Ideas during COVID -19: Creating a PHOTO MOSAIC

Written by John Dellios – Bereaved father of Natalie (13), below

What you’ll need:

  • A digital photo that you want to use as the Main Image for the Mosaic
  • A collection of photos in digital form (300 or more if possible). Size and quality doesn’t really matter as they will be only tiny tiles making up the mosaic.
  • Photo Editing Software – to do some editing of your chosen main Image i.e. to crop, adjust brightness/contrast/colour etc… A free easy to use tool is paint.net available from http://www.getpaint.net/
  • Photo Mosaic Creation Software – a free easy to use program is Andrea Mosaic available from http://www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/download/

Getting started:

Select a digital photo to use as your main image for the Mosaic.

The photo doesn’t have to be high resolution

If the subject is a person then you will get best results if the photo is cropped to just include the head and shoulders. This can be done using any Photo Editing software. You may also need to touch up the photo for brightness/contrast or colour etc…

On the Andrea Mosaic web site, check out the tutorials (especially the “your first photographic mosaic”) at: http://www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/tutorial/ to get an idea of how the program is used. The program also comes with a full user manual in pdf form.

Using the program is literally as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. Select the main image or just drag and drop it onto the main program window
  2. Select the folder where all the other images are that will be used as “tiles” to create the mosaic
  3. Set the parameters you wish to use for the mosaic and then press the “create Mosaic” button

Some tips:

  • Start with the default settings first which are for an A3 size image and see how you go.
  • When creating an A3 size mosaic of a person you need to use 2000-4000 tiles get a pleasing mosaic effect. If you use a larger number then the photo “tiles” become so small you lose the detail in them. If you use too small a number then the person’s face especially the eyes and mouth may not look quite right.
  • To improve how facial features appear in the Mosaic you can try:
    • Changing the tile pattern from landscape to portrait or one of the parquet or mixed layouts can sometimes help.
    • Setting the Colour Change to 50%
    • Ticking all the options in Tile Variants
    • Re-edit your main Photo i.e. try and re-crop the photo or adjust the brightness, contrast or colour etc…
  • I found the following settings work best for me (please click on images to enlarge):
  • Also keep in mind the final file size of the Mosaic image. Some Photo Kiosks don’t like it if the final image is greater than 20 MB. You can adjust the Mosaic Resolution (and the Tile Size Settings) to any custom setting you like.
  • Be prepared to experiment – the results will be worth it!

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