AI tools
November 28, 2023

Midjourney AI Can Now Upscale Images Up To 4X

Your AI images can now be up to 4K resolution with the new upscaler feature from Midjourney.

Jim Clyde Monge
by 
Jim Clyde Monge

While everyone is still gushing over the recently released Dall-E 3 and Adobe Firefly 2.0, the king of AI image generators, Midjourney, is back with another killer feature: 4X upscaler!

Yes, you can now print your AI artwork in large-scale format.

Unlike other generators limited to 1080x1080 resolution, Midjourney breaks through this barrier. For example, Dall-E 3maxes out at 1024x1024. Here’s an illustration comparing the maximum resolutions of popular AI art tools:

Image by Jim Clyde Monge

How Midjourney’s Upscaler Works

Head over to the Midjourney Discord channel and start generating an image. If you’re new to Midjourney, check out their quick start guide.

Prompt: A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image

A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

Select the one you like best and do an initial upscale by clicking on the U1/U2/U3/U4 button.

A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

You’ll then see “Upscale (2x)” and “Upscale (4x)” buttons. But before upscaling this example, let’s take a look at the resolution of the image from the first upscale.

A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

The starting resolution here is 1226x1226. Much higher than Dall-E’s 1024x1024 max!

Now let’s do a 2X upscale.

A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

The resolution has now doubled. The file size jumps from 1.5MB to 5.7MB. Now, let’s try the 4X upscale.

A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

The resolution is now 4096x4096, and the file size has increased to 19.3 MB. Take a closer look at the difference in details between 1226x1226 and 4096x4096.

A black and silver painted african man’s face, african hairstyle, head and shoulders, in the style of 8k resolution, hand-painted details, depth of field, ritualistic masks, intricate costumes, solid black background, bold striking image
Image by Jim Clyde Monge

Notice how much clearer the details are at 4096x4096. That is awesome!

Other things to keep in mind

  • You can use it on old jobs using /show JobID.
  • The upscaler is subtle and tries to keep details as close as possible to the original image
  • The 4x upscaler costs roughly 3x more GPU minutes than the 2x upscaler
  • Both upscalers only work with fast-GPU time right now

Known issues

  • Under very rare occasions, you may see a black or corrupted image on 4x upscales
  • A blurry, low-resolution image will not be ‘unblurred’ by upscales
  • Images might get slightly slightly darkened sometimes by upscalers

Final thoughts

You might think this is not a big deal because you can upscale images with third-party software like Topaz Gigapixel, but having a built-in upscaler in Midjourney streamlines the process, saving you valuable time.

Beyond resolution, the upscaler enhances Midjourney’s algorithms to infer detail beyond what exists in the original image. This allows art to be enlarged significantly while retaining coherence and clarity.

And finally, in case you didn’t know it yet, Midjourney is cooking up a brand new website to generate images. Exciting times ahead!