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Midjourney vs Stable Diffusion: The Power of Open Source in Text-to-Image Generation

Midjourney vs Stable Diffusion: The Power of Open Source in Text-to-Image Generation

The text-to-image generation field has made considerable advancements in recent years, driven by cutting-edge deep learning techniques and extensive computational power. Among the standout models in this arena are Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. While both exhibit remarkable capabilities, the open-source nature of Stable Diffusion sets it apart, enabling a whole new ecosystem for platforms like Neural Frames.

What Are Midjourney and Stable Diffusion?

Midjourney is a text-to-image generation model that has gained popularity for its high-quality image generation based on text prompts. It's a cloud-based, proprietary solution, and it's currently only available via their Discord server. How to use Midjourney on Discord? By typing /imagine in the Discord channel to the bot. The bot will then generate some images for you.

The Midjourney Interface on Discord

Stable Diffusion, on the other hand, is a deep learning model released in 2022, developed by a collaboration between the CompVis Group at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Stability AI. Unlike Midjourney, Stable Diffusion is open-source, meaning that its code and pretrained model weights are freely accessible to the public. This has paved the way for Web-UIs such as Automatic1111 and ComfyUI.

Interface of the AI music video generator neural frames based on Stable Diffusion

How Do They Work Technologically?

Both models are rooted in deep learning, but their architectures and technologies differ:

  • Midjourney: The details of Midjourney's architecture are proprietary, but like most models in its class, it likely leverages various neural network structures, such as transformers and convolutional neural networks (CNNs).
  • Stable Diffusion: This model uses a Latent Diffusion Model (LDM) for image generation. It employs a sequence of denoising autoencoders and comprises three parts: a Variational Autoencoder (VAE), a U-Net, and an optional text encoder. The model is also relatively lightweight, designed to run on consumer GPUs with 8 GB VRAM or more.

The Open Source Advantage

Stable Diffusion’s open-source nature provides several advantages:

1. Accessibility

Stable Diffusion can run on consumer hardware with modest GPU requirements. This is in contrast to Midjourney, which is typically accessible only via cloud services, potentially limiting its usability for individual developers and small startups.

2. Customization

Stable Diffusion allows users to fine-tune the model for specific use-cases like medical imaging or generating anime characters. A technique called Dreambooth evolved which allows fine-tuning Stable Diffusion on any subject, object or style. While Midjourney might offer some level of customization, the closed nature of its architecture means you're working within a predefined sandbox.

Fine-tuning of Stable Diffusion Models allows to achieve character consistency in video generation applications. 

3. Community-Driven Improvement

Being open-source, Stable Diffusion invites collective efforts for improvements and adaptations. It benefits from a broader set of eyes looking at the code, finding bugs, and making optimizations, something that a proprietary system like Midjourney cannot easily achieve.

4. Foundation for Other Platforms

The open nature of Stable Diffusion allows it to serve as a backbone for other platforms like Neural Frames, which can leverage its capabilities for a broader range of applications.

Both models have faced controversies around the ethics of image generation, especially regarding copyright infringement and potential misuse. Stable Diffusion, however, takes a more liberal approach by not claiming any rights on generated images and providing users with the freedom to use the generated content as long as it's not illegal or harmful.


While both Midjourney and Stable Diffusion represent significant strides in text-to-image generation technology, the open-source nature of Stable Diffusion sets it apart in terms of accessibility, customization, and community-driven improvement. This has broader implications for the democratization of AI, as it allows more developers to work with advanced text-to-image models, giving rise to innovative platforms like Neural Frames, which allows using Stable Diffusion to generate stunning AI music videos and animations from text.

No VC money, just a physicist turned indiehacker in love with text-to-video. Contact me here: contact(at) This website is greatly inspired by Deforum, but doesn't actually use it. For inspiration on prompts, I recommend Civitai.

Use cases

AI Animation GenerationAI Music Video GeneratorTrippy VisualsAI Video EditorText to video