OpenJourney: Midjourney, but Open Source

538 points19
celestialcheese15 hours ago

If anyone wants to try it out without having to build and install the thing -

I've been using openjourney (and MJ/SD) quite a bit, and it does generate "better" with "less" compared to standard v1.5, but it's nowhere close to Midjourney v4.

Midjourney is so far ahead in generating "good" images across a wide space of styles and subjects using very little prompting. While SD requires careful negative prompts and extravagant prompting to generate something decent.

Very interested in being wrong about this, there's so much happening with SD that it's hard to keep up with what's working best.

MintsJohn15 hours ago

I've been thinking that for months, but recently swung towards being more optimistic about SD again, everything midjourney looks midjourney while SD allows you to create images in any style. MJ really needs to get rid of that MJ style, make it optional as it's undeniably pretty, it's just becoming a little much.

But I still feel 2.x is somehow a degradation of 1.x, its hard to get something decent out of it. The custom training/tuning and all is nice (and certainly the top rain to use SD over MJ, many use cases MJ just can't do) but it should not be used as a band-aid for appearantly inherent shortcomings in the new clip layer (I'm assuming this is where the largest difference comes from, since the Unet is trained on largely the same dataset as 1.x).

throwaway67530913 hours ago

To be fair that's the default style of MJ, you're seeing that a lot because most users don't take the time to add style modifiers to their prompts.

If you add qualifiers such as soft colors, impressionistic, western animation, stencil, etc. you can steer mid journey towards much more personalized styles.

brianjking7 hours ago

Yeah, a lot of Midjourney images are very clearly Midjourney images. Does Midjourney have inpainting/outpainting yet? I admit it's the offering I've evaluated the least.

Midjourneys upscaled images to their current max offering look fantastic, that's for sure. My wife generates some really great stuff just for fun.

ted_bunny13 hours ago

What's SD? No one's said.

agf13 hours ago
tehsauce13 hours ago

stable diffusion

smeagull7 hours ago

SD really shat the bed, and a bunch of projects appear to have stuck with 1.5.

chamwislothe2nd15 hours ago

Every midjourney image has the same feeling to it. A bit 1950s sci-fi artist. I guess it's just that it all looks airbrushed? I can't put my finger on it.

cwkoss14 hours ago

Yeah, I think Midjourney makes fewer unsuccessful images, but harder to get images that dont match their particular style.

TillE11 hours ago

I don't know if that was Midjourney's intent, but it seems like a smart approach. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone and generating quite a lot of ugly garbage, you get consistently good-looking stuff in a certain style. I'm sure it helps their business model.

another-dave2 hours ago

Feels like it's the Instagram model for prompt-generated images.

Anyone can get a camera phone, take a picture and use some free software (e.g. gimp) to get great results in post-processing.

Most non-expert users though want to click on a few pre-defined filters, find one they like & run with it, rather than having more control yet poorer results (precisely because they _aren't_ experts).

IshKebab15 hours ago

It's the science magazine article illustration look.

brianl0476 hours ago

Sounds great

If Midjourney applies this to all their artwork then maybe it alleviates some of the ethical concerns (Midjourney then has a "style" independent of the training data)

ImprobableTruth15 hours ago

I think it's down to having a lot of feedback data due to being a service, SD has its aesthetics ratings, but I assume it pales in comparison.

nickthegreek18 hours ago

This is just a sd checkpoint trained on output of Midjourney. You can load it into a1111 or invokeai for easier usage. If you are looking for new checkpoints, check out the Protogen series though for some really neat stuff.

rahimnathwani18 hours ago

Do you mean this one?

