What just happened? Midjourney has unveiled the latest version of its AI-powered image-generation system that includes a 'Zoom Out' function. The feature generates a scene around a central image, mimicking zooming out with a camera. Users have posted some examples of the tool, and it's very impressive.

Midjourney 5.2 arrived last week, bringing with it a slew of changes and improvements. Receiving the most attention is the introduction of Zoom Out, which widens the field of view of images.

Unlike similar features in other programs, Zoom Out cannot be used with custom images; it only works with those generated by Midjourney.

Using the tool involves generating an image in the latest version of Midjourney and selecting the Zoom buttons that appear underneath. Users can choose to zoom out by a factor of x1.5, x2, or a custom value between 1 and 2. Custom Zoom also allows users to change the prompt before expanding an image so, for example, they could turn a starting image into a framed picture on a wall.

There's also a Make Square option, which, as the name suggests, takes a non-square image and expands it either vertically or horizontally, generating new content as it goes, to come up with a square image.

Other improvements in Midjourney v5.2 include a better quality of generated images, optimized text readability, new styles and filters, and bug fixes and improvements.

If you're interested in using Midjourney, make sure to check out our How to use Midjourney to create AI images guide, which covers getting started, using commands, prompt parameters, and much more.

AI-generated art is getting more advanced at a startling rate, but its use in media continues to draw plenty of controversies. The most recent example of this came when Method Studios, the company that created the opening credits scene for Marvel's Secret Invasion show, confirmed that they had been generated by AI. It emphasized that no jobs were taken as a result of its use, but that hasn't placated people, most of whom say the animated opening simply doesn't look very good.