The Art of Super Intricate Design in Midjourney
Greetings, adventurous AI autobots and other auspicious humans longing for the singularity. Until that eventful day when humans and robots merge and create the best blueberry pancakes known on earth, here is a super secret keyword, secret phrase, or secret squiggly thingybit that will add extra pizazz and details to your Midjourney creations.
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BTW: Ray Kurzweil believes that by the year 2045, we will experience the greatest technological singularity in the history of mankind. Nice, but that is another can of whales altogether, and the spiritual and theological implications are none too small for our little human race.
Intricate Design in Midjourney Made Easy!
Welcome to the world of super intricate design in Midjourney, where attention to detail is key, and creativity knows no bounds. In this super brief article, I will dive deep into the shallow end of artistic expression, exploring a simple crafting prompt keyword (or concept) that will take your designs to another level.
So, you want more intricate and detailed images of space cruisers, coffee machines, and PlayStation controllers. Whether you are an aspiring artist or simply looking for inspiration, you’ll find this simple technique will help you excel in the art of detail using Midjourney.
(If you need a primer on Midjourney, check this article)
Creating a Detailed Space Cruiser
Picture a space cruiser soaring through the cosmos, its sleek lines and intricate details reflecting the cutting-edge technology that powers it. To create a convincing and detailed image of this marvel of engineering, follow these steps:
The OLD-SCHOOL Artistic: “NO, I HATE AI” Way
- Research: Begin by researching different types of space cruisers, from popular science fiction movies and novels to real-life examples. Take note of the various shapes, sizes, and features that make each unique.
- Sketch: Start with a rough sketch outlining the basic shape and structure of your space cruiser. Consider how various elements like engines, weapons, and communications systems might be incorporated into the design.
- Detail: Gradually add more detail to your sketch, paying close attention to the placement of each component. Think about how each part contributes to the overall functionality and appearance of the ship.
- Shading and Lighting: Use shading and lighting techniques to give your space cruiser a sense of depth and realism. Consider the light sources in your scene and how they might cast shadows or create reflections on your ship’s surfaces.
- Final Touches: Complete your design with any additional details, such as decals, logos, or other markings that will make your space cruiser truly one-of-a-kind.
I recently shared a Dr. Who set of images on a Facebook Group, and half the people became hysterical in the comments because they suspected that AI was involved.
I smiled and promptly deleted the images, as I did not want these poor souls to experience any more angst and psychological trauma over digital art. So yeah, the “No, I Hate AI” crowd is still roaming about the internet bent on their ‘semper fi’ mission of correcting digital art with no small amount of oorah!
The new Artistic: “WOW, I Love midjourney” WAY
Now, if you have no artistic flare running through your veins at all but you want a detailed space cruiser anyway—then Midjourney is the way to go.
Perhaps you are writing a book for your 7-year-old daughter who adores spaceships and is planning on becoming the first SpaceX pilot to land on Venus who finds out what mysteries the enigmatic planet holds. In order to fuel her imagination and encourage her dreams, you want to incorporate captivating and accurate illustrations of spaceships and futuristic technology in your book.
Well done Dad. Well done Mom.
Or perhaps you want a little dabble-do-you and spend time in the ‘Old Artistic Way.’ That’s fine. I still have a little pencil sketchbook with scribbles and sketches of the cutest robots I can imagine I have drawn for my grandchildren. BUT WITH GENERATIVE AI, such as Midjourney, that ultra-detailed spaceship is just a few keystrokes away.
I know, I know—this infuriates some, but it delights others—but wherever you are on the generative AI art spectrum, it is certainly a faster way of getting to the Pleiades Star Cluster and meeting the passive sun-skinned Zeltadawn leaders of the coming cosmic revolution.
Play Station Fractals
A PlayStation controller is more than just a gaming accessory; it’s a complex piece of technology with an intricate design set to conquer green bug-eyed aliens, free time, and productivity.
To capture its unique essence in a detailed illustration within Midjourney that is way outside the box, try using my secret sauce prompting technique as well (see below).
The Secret Prompt Sauce
“So what is the prompt that you keep hinting at, Steve?”
“And how do I use it in Midjourney to create super detailed digital artwork with a few keystrokes?”
