ANDREI KOVALEV'S
MIDJOURNEY
GUIDE

HOLIDAY POSTCARDS
IN MIDJOURNEY V4
DEC 16 2022
It's that time of the year again! But let's be honest. It's always that or this time of the year: Halloween, Saint Valentine's Day, Christmas, Easter, Chinese New Year, you name it.

So many reasons to send a token of attention or affection to loved ones! I'm talking about postcards, and with this research, I want to explore how they can be designed with Midjourney AI.

Here are some styles that will help you (with the touch of your artistic spark) to create a unique and memorable postcard for various holidays!
Star Wars Day postcard by Laurie Greasley --ar 2:3 --v 4
Marine Biologist Day postcard by Ernst Haeckel --ar 2:3 --v 4
International Hacker Day postcard. Glitch art --ar 2:3 --v 4

TECHNICALITIES

Of course, sometimes, to get your postcard to printing, you have to fiddle with it. That might require basic Photoshop skills: to remove nonsensical writing, to add your own text, or to fix a glitch or two (yes, Midjourney is still bad with hands :)). I will briefly cover this postproduction stage and upscaling for printing at the end of this post.

For this experiment, I used the same prompt: [holiday] postcard by [artist] --ar 2:3 --v 4 or [holiday] postcard in style of [technique or genre] --ar 2:3. In captions, I will only mention an artist or a technique.

Also, I chose benchmark holidays a bit randomly, so sorry I missed your favorite! I hope you will be able to fill for me and generate some amazing postcards for it!

CHRISTMAS POSTCARD

no style modifier
by Felice Casorati
by Choi Jeong-hwa
by Ivan Bilibin
by Tyrus Wong
as Photogram
by Beatrix Potter
by Joana Vasconcelos
by Alson Skinner Clark

NEW YEAR POSTCARD

by John Bauer
by Robert Delaunay
Folk art
in Art Deco style

CHINESE NEW YEAR POSTCARD

by Ambrosius Bosschaert
by Felice Casorati
by Choi Jeong-hwa
by Ivan Bilibin
by Okuda San Miguel
by Nicholas Hely Hutchinson
no style modifier
by William Morris
by Yoh Nagao
Note how Midjourney will sometimes devote a postcard to an animal. This is what happens if you specify this year's animal in your prompts:
Chinese New Year of the Rabbit postcard. Psychedelic art --ar 2:3 --v 4
Chinese New Year of the Rabbit postcard by Dan Matutina --ar 2:3 --v 4
Chinese New Year of the Rabbit postcard by Anne Bachelier --ar 2:3 --v 4
Chinese New Year Rabbit postcard by Keith Negley --ar 2:3 --v 4

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY POSTCARD

by Beatrix Potter
by Gerald Brom
by Choi Jeong-hwa
by Sergei Parajanov
in Fairy Kei style
in Fractal art style
by Kawacy
by William Morris
by Aries Moros

Easter POSTCARD

no style modifier
by Tyrus Wong
by Felice Casorati
in Cloisonnism style

4th of july POSTCARD

no style modifier
by Ambrosius Bosschaert
in Abstract Expressionism style
by David Hockney
in Constructivism style
by Butcher Billy
by Franz Marc
Woodblock print
by Paul Rand

Halloween POSTCARD

no style modifier
by Felice Casorati
by Charles Addams
by Francis Bacon
by Horace Pippin
by Ivan Bilibin
by Ravi Zupa
by Anja Millen
by Tyrus Wong

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS POSTCARD

by Aubrey Beardsley
by Herb Lubalin
by Wu Guanzhong
by Tarsila do Amaral
by Nick Veasey
by Alphons Mucha
by Ravi Zupa
by Anja Millen
by Ambrosius Bosschaert

HAPPY BIRTHDAY POSTCARD

by Ralph Steadman
by Yoh Nagao
by Alan Fletcher
by Keith Negley
And from here, you can customize your prompts with more personal details related to the person you devote your postcard to. That way you will get unique and thoughtful results!
Merry Christmas to an introvert postcard by Edward Gorey --ar 2:3 --v 4
Happy Birthday to a cute geeky girl postcard. Pixel art --ar 2:3 --v 4
Easter postcard in noir detective style --ar 2:3 --v 4

EDITING MIDJOURNEY GENERATIONS WITH PHOTOSHOP

Oftentimes, Midjourney generations will feature a nonsensical writing (DRARIIIIA), or you might want to add your own text to it. I do with the most basic Photoshop instruments. In most cases, it's Content-aware fill to remove things or add parts of the image, and Text to add (surprise) text. :)

UPSCALING FOR PRINTING

One day, I will post a proper post on upscaling your generations, but I will keep it short today. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Long-time photographer, I am used to keeping my images organized with Adobe Lightroom, which happens to have a built-in (AI-powered!) upscaler. It can double the resolution of your images. With the current Midjourney V4 upscaler, this allows you to go up to 2048x3072px (for 2:3/3:2 aspect ratio) or 2048x2048 (for square images). Technically, you can, but that's some degree of headache :]
Another thing I use Lightroom for is postproduction. There are a few easy steps I increase sharpness dramatically and then add grain to soften the image back, in a more organic way.

All that might be enough for a good quality 20x30 size print (depending on the initial generation quality, of course). Upscaler in V3 easily allows 40 by 60cm prints if you upscale them properly.
In fact, there are many ways to upscale your generations dramatically. But I will only mention two.
The first one is free but requires some tech savviness. I honestly wasn't motivated enough to get into that, but I see how people get excellent results! Here is an insightful post on Medium on how to use free neural networks for upscaling.
Another is Gigapixel AI. It is moderately pricey, but it's a one-time deal. And then you get all the updates forever and can upscale images up to 16 times the original. Of course, at this level, it only works with already great photos, to begin with. V4 generations are not that good, but in my experience, Gigapixel can smoothly upscale V4 square images to 4096x4096 without losing too much in quality. Good old sharpen+noise—and the results are ready to be a poster, not a postcard.

Let's see how Lightroom's Super Resolution compares to Gigapixel AI.
[ORIGINAL PNG]
Brutally stretched to 2048 ×3072 in Photoshop
[LIGHTROOM SUPER RESOLUTION]
Upscaled to 2048 ×3072
[GIGAPIXEL AI]
Upscaled to 2048 ×3072
I edited the Gigapixel AI upscaled image to add the text: 2023 and "Happy New Year 兔 you," where tù 兔 ("rabbit, hare") stands for English "to," so it reads "Happy New Year to You!".

I then sent the result to my local lab to print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic paper. It's dense (340g/m²), semi-glossy, has a subtle metallic glow, and adds a beautiful kick to colors.
[ORIGINAL GENERATION]
Chinese New Year of Rabbit postcard. Psychedelic art --ar 2:3 --v 4
[EDITED IMAGE]
Upscaled to 4096 × 6144 in Gigapixel.AI
[PRINTED POSTCARDS]
10×15 cm
Once again, I will do a separate post about upscaling soon. I hope this post helps you create your own unique postcards, personal and meaningful.

Happy That Time Of The Year, everyone!

Yours,
Andrei

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ANDREI KOVALEV'S
MIDJOURNEY
GUIDE

Series of observations and lab experiments exploring and showcasing various aspects of Midjourney AI and its applications in real life!

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