Do you often feel bored and restless at the same time? Like you simply have to do something, but nothing is good enough? Sometimes playing a good game is enough to clear your head, but this is not always the case. This situation sent me looking for something which is both fun and creative, and can keep me engaged for more than a few minutes. And do you know what I found? Collages! More specifically, Loupe.
Don’t laugh just yet, this is way more enjoyable than you might think. Loupe is a simple and free web app which lets you choose images from almost anywhere you can think of (even your Facebook albums), and turn them into cute little collages. There isn’t much you can actually do with these collages, except show your masterpieces to your friends, but you’re going to have loads of fun creating them.
Creating A Collage
Creating a collage with Loupe is really easy, all you have to do is choose your shape and your pictures and you’re basically done. To start, launch Loupe and click on “New”.
It’s now time to choose your collage’s shape. This is probably the best part of Loupe. The pictures themselves don’t matter as much, it’s the shape that counts! There are lots of shapes to choose from; anything from the Apple, Windows or Linux logos to different animals, shapes and words. You can use the star slider to browse through the shapes, or simply click on the small arrow on the left to view all of them. And don’t worry, you can easily change the shape later on if you don’t like the result.
After choosing your shape, it’s time to choose photos. Loupe lets you find photos using Facebook, Bing search, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or a custom URL. Since Loupe’s sharing options are kind of limited, the collages you create will mainly serve as personal amusement. Therefore, it’s probably OK to use random photos you find using Loupe’s engine. Having said that, keep in mind that it’s probably better to use your own photos, just to be on the safe side.
If you choose to use Tumblr, you’d need to provide an exact Tumblr address. In Twitter and Instagram you can simply conduct a free search. You can also enter your website’s URL and Loupe will pull all the website’s images for a collage. But the best option is probably Facebook.
To use your Facebook images, you will have to grant the app access to your account. After that, you’ll be able to choose any of your Facebook albums. You can also choose to create collages from other people’s albums, using the “Choose photos from:” dropdown menu, but the fun in that eludes me.
After choosing an album, it’s now time to decide which photos will be included in the collage. If you want to mix two different albums, simply choose all the photos you want from the first album, and add photos from the second one later. Keep in mind that the more photos you use, the less duplicates the collage will have. Click on all the photos you want to exclude, and then click “Done”.
Loupe will perform this cute animation, to make you feel like it’s really making your collage in front of your eyes. It’s pretty satisfying.
And there you have it: the initial version of your collage.
Editing & Sharing
Now it’s time for some tweaking. There isn’t a whole lot you can do, but there are some things you can play with. In fact, playing with the collages is probably the best part. To edit a collage, click on the “Edit” button. You can then start moving photos around. By moving your photos, you can create original shapes or simply decide which photos goes where, which photos are more prominent, etc.
You can also change the shape of the collage, and try all the different shapes Loupe offers. Every time you change a shape, Loupe performs its cute little animation. You can also add photos from other albums or even other sources by clicking the “+Photos” button.
As mentioned earlier, Loupe’s sharing options are currently somewhat limited. If you’d like to share your creation, you can either publish it on your Facebook wall, save it to a Facebook album (will also create a post on your wall), or use a URL. The URL points at the page you’re currently on, meaning, if you share the collage using the URL, whoever you share it with will be able to edit your collage.
The link can also be opened on mobile, where it looks surprisingly good. As you can see in the screenshots, the pictures are small. The emphasis is on the shape and the collage itself, and not on the actual photos. This is actually a good thing – it means you can share collages with friends and not have to worry about privacy as much (the photos are still visible, so don’t go crazy!).
If you like the idea behind Loupe, but would like to take it a step further, you can try their desktop app, Shape Collage.
So next time you’re having one of those days, and just want to play around with something simple yet creative, give Loupe a spin. Do you know of similar ways to pass a boring day? We’re always on the lookout for some!