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  • Writer's picturekyle Hailey

Midjourney's New "Permutations": Create Limitless Combinations with Image Prompts and {Braces}

Updated: Apr 8, 2023




Midjourney's's new functionality allows users to create unique image combinations by giving it an image prompt and using braces {} to specify multiple keywords. Each keyword within the braces will be run one at a time to generate a new image. Additionally, users can combine two sets of braces to create even more unique image combinations. For example, a prompt of "/imagine a {cyberpunk, vaporwave, art deco} {cat, dog}" will generate six different images of either a cyberpunk, vaporwave, or art deco style with a cat or dog. This new feature opens up endless possibilities for creative image generation.










If you have the Pro Plan (with fast hours), then you have access to permutations! Using {special punctuation} inside your prompt, you can swap in different reference images, weights, parameter values, subjects, scenes, actions, emotions, aesthetic styles, and more! This special { } mark-up will tell Midjourney to run permutations or combinations of prompts per your specifications. Curly-brackets { } or braces { } around comma-separated lists create permutations. A prompt with { } in it looks like this, and is called a template:

A {crying, laughing} person stands in a {parking lot, forest}. {--s 1000, --s 0}  --v 5

This will produce every possible permutation of your terms:

A laughing person stands in a parking lot. --s 1000  --v 5
A laughing person stands in a parking lot. --s 0  --v 5
A laughing person stands in a forest. --s 1000 --v 5
A laughing person stands in a forest. --s 0  --v 5
A crying person stands in a parking lot. --s 1000  --v 5
A crying person stands in a parking lot. --s 0  --v 5
A crying person stands in a forest. --s 1000 --v 5
A crying person stands in a forest. --s 0  --v 5

We say, "My template created eight prompt permutations." (The command allows you to generate as many as 40 permutations, max.)


You can add permutations anywhere you can edit a prompt:

  • In the remix workflow

  • In the describe workflow

  • In the imagine workflow

You can even nest{ } inside other { } if you are careful to close the braces correctly.

A {sculpture, painting} of a {seagull {on a pier, on a beach}, poodle {on a sofa, in a truck}}. --v 5

This will produce every possible permutation of your terms:

A sculpture of a seagull on a pier.  --v 5
A sculpture of a seagull on a beach.  --v 5
A sculpture of a poodle on a sofa.  --v 5
A sculpture of a poodle in a truck.  --v 5
A painting of a seagull on a pier.  --v 5
A painting of a seagull on a beach.  --v 5
A painting of a poodle on a sofa.  --v 5
A painting of a poodle in a truck.  --v 5

You can nest several layers deep, but again your max number of permutations will always be 40.


IMPORTANT: The permutations will run against your purchased GPU minutes, so use them with caution! If your template generates 5 or more permutations, you will be asked to confirm and given the option to edit the prompt to reduce its number of combinations.


Parameters.


You can change the type or value of parameters per prompt.

A hipster leans against a tree. {--ar 3:2, --ar 2:3} --v 5  

will produce two prompts, one of each aspect ratio

A hipster leans against a tree. {--v 4, --v 5}  

will produce two prompts, one of each version of Midjourney

A hipster leans against a tree. {--c 0, --c 100} --v 5  

will produce two prompts, one of each value for chaos Group as many or as few as you like, for example:

{--c 100 --ar 3:2 --v 5, --c 0 --ar 3:2 --v 4, --c 50 --ar 9:16 --v 3}  

Format as you like, for example:

--c {0, 100} or --ar {2:3, 3:2}

but watch out for spacing errors when using templates with parameters. Note: Permutations won't run if you use the --repeat N (--r N) parameter.



Weights.


You can change the value of weights per prompt.


Example of a slider template to make sure something shows up:

A blue-skinned elf warrior leans against a tree, in the style of D&D fantasy art:: {blue-skinned::0.1, blue-skinned::0.3, blue-skinned::0.5}

…will create three prompts with increasing values on the "slider" of blue-skinned, so you can find out quickly which weight makes the blue skin appear. (The answer is: All of them!)


As for formatting, you could just as easily do it this way:

A blue-skinned elf warrior leans against a tree, in the style of D&D fantasy art:: blue-skinned::{0.1, 0.3, 0.5}

Example of a negative prompt template to make sure something doesn't show up:

A blue-skinned elf warrior leans against a tree, in the style of D&D fantasy art:: {horns::-0.1, horns::-0.3, horns::-0.5}

…will create three prompts with decreasing values on the "slider" of horns, so you can find out quickly which weight makes the undesirable addition of horns disappear. (The answer is: -0.1 is enough, any more than that and their elf-ears disappear too!)


Or you could do it this way:

A blue-skinned elf warrior leans against a tree, in the style of D&D fantasy art:: {horns::-0.1, horns::-0.3, horns::-0.5}

Use the { }s where they make the most sense to you. When making templates that change weights, make sure you do not leave a trailing space between the :: and the { }.

Reference images.


Templates help with puppeteering! Using permutations, you can (among other things) place characters in different scenes using a single prompt. So many combinations to explore!


Learn more about puppets: https://bit.ly/Clarinet-MJ-Puppets


Example of a permutation using image references:


{https:://media.discordapp.net/Character-LADYPINK.jpg, https:://media.discordapp.net/Character-LORDBLUE.jpg} {https:://media.discordapp.net/Setting-PARKINGLOT.jpg, https:://media.discordapp.net/Setting-GARDEN.jpg} A royal figure leans against a tree. --ar 3:2 --v 5
  • - The royal figure will become LADYPINK or LORDBLUE.

  • - The tree will appear in a PARKINGLOT or a GARDEN.

  • - You will get prompts that show LADYPINK in both settings, and LORDBLUE in both settings.


Ultimately, the template and the reference image need to cooperate. If one of your templates involves Lady Pink, but your prompt combination says A man leans against a tree then you will see Lady's face blended on a man's body. So learn to group your image references with templates that cooperate best with them. If the template "fights" the image reference in any combination, the results will be somewhat chaotic. Watch your pronouns, because they will be in play. Notice in the example template we said A royal figure to keep the gender unspecified in the prompt. The lack of gender in the prompt, however, confused the way the characters were rendered. It would have been better to run Lady Pink in her two settings with a she template, and Lord Blue in his two settings with a he template, so that the resulting prompts could be more supportive of the character appearance via pronouns.

Style and aesthetics.


Styles and aesthetics often include commas, so you'll need to mark the commas with an \escape character\ to ensure that they are interpreted correctly.

{soft lighting\, photorealistic\, timeless elegance, diffuse lighting\, fantasy art\, steampunk}

In this template, the comma separating the two combinations occurs after the word elegance. The other commas have an \escape character\ and will not be treated as separators.


Subjects, props, actions, emotion, anything!


All parts of the prompt can become permutations! As long as you have the GPU minutes to spend on the permutations, you can explore substituting characters, punctuation, words, weights, parameters, values, and image references. As you discover new shortcuts using templates, tag @clarinet in prompt-chat so we can add it to the FAQ!


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