Last updated August 4, 2022 | After nearly three months as a daily user, I still love making Midjourney portraits. With all of this experience under my belt, my Midjourney examples—generated straight from the bot—keep improving as my prompt-writing skills get better. Now that I have rendered several thousand portraits (and cleaned up at least 100 of those outputs), I wanted to share some of my tried-and-true tips for fixing MidJourney faces.
If you make AI portraits using MidJourney, you know I’m talking about those faces and bodies that—no matter what adjustments you make to your prompt or variations you run—still look a little off.
Read on to get the skinny my recommended four easy ways for fixing MidJourney faces with strange clothes or wonky facial features—eyes, ears, noses, lips, teeth, etc.—even if you don’t have years of retouching experience or even license for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Estimated reading time: 17 minutes
Do You Have to Be a Photoshop Whiz to Fix Midjourney Faces?
Knowing how to use Photoshop certainly makes cleaning up faces created with MidJourney easier. And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that the same skills I’ve used every day for the last 20 years in my day job as a designer helps me make AI art creations look better than the default output from MidJourney’s bot.
But, you don’t have to be an expert at Photoshop to improve any rendered MidJourney faces you’re not 100% happy with if you use the tricks of an art director for post-processing and “beauty retouching.”
I can’t count the number of times a client has given me a lackluster stock photo or low-quality image to use in a marketing piece. Learn from my experience and steal these four strategies for making not-so-great pictures look better on the fly. Use them together, in pairs, or individually. Every picture will have different needs for which different ways to fix will be appropriate.
Practice definitely makes perfect! As you play around, you’ll get more comfortable with these tactics. The more you play around, the easier it will be to know which tool or trick will give you the best solution when you want to fix a MidJourney face.
Four Ways to Improve MidJourney Faces … Without Using Photoshop
MidJourney’s bot always blows my mind at how absolutely amazing (and quickly) it can take a simple prompt and turn it into awesome AI art. But, if you’ve been using the tool for a spell, it’s likely that you’ve probably also created a few monsters that could use a digital “facelift,” too.
Here are four ways you can improve MidJourney faces that need some love.
1. Adjust Messy Parts With Other AI ART Tools
If you want to keep your work entirely digital and use only “smart” text-to-image bots to finalize a face you’ve created with MidJourney, there are some programs you can use for targeted clean-up tasks. Two that I like to play with to complete touch-ups to problem areas on MidJourney faces are FaceApp and Luminar AI.
- FaceApp Apple | Google (free with a pro-version available with expanded editing tools)
- ARC: Face Restoration (free, works best on desktop)
- Luminar AI (free trial, $47-lifetime access)
The benefits of FaceApp include that it’s really an all-in-one solution. Plus, it really is so easy to use. You can solve a lot of problems directly there, such as:
- Smoothing Out Skin (it is good at eliminating wrinkles and hiding other distracting artifacts)
- Correcting Smiles (it can help you fix strange lips and get rid of Chiclet-like baby teeth)
- Improving Hairlines (it can correct “bad hair days” with one click and even switch up hair color)
- Changing Makeup, Glasses, and Even Facial Hair (it includes options to tweak these features)
FaceApp’s pro version also includes a full range of effects and filters. You can even do tasks like face swaps in seconds to further refine a MidJourney face that is close to being perfect. Just be careful to not go too far and get rid of all of the characteristics that help make your portrait unique and interesting.
In terms of other drawbacks, you should be aware that there has been a lot of buzz about cybersecurity concerns related to FaceApp and data security. I’m not an expert in this area so if it’s of concern to you I’d recommend checking Google for more authoritative information before you download and install the app.
ARC: Face Restoration
ARC does one thing and it does it pretty well. That is to say, if you just want to smooth out a MidJourney face that’s a bit rough around the edges, it will smooth out your original output.
It won’t remove a second nose or add in a missing ear, but it will help you get more realistic results if that’s what you’re going for in your finished AI art.
