it a clearer, more refined finish.

100% fragment

As you can see, Upscale (Creative) takes a more bold and exploratory approach. It not only increases resolution but also has the potential to introduce new elements or details.

Or, at times, remove them and make the image cleaner.

100% fragment

The new upscalers in Midjourney V6 are exceptionally capable, offering two distinct paths for image enhancement. One provides accurate image enlargement that remains faithful to the original, while the other offers a more exploratory approach to doubling your image's size. Which opens some very interesting experimental possibilities!

This video consists of 32 Creative Upscales from the same generation assembled in Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects to achieve smooth transitions.

Midjourney vs. Gigapixel AI

One of last year’s highlights in Midguide was our comparative study on popular AI upscalers↗︎

The winner was Gigapixel AI, which we at Midlibrary use almost daily while preparing our images for guides and the catalog. For details and an in-depth review read the complete study, but here are the highlights.

Gigapixel AI stands out as a comprehensive, AI-based upscaler with a one-time purchase license.

It features six specialized models tailored for different upscaling needs: Standard, Lines, Art & CG, HQ, Low Resolution, and Very Compressed.

This is complemented by a minimalist, user-friendly interface and a helpful Auto mode that selects the best model and parameters for your images. Additionally, you can manually set parameters like noise suppression, blur removal, compression fixing, color correction, and face recovery.

In comparison, V6’s upscalers are excellent for an initial 2x upscaling, correcting glitches, and enhancing the clarity and details of your original generation. At this stage, the need for Gigapixel is minimal.

However, even here it can still be useful, particularly if you aim to preserve the textures from the initial image in scenarios where Midjourney's upscalers might overly smoothen or completely redraw these textures. Like in this example with beautiful pencil grain that gets largely lost even with Upscale (Subtle).

Gigapixel AI
Gigapixel AI (2x)
100% fragment

But the true need in Gigapixel might come after you have already upscaled your image to the max in Midjourney.

Midjourney + Gigapixel AI

One of Gigapixel AI’s standout powers, aside from its superior quality, is its ability to upscale beyond 2x. It allows for enlargements up to six times the original size, with even higher multipliers available in an experimental mode.

When it comes to Midjourney-generated and upscaled images with a resolution of 2048×2048 pixels, these can be printed at about 17.3×17.3 cm (6.8×6.8 in) at 300 DPI, considered the standard for high-quality printing. Gigapixel AI can upscale such images to an impressive 104×104 cm (41×41 in). And even more.

Let's test Gigapixel with different kinds of Midjourney-generated images and with various multiplicators. The first trial will upscale a 1920×2400 px picture to 3840×4800 px, or ~32.6×40.6 cm (12.8×16 in).

Upscale (Creative)
Gigapixel AI (2x)
100% fragment

Next, a 4x upscale, taking the original to 7680×9600 px, or ~65×81.3 cm (25.6×32 in):

Upscale (Subtle)
Gigapixel AI (4x)
100% fragment

And finally, a 6x upscale and a whopping 11520×14400 px, or ~97.5×122 cm (38.4×48 in):

Upscale (Creative)
Gigapixel AI (6x)
100% fragment

In conclusion, while Midjourney’s new upscalers deliver excellent results, Gigapixel AI offers the added benefit of further enlargement, effectively turning postcards into posters.

There is a one-month free trial option. And if you would like to reproduce our tests, here are the three original (Midjourney-upscaled) PNG images that we used: Zip archive ↓ (28.8 Mb).

Instead of an Outro

While this four-part guide was nearing completion, Midjourney announced two significant updates.

Firstly, the Vary (Region), Zoom Out, and Custom Zoom features are now available in V6. Secondly, Midjourney's dedicated “anime model”—niji—has also been upgraded to its sixth version.

It seems our journey of exploration is far from over; there are at least two more chapters on the horizon. So stay tuned for more insights and discoveries! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Happy midjourneys,

In-depth Guide to Midjourney V6

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All samples are produced by Midlibrary team using Midjourney AI (if not stated otherwise). Naturally, they are not representative of real artists' works/real-world prototypes.

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All content in the Midlibrary catalog is generated by the Midlibrary team using Midjourney AI. We do not feature real artists' images, artworks, or any copyrighted material in our catalog. The samples provided by Midlibrary are intended for educational and illustrative purposes only and are not representative of real artists' works or real-world prototypes. Midlibrary is a non-profit initiative, not affiliated with real artists or authors, aiming to educate and inspire through the demonstration of the technology's potential in creative explorations.
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