Midjourney drops another AI art game changer

Another day, another jaw-dropping advance from an AI image generator. This time it's the turn of Midjourney. Just days after adding its own version of DALL-E 2's Outpainting concept, which allows images to be 'uncropped', it's just added a new approach that allows an image to be expanded beyond its frame by panning in any direction.

The new feature allows users to intuitively expand AI images, generating more imagery simply by using four arrow buttons: up, down, left and right. Each button allows you to extend the image in one direction in what is one of the best AI art generators.

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In practice, the new tool is similar to Zoom Out, which Midjourney added last week. Like that tool, it generates new visuals beyond the original frame of the image, but this time it goes only in one direction rather than zooming out on the whole image and adds extra pixels for improved resolution. This makes it much more flexible, allowing users to create wide panoramic scenes. It also means Midjourney has partly closed the gap on a function it lacked compared to DALL-E 2.

Recent updates to Midjourney have made it arguably the most reliable AI image generator, at least when it comes to producing convincingly realistic images and human characters. But the lack of a versatile expansion feature like DALL-E 2's Outpainting meant that some users would use Midjourney to generate initial images and then take them to DALL-E 2 to expand them. Now Midjourney can do pretty much everything, which for some people, will make up for the unintuitive nature of its Discord-based interface. 

The new tool does have its downside. You can only use it on images created in Midjourney itself and you can only expand an image on one plane (that is, either left and right or up and down). Many users on Twitter have been blown away by the feature. Some have reported it to be a bit glitchy so far, but that's perhaps to be expected for a tool that's just hours old.

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How does the new Midjourney pan feature work?

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The Midjourney panel feature is pretty intuitive. After upscaling an image generated in Midjourney, you'll find four new buttons below it. You can use these to expand the image either horizontally or vertically (and keep clicking to keep going).

For more control, you can alter the prompt for each new generation by activating 'Remix' using the '/settings' command (see our pick of the best AI art tutorials for more pointers on using Midjourney and other AI image generators).

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.