On the same topic, is there some sort of 'awesome list' of finetuned SD models? (something better than just browsing

liuliu17 hours ago
narrator15 hours ago

Looking at this site, I would argue that the canonical "hello world" of an image diffusion model is a picture of a pretty woman. The canonical "hello world" for community chatbots that can run on a consumer GPU will undoubtedly be an AI girlfriend.

nickthegreek17 hours ago

Not sure why this is downvoted. Civitai does in fact list a bunch of fine tuned models and can be sorted by highest ranked, liked, downloaded, etc. It is a good resource. Many of the models are also available in the .safetensor format so you dont have to worry about a pickled checkpoint.

lancesells17 hours ago
rahimnathwani14 hours ago


BTW I love your app! At my desk I use Automatic1111 (because I have a decent GPU), but it's so nice to have a lean back experience on my iPad. Also, even my 6yo son can use it, as he doesn't need to manipulate a mouse.

dr_dshiv5 hours ago

Wow. Is there something like this for text models?

nickthegreek17 hours ago

Here are the protogen models

throwaway646432 hours ago

> This is just a sd checkpoint trained on output of Midjourney

Which is sub-optimal -> bad. You don't want to train on output from an AI because you'll end up with a worse version of whatever that AI is already being bad at (hands, foot, and countless other things). This is the AI feedback loop that people have been talking about.

So instead of figuring out what Midjourney has done to get such good result, people just blatantly straight copied those results and fed them directly into the AI, as true as the art thief stereotype they are.

pdntspa10 hours ago

I just gave Protogen a spin and the diversity of outputs it gave me was abysmal. Every seed for the same (relatively open-ended) prompt used the same color scheme, had the same framing, and the same composition. Whereas with SD 1.5/2.1, the subject would be placed differently in-frame, color schemes were far more varied, and results were far more interesting compositionally. (This is with identical settings between the two models and a random seed)

So unless you want cliche-as-fuck fantasy and samey waifu material, classic SD seems to do a much better job.

vintermann4 hours ago

Yes, protogen is based on merging of checkpoints. The checkpoints it's merged from are also mostly based on merging. Tracing the degree of ancestry back to fine tuned models is hard, but there's a ton of booru-tagged anime and porn in there.

If there's one style I dislike more than the bland Midjourney style, it's the super-smooth "realistic" child faces on adult bodies that protogen (and its own many descendants) spit out.

152334H11 hours ago

HN is just incredibly bad at figuring out what kind of ML projects are worth getting excited about and what aren't.

MJ v4 doesn't even use Stable Diffusion as a base [0]; a fine-tune of the latter will never come close to achieving what they do.

[0] -

kossTKR5 hours ago

It doesn’t use stablediffusion?

I thought everything besides dall-e was sd under the hood.

tsurba5 hours ago

Mj earlier versions were around before SD came out. Before dall-e 2 too, but after 1 IIRC. So I assume they have their own custom setup. Perhaps based on dall-e 1 paper originally (not weights as they were never published) and improved from there.

Eduard15 hours ago

I didn't understand a single word you said :D

lxe15 hours ago

sd checkpoint -- stable diffusion checkpoint. a model weights file that was obtained by tuning the stablediffusion weights file using probably something like dreambooth on some number of midjourney-generated images.

a1111 / invokeai -- stable diffusion UI tools

Protogen series -- popular stablediffusion checkpoints you can download so you can generate content in various styles

quitit13 hours ago

It's actually worse, because automatic and invoke will let you chain up GANs to fix faces and the like, and both have trivial installation procedures.

This offering is like going back to August 2022.

version_five13 hours ago

The huggingface element of these annoys me. Reading the other comments, this is just a stable diffusion checkpoint, so I should be able to download it and not use the diffusers library or whatever other HF stuff. But it's frustrating that it's tied to a for profit ecosystem like this.

I suppose pytorch is / was Facebook, but if feels more arms length. I don't have to install and run a facebook cli to use it (nobody get any ideas).

You don't need a HF cli, you just need to use git LFS (I believe now part of git) to pull the files off of HF (unfortunately still requiring an account with them). It would be nice to see truly open mirrors for this stuff that don't have to involve any company.

rattt10 hours ago

You don't need a HF account to download the checkpoint, can be downloaded straight from the website/browser, direct url:

version_five21 minutes ago

Is it possible to download with curl or git lfs (or other "free" command line tool) with no login? I couldn't find a way to do that with the original sd checkpoints.

stainablesteel12 hours ago

i don't think it's at the point where most individuals can financially support the model training, its a company doing all this because it requires the consolidated funds of a business

give it 10 years and this will change

notpushkin5 hours ago

Maybe crowdfunding is an option today?

