Ever since I had a baby I have been obsessed with photographs. I have almost 30,000 pictures of her and she isn’t even 2 years old yet! Yes that is what I call obsessed.
What the heck do you do with that many photos? Watch them endlessly? Burn them to various formats? Mash them up?
Well all of that does get a little boring after a while.
I do print a lot of them but hey I just want something a little different”¦
Enter Shape Collage ““ a free program that lets you create a photo collage on your computer out of pictures or folders of pictures. You can download the free version from Shapecollage and the free version lets you do everything but watermark and save high resolution collages but for me this is awesome for print or web images. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a collage on your computer, this software is the answer.
After you download and install the application you will need to have Java on your machine. If yours is not up to snuff you will be prompted to download it on the first run. Note I did have a newer version of Java installed and it still prompted me to grab another version. It would not work until I complied.
Once you satisfy the Java requirement you are ready to rock and roll. The screen should look like the one below. You can drag and drop pictures right to the box on the left.
If you are working with a lot of files you should use the File ““ add photos menu item or the File ““ Add Folder. You can also add photos from the web. This means you can point to a URL with an image or multiple images. But we will be using local files for our run through. I hit File – Add Folder from the file menu.
I picked a folder within my My Pictures folder and it queued up the images in the left pane. You can add more by hitting the plus sign or the same way as before.
If you look over on the right you will see options. They are pretty rudimentary but you can choose the shape of your collage which is awesome. You have the option to choose a rectangle, heart, circle or in the shape of a letter. But you can also load custom shapes if you are feeling adventurous. You choose how many pictures to use as well as the collage size, spacing and individual picture sizes.
You can hit the preview button in the center to give you an idea of what your collage will look like. Go ahead and try it out ““ don’t worry we will wait!
Once you are happy with your collage hit Create and choose your JPG quality.
Then you can go check out your image in the same directory as your images (unless you changed it in the settings). This is what mine looks like! I love it and so does my wife.
How do you create collages? Do you have a free favorite tool? Maybe a Photoshop plug in? Or maybe you create photo collage online using one of the online apps, i.e. Hockneyizer or Fotonea. Let us know in the comments!