Recently I wanted to create a photo mosaic for one of my friends’ birthday. In case you don’t know, a photo mosaic is a picture that has been divided into (usually equal sized) rectangular sections, each of which is replaced with another photograph of appropriate average color.
Looks quite good and special, especially if you are using photgraphs of fond memories spent together. So I started using GIMP and ended up with a pretty good looking result, the problem however was the time and effort it took me to achieve the result. It was a 7MB image when saved as as a JPEG, so you can very well imagine what I accomplished!
The token was very much appreciated, however I was determined to find an easier way to achieve similar results. As an alternative, one could hack around a Photoshop Action or a GIMP script (or perhaps look for one), but that is too much work and would not be very flexible. I ended up trying a bunch of software and found AndreaMosaic (photo mosaic software) to be really good.
The first time you run AndreaMosiac, it tells you that you need to create a collection. A collection is used to specify the images that you would like to use to create the photo mosaic or the images that you want your final image to be made up of. Specify all images that you would like to use for the said purpose. (TIP: Choose as many photos here as you can, the more the better.)
Once you have created a collection you are ready to create the mosaic. Set up the options according to your requirement, you can set Mosaic Size (the size of the final image), resolution of the final image and the number of tiles you want your final image to be composed of.
If you don’t have enough images or cannot specify enough images to fill up the entire area of the image you are hoping to create, then obviously some of the images will be repeated. You can specify settings for such a repetition under “Tile Duplication”. Specify how many times an image can be repeated in the final result and spacing between duplicate entries.
AndreaMosaic will try to use images having a dominant yellow color in places where your final image needs to be yellow a green color image for green areas and so on. You can control this by using the color range drop down list. Keeping it to a minimum will give you better results but it would require large number of images in your collection (so as to find a close matching colored image). You would need to find a trade off and try out some settings.
“Tile Variants” allows you to specify if an image in the collection should be used as it is or Mirrored, flipped etc. That’s it you are set. Hit ‘Create Mosaic’ and let the software do its work. And let me tell you it doesn’t take much time. Within no time you will have created a Photo Mosaic.
You might have to try out different settings a few times to get the results that you were looking for, however a little getting used to will give you nice and neat mosaics without having to work with huge files inside Photoshop or GIMP.
Additionally you can click the “More Options” button to tweak some of the advanced settings. Allowing you to choose quality, format, video/movie frames, tile borders etc.
I also tried Foto Mosaik and Pixisnap and found them reasonable, however I like AndreaMosaic better. That is however my personal opinion, check them out and see if you disagree with me!
Shoot out a comment if you think so? I am sure there are plenty of resources to acheive similar results, do you use one? Let us know in the comments.