Rastonbury4 hours ago

You can download the checkpoint right from hugging face and diffusers is a library you can use for free, I'm not sure what the issue is here, that people need an account?

haghiri1 hour ago

This was my project, but since @prompthero changed their "midjourney-v4 dreambooth" model's name to openjourney, I changed my model name to "Mann-E" which is accessible here: (It's only a checkpoint and under development)

EamonnMR17 hours ago

If it's using a RAIL license isn't it not open source?

nickvincent17 hours ago

Yeah, that's a fair critique, I think the short answer is depends who you ask.

See this FAQ here:


Q: "Are OpenRAILs considered open source licenses according to the Open Source Definition? NO."

A: "THESE ARE NOT OPEN SOURCE LICENSES, based on the definition used by Open Source Initiative, because it has some restrictions on the use of the licensed AI artifact.

That said, we consider OpenRAIL licenses to be “open”. OpenRAIL enables reuse, distribution, commercialization, and adaptation as long as the artifact is not being applied for use-cases that have been restricted.

Our main aim is not to evangelize what is open and what is not but rather to focus on the intersection between open and responsible licensing."

FWIW, there's a lot of active discussion in this space, and it could be the case that e.g. communities settle on releasing code under OSI-approved licenses and models/artifacts under lowercase "open" but use-restricted licenses.

kmeisthax14 hours ago

My biggest critique of OpenRAIL is that it's not entirely clear that AI is copyrightable[0] to begin with. Specifically the model weights are just a mechanical derivation of training set data. Putting aside the "does it infringe[1]" question, there is zero creativity in the training process. All the creativity is either in the source images or the training code. AI companies scrape source images off the Internet without permission, so they cannot use the source images to enforce OpenRAIL. And while they would own the training code, nobody is releasing training code[2], so OpenRAIL wouldn't apply there.

So I do not understand how the resulting model weights are a subject of copyright at all, given that the US has firmly rejected the concept of "sweat of the brow" as a copyrightability standard. Maybe in the EU you could claim database rights over the training set you collected. But the US refuses to enforce those either.

[0] I'm not talking about "is AI art copyrightable" - my personal argument would be that the user feeding it prompts or specifying inpainting masks is enough human involvement to make it copyrightable.

The Copyright Office's refusal to register AI-generated works has been, so far, purely limited to people trying to claim Midjourney as a coauthor. They are not looking over your work with a fine-toothed comb and rejecting any submissions that have badly-painted hands.

[1] I personally think AI training is fair use, but a court will need to decide that. Furthermore, fair use training would not include fair use for selling access to the AI or its output.

[2] The few bits of training code I can find are all licensed under OSI/FSF approved licenses or using libraries under such licenses.

nickvincent14 hours ago

This is a great point.

Not a lawyer, but as I understand the most likely way this question will be answered (for practical purposes in the US) is via the ongoing lawsuits against GitHub Copilot and Stable Diffusion and Midjourney.

I personally agree the creativity is in the source images and the training code, but think that unless it is decided that for legal purposes "AI Artifacts" (the files containing model weights, embedding, etc.) are just transformations of training data and therefore content and subject to the same legal standards as content, I see a lot of value in trying to let people license training and code and models separately. And if models are just transformations of content, I expect we can adjust the norms around licensing to achieve similar outcomes (i.e., trying to balance open sharing with some degree of creator-defined use restriction).

nl9 hours ago

The co-pilot and Dalle lawsuits aren't about if the training weights file can be copyrighted though (they are about if people's work can be freely used for training).