Note: If you are curious how ARC stacks up against other popular and free (or free trial) AI apps (e.g., Artomaton, Fotor, FaceMagic, Fotor, Gradient, and Remini), wonder no more. I tested my original Frank Sinatra image in all and got just about the same results as you see in the example above. So, if you prefer one of those other options and already have an account, there’s no need to change from your usual “one-tap-to-enhance” choice. Just stick with what you like best to get similar results.
Though its tools are not nearly as robust as those available in the neural filters area of Photoshop, Luminar AI is good for making quick changes to MidJourney faces.
One of my favorite features with Luminar AI is its “Skin Defects Removal” tool that is smart enough to leave the bits in your portrait that help make the face distinctive (like freckles) while removing anything odd. Bensguide has a nice video on YouTube that shows how this works.
What About DALL-E2?
Don’t get me wrong … I love DALL-E2, but I can’t recommend it as a tool for cleaning up your MidJourney faces that need some help where you erase the problem areas and have its tool recreate something better.
That’s because, when you’re invited to use DALL-E2, you have to agree to their current policy that prohibits uploading realistic faces. So while you could potentially edit a MidJourney face directly in DALL-E2 (e.g., using its eraser tool to remove and reimagine any problematic parts of your portrait), using their bot in this way might get you kicked off that platform because it would be breaking their rules.
However, if your Midjourney face isn’t in the “realistic” realm, there’s nothing in their guidelines that says you can’t use its AI tool to clean-up art that is more fantastical.
I used MidJourney to make a Funko Pop version of Steve Buscemi, but their text-to-image bot kept adding way more detail than I wanted. Inserting the rendering into DALL-E2 and using the erase tool to have its bot “redraw” the overdrawn parts was a quick and easy way to finalize my image.
To sum up, if you are trying to create realistic images, it’s better to save DALL-E2 for complete start-to-finish portrait creation to abide by its terms of service guidelines. Though different than MidJourney, with enough prompt refinement and patience, you can create some cool AI faces with the tool.
What About the Wombo Dream Mobile App?
Alas, Wombo Dream’s bot turned my Frank Sinatra image into an even bigger mess with its AI post-processing, even though I had “no style” selected.
Sadly, it’s not worth using to fix your MidJourney faces … unless, of course, you want to turn your original into something more akin to Sloth from Goonies or Potato Jesus.
2. Hide Distracting FlawS
Have you ever heard someone tell a photographer that “this is my good side” when they have their picture taken? They may be doing this because they prefer one side of their face or just want to hide a zit.
Obviously making tweaks before an image is rendered is always ideal, but sadly just yet you don’t have that kind of control with AI art renderings (without really overwhelming your prompts with lots of –no commands).
When it comes to fixing a MidJourney face that already exists, a great way to hide or minimize flaws is to use “beauty-enhancing” techniques. Here are some of my favorites.
Creative Post-processing tricks
- Lighting Effects (e.g., lens flare)
- Radial Blur
Recommended Free Tools
- Adobe Express
3. Crop Out Iffy Bits
Cropping is an artist’s secret weapon. A good crop adds drama while helping you remove parts of a Midjourney faces that aren’t working.
Don’t be afraid to make cosmetic crops that eliminate parts of your MidJourney face that would be hard to fix using other tools and techniques.
The biggest negative with this strategy is that it only really works for problems on the periphery of your image, like bad haircuts, weird shoulders, goofy necklines, strange ears, funky chin, etc. Unless you want a dramatic result, you can’t crop to fix noses, mouths, or eyes of MidJourney faces.
How to Tell a Story With Your Cropping
Cropping a MidJourney face is an art. For a more interesting portrait, think about your final presentation. Think about framing and consider what you want the viewer to feel.
If you’re familiar with the rule of thirds, keep that in mind to see if there are opportunities to use this design principle to your advantage with your cropping.
Here are some common portrait cropping ideas to consider:
Try Eye-Level Cropping
Struggling to fix an out-of-whack nose or mouth but have a MidJourney face with amazing eyes, eyebrows, forehead, and hair? Go for drama and zoom to create a more engaging, unexpected composition.
Or, if you have someone known for one specific feature and MidJourney nailed that part of the face in its output, you can even choose to crop to focus on only that of the face, all by itself.
