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“Stunning”—Midjourney update wows AI artists with camera-like feature

Enlarge / Midjourney 5.2 allows “zooming out” on synthesized images. The original synthetic image is shown in the red dotted box here. (credit: Midjourney)

On Thursday, Midjourney unveiled version 5.2 of its AI-powered image synthesis model, which includes a new “zoom out” feature that allows maintaining a central synthesized image while automatically building out a larger scene around it, simulating zooming out with a camera lens.

Similar to outpainting—an AI imagery technique introduced by OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 in August 2022—Midjourney’s zoom-out feature can take an existing AI-generated image and expand its borders while keeping its original subject centered in the new image. But unlike DALL-E and Photoshop’s Generative Fill feature, you can’t select a custom image to expand. At the moment, v5.2’s zoom-out only works on images generated within Midjourney, a subscription AI image-generator service.

On the Midjourney Discord server (still the official interface for Midjourney, although plans are underway to change that), users can experiment with zooming out by generating any v5.2 image (now the default) and upscaling a result. After that, special “Zoom” buttons appear below the output. You can zoom out by a factor of 1.5x, 2x, or a custom value between 1 and 2. Another button, called “Make Square,” will generate material around the existing image in a way that creates a 1:1 square aspect ratio.

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