The answer is buried deep in the heavenly constellations of one word: fractals.
What is a fractal?
I have no idea about the intricacies of fractal algorithms, mathematics, or if they prefer the color blue over orange, but here is a simple explanation for the rest of us.
Imagine if a shape could sneeze, and that sneeze created a tinier version of the shape, and then that tiny shape sneezed again and again; you’d have yourself a fractal.
A fractal is a special kind of shape or pattern that repeats itself at different scales. This means that if you zoom in on a fractal, you will see similar shapes or patterns at smaller and smaller levels, like a never-ending series of Russian nesting dolls.
Fractals can be found in nature, like in snowflakes or fern leaves, as well as in mathematics and art. They are fascinating because they exhibit a unique blend of simplicity and complexity.
The following is a simple-complex prompt of /image prompt fractal image –v 5 as created in Midjourney.
What Has This Got To Do With Midjourney?
Use a fractal-related term in your prompt engineering.
One word I tend to use a lot is Mandelbrot or Mandelbulb, for example:
Try this prompt:
/imagine prompt: Portrait view, mandelbulb surface, a beautiful female android with tiny lights and wires all over her body, super details, scores of tiny gears and sparks, beautiful lighting is streaming in across her body, and white gleaming metallics. Nooks and crannies are all around the android torso, backdrop of beautiful german forest on a bright winter day –s 750 –ar 2:3 –v 5
There are many different types of fractals, and they can be classified in various ways. Some of the most well-known fractal types include:
- Self-similar fractals: Copycats lurking in equations; they are always the same, no matter how closely you squint or drink Chai Latte. These fractals have identical shapes at all levels of magnification. Examples include the Sierpinski triangle, Koch snowflake, and Cantor set.
- Iterated function system (IFS) fractals: Drama queens of transformation and shadow walking. These fractals are created by repeatedly applying a set of transformation rules to an initial shape. Examples include the Barnsley fern and the Heighway dragon.
- Escape-time fractals: Rebels wanting to escape to infinity! These fractals are generated by iterating a function and examining the behavior of points as they escape to infinity. The most famous example is the Mandelbrot set.
- Random fractals: Throw a pinch of real randomness into your breakfast cereal. These fractals incorporate elements of randomness or noise, which makes them appear more natural. Examples include fractal landscapes, Brownian motion, and Lévy flights.
- Strange attractors: The bad boys of the fractal world – irresistible, but you know they’re trouble. These are fractals that arise from the study of chaotic systems in mathematics and physics. Examples include the Lorenz attractor and the Rossler attractor.
- Fractal tilings: These fashion-forward fractals are all about accessorizing and looking hip. These are patterns created by covering a surface with smaller, self-similar shapes. Examples include the Penrose tiling and the Socolar-Taylor tiles.
This is not an exhaustive squiggle list, as fractals can be found in many areas of mathematics, science, and art. The study of fractals continues to grow, and new types of fractals are discovered and explored all the time.
Start experimenting with fractal words and phrases like Mandelbrot style, Mandelbulb 3d style using a lot of detail-like words:
Try this prompt (its a biggie, but in v5 biggie is sometimes better):
/imagine prompt: Picture an awe-inspiring, futuristic scene set in the vast expanse of deep space, where a colossal space cruiser dominates the foreground. The surface of this gigantic spaceship is adorned with intricate mandelbulb patterns, creating an otherworldly appearance. Tiny, bustling cities with neon lights, and various architectural marvels such as palaces and stadiums, are embedded into the nooks and crannies of the cruiser’s structure. Surrounding the spaceship, fields of miniature mandelbulb palaces and stadiums stretch into the distance, creating a sense of infinite complexity. Utilize a chiaroscuro lighting style to emphasize the contrasts between light and shadow on the intricate structures, creating a sense of depth and dimensionality. Cast dramatic highlights and shadows across the space cruiser and the surrounding mandelbulb architecture. –ar 16:9 –v 5
The Mandelbulb Squiggly Thing?
Remember, a fractal is like a very lazy artist named Clive who can’t be bothered to come up with a new design, so he just keeps drawing the same thing, only smaller, until his pencil runs out of lead and he bursts into tears.
