With the new year comes new New Year’s resolutions. It is the time to start new projects, brush up on posing techniques, or revamp your website. In this new year, instead of opting for just photo albums, prints, or canvases, consider offering something extra, something different, like a photo mosaic.
Photo mosaics are hundreds of little images arranged in a particular way to create one big image. You don’t need to understand color theory, balance of light and dark, or even Photoshop to create a professional mosaic that clients will love. Think of all the hundreds of images that a wedding photographer takes during an event; now, to have all those images combined as a portrait of the couple is something truly magic. AndreaMosaic is a free program that will help you encapsulate an entire event into one image.
First, start off with your tile size. Most images that you take with a standard DSLR, from your full frame cameras like the Nikon D750 and the crop bodies of the Canon Rebels, will be a 3:2 ratio. Images taken with a micro four thirds camera, like the Olympus OM-D EM-5, will be a 4:3 ratio. Make sure you choose the tile ratio correctly or your images will be distorted. There is a 16:9 ratio of images extracted from videos.
Once you choose your ratio, a catalog file must be created. Click on the picture of a dolphin and choose folders or images that you want the mosaic to be created out of. The images must be JPEGs; if the images are TIFFs, PNGs, or any RAW formats, AndreaMosaic will skip over them. The collection will be created in about 5 minutes. You can save multiple catalog files for future projects.
The program, by default, will save as JPEG. Change the output to a PSD to speed up the the process. The maximum resolution that can be chosen is 200 Megapixels with 30,000 tiles and 100,000 images. This may be okay for the majority of people out there. If you think you need more, $35 will get you the licenses to create images at 100 Gigapixels with 500,000 tiles and 500,000 images.
Once a catalog has been created and an image selected – it’s time for some math. Take the tile size and divide it by the number of images in your collection. Round up to the nearest whole number and type that into “Use same tile up to.” In my case, I chose 11 duplicates. Duplicate spacing to 2 tiles and 30% color change. Using a color change of 30% will produce a good image with out compromising the details of the tiles. Anything above 45% is not recommended. Click the the picture of Starry Night to begin the process.
Now, go get a coffee. It will take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to complete the mosaic. Once finished, you will have a very big file (upwards of 1 GB). Looking at the mosaic at 100%, you can clearly see the photos that make it up. The file will be great for prints 20×30 inches or larger.
Andrea gives out the program for free in exchange for credit on the final image. Not a bad price to pay for a high resolution image. Try creating a mosaic for yourself. I have given prints as gifts on multiple occasions and each time, there was a look of astonishment and awe on the client’s face.
You can download AndreaMosaic at their website here.