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Create Visually Consistent Characters with the Character Reference parameter

Create Visually Consistent Characters with the Character Reference parameter

Midjourney recently introduced a new feature called character reference, which has changed the way users create characters. Gone are the days of using various workarounds to make our characters or subjects look the way we want them to. This new parameter focuses solely on ensuring that characters look closer to the images users have in mind.

Here's a quick guide on how to use the character reference parameter:

Step 1: Get your reference image's URL ready
  1. If your image is from Midjourney, upscale your chosen image by clicking the upscale buttons [U1, U2, U3, U4] at the bottom. 
    Upscale your image
  2. If your image is a personal photo or from an external source, upload it using the “+” button next to the prompt box. 
    Upload your reference image by using the “+” button
  3. Right-click on the upscaled or uploaded image. Then, in the bottom-left corner of the image, click “Open in Browser” to open the image in a new tab.
    Open in browser
  4. Copy the image URL from the new browser tab
    Copy the image URL


Step 2: Apply the style reference code (--cref) to your prompt
  1. In the prompt box, type "/imagine" and press "Enter" 
  2. Describe what you want Midjourney to create (e.g., "A woman in business clothes at a cafe")
  3. Leave a space after your prompt text
  4. Add the style reference code (--cref) after your prompt description
  5. Paste the URL you copied in step 1.4 after the space. 
    Prompt sample with --cref

Generated image of a woman on a street
medium shot of a woman walking on the street surrounded by buildings --cref --ar 128:85 --style raw --v 6.0


Explore these tips to utilize the character reference parameter effectively:


Tip 1: Control Image Details with Character Weight (--cw)

Want to dictate how strongly Midjourney incorporates your reference image? Use the --cw parameter followed by a number from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest). Setting it to 0 will instruct Midjourney to focus solely on facial features, disregarding other details like hair and clothing.

Character reference with --cw parameter
Image prompt: C
artoon 3D avatar of a Man with at an amusement park, daylight --cref --cw {90, 20}--ar 4:5 --v 6.0


Tip 2: Use multiple image references

Harness the potential of multiple image references by simply separating each URL with a space after the --cref parameter. For example: --cref [URL1] [URL2] [URL3]. This allows Midjourney to draw inspiration from various sources, creating a unique blend.

Character reference with multiple URLs
Prompt: Cinematic, low key photo of a middle aged business woman standing against a dark blurred bookshelf background, --cref --cw 100 --v 6.0


Tip 3: Utilize --cref for Object or Product References

Explore the innovative approach introduced by Rory Flynn, where you upload images of objects, and utilize the --cref parameter to generate AI-generated images resembling similar objects.
Using character reference for objectsReference image from: Madvortex
Image prompt: Man in the future, half human, half robot, bright, clean and modern --ar 2:1 --sref --v 6.0


Tip 4: Include other parameters like Style Reference (--sref)

While character reference (--cref) focuses on the subject, style reference (--sref) lets you experiment with artistic styles. By including --sref and a reference image URL, you can guide Midjourney to emulate the desired artistic style, adding an extra layer of creativity to your prompts.

Character reference with style reference feature Reference image from: Cottonbro Studio
Image prompt:
Man in the future, half human, half robot, bright, clean and modern --ar 2:1 --sref --v 6.0


Want to learn more? Check out our Midjourney Inspiration Guide or give us a follow on LinkedIn. We’re constantly sharing cool prompts, fresh inspiration, and helpful tips to take your visual creativity to new heights.

Download our Midjourney Inspiration Guide


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