This is a different issue where the OP is arguing that the weights file is not eligible for copyright in the US. That's an interesting and separate point which I haven't really seen addressed before.

twoodfin11 hours ago

How would you distinguish “just a mechanical derivation of training set data” from compiled binary software? The latter seems also to be a mechanical derivation from the source code, but inherits the same protections under copyright law.

kmeisthax11 hours ago
cwkoss14 hours ago

Is the choice of what to train upon not creative? I feel like it can be.

kaoD13 hours ago

> nobody is releasing training code

Interesting. Why is this happening?

taneq9 hours ago

“Mechanical derivation” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here. What qualifies something as “mechanical”? Any algorithm? Or just digital algorithms? Any process entirely governed by the laws of physics?

skybrian16 hours ago

Fair enough. "Source available" would be better than "open source" in this case, to avoid misleading people. (You do want them to read the terms.)

daveloyall15 hours ago

I'm not familiar with machine learning.

But, I'm familiar with poking around in source code repos!

I found this . It's a giant binary file. A big binary blob.

(The format of the blob is python's "pickle" format: a binary serialization of an in-memory object, used to store an in-memory object and later load it, perhaps on a different machine.)

But, I did not find any source code for generating that file. Am I missing something?

Shouldn't there at least be a list of input images, etc and some script that uses them to train the model?

kmeisthax14 hours ago
JoshTriplett16 hours ago

Yeah, this should not have a headline of "open source". Really disappointing that this isn't actually open, or even particularly close to being open.

EamonnMR16 hours ago

Seems like 'the lawyers who made the license' and the OSI might be good authorities on what's open source. I'd love to hear a good FSF rant about RAIL though.

dmm16 hours ago

Are ML models even eligible for copyright protection? The code certainly but what about the trained weights?

charcircuit15 hours ago

My thought is that it is a derivative work from the training data. The creativity comes from what you choose to or not to include.

nl8 hours ago

Well Open Source licenses don't make sense for training artifacts for the same reason Creative Commons licenses are used for written and artists "open" works rather than Open Source.

nagonago13 hours ago

> Also, you can make a carrier! How you may ask? it is easy. In our time, we have a lot of digital asset marketplaces such as NFT marketplaces that you can sell your items and make a carrier. Never underestimate the power open source software provides.

At first I thought this might be a joke site, the poorly written copy reads like a parody.

Also, as others have pointed out, this is basically just yet another Stable Diffusion checkpoint.

notpushkin4 hours ago

This particular wording sounds like it could be a poor translation from Russian. Sdelat' karjeru (literally: to make a career) means to make a living doing something, or to succeed in doing some job.

titaniumtown16 hours ago

Someone should do this but for chatGPT. massive undertaking though


vnjxk16 hours ago

look up "open assistant"

titaniumtown16 hours ago
88stacks16 hours ago

I was about to integrate this into but it requires a write token to hugging face which makes no sense. It’s a model that you download. Why does it need write access to hugging Face!?!

bootloop16 hours ago

Does it really, have you tried it or do you mean because of the documentation? Just skimmed through the code, haven't really seen anything related to uploading. Might not even be required.

whitten7 hours ago

Maybe this is an obvious question but if you generate pictures using any of these tools, can you create the same picture/character/person with different poses, or backgrounds, such as for telling a story, and/or creating a comic book, or would you get a new picture every time, such as for the cover of a magazine ?

How reproducible would the pictures be ?

Narciss6 hours ago

Yes, you can create an AI model based on a few pictures of the “model” (the model can also be AI generated) and then you can generate images of all kinds with that model included.

Check out this video from prompt muse as an example:

KaoruAoiShiho17 hours ago

How is it equivalent, it's not nearly as good. Some transparency about how close it is to MJ would be nice though, because it can still be useful.

shostack7 hours ago

I'm failing to train a model off of this in the Automatic1111 webui Dreambooth extension. Training on vanilla 1.5 works fine. It throws a bunch of errors I don't have in front of me on my phone.

Anyone else have similar issues? I loaded it both from a locally downloaded version of the model as well as from inputting in the huggingface path and my token with write (?!?) permissions.