Avoid Joint Cropping
Often, if a photo makes you feel weird, it’s because the photographer or designer cropped it at a joint. For the best possible result with portraits that show more of a person’s body, try to stick with crops that don’t hit at a person’s joints.
Use the Power of Consistency to Your Advantage
Are you presenting your MidJourney face as part of a series alongside other AI portraits? If so, consistent cropping will improve the flow of your pictures. Think about the rows of smiling faces in your yearbook or the video grid of actors in the opening credits of the Brady Bunch. Consistency in cropping so heads are the same size and eyes line up will help to add harmony, even if other aspects of your portraits are varied.
Put Your Portrait in a Shape
Want your crop to look more like a deliberate design decision? Put your image in a shape, like an oval, star, or heart. Choose a shape that will help you hide weird parts.
Experiment With Rotation
As you make a crop, consider also flipping your Midjourney face 180 degrees. Or maybe just twist it to the side. Changing the rotation of your portrait is another way to distract your viewer from imperfections.
Recommended Free Tools
4. Put Your Portrait into a Design
Create a MidJourney Face “Collage”
In high school, when I would get a forehead zit, I’d wear swooping bangs to hide my blemish. I still use this trick to divert eyes from occasional acne outbreaks.
Including type or layering color blocks, shapes, graphic elements, and gradients overtop of your AI portrait is just a digital way to “add bangs” to your image … except this trick is a lot more flexible.
Channel your inner Warhol and get kitschy. Turn that not-so-wonderful Midjourney face that’s hard to fix into the striking design feature. Convert your art into a faux album cover, book jacket, magazine cover, Wheaties box front, poster, etc.! Just have fun with it.
Depending on where and how you place these components on your image, it is a quick and easy solution. Consider it as a way of hiding flaws on just about any AI face.
Recommended Free Tool
- A Design Kit: Collage Maker (free, with the option of in-app purchases)
How to Quickly Animate Your MidJourney Face
I can’t explain why, but if a not-so-great MidJourney face is moving, its flaws seem a lot less noticeable. And, a quick way to add motion to your AI art is to upload it to MyHeritage’s Deep Nostalgia tool.
Best of all? It’s completely free. To use it, all you need to do is log in with your Gmail or Facebook account. Then, you’ll be asked to agree to get their marketing messages. (You can later unsubscribe from if you don’t find them useful to receive.)
How to Easily Remove the Background From a Face Created With Midjourney
What if the problem isn’t with your MidJourney-generated portrait but with its background? PFPMaker has a free tool (no login necessary). You can use on it to remove backgrounds from images in seconds. Even if the subject’s body isn’t clearly defined, it will make a decent guess and trim out your image appropriately.
How to Turn a MidJourney Face Into an Avatar
PFPMaker can do more than just help you remove the background from a photo. You can also use it to turn your MidJourney face into an avatar with only a couple of clicks.
First, you upload your source image. Then, about a minute later, their bot will share a variety of reinterpretations. Each of these variations you can download and save out!
Before You Give Up Completely, Try MidJourney’s Light Upscale Redo
It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that MidJourney’s built-in “light upscale redo” feature sometimes is all you need to fix a pair of eyes or clean up another part of your portrait that includes a few too many minor but noticeable strange details. I always like to give this action a try before I completely call it quits on a prompt concept. Give it a try—what do you have to lose?
Have An Especially Tricky MidJourney Face to Fix?
I’m happy to check it out and make a recommendation. Just connect with me on Discord and share your image. I’d be glad to share advice on things you could do to help make your picture better. My username is joyous#8616.
Do you have Facebook? Prefer to get a fast answer from the “hive mind”? Consider joining the unofficial Midjourney AI group. It’s full of really talented folks. Everyone shares MidJourney tips on a wide range of issues. They could be a great additional resource if you’re struggling to clean up a MidJourney face.
Before giving up completely on an odd MidJourney face, here’s how you can make yourself feel better. Try to improve your portrait by giving it a pair of laser eyes. That’s what I like to do for a laugh!