MidJourney: Cartooning

From Art Mechanicum

Quick guide on cartoon style with MidJourney - going for that flat, single color per area look. Since Midjourney loves to add additional detail on upscale any texture throws things off here.

The Prompt[edit | edit source]

Starting off, you'll want to get your prompt down. There are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Most of your prompt should work like any other MJ prompt describing what you want (either multiprompt or not)
  • Include a prompt of "vector cartoon, thick outlines::1" and "shading::-1" (equal or higher weight with your other prompts if you aren't using 1)
  • Use --style and give it the style of a cartoon or cartoonist
  • Use --uplight to have it add less detail
  • Consider (and play with) different values for --stop to have it reduce detail

For example you might use a prompt like:

bedroom with a tv, drapes :: bedroom with drapes, with a bed in the middle and a tv on the wall :: vector cartoon, thick outlines :: shading::-1 --style Simpsons --uplight

And get something back like:

Bedroom, cartoon style, direct result

Here you can see there's a bunch of shading and detail that we don't want, but otherwise it's pretty close in style. You may be able to reduce this additional texture with --stop (start between 60 - 80 to see where you continue to get what you want while not including the texture / detail).

The Cleanup[edit | edit source]

If your original image doesn't quite clean up how you'd like (despite playing with --stop values), you'll need to do some cleanup.

Generically speaking, you need tools that can handle Posterizing your image, Image Trace to vector, and Recolor. I'll explain the process using the tools I use (Photoshop and Illustrator), but there are free alternatives available (Gimp and Inkscape for example).

  1. Open the image up in your Posterizing tool, and run it through the filter. It doesn't have to be perfect at this point - but you're trying to minimize colors while preserving the look.
    Bedroom, cartoon style, after posterizing
  2. (Optional) I like to convert it to a vector to recolor in Illustrator (given it has some excellent tools to specify which colors become which other ones manually), but that may not be necessary depending on your setup. This resulting image should look almost the same to step 1
  3. Recolor by mapping colors to match the original as you like. For me, Illustrator does a decent job of getting it almost right, and I usually only have to tweak a few colors where the automatic algorithm doesn't *quite* get things right:
    Bedroom, cartoon style, final

That's all there is to it! If someone discovers how to do this in MidJourney directly without additional steps... Please update!

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