Anyone run into similar issues? Suggestions?

vjbknjjvugi18 hours ago

why does this need write permissions on my hf account?

deathtrader66618 hours ago

"For using OpenJourney you have to make an account in huggingface and make a token with write permission."

admax88qqq17 hours ago

But why

techlatest_net6 hours ago

Some self promotion. We got Stable Diffusion made available as SaaS on AWS[1] with per minute pricing and the unique thing with our SaaS offering is you can shutdown/restart the SaaS environment yourself . You will get charged on per minute basis only when the environment is running.

Also, if you want to try the SaaS for free, feel free to submit a request using our contact-us form [2]

The Web interface for SD is based on InvokeAI [3]

[1] [2] [3]

Simon3215 hours ago

Keep in mind the real Midjourney uses a completely different architecture, this is just a checkpoint for stable diffusion.

vintermann4 hours ago

Who knows what Midjourney uses. We've got only claims in discords to go by.

My guess is they do internally a slightly more careful and less porn/anime oriented version of what the 4chan/protogen people do. Make lots of fine tuned checkpoints, merge them, fine tune on a selection of outputs from that, merge more, throw away most of it, try again etc. Maybe there are other models in the mix, but I wouldn't bet on it.

sourabh03agr13 hours ago

Looks good but this works well only for gamey, sci-fi kind of themes. Any suggestions for prompts which can yield interesting flowcharts to explain technical concepts?

moneywoes14 hours ago

Is there a solid comparison of midjourney, stable diffusion, dalle 2

moffkalast14 hours ago

I've only tried out stable diffusion to any real extent, but seeing what other people have gotten out of the other two I can easily say it's the least performant of the bunch.

sdenton412 hours ago

I would be hesitant to pass judgement if only playing with one. It's easy to compare the deluge you've picked through to other people's best picked cherries...

moffkalast2 hours ago

Well sure, but after hours and hours of messing with params my cherry picked best cases were still lightyears away from the average Midjourney example. Maybe I'm just bad at it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

d3ckard5 hours ago

I actually got better examples running SD on my M1 MBA than from my mid journey trial.

rks40415 hours ago

noob question - how hard is it to setup and run this on a windows machine? I've had bad luck with python and package management in windows in the past but that was a long time ago.

rm99914 hours ago

It's gotten much easier in the 24 hours because of this binary release of a popular stable diffusion setup+UI:

(you still need a Nvidia GPU)

Extract the zip file and run the batch file. Find the cptk (checkpoint) file for a model you want. You can find openjourney here: Add it to the model directory.

Then you just need to go to a web browser and you can use the AUTOMATIC1111 webui. More information here:

jpe906 hours ago

If you use the webui it's a single git clone and an optional file edit to set some CLI flags and that's it. You download models and move them to a directory to use them. Recently they introduced a binary release for people that are unfamiliar with git.

andybak15 hours ago

Yeah - it's a real pain (and I'm a Python dev)

I just use

- A few manual steps but mainly a well tested installed that does it all for you.

rks40415 hours ago

thank you, I appreciate the honesty! I checked out the guide, it looks promising and will give it a try for the next system I assemble

indigodaddy16 hours ago

Looks like I can’t use this on M1/2?

liuliu14 hours ago

This is just openjourney model fine-tuned with Dreambooth. You can use any of these tools: Draw Things, Mochi Diffusion, DiffusionBee, AUTOMATIC1111 UI on M1 / M2 with this model. (I wrote Draw Things).

sophrocyne12 hours ago

Hey all - InvokeAI maintainer here. A few folks mentioned us in other comments, so posting a few steps to try out this model locally.

Our Repo:

You will need one of the following:

    An NVIDIA-based graphics card with 4 GB or more VRAM memory.
    An Apple computer with an M1 chip.
Installation Instructions:

Download the model from Huggingface, add it through our Model Mgmt UI, and then start prompting.


Also, will plug we're actively looking for people who want to contribute to our project! Hope you enjoy using the tool.

d3ckard5 hours ago

Out of curiosity, will M2s work out of the box?

sophrocyne22 minutes ago

Ought to! There are some enhancements coming down the pipe for Macs w/ CoreML, so while they won't be as fast as having a higher end NVidia, they'll continue to get performance increases, as well.