Now imagine Clive as a sculptor who produces amazing three-dimensional art.
The Mandelbulb is a 3D fractal that was created by extending the concepts of the 2D Mandelbrot set to three dimensions. The Mandelbrot set is an iconic example of a fractal, characterized by its complex, infinitely repeating patterns and shapes.
The Mandelbulb is generated using mathematical formulas and iterative processes similar to those used for the Mandelbrot set. However, instead of being confined to a 2D plane, the Mandelbulb extends into the third dimension, creating intricate and fascinating 3D structures.
Fractals hold a unique appeal in digital art for several reasons, and it is a good thing that AI knows what a fractal is to begin with.
Infinite complexity: Fractals possess intricate, detailed patterns that can be explored infinitely. This allows artists to create mesmerizing and intricate designs that continually reveal new details upon closer inspection.
Unpredictability: The generation of fractals can involve elements of randomness, leading to unexpected and surprising outcomes. This adds an exciting aspect to the creative process, as artists can experiment with different parameters to discover novel visual effects.
Natural connections: Fractal patterns can be found throughout nature, from the branching of trees to the structure of snowflakes. By incorporating fractals into digital art, artists can evoke natural forms and establish connections between mathematics, nature, and human creativity
Twenty Concepts and Words to Use
Fractastic prompting in Midjourney is fun as any concept can be fractalized by including the following words and phrases in your prompt. Here are twenty chaos-taming phrases and concepts you could use:
- Ensure the image uses fractal self-similarity
- Use fractal recursion details
- Use fractal iteration and great detail
- Add dimensionality in a fractal style
- Use fractal complexity
- Use fractal scaling
- In a Mandelbrot set art style
- In a Julia set art style
- Attractor fractal style
- Use the IFS (Iterated Function System) fractal style
- Use an escape-time fractal style
- Use space-filling curves in a fractal style
- Use fractal geometry
- Use fractal dimensionality
- Use a coastline paradox fractal style
- Use an L-system fractal style
- Use tiling patterns in a fractal style
- Use fractal growth style
- Fractal noise style
- Multifractal art style
Coffee machines from the year 3000 were made with fractals in Midjourney.
Promptology for the Blue Dragon Coffee Express:
/imagine prompt: A coffee machine of the year 3000, intricate details, beautiful render, photo real, azure and white in color, a hi-tech gadget with Heighway dragon fractal features –v 5
Promptology for the Lava III, Hot-Pour Espresso Bar:
/imagine prompt: Coffee machine of the year 3000, intricate details, beautiful render, photo real, red and white in color, hi-tech gadget with mandelbrot features –v 5
Non-Fractal vs. Fractal
The following example is an almost identical prompt, but the second image uses the fractal element to provide a lot more detail in the image.
Promptology for Amazonian Avatar 1:
/imagine prompt: film still of a beautiful avatar::2 movie na’vi::1 girl posing for the camera –ar 16:9 –q 2 –s 750 –v 5
Promptology for fractalized Amazonian Avatar 2:
/imagine prompt: film still using Mandelbulb fractal details, beautiful avatar::2 movie na’vi::1 girl posing for the camera –ar 16:9 –q 2 –s 750 –v 5
Fractal Prompting Samples
The final examples of fractal prompting techniques in digital art stand as a testament to the boundless creativity and styling that can happen in Midjourney with simple phrases
Fractals are a fascinating realm to begin with, and now you can weave a few of their unique properties into stunning tapestries of color, light, and form with Midjourney AI.
Click the images to see full prompts.
They may not send you spiraling into a vortex of existential contemplation on the ethical future of AI art, but they are fun to experiment with, especially when you need a little more detail in your creations.
Oh, and if you need to upgrade your monitor, I just purchased two of these for design and productivity, and they are excellent. Also, take a squeak at my 20-Point Checklist Guide to buying a new monitor that will tick all your boxes.
Steve Roberts is a full-time blogger, digital marketer, and freelance designer who also helps young Jedis make informed lightsaber decisions. Join Steve on this incredible journey, learning how to scale your business and entrepreneurial vision. His clients include organizations and businesses from Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA.